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Just had to write in about our first Critical Mass Bike ride. We arrived at Hyde Park, unsure of what to expect, on what turned out to be a glorious morning. There were less people than we’d expected but the mood was bright and the crowd varied. (We are all thirty somethings.) It was a bit unsettling to be constantly videoed and photographed while we sat on the grass in the sunshine but I suppose that’s a sign of the times.
We set off around 10.40am down towards Victoria Station accompanied by a samba band and a party atmosphere. Somewhere by Victoria we split from the main group of marchers into a splinter group of about 60 – 100 cyclists and doubled back up Grosvenor Place towards Hyde Park Corner. It was a good feeling to cycle along the road and have cars make way for us, (not that they wanted to) rather than being forced into the gutter as usual. One car drove at us tooting his horn trying to force his way by but by acting together we managed to make him behave.
After Hyde Park Corner we came down Constitution Hill (we thought it was Buckingham Palace Gate) although the lone police officer guarding the road tried to persuade us otherwise. We then came around the front of the palace, to the amusement of the many tourists milling around Buck House. From there we continued down Birdcage Walk and then to Parliament Square where we received a rapturous reception from the crowd gathered there.
On the whole it was a very enjoyable and peaceful morning, if not a little mischievous. Many passers-by and even some motorists waved and smiled at us.
One thing that we all found disconcerting was the amount of times we were videoed and photographed throughout the ride.
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