July’s Critical Mass was the first I’ve been to since April, and it definitely felt like a while since the last one. The forecast was threatening thunder storms, but we were treated to glorious sunshine and warm weather. A little too warm, if anything.
There was a reasonable, if not massive turnout, and we were joined by some German visitors with a very interesting trailer. There was a soundsystem courtesy of Dom, so we had some tunes for the ride.
We set off from Central Library and headed across Princess Street and down Fountain Street. We carried on along there until we arrived at York Street, where we turned right.
Crossing over Mosley Street, we carried on down New York Street until we arrived on Portland Street. We then went right and rode down a little bit, before turning left onto Chorlton Street.
Carrying on down Chorlton Street, we turned right at the end and continued onto Whitworth Street. We continued along Whitworth Street, but then got stuck in the traffic queueing up at the lights.
We headed left onto Oxford Road to avoid the traffic and carried on till we reached the traffic lights. We turned right at the lights onto Hulme Street, then turned right again onto Cambridge Street.
Passing the soon to be redeveloped Hotspur Press building, we turned left onto Whitworth Street West. We carried onto until we reached the next lights and turned right onto Albion Street and left into the Great Bridgewater Street tunnel.
After the tunnel, we went right at the lights onto Watson Street, in between the Great Northern complex and Manchester Central. At the end, we turned right onto Peter Street before turning left onto Southmill Street and into Albert Square.
We got caught in more traffic in Albert Square, but we were being entertained by music coming from the Manchester Jazz Festival. Once through the lights, we turned left onto John Dalton Street and crossed over Deansgate onto Bridge Street.
We continued for a short section of Bridge Street and turned right onto St Mary’s Parsonage. We then took the passageway to Trinity Bridge and crossed over the Irwell into Salford.
We weaved through onto Clowes Street and turned right onto Chapel Street, which is included in the first batch of Beelines schemes and will be made much more pleasant and safer for cycling. I used to work on Chapel Street many years ago when it was at its lowest, it’s great to see the regeneration going on.
We turned right onto Victoria Bridge and back into Manchester. We then turned left onto Victoria Street and past the currently scaffolded Manchester Cathedral. Turning right, we headed through Cathedral Gardens and up to the lights at Corporation Street.
We crossed Corporation Street and onto Withy Grove. We continued up until we reached Dantzic Street, where we turned left. Passing the Printworks, we continued over Miller Street and past the new Co-op building in Angel Square. We soon arrived at Angel Meadows, where the ride ended and we enjoyed the last of the day’s sun.
July’s Critical Mass was really lovely and it was great to see some good weather and a really nice atmosphere in the city centre, with lots of the people making the most of the pleasant weather.