Τρίτη, 1 Ιανουαρίου 2013
Critical Mass Heraklion
If you want some exercise and some fun without damaging the environment, why not join one of the cycle rides of Critical Mass Heraklion?
Critical Mass is a cycling event typically held on the last Friday of every month in over 300 cities around the world. The ride was originally founded in 1992 in San Francisco. It basically involves meeting at a set location and time and travelling as a group through city or town streets on bikes. Some bigger scale events as in Budapest, Hungary, have an activist group formed around it, organising the rides and communicating the desires and problems of the cyclists to the city council.
Inspired by the international movement, 5 cyclists started their own ride here in Heraklion in 2008. The 5 became 50, then 500, and now there are roughly 1400 members of the group, although of course not all of them are present at any one event! Their ages range from 2 (helped out by parents!) to 72 and as there is no formalised structure, each member has an equal say in the organisation of events. There are monthly rides and weekly rides. In winter, the monthly rides take place on the last Friday of every month starting from Lion Square at 6pm; in summer, it’s every last Saturday starting at midday. The weekly rides are on Wednesdays and start from Hania Gate (Hanioporta) at 6pm.
However, that’s not the end of it. The aim of the group is to make more people aware of the benefits of a bike not only as a means of transport within the crowded streets of the town, but as a means of recreation and improving the quality of life. To that end, as part of the bicycle festivals (three to date) they organise seminars on cycle safety, hold cycle repair workshops, sell second-hand bikes and biking accessories and even organise concerts. Seminars on safe bike riding are also being held in schools, and there have been clean-ups at beaches and other parts of the town and surrounding areas as part of their environmental awareness campaign.
So how about it? All you need to do is get on your bike!
For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page.