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Central London Critical Mass 31 Jan 2003, Ride Report:

bik3r | 02.02.2003 13:50

Ride report for CM London 31 Jan 2003

Ride started pretty early, just after half six. We pedalled up along the south bank up to Blackfriars Bridge too watch a rather anti-climatic firework display celebrating Chinese new year around the Tate Modern. After disrupting the traffic on the bridge and receiving bemused looks from people watching the fireworks, we pedalled north into the City. Ride got dangerous at times due to lack of organisation, a speedy front and a relaxed back. Same old problem, same old solution - STICK TOGTHER!! Problems with cars overtaking the back of the mass and cutting into the middle. Really the front needs to be aware of what’s happening behind them. People at the back need to speed up when going thru red traffic lights the front have gone through on green to make sure it stays together. With a maximum of around 50-60 people, which quickly decreased we needed to avoid going along major roads which we couldn’t stay in control of.
The ride moved towards Finsbury Square after passing through the city, where Mary Hanson had been killed while on her bike a month earlier. On the south bank a dedicated individual had distributed candles and leaflets which explained what had happened and a short memorial service took place in Finsbury Square at the site of the accident with the text of the leaflet being read:

Today is the last day of the Chinese year of the Horse. An apt day to celebrate the beautiful life of Mary Hanson, who touched so many different people in so many ways. She was a brave firehorse; born in 1966 - a very special woman, musician, artist and brilliant friend to many people who has been tragically taken from us before her time in a dreadful cycle accident at Finsbury Square on December 9th 2002.
Let us ride there to pay our respects to Mary and remember other cyclists who have been killed on the roads. We will pass by Tate Modern where some fitting Chinese fireworks will fill the air and bid farewell to the tragic year of the horse.
May the spirit of Mary live on in all of us. We will remember her on her trusty steed - that unique quirky bike which she loved to ride everywhere. RIP

It was an atmospheric few minutes in the corner of the square, a moving reminder of the dangers of cars. The ride then moved on towards the pub, where most of the riders dispersed. See you all for the February 15th anti-war ride!

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