Budapest sees record long bicycle procession

The "Critical Mass" (CM) bicycle procession held in Budapest during yesterday's Earth Day celebrations drew upwards of 50,000 participants, which organizers say made it the largest such event in the world, writes origo.hu.

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Published April 23, 2007 by All Hungary News 

The "Critical Mass" (CM) bicycle procession held in Budapest during yesterday's Earth Day celebrations drew upwards of 50,000 participants, which organizers say made it the largest such event in the world, writes origo.hu.

When those at the front of the procession had already crossed the Petőfi Bridge to Buda and the Lánchíd (Chain Bridge) back to Pest, those at the end were cycling – or rollerblading, driving wheelchairs – under the Lánchíd on Pest's lower embankment.

The traditional "lifting of the bicycles" was also a little behind schedule, because the end of the procession did not arrive in City Park by the appointed hour of 7:00 p.m.

The fastest cyclists completed the 14-kilometer route in roughly one hour, and spent the rest of the afternoon picnicking and watching jugglers.

The idea for the biannual event, which aims to promote the use of people-powered transportation, originated in San Fancisco in 1970. In the years since nearly 5,000 non-profit organizations in more than 180 countries have joined the initiative. The first CM in Budapest was held in 2004, but similar events were organized in 1999, 2000 and 2001 which each drew 500 to 600 cyclists.