Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Subdued Critical Mass Announcement

BLAST FROM THE PAST? This stolen shot is from 2007.
One of CM's main organisers, Gábor Kürti, is riding third from the left.
The coordinates for the fall Budapest Critical Mass have been announced, albeit in an unusually subdued fashion.

According to a post Wednesday morning at, the ride starts at 6.30 p.m. September 22 (European Car Free Day, as usual) in front of the Buda Park Stage (Budai Parkszinpad). This is by the Feneketlen tó at Kosztolányi Dezső tér.

The destination will be Heroes' Square and the bike lift will be in front of the Museum of Fine Arts. The post neglects to indicate what time the lift will be. Neither is the route specified, although that does accord with the tradition of the fall CM. As opposed to the spring event, the fall ride doesn't have a police escort and there is no prescribed, cordoned-off parade route. You ride in traffic and are expected to obey traffic rules.

I would expect a more detailed notice to be posted in the coming days on, but I'm not certain. As of Monday, the only hint that there was going to be anything was a facebook page that said there would be a ride but, at that point, divulged few other details. The only hint that CM had any future was a survey posted August 24 with questions about people's opinions on about Critical Mass.

As some readers will remember, organisers put up a cryptic post before last spring's ride declaring that it would be the "first last" Critical Mass. At that point it wasn't clear if they were really calling it a day or merely goading participants into pitching in with more support. But over the ensuing months, there were a couple other impromptu rides (one celebrating the opening of the bike lanes on the kiskörút, the other proposing a toast to the new lanes on Margit Bridge). So with with all that activity, it was my impression that things were just going according to routine and I was sort of expecting that this fall's ride would go off as usual.

However, seeing as it is just over two weeks until Car-Free Day and we've still not seen the customary redesign of the CM website, there's been no call for volunteer escorts, and there's been nothing more than a three-line, incomplete post about it -- well, maybe things ARE winding down on the CM front.

I don't have anymore insight on this. We'll see what the coming days have in store ... .

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