The last friday of the month is critical commute day. An event inspired by Manchester Friends of the Earth’s Love Your Bike campaign together with support from the Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign.
Many cities around the world have a "Critical Mass" gathering of cyclists on the last Friday of the month but rather than cause a nuisance to traffic and wind up car drivers our critical commute promotes cycling into Manchester city centre and hopefully gives the opportunity to occassional or novice commuting riders to join a group of more experienced riders.
The CCs started for me with the ride to celebrate the anniversary of the launch of the Love Your Bike campaign when we gathered in Albert Square to hand a report of findings and feedback regarding cycle commuting to Neil Swannick of the City council. 3 starting points were already established and a 4th Prestwich ride was organised for the first time. There were just 3 of us but met up with 40+ other cyclists in the city centre.
The Prestwich co-ordinator was on holiday today but in his absence we still gathered at the junction of Scholes Lane with Bury New Road and again just 3 bikes. There was Angie who was riding for the first time and Jorge who’s been on one CC before. Jorge has been cycling to work for a couple of years and has an excellent blog of his adventures during that time. The ride was made more enjoyable by congestion around the Cathedral which caused traffic to back up for the last 2 miles into the city, it’s lovely cycling downhill and wizzing past slow moving cars.
My mate Rob should be joining us next month and with Jonathan back we might number 5. I’ve also got another month to work on Chris from Simister in our office, though he doesn’t actually own a bike which puts him at a slight disadvantage (I think I can dig out an old one though!).
Further good cycling news is that I might have found a Guinea Pig for the Cycle to Work scheme at work. JP has joined Sage and is moving from Leeds to easily commutable Chorlton. He’s a keen cyclist and I’m hoping to take him over to the Bicycle Doctor one lunchtime next week to see what they have to offer through the scheme.