Manchester Critical Mass – September 2018

So we’ve reached the last Critical Mass of the year to be in daylight (where has 2018 gone?). Next month, with the shorter days and clocks going forward, we’ll be setting off in the dark. Though that always adds to the Halloween atmosphere.

The weather gods were shining down on us again this month. After a decidedly wet previous week, we were greeted with sunshine and clear skies. There was a decent turnout and Dom was providing the soundtrack on his trike.

Alexa from Lady Pedal gave the intro talk to newcomers, while Dom said a few words about a fellow rider who’s now sadly no longer with us. Dom would lead us out to one of the Mancunian Way roundabouts, where we’d pass some tributes.

We set off from St Peter’s Square and turned right onto Peter Street. We continue until we reached Deansgate, where we turned left. We carried on straight along Deansgate with the skyscrapers of Deansgate Square looming on the horizon.

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On the Bridgewater Viaduct, with Beetham Tower in the background

Carrying on beyond Deansgate Station, we continued on until we reached Great Jackson Street, where we went left. We carried on and turned right for the horseshoe bridge over the Mancunian Way.

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Crossing the Mancunian Way on the horseshoe bridge

Early proposals for the Deansgate Square area featured a green bridge over the Mancunian Way, creating a green route from Hulme Park to the city centre. Such a shame this was swiftly dropped in the later proposals.

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A green bridge from connecting Hulme to the city centre, what might have been

Once across the bridge, we carried on into Hulme and passed through The Redbricks and the fantastic filtering on Hulme Street. We then headed for the underpass under the Mancunian Way roundabout at Medlock Street.

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Fantastic filtering on Hulme Street, next to The Redbricks

We passed across the roundabout and through another underpass, to arrive on Chester Street. We carried on along until we reached Cambridge Street, where we took a left.

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Riding across the roundabout, under the Mancunian Way

At the end of Cambridge Street, we passed under the railway bridge and turned right onto Whitworth Street West. From there, we went across Oxford Street, to continue on Whitworth Street.

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On Whitworth Street West

We took a left when we reached Sackville Street, across Portland Street and onto Nicholas Street, heading into Chinatown. We continued straight until Fountain Street, where we turned right.

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Riding along Sackville Street

We rode along Fountain Street until we reached York Street, where we went right and continued on along New York Street. We were soon back at Portland Street, where we headed left.

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On New York Street, heading for Portland Street

We continued along Portland Street, passing Piccadilly Gardens. At the end, we turned onto Newton Street, towards the Northern Quarter.

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On Portland Street, heading for the Northern Quarter

We carried on down Newton Street, then headed left onto Stevenson Square. We continued onto Thomas Street, then were diverted onto Copperas Street, because of demolition work and the ongoing destruction of the Northern Quarter, in what’s supposed to be a conservation area.

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At the lights on Newton Street

We turned left onto High Street and continued until we reached Church Street, where we turned left again. We then carried on straight and onto Dale Street, before turning back down Newton Street.

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Riding along Church Street

We were now back on Portland Street, heading the other direction. We continued down until we reached Nicholas Street again, where we turned right back into Chinatown.

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At the lights, next to Piccadilly Plaza

This time, we turned left when we reached Fountain Street, crossed over Princess Street and onto Lloyd Street. The ride then ended when we arrived in Albert Square, where the Manchester Food and Drink Festival was happening.

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At the end in Albert Square

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