A mild February saw some unseasonably good cycling weather, and while I braved the roads on my lonesome I couldn’t help but look forward to the Critical Mass bike celebration I’ve got used to having on the last Friday of every month. I was so eager to begin I arrived at 5.30pm to find that I wasn’t the only one keen for February’s ride – the weather had held out and there was even a hopeful glimmer of sunlight still remaining!
As 6:00pm drew nearer, more and more cyclists appeared – a fair few of them old regulars, but it was encouraging to see a lot of new riders as well. However, one bike in particular made me smile the most upon its arrival – I have to say that I heard it before I saw it, broadcasting, as it was, the theme music from Jurassic Park. Cruising past the dropped-jaws of several bewildered tourists was Harry on his cargo bike, carrying the prototype sound-system he’s been developing this last month.
We eventually grew to a mass of about 20 beautiful bicyclists and it seemed we were just about ready to go! Following a few words to promote safety and awareness of other road users we set off on our Magical Mystery tour accompanied by the Beatles’ song of the same name.
Spirits were high, and not just for those of us in the mass; countless people seemed to spontaneously connect with our energy including other cyclists, pedestrians, and even, (believe it or not) the odd taxi driver! Many waved to us to find out more about what we were doing, take flyers, and sometimes just to have a dance in the streets – the party atmosphere was infectious!
It cannot be denied that we had a strong presence on the streets of Edinburgh this month, and (aside from a bit of beeping from a slight curmudgeonly taxi at one point on Princes Street) we seemed to create a lot of positive energy. We rode fairly slowly in order to stay safe and maintain the group’s cohesion, so the ride itself wasn’t too long (here is a map of our route). Given that it was February it was still pretty cold, and so we finished up at about 7.15pm with cups of tea all round in the Ventoux pub.
Already my thoughts are on next month’s ride…March 28th…perhaps only a little bit warmer but certainly a whole lot lighter; in my opinion it can’t come soon enough. Maybe even a few more riders and the chance of another film screening… Who knows? Watch this space!