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Critical Mass Aberdeen

Critical mass

Join us on the last Friday of every month. Meeting place is next to the William Wallace statue on Rosemount Viaduct, just opposite His Majesty’s Theatre.

Next ride is on 30th December 2022.

Here’s a video of the route:

Mission Statement

  • Raise the profile of cycling as a mode of transportation in Aberdeen.
  • Be inclusive and respectful and promote safety for all road users.
  • Encourage public participation in future active travel infrastructure changes

What is Critical Mass?

Critical Mass Aberdeen is a group cycle ride that anyone can join. It is closely aligned with the global movement of the same name. It is not an organised event other than the date and time and start location are stated in advance. You are responsible for your own actions, your safety, and being respectful to others road users.

When does Critical Mass Aberdeen happen?

It occurs on a monthly basis, on the last Friday of the calendar month at 18:00

Critical Mass Aberdeen – The Route

The route for Critical Mass Aberdeen starts at Marischal Square. A pre-determined city centre loop (See Map) has been proposed with the following thought and consideration.

  • Minimise traffic disturbances – only doing short sections of streets with a single lane, choosing streets with two lanes, using quieter interconnecting streets
  • Eliminating right turns and roundabouts – these are generally more hazardous for cyclists
  • No overtaking or weaving through traffic required – ‘Going with the flow’ by using and obeying junction traffic lights, signage and restrictions to allow others cyclists to catch up.
  • Sight-seeing –  city centre location that passes many significant buildings, monuments and places.
  • Represent realistic city cycling conditions – travel along mixture of streets with cycle lanes, bus lanes, no dedicated cycle infrastructure, as well as pedestrian/cycle areas.
  • Predictable – allow people to join the ride should they be delayed they are late or coming from a different part of town (see Feeder rides)

Two laps of this route will be completed on the day allowing people to stop or join in at the mid point (at Marischal Square). The ride will end at Marischal Square with the aim of a social gathering post-cycle ride so plan for some extra time to meet some new cycling buddies!

Note: The meeting point and route may change overtime so look out on the website / social media for details for the next ride.

Is Critical Mass safe?

Anyone joining the cycle route, at any given time, is responsible for their own safety and for their own actions.


Wear appropriate safety gear.

Consider weather conditions and how these may change.

Be visible – wear HiViz, fit bike lights and reflectors [especially in the winter months].

Bring drinks and food as required.

Have a puncture repair kits and tools handy (just in case).


Cycle on equipment that is not well maintained or is unsafe.

Use your phone while cycling.

Wear headphones or have things that impede your hearing/sight.

Don’t pull off stunts or cycle in a way that is unsafe for yourself or others.

Who organises Critical Mass Aberdeen?

It is not organised by any one individual, it’s the collective cycling community that makes it what it is. Do some research on the history of the Critical Mass movement. If you want to help promote cycling in Aberdeen in any way shape or form then please get in touch through social media or email.

Where is the nearest car park?

An ironic question, but valid as not everyone in the city is serviced with good safe cycle infrastructure to cycle to and from the city centre so taking the bike by car may be the only option.

Gallowgate carpark  is a good options which is open 24hrs, alternatively Bon Accord Centre carpark or free parking down by the Beach Boulevard.

Hopefully in time to come there will be improved cycle infrastructure that we can leave our cars at home.

Can I dress up and/or decorate my bike?

Yes by all means! Critical Mass is about raising awareness of cycling in a positive way. Please make sure the costumes/props you bring are safe to ride with.

Is Critical Mass a cycle race?

No. The aim of the Critical Mass cycle ride is to flow with the traffic, obeying the rules of the road. Staying as a group as much as possible and keeping you and others safe should be the priority of all those who wish to participate. Its expected that on average the group will travel between 10-15mph, and stopping at junctions, traffic lights and ‘holding points’ to maintain the structure of a group ride.

Is Critical Mass Aberdeen a protest?

No, the presences of bicycles in our city should be a common thing. Critical Mass aims to join together cyclists with the wider mix of transportation options on a monthly bases. The cycle ride should co-exist with other road users in a safe and responsible manner.

What are holding points?

These are parts of the route where infrastructure allows for the group to congregate and cycle round in a circle to allow others to catch up and maintain everyone peddling (before moving off to the next sections of the ride).

Feeder Rides – what are they?

A feeder ride is an alternative start point for a sub group of people to gather and make their way to the main Critical Mass Aberdeen cycle ride meeting point/route. Due to the layout of Aberdeen as a city there are many potential feeder ride options which will be announced in the future based on demand locations.