Critical Pride

Hello there.

Oh, I headed down to London last Friday 25th June.

On the way down to London.

I partook in June 2015′s Critical Mass.  If you have stumbled upon this blog, or have somehow missed the plethora of posts from me about it before, Critical Mass is an assemblage of predominantly cyclists which occurs on the last Friday of every month in many major cities the world over.  London’s CM is huge; it comprises of over a thousand cyclists, and a few skateboarders and roller-skaters.

Me and Tom at Waterloo Bridge

May 2014 was my first ever Critical Mass and that took place in Nottingham.  Here 50 odd people turned up and for my first ever ride that felt amazing.  In London it is a spectacle.  As always, I enjoyed the ride, as I love cycling and I love London.  For this ride I was with Tom and I said to him that for this ride I felt more of a sense of empathy with the motor vehicles and even the pedestrians who were waiting.  Tom replied and afterwards I agreed that the point behind Critical Mass speaks louder than if the group split up at every junction and allowed motor-vehicles to disperse us.  The meaning of Critical Mass, put simply is a gathering of cyclists to celebrate cycling and present ourselves by dominating the road.

I stood at the ride of the road for a bit and filmed.  The cyclists stretch forward and back as far as the eye can see.


This was the first Critical Mass to occur since the killing of Ying Tao at Bank Junction who was crushed to death by a tripper lorry.  We stopped at Bank and stayed put for thirty minutes blocking the 7 junction meeting points.  This protest really illustrated how there simply cannot be a continuation of the status quo.  Changes need to happen.  Infrastructure needs to be improved.  Perhaps even a ban of HGVs during rush hour needs to be take place.  Why have HGVs sitting for hours on end in traffic anyway?

On Saturday I attended my first ever Pride.  Wow.  It stated that this year would be the biggest and although I can not compare, I’d have to agree.  It was enormous.  The streets, especially around Soho were packed with people.  From Trafalgar Square north westwards to Soho, some main streets and many side ones were closed.  The sight of pedestrians being able to freely mill about was wonderful.

Mainly I watched the spectacular parade pass.  I have never seen anything like it.  I think it lasted for well over three hours.  I wasn’t there for all of it!

I’d heard that this year there was a lot of corporate sponsorship which some people disagreed with.  Although to a extent I agree that it is important to recognise the historical point in Pride, the sponsorship by well-known names such as Barclays, I think, is recognising the shifting attitudes in society and if anything will help younger people coming out.

All in all, I had a wonderful time.  Fate has it that I bumped into a few known faces!  A brilliant weekend.

 

Here are some photos of Pride:

Sam x

 

Me in front of the Eye. Look at those shorts.

Hmmmm fitness.

 

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