Critical Mass cycling protest rides are to be revived in Dublin in the fun-filled style of #IBIKEbop events run by I Bike Dublin, a campaign group mainly associated with protecting cycle lanes.
The first of the cycles is due to take place this Friday. UPDATE: I Bike Dublin have tweeted out: “Meet at the Garden of Remembrance entrance opposite Hugh Lane Gallery on Parnell Square North between 6pm and 6:15pm Friday 30 July. Roll from 6:15pm down Parnell Square East. Excitement is building. Don’t forget to pimp your ride.”
Critical Mass events started in San Francisco in the early 1990s. On its 10th anniversary the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition credited the protests with drawing attention to cycling issues and helping progress to be made.
Critical Mass has been held on and off in Dublin, but there’s been a gap of some years since it was last held. Similar protests in The Netherlands are partly credited with the Dutch moving from car centric thinking to more liveable streets.
Peter Collins, a volunteer at I Bike Dublin said: “The aim is to bring Dublin back into the CritcialMass movement after its absence for some years. The #IBIKEBop rides highlighted the diversity of people who cycle in Dublin and that they are likeminded in wanting more infrastructure and safer infrastructure across the city as well as enjoying a bit of craic.”
”We had young and old the brave and the not so brave. A group ride gave them confidence to cross parts of the city in a fun way that the might not otherwise so easily cross. The safety in numbers. The Critical Mass. To relaunch it will be done in a similar format to the #IBIKEBop rides,” said Collins.
He said: ”These brought fun to the streets in a safe socially distant way at a time when people were under pressure from the impacts of lockdown. Thankfully they could still get out on their bikes. Whilst it rained on most rides it didn’t interfere with the fun that was had. This spilled over to #PrideBikeBop to which I Bike Dublin gave it’s support.”
He said that the plan is to follow the established last Friday of the month schedule which is standard for Critical Mass, and then to mix up the routes, distances and theme from month to month.
Collins added: “Dublin has a long way to go and we want to see a situation where those that don’t cycle, but want to, are encouraged and enabled to. In the same way that cycle buses has highlighted the issues for schools this aims to highlight the will of Dublin people to get out on their bikes. This Friday’s route will likely be influenced by the Strand Road delays.”