1st Friday of every Month - Beware Aggressive mobs of cyclists

hopefully this was a one off, but, just thought I’d better warn you - I have checked the web and it sounds like this may have been the regular last friday of the month Critical mass protest.On the way to the Ace last night with a couple of mates and heading up Farringdon road. At the junction with clerkenwell road a large group of cyclists (30 or more?) had blocked the road and were just sitting there blocking any cars from moving. We filtered through the traffic and I went one side of a taxi at the front and my mates the other.

At first the group wouldn’t move for me so I just pointed out the fact that I was on two wheels too and asked them to move over. A few moved and a large guy in front of me just stared me out for a few minutes then moved. I got through and pulled over on the other side of the junction to wait for my mates.

The group were not letting my mates through and were shouting and being aggressive towards them then one of them said “grab his keys” (unfortunately, I couldn’t hear this) so my friend at the front decided that was’nt happening and revved the engine and started slowly pushing his way through them with my other friend following, the cyclists started throwing punches and trying to kick the bikes.

They broke through and started riding toward me which is when I noticed one of the cyclists had dismounted and was running after one of my mates. My mate went to pull up next to me and I shouted to him to keep going which he then did, but, the cyclist managed to grab the back of my mates hoody and tried to yank him off the back of his bike. He went up onto the pavement and was all over the place , but, he managed to stay on the bike (not sure how) and just suffered a ripped hoody, broken indicator and a few scrapes on the fairing - he shot off up the road to a safe distance.

I was still pulled over at this point as I was ready to help my mate if he had been dragged off. I went to pull away and was blocked in by more cyclists. Whilst asking the one in front to move so that I could leave, another one took my keys, I was then wondering what to do should I get off and chase him leaving my bike open to be pushed over or do I stick with the bike and hope they bring the keys back. I opted for telling the rest of the cyclists to get my bloody keys back and once they had moved got off my bike and went after the one with my keys -found him and got them back.

I’m all for a protest ride, but, this was different the atmosphere was really aggressive and they were deliberately trying to antagonise people by not letting them past. At least when we do a protest ride we do actually ride, I’m patient and am quite happy to sit there and wait for a procession or protest ride to go past before I can continue on my way, but, this really was quite scary- seriously outnumbered and god knows what would have happened if my mate had been dragged off his bike…

Still, on the bright side it did get the adrenaline pumping and gave us something new to talk about when we got to the Ace :smiley:

and the not to bike parking charges demo prob does similar relations for the rest of us motorbike riders.

Critical Mass is the last Friday of the month - which is why your experience was yesterday and not next week!

Sounds like there was plenty that should be reported to the police.

Cheers for that- have edited the date in the post now. Perhaps its worth mentioning to the Police - just to let them know how they are behaving and to get them to keep a closer eye on it

Thats nuts man!!! glad you got out of there OK!

how satisfying would a response protest of burnouts be??? smoke those rodents out!!:smiley:

sorry but i think i would have kicked off, regardless…

i would not be having that at all, thats taking the ****, maybe we should get 50-60 bikes and go see if they wanna play…pricks

wish you had my number dudem i would have been straight down there;)

wow, that’s crazy. They will pick on the wrong bunch one of these days, that’s for sure. What exactly are they protesting about??

They hate anything with an engine… you’re best to steer clear of them… the whole point of their protest is to cause an obstruction.

I suggest next time you don’t try and push through, it’s provocation, stop call 999 and say you’re in immediate fear of violence (which would seem like fair comment) and that they’re causing an obstruction…

They feel that as a mob they’re fairly untouchable, if you challenge them with your car it will almost certainly be damaged! The blocking of junctions with stationary groups is referred to as ‘corking’…

Everything and anything… mostly Climate Change… and as you’re a climate terrorist by virtue of the fact that you use a vehicle powered by oil you’re very much fair game!

There’s a nice video of their exploits here: http://www.archive.org/details/cm24-4-09

I used to skate marshal for London Friday Night Skate (www.lfns.co.uk) where we used to block junctions to let the skate through. Sometimes our activity was not appreciated by motorists. We were keen to distinguish ourselves from Critical Mass as we were not a protest and not aimed at causing distuption, where as they are and do.

If you encounter these people try to have patience and not engage them. There is mob mentality in a group that size and if they see an incident with a motorcycle no doubt they will all swarm in and it will escilate before they all dissappear. It’s not right that you are delayed but it’s better than the agro and a damaged bike.

Cheers Ratty - we weren’t far off losing it, but, keeping the bikes safe was the main priority…

Thats good advice - If we had come across them before or even heard what they were like we would have turned round and gone another way, hence the reason for posting it up here, I don’t want other people thinking that it is a standard peaceful protest and that they’ll let you through (like we did) and getting into trouble

If you ever skate marshall again try to get across to your skatists that it’s not okay to hold onto the pillion grab rails of passing motorcycles: as happened to me last year.:slight_smile:

.dude im serious! when i meet ya next take my number,safety of my biek would have gone out teh window the minute my keys were taken, to me that be theft, and i dont liek bike thieves or thieves in general:D

infact i’d go so far as to say, i would’nt be the slightest bit bothered about gettign nicked for it-would’nt be the first time;), yes i would have battered the c*nt that took my keys, tho first things first…phone call to half of east london:D

im only a skinny git, but i dont take sh*t from anyone

I’m with ratty on this one, as it is attempted theft, harassment and bullying, none of which I would put up with.

Also, surely by holding up traffic all they are achieving is causing more pollution - the irony :slight_smile:

The Police need to know about that incident too.

indeed!!

defo inform the police…could be just what they have been waiting for? maybe they need a reason to have a word with/take action against these idiots.

Well, I have let the Police know today so, at least they’re aware and hopefully will keep a closer eye on them for the future…

Oooh, blimey is CM a protest again? Of late it’s been mostly just a slow ride around London with a heavy police presence specifically avoiding traffic, which kinda defied the point in my eyes.

Yes, though, they were out to be a large group of cyclists getting in everyone’s way. Really, it’s a bunch of people with wildly different agendas who’re linked by a common means of transport. The closest to a common agenda is that of better cycling facilities in London (or whichever city, these aren’t local to London) and as a demonstration of how many cyclists there are.

The idea of CM grew out of the idea of safety in numbers, so cycle commuters getting to ride on reasonably safe roads at least once a month. And that can be absolutely lovely.
In my experience, and I’ve hardly been for the past couple of years, it’s generally very peaceful. The cyclists are allowed to cause an obstruction like that, this has been through several courts many times and is why there is the (normally large) police presence.
There is generally a fairly large anti-anything-with-an-engine minority, but my experience is that they mostly are a minority. Though obviously trying to barge through a group of cyclists is going to make anyone annoyed.
As with any other protest, the best thing to do is to resign yourself to the fact that you’ll be waiting for it to pass, and wait.

Realistically, though, my guess is that this being the first of the summer has encouraged a lot of the more vocal and less dedicated of the bunch. I’m incredibly surprised to hear that CM’s actually coming close to representing a proper protest, and of the apparent complete lack of a police presence.
I’d imagine that next month the police presence will be bumped up, and the cyclist presence substantially smaller. The vast bulk of the regulars are tree-hugging hippy folk who’ve nothing really against engines, they’d just like to ride along a road for a bit without there being cars.

Personally, I have difficulty seeing CM as any different to the Motorcycle Mass in aid of preventing parking charges, save for the lack of revving engines and exhaust fumes.

Anyway, I’ll stop rambling. I’m hoping the above makes some sort of sense, I wasn’t coming here with any particular point to make, just an explanation of it as I’ve seen/experienced it.

EDIT: And, yeah, it’s the last Friday of the month. Leaves from outside the NFT under waterloo at about 7pm these days, generally goes over the bridge and up Kingsway. Common ‘waypoints’ are Buckingham Palace, Parliament Square, Kings Cross, Picadilly Circus, Hyde Park Corner, in no particular order. There’s also a tradition of visiting sites where cyclists have been killed in the past month, or on anniversaries of particularly notable ones, though some months there isn’t one. The one at the north end of London bridge used to be a popular one.
Generally stops quite frequently, normally the police move it on after a few minutes, or at least open up a route for traffic to slowly flow through.

The method dates from before pollution was such an issue. It’s mostly a safety and ‘niceness’ thing.

There is something really special about riding down, say, the Euston road, and not being badly overtaken by anything or ‘persuaded’ into the kerb.

This is unreal. They could have seriously injured your mates by doing that…

Who on here has paintball guns?

Three or four painball guns, stategically placed… could take a fair few of them off their bikes while they are riding… see how they like it…

pricks.