Critical Mass Wellingborough back on their bikes for cycle and protest

The riders will gather at 6.30pm In Market Street tonight

By Alison Bagley
Friday, 25th June 2021, 9:39 am
Updated Friday, 25th June 2021, 9:40 am
Meeting before the ride
Meeting before the ride

Wellingborough cyclists will get back on their bikes tonight to socialise, exercise and protest around the streets of the town as part of the Critical Mass movement.

The series of mass biking gatherings started a year ago and continued monthly until the weather and Covid restrictions put the rides on hold.

Now the regular Friday evening meets have returned to the biking calendar with the return to the town centre on Friday, June 25.

Organiser Samuel Shoesmith said: "We are calling on North Northants Council to dedicate more money to cycling. Measures they could introduce, such as dedicated cycle lanes around town, connected towns and villages with cycle paths, and providing safe and secure bicycle parking would enable and encourage people to cycle.

"They should have started this last year after the government instructed them to do so as part of emergency Covid-19 measures. They have not acted in Wellingborough. They have failed."

Critical Mass Wellingborough takes place on the last Friday of every month. Riders meet at the bottom of the steps just by Castello Lounge from 6.30pm with the ride leaving at 7pm.

Samuel said: "It is an opportunity to celebrate cycling, socialise, a chance to exercise and it is a protest too.

Samuel Shoesmith leads the Wellingborough Critical Mass

"The first ride happened in July of last year and it ran each month until October. Cold weather put it on pause for a bit and restrictions meant we could not meet but last month we relaunched and hope that we'll keep getting bigger.

"It's a lovely atmosphere. It may be a protest for some but for others it is also a chance to celebrate how good cycling actually is. It's brilliant for the mind and body, whether for exercise or for the social side, everyone is free to join in. As long as you can ride a cycle, everyone is welcome."

Taking part will be bikes, trikes and tandems ridden by cyclists of all ages - from children to pensioners - taking in a leisurely seven-mile route snaking around the town, with a break halfway returning to the Castello Lounge.

Samuel added: "The lockdown showed a massive surge in cycling with traffic levels cut by 80 per cent it meant that people got put and about cycling for leisure to go to the shops or for exercise - it was glorious, There was a sudden respect and care for people if they were on bicycles. As lockdown has ended cars have crept back and it now feels dangerous to cycle alone.

Critical Mass leave Wellingborough Station

"The attitude of care and consideration has completely faded. We need radical active infrastructure improvement and we need it right now."

In the High Street