Leicester Critical Mass cycle the streets in eerie Halloween ride

by Mollie Mansfield

More than 100 spooky-cyclists rode the streets of Leicester in their scariest get-up on Friday, October 28.

The hair-raising cycle started at 6pm at the Curve theatre as part of Leicester Critical Mass’ “Monster Mass”.

Rob Martin, 50, said: “We’re really not a political organisation, we want cycling to appear normal, because it is.”

The annual Halloween-event has been going on since 2010, when the first Monster Mass event was advertised by Rob and a few friends.

Rob explained: “We started the Halloween one in 2010 when someone said to do fancy dress. We’ve always tried to never take ourselves too seriously.

“My friend went on Friday and said he felt like he stuck out as he wasn’t in costume because lots of people were.”

The “monsters” rode through town, and continued through Belgrave to experience the Diwali lights, before returning to their finishing point of the Font.

The Critical Mass organisation is neither a charity, nor a political group, and solely arrange these monthly rides for fun.

Encouraging children, families, couples and people from all walks of life to join the rides is what makes them the second largest Critical Mass group in Britain.

However, it’s a strange way that they have got to this level of members, Rob explains: “One of the things we do is we don’t say anything; if you want to come along and you’re a real political activist you can, but if you want to come along and just ride your bike nobody cares, everyone can come along.”

Despite not having to wear helmets, high-vis jackets or stopping at traffic lights, Rob says that they act lawfully, “as the police do”, and they haven’t had a single accident during their 72 rides.

As expected, the group do get some complaints for causing traffic throughout the town, but they suggest the costumes “deter” from offensive comments.

The spooky-cycle saw an array of different characters from the classic witch and ghost, to the not so conventional part-fish, part-man Mighty Boosh TV show character.

Prizes were then awarded at the Font, where an Orange Spider-Lady won best-dressed.

Leicester Critical Mass takes place on the last Friday of every month. This month’s cycle, taking place November 25, will start at the Curve at 6pm with the theme to be confirmed.

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