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Critical Mass Northampton marks year anniversary

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A monthly bike ride around Northampton’s roads will celebrate its first anniversary this week.

Critical Mass takes place on the last Friday of each month in towns and cities across the world.

Regular cyclists who take part in Northampton’s Critical Mass are urging bikers of all ages and abilities to help them mark their first year by taking part in next Friday’s ride.

Cyclist Bill Pollard, aged 41, is one of Critical Mass Northampton’s regular riders.

He said: “Different Critical Mass events have different messages. Ours, I think, is the joy of being on a bicycle; being part of a social scene, having a pootle around town and making car drivers aware that there are bicycles on the road.”

More than 100 people took part in the first Critical Mass ride in Northampton last year and despite a fall in numbers during the winter, the monthly social ride regularly attracts around 50 riders.

Mr Pollard’s brother, George, another regular rider, said: “Critical Mass was going on all over the world and every time it happened I was thinking we should be doing it in Northampton.

“Certain things happened which made me think that we really needed to do this.

“A guy was killed outside Moulton fire station and the next day, someone was knocked off his bike and his bike was stolen while someone was helping him.

“Bicycle people need to be out together, uniting against things like this.”

Critical Mass attracts cyclists on a variety of bikes and is often led by riders on ‘tall’ bikes.

Bill said:“It’s amazing how a group of cyclists will draw attention. It’s not a regular thing to be seen. The ‘tall’ bikes are the world’s greatest traffic-calming measure. People want to stop, wave, have a go.

“People are used to a constant stream of cars, buses and trucks. Seeing cyclists surprises people.

“Hopefully that sparks people’s interest and they join us.”

George added: “The aim of Critical Mass is not to make political statements, simply to encourage people to get out on bikes and to raise awareness.”

Rides occasionally have different seasonal themes and to mark the group’s first anniversary, there will be voluntary pirate theme.

Critical Mass Northampton departs from the Racecourse Pavilion car park at 6.30pm on March 28. For details visit http://on.fb.me/1ajTATO

 

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