Yesterday a few hardy souls from Dumfries braved the threatening skies and took our bikes on the train to Carlisle to meet with counterparts from Cycle Carlisle. We also took part in Carlisle’s Critical Mass, a monthly event that, like other Critical Mass events around the world, is somewhere between a protest and a celebration of cycling, riding together ‘en masse’ through traffic.
None of us had cycled in Carlisle before so it was nice to get a guided tour – from some insanely narrow cycle lanes in the town centre to some rather big three-lane roads and roundabouts that were much less scary in a bunch than they would have been for a lone cyclist. The weather even behaved itself and despite a few spots of rain, quickly turned into a lovely evening.
Afterwards we went for a drink and a meal where we exchanged notes – Cycle Carlisle has been going for 20 years so they have a wealth of experience – and hatched a plan for a return visit, later in the summer. Watch this space for more details – and keep the 2nd of August free in your diary if you want to join us on a tour of the best and worst that Dumfries has got to offer.
And if you missed it and wish you’d gone – don’t despair. The Carlisle Critical Mass takes place on the first Tuesday of every month and there are reasonably convenient trains. Even bigger will be their annual Mass Ride which takes place this month, on Saturday the 23rd June which will be much more of a family affair. It promises to be a fun day out for all.