Critical Mass Dublin

On the last Friday of every month there’s a Critical Mass bike ride through Dublin city centre.

It’s a form of direct action or protest about reclaiming the streets, and also to highlight the dangers that cyclists face on the city streets. By riding together as a big group, there is safety in numbers

The event originated in San Francisco in 1992, but is now held in hundreds of cities around the world. In some places it has caused controversy, but the Dublin ride is generally well received by the general public.

How is it run in Dublin?

The ride isn’t organised by any one person or organisation. Rather it is promoted by a couple of cycling groups:

There’s also a Facebook page for Critical Mass Dublin if you prefer to follow that.

There are announcements made in the days running up to each ride on the various social media accounts, and everyone is welcome to come along and join in, including children.

What happens?

Everyone meets at 6.00pm on the last Friday of the month, at Parnell Square North – opposite the Hugh Lane Gallery. There are a small group of volunteers that have loudspeakers (usually in their cargo bikes) playing some upbeat music to make it a fun event.

The group:

  • Rides at a fairly sedate pace (around 10 km/h)
  • Obeys the rules of the road, and any directions received from An Garda Síochána
  • Tries to stick together as one group, unless it is not safe to do so
  • Spreads out to take the lane and provide safety to the whole group
  • Has fun and engages with members of the public as they look on bemused

The route goes through the city centre, and usually takes about an hour to complete – ending up Bernardo Square on Dame Street (next to City Hall).

The playing of music, the ringing of bike bells, blowing of whistles, and quite often some colourful lights decorating the bikes (particularly on the dark months of the year) give it a party atmosphere – which is why the ride is also often referred as the I Bike Bop!

Drum and Bass

In August 2022 the British DJ Dom Whiting brought his ‘Drum & Bass on a bike’ setup to Dublin for a special critical mass ride. It attracted an enormous crowd of people on bikes enjoying his music while they rode through the city.

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