Saturday 28 April 2012: enduring buzz
By the time I arrived there was a goodish couple of hundred people, but when I heard that the Harrison Park feeder ride alone contained one hundred and twenty it seemed that turnout would be way higher than hope had permitted. It wasn't until I trundled back along the line of cyclists that I realised that they were not only filling the entirety of the cycle-half of the south section of Middle Meadow Walk but also extended a hundred metres or so to the east. Stationary, they were much more bunched-up than they could be in motion and even when the top section of Middle Meadow Walk was visibly filled with cyclists in motion the front of the queue didn't seem to have moved. Thirty minutes later the extra hundred metres or so finally started moving, by which time the front of the procession had already arrived at Holyrood. Police co-operation had been agreed but numbers were high enough to warrant junctions being officially closed to get everyone through as quickly as possible, with the official seven bicycle police augmented by vans and additional non-cycle officers along the route. People at the back must have been getting cold and bored before they got to ride and people at the front must have been sunburnt and bored by the time the tail arrived but plenty were around for the speechy bits at the end, but that all were there to bolster the attention-grabbing numbers is what mattered. Now that the attention has been acquired it must be kept.