Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Critical Mass Paris - a cycling phenomenon

So after having witnessed an incredibly large gathering of roller bladers in Paris I asked myself could it be possible that cyclists do the same thing? 

After some research, which lets be honest is a little more difficult when your trying to transcend the language barrier, I found out the following.

There is an international movement called “critical mass” this movement is basically a big get together of 100 to 60,000 cyclists going for a group cycle. These events are generally loose in their organisation and lack the kind of leadership that would make it an official organisation or protest. The benefit of the event is a car free cycle through your respective city with many of your fellow cyclists, while making a clear statement about the importance and benefits of cycling. The cars aren't formally blocked but muscled out of the way by the sheer numbers of bicycles. The lack of clear and formal organisation is mainly due to people avoiding legal issues and responsibilities.

rahhh - photo not actually in Paris
The difficult thing for English speaking people researching this movement in Paris though is that its not called critical mass, its called “Velorution and the website seems to currently be under construction because I am currently having problems accessing any specific information from it. Again though this could be due to the fact that it tries to keep a low profile on its events for legal reasons.

However I have managed to ascertain the following information from another website which has the most comprehensive list of meetings I have managed to find to date, and the good news is that YES Paris does have a monthly meeting!

Rides are held on the first Saturday of every month at Place de la Bastille at 2pm.

Being on holidays for the next month means that I wont be able to attend the meeting for August, but to be honest I’d expect that meeting to be pretty calm seeing as most Parisians will be on holidays. 

However if you are interesting a great first hand account there is a great article about it here from another girl who seems to be quite like me.

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