Hundreds of cyclists gather in Rīga Monday in annual event

Attitudes towards cyclists and a lack of cycling infrastructure are the most common challenges cyclists encounter daily. This is also the case in the “Critical Mass” annual cycling event which brought together a vast number of cyclists on May 1.

The weather is getting more and more pleasant, and an informal start on Monday, May 1, was also given to the cycling season. Several hundred cyclists gathered in downtown Rīga for the annual “Critical Mass” event. The ride has been organized for years to change the attitudes of other road users toward cyclists and to draw politicians' attention to the infrastructure. The event calls for the participation not only of cyclists but also of other small vehicles.

"Scooters, cargo bikes, bikes with children in trailers. Rarely, but some people in wheelchairs join us, because their situation is even more sad,” Māris Jonovs, a participant in the event, said.

The event doesn't have specific organizers on an annual basis. The route of the journey, even when the event starts, is still unclear.

“This is not a specifically designated route. It's pretty clear what we want. Of course, want to draw attention to the dreadful Brīvības Drive, which deserves to be a street. Politicians deserve a reminder of Čaka Street, which has been ruined. There is a lane in one direction, the other way cyclists must go in the second car lane because the public transport lane must not be used. The reality, of course, is a two-way bike ride on sidewalks. Also the Valdemāra Street,” Jonovs added.

Police officers have also come to supervise the event. However, the police also had no information about where they would be going, just before the event. Despite the likely provocative nature of the event, Latvian Television did not see any aggression toward or among the participants.

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