Critical Mass Johannesburg

Posted onJune 27, 2014

Cycling through the dark and dirty Johannesburg CBD

I tried my first Critical Mass in Johannesburg last month in May 2014. Tonight I did the cycle through Johannesburg again I am hooked! It is real fun!

Details (story below):

What is it

  • Easy social ride around the CBD of JHB
  • About 10 - 20km
  • Pretty safe (strength in numbers)
  • Highlighting cycling in the city
  • Halfway stop at Maboneng Precinct
  • Website

When and where

  • Last Friday of every month
  • Starts 19:00 ish (we left around about 19:30)
  • At corner of Juta and De Beer streets in Braamfontein, Johannesburg

What to bring

  • Bike (I recommend a mountain bike, lots of potholes)
  • Helmet
  • Money (beer and food at the halfway stop)
  • Cellphone (always useful and for pics)
  • Torch and red backlight (better safe than sorry)
  • Jersey if its cold (don’t expect to sweat much, pace is slow)

What Happened

critical mass johannesburg

Parked at Wits University because it feels a little safer than near the start and it works well; lots of parking and not far from the start. Went with my father, we got to the start pretty early so decided to grab a dop (drink) from Kitcheners. You have to hidrate before a ride. Waiting at the start was interesting with all the people arriving in a range of different outfits and bicycles. There were bikes full of lights, bikes with small wheels, delivery bikes, bikes carrying speakers, tandems and a very tall bike (see picture).

tall bike holding onto lamp post

I saw fewer riders this evening than last months event which made it a bit easier (too many people make it tough in some narrow areas). We headed down into the dark and scary parts of Johannesburg. Music blaring and me trying to clip in my cleats without falling over, it was a bad idea using the racing bike. The halfway stop at Maboneng gave us a chance to has some beers and a wors roll. There is quite a lot of food stalls around wehere you can get some grub to help you to the finish.

critical mass johannesburg

The last part of the route goes over the Nelson Mandela bridge which is nicely lit up in the evening. Finished around 21:30.

critical mass jhb

Do this event its great!

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Geoffrey Hunt is a freelance developer, happiest working in JavaScript.

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