May's Critical Mass (CM) in Vienna was super-well handled in a shared effort between CM team and police. Cycling and motorcycling police flanked the flow of about 1000 bicycles (some say 900) in front, rear and back, alleviating some usually occurring stress created by impatient car drivers wanting to push in from side streets.Of course, a stronger police presence (and support) implies safety for CM participants, but as well "controls" the CM's self-organizing dynamics. In any case; it was nice to see motorcycling police on sidewalks being replaced by cycling police on sidewalks (and tramways), and - since some small incidents during this March's CM - I would interpret a good police presence as a sign that an increasingly large CM in Vienna needs to be protected by police from negative (re)actions of car drivers. ;)
Anyway. May's CM was blessed by blue skies and magnificent light. There were musicians on cargo bikes heading the CM and in general a super-eased atmosphere. I still don't understand why so many people in Vienna have not yet participated in a CM!? Bring at least one person new to CM each time you participate in future!
Images below show you some typical CM situations; front and back with police presence; blocking of side traffic; gazing and wondering passengers eased from traffic noise; and, of course, the very diverse array of people (some would call them "cyclists") constituting a critical mass in Vienna.
The route started off directly into Ringstrasse and elegantly turned almost a whole Ring-round before being welcomed by a honking concert next to Urania where CM turned towards Praterstern. Then CM pedaled some awesome stretches such as Lände and Gürtel before ascending into 19th district and TÜWI for a solidarity party benefiting CM itself.
All in all a great CM which provides a mellow basis for June's CM with the goal of more people participating with less clothes than this time. :)