Critical Mays

On the last Friday of each month at 5.30pm we meet at the Mound outside the Scottish National Gallery - we're a very friendly bunch

On the last Friday of each month at 5.30pm we meet at the Mound outside the Scottish National Gallery – we’re a very friendly bunch

Well, the weather is beginning to look fine and we’ve got so much light in the sky we don’t know what to do with it – I love Critical Mass at this time of year – people are a little more relaxed, the numbers swell, we have more fun!!!

Last month has been a busy one for cycle activists out there. Not only did many of us take to the streets to Pedal on Parliament but many have also been in preparation for the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling, which runs from the 11th to the 21st of June. One not to be missed is the World Naked Bike Ride in Edinburgh on the 13th June, which a number of us Critical Massers have been promoting.11178328_10153247185114269_7057436405244833238_n

These are very exciting times!!!

So why not join us for Critical Mass this Friday? First time riders, families, familiar faces – all are very welcome. We begin our ride as ever at 5.30pm on the Mound outside the Scottish National Gallery. There Flags and sound-systems were outwe chat, catch up, get to know one other…maybe paint our faces too…all very essential for building a fun-loving community! Then we set off at about 6pm to ride around Edinburgh in a peaceful yet assertive way – riding in a mass with good music and illustrating that we too are traffic and celebrating the beauty of one of humankind’s greatest sustainable inventions.

We pass through the Meadows at 7pm so join us then if 5.30/6pm is too early for you and we’ll then ride some more. Who knows where the road will take us and who knows what will happen – but riding in the mass we can be sure we will are visible, feel safe, and have great fun. Please share details of our ride and/or sign up to the event on facebook. See you there…

Meadows meet

Meadows at 7pm if you can’t make the earlier time

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World Naked Bike Ride in Edinburgh – 13th June

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This will be a ride up the Royal Mile with a difference…;)

It’s getting warmer – its defnitely time for us cyclists around Edinburgh to start shedding some clothes…how far will we, can we, go?

What is World Naked Bike Ride all about?

Every year, in cities around the world, people ride bikes naked to celebrate cycling and the human body.

The ride demonstrates the vulnerability of cyclists on the road and is a protest against car culture.

Last year we saw a joint Edinburgh & Glasgow World Naked Bike Ride – it was the first in three years and we had so much fun (see exaclty how much fun here) that it only seems proper to do it again. We want to make this year bigger and better so please join us and share the details of the ride far and wide.

“Now do you see?” – Erm, yes…!

Where and when? 

2pm 13th June 2015 in Middle Meadow Walk.

Dress Code: “Is Nudity mandatory?”

It’s not such a silly question when you think about the name of the event but No, nudity is not mandatory.

The official dress code is that genitalia should be covered to avoid scaring small children and horses, and after that, go wild.

In previous years, riders have worn shorts, bras, swimwear, body paint, wigs, sunglasses etc. Most wear footwear and bring bags to carry clothes. Body painting and adornment, customised bikes and other creative expression are all strongly encouraged.

See also the United Kingdom FAQ for more information on this topic.

Legality

14242226359_a5b4d5f81d_bAlthough there has been a lot of media attention on the legality of nudity on these rides it really is something of a non-issue. For the record, anyone who turns up fully nude will be risking arrest on a charge of “Outraging Public Decency”. Older and wiser heads have informed us that this has been the case for most rides in the early years, we have just been stuck with it because Edinburgh WNBR has so far never run continuously for more than a year or two, meaning negotiations have to be opened afresh each time.

Last year even our police escort joined in the group photo. They said they'd had a great time and were impressed by our organisation - how much can we impress them this year!

Last year even our police escort joined in the group photo. They said they’d had a great time and were impressed by our organisation – lets really impress them this year!

This is an organised event, and there will be a police escort. Since the Police are there for our protection (we will be riding en-masse in traffic after all) we would prefer not to aggravate them unnecessarily. The Police were fantastic and friendly last year and this event would like to continue having an amicable relationship.

The clothing options are pretty simple: Bare-as-you-Dare (except for genitalia)

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Beautifully put!!!

Now on to the fun stuff: Decoration!

Decoration

Now we know where the limits are (ie. the absolute bare minimum) lets have fun with it. Last year people were plastering each other with body paint, nipple tassels and comedy G-strings. We work best when we are forced to improvise, so improvise your hearts out.

We will do our best to provide some screens to get changed behind, but we guarantee nothing. Why not have a ‘painting-party’ beforehand, and really go to town?

_IGP1370_edited-2Best of all, take some inspiration from other rides around the world, many of which manage to post pictures that are totally work-safe due to the sheer weight of ornamentation!

Photography

Edinburgh prefers riders rather than photographers. Rider-photographers are OK but we will probably be using the London photography policy unless posted otherwise. That means if your photography behaviour is unwelcome, you’ll be required to leave.

Directions

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Cheeky stewards!!!

Middle Meadow Walk is a long tree lined avenue through the Meadows Park. At the north end of the Walk is Teviot Place and at the south end is Argyle Place. Here is a link to the map and here is a map of the Meadows. Here is an excellent photograph that shows what Middle Meadows Walk looks like.

Publicise the ride

Please share our Facebook event or follow/retweet us on twitter: @wnbredinburgh

Get involved

If you want to get more actively involved in the ride, join our group

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Critical Mass Edinburgh goes PoP

What a superb weekend it was for cycle activism! Not only did we have our own regular monthly Critical Mass ride on Friday but the following day there was Scotland’s legendary Pedal on Parliament (PoP) event – and you can bet Critical Mass made their presence felt at PoP with plenty of flags and and a couple of sound-systems too.

PoP 2015 poster – the emphasis here is on children and the idea that bicycles are a viable alternative to cars - but we need the infrastruture

PoP 2015 poster – the emphasis here is on children and the idea that bicycles are a viable alternative to cars – but we need the infrastructure

The crowds were out en masse but surely we need to take to the streets more than once a year

Pedal on Parliament has quickly grown to become a major event in the Scottish cycling calendar. Now in its fourth year it attracts thousands of participants; the basic principle behind the ride is that by pedalling to parliament en masse, we send a clear message that cycling matters to a lot of people and not enough is being done by politicians to promote it.

We go to Pedal on Parliament, as much as we do Critical Mass, because we want (below are the the key points on the PoP manifesto but read more here):

  1. PoP is about making cycling safe for everyone

    PoP is about making cycling safe for everyone

    Proper funding for cycling (5% of the transport budget & 10% for active travel overall).

  2. Design cycling into Scotland’s roads.
  3. Slower speeds where people live, work and play
  4. Integrate cycling into local transport strategies
  5. Improved road traffic law and enforcement
  6. Reduce the risk of HGVs to cyclists and pedestrians
  7. A strategic and joined-up programme of road user training
  8. Improved statistics supporting decision-making and policy
With our flags and banners we want people to accept that "we aren't blocking traffic, we are traffic"

With our flags and banners we want people to realise that “we aren’t blocking traffic, we are traffic”

Our streets are designed for cars and that’s why cars dominate – it could, and should, be different. If we keep up sustained bike protests like those at the weekend it will be. PoP was an opportunity to let other cyclists know about the global Critical Mass movement, and to promote the idea that riding together for a shared cause can happen more than just once a year.

Critical Masses take place each and every month in cities all over the world. Cyclists all share very common experiences – daily experiences – being forced to cycle in or close to the gutter using infrastructure that is inadequate and sometimes even dangerous. Mostly on our daily commutes we are alone and vulnerable and Critical Mass is about cycling in a mass such that our riders feel safe and can relax.  Critical Mass rides are

Critical Mass contirubted a lot of to Pedal on Parliament on Saturday

Critical Mass contributed a lot of energy Pedal on Parliament on Saturday

about celebrating cycling and so we bring sound-systems, flags, whistles, bells, and ride in a way that shows cycling can be a lot of fun.

On the last Friday of each month at 5.30pm we meet at the Mound outside the Scottish National Gallery - we're a very friendly bunch

On the last Friday of each month at 5.30pm we meet at the Mound outside the Scottish National Gallery – we’re a very friendly bunch

Flag making

Flag making – so people know who we are and can find our more about us when they us having fun on our bikes

Last Friday was one of my favourite rides with Critical Mass Edinburgh. We had put in a lot of energy making sure we would be able to promote our ride at Pedal on Parliament. We spent a lot of time making flags, making sure our sound-systems were up to scratch, and generally promoting the ride. Many people who come to Critical Mass each month have become good friends to me and it is nice to unite over a shared purpose and when we met on Friday there was a lot of excitement in the air. We put up our flags, our sound-systems arrived (2 this time but we sometimes have more), painted our faces, and after a small talk before to promote a safe and friendly ride we took to the streets.

These days we head to the Meadows at 7pm so we can meet people who can't make the earlier time - it always surprises me how good we are at making it for nearly exactly 7pm

These days we head to the Meadows at 7pm so we can meet people who can’t make the earlier time – it always surprises me how good we are at making it for nearly exactly 7pm

The ride, as usual, twisted and turned through the centre of Edinburgh. – Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities and it is always nice to discover new bits and even re-discover old bits you know well but can’t help but see from a different light when there is a sound-system to your right and to your left and a big group of cyclists surrounding you.

It is always a pleasure to cycle in a big friendly supportive group. And I think we need to do this more often. In the Netherlands they have a Critical Mass every single day (it’s not organised they just have the infrastructure that supports cycling – is it that hard) and there is no reason why it can’t be that way here. Until it is that way here lets get out and ride more together – at leat once a month and so I hope many of you got our flyers, spoke to some of our regular massers, or at the very least saw our flags and heard our sound-systems.

Just imagine if we had this many riding every month on Critical Mass - people would notice

Just imagine if we had this many riding every month on Critical Mass…

Come and join Edinburgh Critical Mass next time – 29th May is our next ride. 5.30pm at the Mound outside the Scottish National Gallery to leave at 6pm. If you can’t make that then catch us at 7pm at Mid-Meadow Walk. If you miss that then there is always next month, and the next month (the last Friday of EVERY month), but do catch us soon as the weather is turning really nice.

ps oh and if anyone is feeling fruity, am I’m sure you all are, the World Naked Bike Ride is happening on the 13th June this year. We had a great time last year 🙂

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Critical Week Ahead

Hi Critical Massers

hell-yes

This is a BIG week for Edinburgh Critical Mass. We are meeting on Wednesday at 7pm to make flags for the weekend’s two big Edinburgh City cycling events. On Friday it is the Critical Mass Edinburgh ride April edition which will be the first ride of the year fully in daylight, so we are hoping for a good turnout and a super-fun ride. We will be face-painting as usual before the ride so come early if you want to be decorated! We will be meeting from 5.30pm at the Scottish National Gallery, The Mound, Edinburgh. Event details at: https://www.facebook.com/events/458657044293123/ Then we will stop at 7pm at Middle Mile Walk on The Meadows to pick-up the later arrivals.

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After the ride we will do something social as yet to be decided, possibly watch a movie at ACE http://autonomous.org.uk/or ride to one of Edinburgh’s fine pubs.

f and ssOn Saturday it is Pedal on Parliament – the fourth massive bike ride to Holyrood. The point is to make cycling safer and easier, much as does the Critical Mass Movement itself. Edinburgh Critical Massers we will meet at 10:45 (to leave at about 11:00) at the usual ride start location at The Mound, go for a short ride then arrive at the Meadows to join the Pedal on Parliament set-off together. Further details can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1778555302369687/

For more information on the Critical Mass Movement see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Mass_%28cycling%29

Please come and join us on Friday and Saturday and help us fly the new flags for Critical Mass Edinburgh.

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A short video and more from last Friday 27th of March Critical Mass!!

Hopefully this will get you enthusiast for the next critical mass ride to come on the 24th of April, (and probably regret not coming if you missed last one hehe).

The footage is only from the second half after the Middle Meadow Walk meeting unfortunately so no daylight but those who made it from the beginning were lucky enough to ride during the sunset!!

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Here is a map of the full route we took, Critical Masses are always a good way to discover hidden gems from our wonderful city!!

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Welcome the spring and the sunshine with Critical Mass!!

There we are again: last Friday of the month = CRITICAL MASS Friday!! And today’s mass seems like it will be blessed with some daylight, a first for this year!! So, if you haven’t been cycling for a while due to the weather, today is the day to get back on it and have some fun at the same time!!

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Looking forward to a sunny ride!!

If you are new to the concept, don’t worry, the only requirement is to bring a bike and a big smile. We are just a bunch of friendly cyclists that meet up once a month to celebrate cycling and try promote safe riding. This is also a good way to increase your confidence cycling on the road, we believe we are also part of the traffic and thus, should feel safe riding amongst it. (This video/documental about the origins of Critical Mass perfectly sums up the spirit of the mass!!)

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2nd meeting point on the Meadows, 7pm

Bring your most colourful clothes and let’s fill the streets with some good vibes! Meeting is on the Mound, in front of the Scottish National Gallery at 5.30pm, ride starts at 6pm …buuuut don’t worry if you can’t make it that early, we have a 2nd meeting point at the intersection in the Meadows between Middle Meadow walk and N Meadow walk at 7pm. There is also an app you can use to find us in one click via your smartphone.

-Feel free to share the event with your friends!

Looking forward to seeing you all, have a lovely day!!

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February Critical Mass

February Critical Mass Edinburgh was blessed with good if cold weather. About thirty people attended which is major advance on our numbers at this time last year. We did some face painting prior to the set-off, and dressed so as to make it really obvious to the people we pass how much we fun we have during the rides once we have created some breathing space for ourselves.

We cycled up the Royal Mile to the castle which made a good chance to stop for photos, after which we descended and sped around to the Meadows for our now routine second meeting point at 7pm, where we picked up a few souls awaiting.

Storming the castle

Storming the castle

After the Mass we pedalled down to ACE in Leith http://autonomous.org.uk/ where we watched the movie The Flying Scotsman, about the controversial Scottish cyclist Graeme Obree http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graeme_Obree The movie was enjoyed by all and contained the message that to promote change for the good, one may well have to do things that  society or the establishment (cycling or otherwise) would rather prefer you didn’t and kept quiet!

Happy and visible

Happy and visible

This month quite a few new faces were present, and the Facebook group is about to reach 500 members. Join up at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/173122149399382/ This bodes really well for the Spring and Summer coming month’s rides.

Until the 27th March …

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Fracking Fun Sunday Biketour: Cycle to the Kelpies + March against Fracking

The fracking fever is spreading. Today, nearly two thirds of the UK are already covered by fracking rigs. As a consequence, there’s an increase in carbon emissions, destructive weather patterns and release of toxins into our soil and water. The extent of social costs, health deterioration and housing prices in rural areas are becoming more pronounced.
Reclaim the Power and Critical Mass have come together to counteract this injustice, with the most energy saving, pollution reducing, and health boosting mode of transport. Come join us this Sunday for our Fracking Fun Sunday Bike Tour. Our journey will begin in the Edinburgh city center and cycle towards The Kelpies (100 feet tall equine sculptures). Once in Falkirk, anti-fracking group, Reclaim the Power Scotland, will take you round the monuments of dirty energy in the area. This will hopefully elucidate how close all this industry is too us, and how many communities are fighting hard against it! There’s also going to be a peaceful rally against fracking in Grangemouth which we will be joining afterwards if energy is left!

Hope to see you environment loving cycling enthusiasts this Sunday! x

Information details:
– Leaving from edinburgh by bike: meet at 9am on Leamington Bridge (over Union Canal), we will then cycle through Queensferry (you can meet us on the way if you know the route).
– if you want to take the train: meet at 12h30 at Falkirk Grahamston Station (train leaves from waverley station just after 12), and join for the dirty energy tour and the march!
bring warm clothes, yumy food and water, we won’t be cylcing like mad rabbits (but if you want to you can!), so a speed of 10miles/hour is to be expected, with mainly simply roads!

Pdf of the route soon to be shared, and contact reclaimthepowerscotland@riseup.net for any questions!
and phone contact 07 75 42 84 300Frack Off Cycling Route

For more details go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/393871510773280

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The Flying Scotsman – A post Critical Mass film screening at ACE…

obree_equipe[1]_thumbCritical Mass is proud to present a Friday night screening of “The Flying Scotsman“. The screening will take place at the Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh (ACE) this Friday 27th February 2015 at 7.30-8pm (depending on the arrival of the mass) and we welcome you to join us.

In these colder months the mass still rolls and it is in these months where the building toward the warmer months begins and we take the time to do some fun stuff together. We’ve screened a film in conjunction with our good friends ACE several times and it is a chance to warm up after our monthly ride and has always been a great success. All welcome to Critical Mass (The Mound leaving at 6pm/Mid-Meadow Walk at 7pm) and/or the film. See you then…

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Cycists – gather – join forces – become one – ride safe – ride with joy.

THIS FRIDAY 27TH FEBRUARY…on calton hill at the end
No month would be complete with out a Critical Mass and so this Friday we take to the streets of Edinburgh to celebrate a cyclists life. It’s not always easy out there on the road alone and that is why we like to cycle as a mass, where we have fun and feel safe. Everyone is welcome and we promote a peaceful but assertive ride. Come and find out for yourself what we’re about (FAQs are here).
FOR EXTRA FUN THIS MONTH WHY NOT DRESS UP A BIT – SILLY WIGS, PAINTED FACES, SILLY TROUSERS – WHATEVER YOU FEEL
hideous bunch

This is how some of us rolled out in Halloween last year…great atmosphere and great support from the public

We will meet at 5.30pm outside the Scottish National Gallery on The Mound to leave just after 6pm and for those that miss us at 6pm there will be the usual 2ND MEET POINT AT MEADOWS PARK AT 7PM – bottom of the Quartermile, in the middle of Middle Meadow Walk.

AUTONOMOUS CENTRE OF EDINBURGH

Afterwards we are going to head to the Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh (ACE) for about 7.30pm to watch the film “The Flying Scotsman”. All welcome to this even if you can’t make the ride

LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU THERE XXX

PS – don’t forget to bring noise, bring whistles, bring visibility, bring Critical Mass flags…but most important bring yourself, all your bikes, and as many friends as you can fit on them…:)

meadows
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