(Main photo: © Criticalmass-Berlin.org)
Thousands of people took part in last month’s Critical Mass ride through Berlin… Including the bicycle-loving EnviroSustain team!
“We don’t block traffic, we are traffic!” That’s the motto of a colourful mix of cyclists that gather for the Critical Mass ride through Berlin on the last Friday of every month. Their goal? More visibility for cyclists as equal road users.
Not only in Berlin do the Critical Mass cyclists come together regularly to draw attention to the need for safe and ecologically compatible urban mobility. Critical Mass is now a global movement which was started in the early 1990s from the first demonstrative bicycle rides in San Francisco. It reached Germany in 1997 and since then it has gained considerable popularity. In Berlin alone, up to 5,000 cyclists take part in the monthly rides.
Such figures make it even more remarkable that the Critical Mass is not an organised movement. Instead, the initiative operates on solidarity and responsibility as well as a common code of conduct established over the years. The organisation and communication takes place through social media, and the official app Critical Maps also facilitates planning. The routes are decided on spontaneously on the day of the trip. Some cyclists, so-called corkers, ensure that crossings can be safely crossed by all participants. Police are also on hand to ensure a safe trip through the city by accompanying the cyclists.
While the movement on two-wheels has many supporters, some road users question this form of activism. Some motorists and pedestrians do not approve of the traffic disruptions caused by the Critical Mass rides. Others welcome the demand for safe and sustainable transport, also with the view to achieve the transition to alternative mobility models, away from cars.
During the Critical Mass ride in July, the EnviroSustain team met many promising, enthusiastic and interested road users on the streets of Berlin. The friendly and open atmosphere during the bicycle ride encouraged us to also join the next Critical Mass for environmentally-friendly and safe mobility.
The next Critical Mass in Berlin is taking place on Friday 30th August 2019 at 8pm, starting from Mariannenplatz. So if you haven’t got any plans yet, grab your bike in the evening and join thousands of like-minded people, setting an example for more safety and sustainability in urban traffic!
All bike-passionate kids who would like to join a parade with plenty of bell ringing can take part in the Kidical Mass in a family-friendly atmosphere from 3pm on Saturday, 31 August 2019. The meeting point is the Lichtenberg S/U train station.
The EnviroSustain team wishes you a safe and enjoyable bike ride as we continue to strive for Healthy, sustainable space. For everyone.