Cyclists enjoy Via Cristoforo Colombo

Ciemmona’s three-day Critical Mass event last weekend in Rome concluded with a great outing to the sea and a good-natured celebration on the beach. Following rain-spattered meet-ups on Friday and Saturday evenings, Sunday dawned sunny and hot as thousands of cyclists convened in Piazzale Ostiense for a coordinated ride to Ostia. As the pack of waiting riders swelled, music ensured an impromptu party for the assembled masses who subsequently set off along Via Ostiense, Via Marconi and Via Cristoforo Colombo in a straight line to the sea.

Ciemmona’s organisers held up traffic to let the pack of bikes pass, enraging some motorists, although most encounters with cars were good natured and passed peaceably enough. After all, Ciemmona only asks for a little patience from car-drivers once a year along this route, when bicycle-users get a rare chance to cycle all the way to the sea – a ride usually impossible due to high volumes of traffic along south-west Rome’s intimidating highways.

Much of the pack dispersed in Ostia, although a significant group of cyclists headed for the Cancelli, the public beaches of Castel Fusano. A few cycling fanatics at Cancello 4 tackled the waves – by bike, of course – raising huge cheers from the sand. By the end of the day, most riders were obliged to hoist bikes onto the Lido-Roma train to return to the event’s starting point as the city’s roads had been fully reclaimed by cars. Many participants, for whom it was their first Ciemmona experience, will now be turning their attention upon the regular, monthly meet-ups in Piazza Vittorio which take place the last Friday of every month, with a usual appointment time of 18.30. See you there!

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