About and FAQ

Welcome to the Glasgow Critical Mass website, a source of information about past and upcoming Critical Masses in Glasgow and related cycling events.

For more information about the Critical Mass Movement in general: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Mass

The Glasgow Critical Mass Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/groups/6202696383/10150536640106384/?notif_t=like#!/groups/6202696383/

The Glasgow Critical Mass Flickr group.

Frequently Asked Questions

* What is a Critical Mass?

A Critical Mass is a group of cyclists taking a ride through town together,  taking advantage of strength in numbers to be safer in traffic than is usually the case.

* Why are you doing this?

Ask any two Mass members and you will get two different answers to that question. The only thing we all agree upon is that we like cycling.

* Isn’t what you are doing Illegal?

The technical term for what we are doing is “riding in convoy” which is certainly quite legal. Spilling over into more than one lane is discourteous but but technically legal. Riding on the wrong side of the road *IS* illegal and should be discouraged if you see someone doing it.

* Isn’t riding in a mass dangerous?

Riding as part of a group is actually much safer than riding on your own, as you are much more likely to be seen by other road users. Also, in a mass, you will most likely be riding in the “primary” position in the centre of the lane, rather than in the “secondary” position of the potholed ditch at the side.

* Who organises Critical Mass?

Critical Mass is a “leaderless organisation” which in practice means there may be one or two people who seem like they are in charge, but if you make your voice heard and you are making good suggestions, then YOU are organising Critical Mass.
(The natural reaction in these situations is to ask “Why don’t we?”, but instead you need to say “Lets…”)

* How do you pick the route?

The rest of the mass follow the riders at the front. If you want to take people somewhere, get out in front and lead.

* What do I need to join?

A road legal bike and your lovely self. Working brakes and lights. Glasgow is a dark city.


8 Responses to “About and FAQ”

  1. UKnowWhoIAm Says:

    If you are getting ‘Crap Arrests’, I am not sure if my bike is legally roadworthy – what are the laws ? It looks quite dark there, how long do you ride for – do I need lights for May?

  2. Kirsty Taylor Says:

    I am a journalist for the Big Issue Magazine wanting to write about last week’s arrests but need to speak to some people who were at the event. If you were arrested or even just saw what happened could you email me on: K.taylor@bigissuescotland.com.

    Many Thanks


  3. pseudomonk Says:

    ‘s got to be able to go, stop and steer. We finish before it gets dark at this time of year so don’t worry about lights.

  4. mick mcgowan Says:

    Can you email details re. the next GCM event, as I plan to ‘join the party’ with my 7-seater Conference Bike…. ;o)

  5. kate c Says:


    i’m interested in the idea of a world naked bike ride event in scotland.
    could someone give me some info if there are any plans on that front?



  6. Pierre P. Says:

    I’m a law student at the university of Edinburgh, faced with the case of the Critical Mass arrests in London last year. Now does the really have implications for Scotland? The law of Scotland is different and the relevant text of law for Scotland is section 62 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982. Anyway I was just wondering if anyone in critical mass Glasgow had taken note of the fact that they could potentially face prosecution.
    Anyway, an answer would greatly help me in an essay I’m writing, so thanks in advance to anyone who can assist me.



    • glasgowcriticalmass Says:

      As far as I’m aware, there have been no arrests at any Critical Mass in the UK, including London. The police handed out fliers which claimed it was illegal, but this was shown to be false. The Lords is the highest Court of Appeal, save the European Courts, so I think it would be fair to say it has some implications.

      Section 62 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, makes the same statements about organisers (which Critical Mass doesn’t have), and processions customarily held. So this is identical to the case made in the Lords. Those participating on a Critical Mass in Glasgow do not face the risk of prosecution. I’m not sure what your motivations are for this?

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