Happy 1st Birthday, Critical Mass Northampton!

On Friday evening, in common with most Critical Mass meetings throughout the world, Critical Mass Northampton met for a ride – and with a difference because this celebrated a year of rides.  It was CM Northampton’s 1st Birthday!

We shared this 1st Birthday with Critical Mass Tetovo in Macedonia and exchanged birthday greetings!

We met at The Racecourse, slightly later at 6.30 p.m.  (Usually the rides start at 6.00 p.m.) and many participants joined the “pirate” theme by dressing themselves and their bikes.  Sorry!  Never thought to take pictures of the best ones.  One rider had a trailer with what looked like a cannon from a pirate ship together with a skull-and-crossbones flag!

Waiting for riders to gather at The Racecourse

Waiting for riders to gather at The Racecourse

Enjoyed chatting with friends old and new.  Good to see David out for probably the first time since his “off” in Walgrave a month ago.  Then we set off, about ninety of us at a conservative estimate – plenty of left turns – and the Mass continued through junctions and traffic lights to a pause in the town centre, the square at the front of All Saints Church.

Gathering in All Saints Church "piazza"

Gathering in All Saints Church “piazza”

Alex S came up and said hello; I hadn’t spotted him before this and, like my previous CM, we chatted so much that I couldn’t have told you the route we took to our final destination if I hadn’t switched my iPhone app on!

The route is here on Endomondo.

The final destination was The Pomfret Arms on Southbridge.  Beer, music, barbecue and cheese plates.  Beer from Hart Family Brewery – I sampled the No 9 from the cask.

The bar at The Pomfret Arms

The bar at The Pomfret Arms

You won’t believe I eschewed the barbecue in favour of the cheese plate from St Giles Cheese – Keens unpasteurised vintage farmhouse cheddar, Fourme d’Ambert and Delice de Bourgogne with sourdough bread and quince membrillo.  OK, I had to ask about the last item.  Turns out it’s a quince jelly made in Spain.

Then home.  Four miles on CM, eleven miles door-to-door.  Oh, and there were birthday stickers too for the Brompton!  Excellent!

Happy Birthday, CM Northampton!  One-year-old tonight!

Happy Birthday, CM Northampton! One-year-old tonight!

Event Report – Critical Mass – 28th June

David attended this event and ride – and writes:

I have just participated in my first Critical Mass Ride. The rides start from the Racecourse Pavilion on the last Friday of each month, leaving at 6.00 p.m. The route sometimes changes and takes an hour to complete.
This month’s ride was rumoured to have a picnic included but the rain put the dampers on that idea. The mass of cyclists started to assemble after 5.30 p.m.  We started off at six o’clock, led by Chris on a Ministry of Bikes bicycle.

Setting off - led by the Ministry of Bicycles

Setting off – led by the Ministry of Bicycles

The route took us along Kettering Road and Collingwood Road; then past some rowdy cricket fans going to the County Cricket Ground; on to Abington Park and into town on Wellingborough Road. We stopped at All Saints Church to lift our bikes up in the air in Celebration? or Protest!

A celebration of bicycles outside All Saints in the town centre

A celebration of bicycles outside All Saints in the town centre

We then cycled back on Billing Road, Wellingborough Road, around the Charles Bradlaugh Statue and up Kettering Road to the Pavilion.

The ride returns to the Racecourse

The ride returns along Kettering Road