This evening I went on my second Leicester Critical Mass and it was a lot warmer than last time The theme this time was Brazilian Fiesta (to show solidarity with Brazilian Cyclists who were mown down by a car driver recently) and we were told:
Don’t forget your boa, your headdress, your spangles and your shimmer…
Needless to say I “accidentally” forgot all those things.
Still it was a nice ride. I was told there were about 140 riders, certainly more than last time I went.
For mew one of the important outcomes is that the ride highlights how the Leicester road system cannot cope with just a few cyclists (on routes in and out of Leicester we should be getting 150 cyclists an hour every day).
Another is the variety of people present, from children upwards with seasoned campaigners and neophytes mixing for a good time. As well as variety in people there are also lots of different bikes. Pashleys, Bromptons (interesting mix ranging from the beat up to the totally cool and trendy that match the outfit), fixies, bmx, mtb’s, road bikes, cargo bikes, bike trailers, bikes with child seats, town bikes, tandems, …
The atmosphere is good with just a small number of car drivers expressing frustration at being held up for a while (it does take a while for 140 cyclists to pass especially because we keep getting held up by cars and buses).
Anyway I took some pictures:
While I had a very pleasant ride to and from the city centre (with Critical Mass it was 18 miles) I did take these pictures of two cars parked on double yellow lines on Bath Street. As I took the second of CT55 FRL a young man busy parking his red Audi on the double yellow lines. I asked him why he was parking on the double yellows and he claimed to have a disabled parking badge. When he saw me taking a picture of the car already parked he told me it was his car as well so it was also covered by his disabled badge. It must be a severe disability for him to need to park two cars outside the pub!
On my way there “YK04 SHU” was parked illegally.
On the way back “CT55 FRL” was parked illegally (notice how close to the traffic lights this illegal parking is) and the red Audi was in the process of also parking illegally. Interesting that all 3 cars were Audi’s:
Note there was plenty of legal parking a bit further along Bath Street.
The daily grid of dealing with car, van, bus and HGV drivers that break the law, drive dangerously and ignore vulnerable people is a good reminder of why we need major change in the transport policies to lead us towards a safer infrastructure for our children. If Critical Mass can help in anyway then it is worth supporting.
Sadly everyday we get news that demonstrates that the UK government are committed to making things worse when it comes to transport. Consider the recent decisions:
- to ignore advice and not lower the limit for drinking and driving even though it would save lives
- to lower duty on petrol and diesel
- to redesign the junctions around Blackfriars Bridge to make it more dangerous for the cyclists who are over 30% of all users of the bridge at peak hours.
- to not support 20mph speed limits in all residential areas