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Bikeminded attends the world’s largest Critical Mass


25/04/2012



Last weekend we had the privilege of attending the world’s largest Critical Mass event in Budapest.  The event was organised by the hundreds of volunteers under the banner of Critical Mass Hungary, and they’ve been running this event twice a year since 2004.  The world’s first Critical Mass was founded in San Francisco in 1992, but the Budapest events have become so successful that they are now helping the Californians with their events!  The event was so incredibly well organized, and all of this was done by volunteers.

 

Joining the thousands of cyclists along the river

 

We were picked up from our hotel by Zsolt, from the HCC, along with 15 brand new bicycles for us to choose from.  He had attached some balloons to his back, and once we joined the flow of cyclists along the river we understood why… we’d never have found him again amongst the 30,000 cyclists hitting the streets.

 

Zsolt with his balloons

 

The HCC closed the streets along a route that took us along past the Parliament buildings beside the river, over two of Budapest’s fanciest bridges and through their grand avenues to their recreational park. 

 

Cycling alongside the parliament buildings

 

Heading over the bridges

 

Along the gorgous avenues

 

People were terribly friendly, lining the streets and waving at us.  There was no aggressive shouting, no car horns honking- no-one seemed very put out by having to wait for 30,000 cyclists to pass them by.  It was particularly impressive to see the huge variety of people on the ride, from young hipsters to the elderly and some very little legs peddling away.

 

It was 2 hours of cycling, impressive for those little legs

 

Amazing variety of people attending

 

At the end all 30,000 cyclists congregated in the park and held their bicycles aloft as a show of unity. 

 

The final show... 30,000 bikes in the air

 

All of this protesting has started to result in some impressive changes for cyclists in Budapest.  We’ll be reporting back on their infrastructure improvements and some Budapest cycle style later this week.
 

Don’t forget the LCC Big Ride this weekend if you fancy attending a similar ride in London!

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