Miami Police to Hold News Conference to "Address" Critical Mass
Update: At the conference, Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa says he believes Critical Mass has become a "critical mess."
Photo by Michael E Miller
It may be the end of the era for Critical Mass Miami. City of Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa has called a news conference for tomorrow at 10 a.m., saying in a statement, "It is critical to address Critical Mass."
"Chief Orosa will display graphic images of cyclists in Miami's jurisdiction and highlight specific concerns related to the practice of this movement through the streets of the city," the release continues.
There's not a lot of information other than that.
The bike ride takes place every last Friday of the month and begins at Government Center. For legal reasons, organizers claim the events are spontaneous celebrations and not meant as protest rides. Rydel Deed -- the founder of The Miami Bike Scene, a site that posts the Critical Mass routes -- tells Riptide he had not heard about the news conference and had no information about what measures the police would announce.
Eric Madrid, another Critical Mass regular, said he has been promoting a block party this week for the Magic City Bicycle Collective and wondered if the planned party -- scheduled for this Saturday -- played any role in the chief's timing.
"I was on talk radio discussing the party early this morning," he said. "Hopefully there's no connection there but that's all I could think when I heard about this."
The ride in Miami has become particularly popular. Even celebrities such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Gabrielle Union have participated. But the event might become a victim of its own success.
Relations between police and riders have become less friendly over the past year.
Miami Police have had an ambivalent stance on the ride, though other local cities through which the ride occasionally runs, including Miami Beach and Coral Gables, have mostly embraced the event.