“What’s happening?””We’re cycling.””What are you protesting about?””Nothing. We’re just cycling. Grab your bike!”
Somewhere in London is a police control room, monitoring the thousands of CCTV camera littered across central London. I would love to be in that control room on the last Friday of every month, sometime around 7pm, as Critical Mass rolls up the slope from the BFI onto Waterloo roundabout.
I’d love to watch the hundreds of individual cyclists reduced to a single body behaving like a fluid gliding around town, gently affected by the varying viscosity of its surroundings, and deforming around obstructive nodes.
Critical Mass is important. Not because it’s a celebration of cycling, or any of the various groups that try and hijack it. Not because it’s a great way to see London or to meet interesting people. And not because it’s a metric ton of fun.
It’s important because it’s a wake up call to the rest of London that the city is here for you to use, so get out there and use it.