Critical Mass is back the last Friday of every month.
Cycling solo in Montreal can be a daunting experience with the potholes, construction, and aggressive drivers seemingly around every corner. So bike enthusiasts are looking to bring back protest rides on the last Friday of every month to assert urban cyclists' right to the road and offer safety in numbers.
Montreal cyclists will gather this afternoon around 5 p.m. at Saint-Louis Square in the Plateau to kickstart the return of Critical Mass to the city. The meeting time and place are intended to accommodate people who work 9-to-5 jobs.
"Cyclists are craving ways to gather and ride," said Egor Katkov to MtlBlog, who's helping relaunch Critical Mass Montreal.
"We have a collective obligation to take our space and mobilize against the car-centeredness of our city."
Despite recent efforts by the government to make Montreal more bike-friendly, Katkov said cycling is still pushed to the margins of public space.
"Critical Mass is a way to reclaim space and encourage us to imagine mobility in a different light," he said.
City bike lanes are mostly located in central neighbourhoods within proximity to the downtown core, which can discourage riders who live further out, he said.
The planned bike protest builds on a global movement that began 30 years ago in San Francisco. Every month since, bike enthusiasts around the world have gathered on the same day to take to the streets together. As long as there's more than one person attending, the event continues.
Critical Mass has no hierarchy or membership; riders simply show up at a suggested location and time and follow a spontaneous route decided by whoever happens to be at the front of the group.
The bike protests will continue as long as people want to gather.