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Miami's Critical Mass Runs Smoothly, Looks Here to Stay After a Week on the Brink (Video)

Categories: Bike Blog

CriticalMass3.JPG
Photo by Sabrina Rodriguez
Thousands of riders met at Government Center before the 13-mile ride began at 7:15 p.m.
After an ominous news conference from Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa and plenty of online speculation about whether cyclists would begin facing fines and police crackdowns at Critical Mass, Friday's ride went surprisingly smoothly.

During the 13-mile route through the city, bikers rode through red lights in large groups as usual. But contrary to Orosa's complaints, the vast majority of children wore helmets, and there were no beer vendors in sight.

See also: Miami Police Chief: Critical Mass Organizers Could Be Held "Liable" if Ride Continues

"A lot of us are out here for a great cause, great exercise, and a good time," said Alex Villa, who often rides in Critical Mass. "[Friday's] success just shows that most of us riders are committed to keeping Critical Mass a part of the community."

This past Friday's route, which began at Government Center, notably stayed completely within the City of Miami limits just two days after Orosa called Critical Mass a "critical mess" and asked organizers to clean it up before they become "liable."

Usually the rides favorite detours into Coral Gables and Miami Beach, where officers have been more cooperative.

While many riders turned out to prove the police wrong, some agreed the event had been getting out of hand.

"It was losing its meaning," said Ivan Contreras, who has been riding in Critical Mass for three years. "Miami riders have done a great job of maintaining the event, but as the rides get bigger, it just becomes harder to keep everyone safe."

Contreras and six friends have taken safety measures into their own hands by starting Ride in Color, a business that sells neon-colored shirts and lights so bikers are more visible to motorists.

"Critical Mass is about a message: Cars have to share the road with bicycles," Contreras said. "But that doesn't mean drivers are the only ones who need to be careful. Cyclists need to take every precaution to be safe too."

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16 comments
Ryan Edward Bermudez
Ryan Edward Bermudez

You get a real feel for how dumb Miami drivers are when they get understandably bent out of shape by having to wait an additional 15 minutes at a light and ask for the ride to stop at reds. Do you think any of them realize that this would cause the mass to split into 15-30 even more inconvenient traffic contesting groups?

Brian Bartlett
Brian Bartlett

uh ooo a bunch of people riding bikes, what do we do? Call out the national guard, radio the gastapo... its all out chaos

Lisa Smith
Lisa Smith

You self-centered, no insurance paying, the world owes you something pricks. This is a city where hospitality is the biggest industry. Our WORK shifts start at 9pm on Friday nights. Do you selfish, totally inconsiderate of other people's lives, sacks of puke think about that??? No! You only care that you get the attention from MPD that your mothers never gave you. Nice work. Keep it up. Smh

Michael Wininger
Michael Wininger

They need to stop at the stop lights like everyone else!!

Art Kunhardt
Art Kunhardt

Why not Saturday or Sunday? Because there's not enough cars on the road. The point is to piss off drivers. Why ride in empty downtown streets? That's just to boring.

Sharik Thomas
Sharik Thomas

Still had a party atmosphere. Maybe even better than the last one I went to. I live much closer to Fort Lauderdale but I prefer making the trip to Miami and Friday confirmed that. Looking forward to next months ride!

Chris Hind
Chris Hind

if it's no longer going to be a party it's not worth going to. same reason I don't go to the boring Fort Lauderdale one

Alex Pappas
Alex Pappas

Since this months route avoided the rich asshole neighborhoods, I guess no rich assholes could complain ..

Kurt A Zauke
Kurt A Zauke

It's is still a mess pedestrians and motorists have to obey traffic lights so should bicyclists they are no different!!

Josh Colletta
Josh Colletta

MPD was all up in arms over nothing? Imagine that.

Darian Faroy
Darian Faroy

Now that was a nice positive article. Thank you New Times!

Eugenio A. Alonso
Eugenio A. Alonso

This is a smokescreen being used by the Police Department to get try and get money from the budget claiming there's chaos. Create a crisis and then offer yourself and your department as a solution, typical tactics.

CE-ya
CE-ya

get over yourself. it's once a month and the route is posted way ahead of time. it's the LAST FRIDAY OF THE MONTH….every month. for twelve months out of the year. do the math….12 days out of the year that you are inconvenienced. that's a whole lot of anger you're holding onto for 12 days, no? do yourself a favor since CM is not going anywhere, check out the route ahead of time and plan accordingly. and because i'm not selfish i even listed the website below…...sharing is caring. ;)


http://www.themiamibikescene.com


btw, it's kind of ironic that you're "friends" with fyxd305, no? 

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