Every month, rain or shine, the cyclists of London meet by the Southbank centre on the last Friday of the month and take over the city streets for one night. This month’s event marked one year since we invited ourselves along to the party. We had about 10 people the first time and we’ve had many hundreds since. I would be lying if I said we were immediately absorbed into the mass. The event has been going on for many years and they may have seen 1 or 2 at a time but never 50. Some of the more traditional massers weren’t too pleased with us 4-wheelers, but as one cyclist said ”there is no leader, any self propelled vehicle is more than welcome”. It took us a while to learn the culture of London’s best travelling party. Stuff like ”corking” and not stretching out the mass. Now that we are firmly a part of the family, we’ve been able to talk to a diverse group of cyclists who may ordinarily not get to have conversations with skaters, conversations that may be the seed that turns their preferred self propelled vehicle from a 2 to 4 wheeler.
This month we had a special guest from Barcelona – Aleix Gallimo from Original and AllAroundSkate. It was great to ride with him again and show him our city longboard style.
We took the same route as last month, towards Euston but with a twist. This month we started with “epic tunnel” aka Aldwych underpass. Always a crowd pleaser. Really fast, really fun.
After Euston we made our way to Oxford circus and did a bike/board rise before making our way towards Piccadilly circus. The mass was about 1,000 people strong and it takes being at the top of a slope to appreciate the mind blowing amount of happy people.
We took a right at the bottom of haymarket and made our way west towards the kings road. On our way there I realised this was the route we took on our very first critical mass 4 seasons ago, it was a beautiful moment. We skated to Buckingham palace before finishing at Trafalgar square. Actually we finished in a pub. But not before I spoke to one of the new skaters, who had the most epic of names – Narayan (pronounced GNAR-Ryan). Sick.
The July critical mass will be interesting. Mainly because it is on the same day as the opening of the Olympics. We never cause trouble, and we will definitely be steering clear of east London and trigger happy military personnel. The likely scenario will be most people staying at home (riders, drivers and pedestrians) to watch the ceremony on tv, so it’ll be nice and quiet.
If you’re reading this and you’d rather be outside on a summer night – come skate with us!