More than 100 cyclists take to Norwich streets for first Critical Mass event

Critical Mass cycling event in Norwich. Photo: Lydia Brannen

Critical Mass cycling event in Norwich. Photo: Lydia Brannen - Credit: Lydia Brannen

More than 100 keen cyclists took to the streets of Norwich last night, to highlight the benefits of getting on your bike.

Critical Mass cycling event in Norwich. Photo: Lydia Brannen

Critical Mass cycling event in Norwich. Photo: Lydia Brannen - Credit: Lydia Brannen

Critical Mass is an event held around the world, and the first of its kind was set up in Norwich after organiser Lydia Brannen went to one in Bristol.

Miss Brannen, 21, said: 'I just thought 'why don't we have this in Norwich?'

'So I approached the Norwich Cycling Campaign and we started to organise it.'

Critical Mass started in San Francisco in 1992 and has been described as a 'monthly protest by cyclists recaliming the streets' by organisers.


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By 2003, the even was being held in more than 300 cities around the world, but Miss Brannen said in Norwich it was more around promoting and celebrating cycling.

Other events focus on the rights of cyclists and pedestrians, and bring attention to levels of air and noise pollution in cities.

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But the common factors are that there are usually no set routes, with just a start point and time being announced, before the group travel en masse through town and city streets.

'In Norwich for the most part it's fairly easy to get around on a bike,' Miss Brannen said.

'There's a lot of work which could be done with the infrastructure, more cycle lanes and things, but it's not bad. Motorists are nice to cyclists and cyclists are nice to motorists.

'People have been really nice and very supportive, we had drivers honking and cheering us on as we went around.'

Now, Miss Brannen - a third year UEA student who recently completed a cycle tour around Ireland - said she was looking to organise more events.

'Traditionally Critical Mass events are held on the last Friday of the month, so we're looking at March 31 for the next one. I'm going to create an official Facebook page where it can all come together,' she said.

Until the page is set up, she said those who would like more information, or to get involved, can follow the Norwich Cycling Campaign on Facebook.

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