Critical Mass in Miami Herald

Photo by Chris Galeano

Bike ride vibe: Fun and fervor on Miami's streets by Andres Viglucci

Great article Andres, thanks for taking out the time and joining us on our monthly rides and not just writing news from behind a desk without actually experiencing it.



  1. Dear Critical Mass in Miami....I just watched video of your latest "awareness ride" and I noticed that a majority of your cyclists don't have lights on your bikes, while riding at night. I also noticed that you are using "corkers" to illegally block lanes of car traffic.
    I rode for YEARS with a group of over 200 cyclists in Miami who all used proper equipment, and who didn't need to break traffic laws..we had ZERO problems with Miami traffic.
    I strongly suggest that you quit using the counterproductive Critical Mass tactics and start riding as if you really *are* vehicles by putting proper lights on your bikes, and by OBEYING THE FREAKING TRAFFIC LAWS.
    To do otherwise is to make cycling LESS safe, and to create MORE discord between cars and bikes...which, I am told, is NOT the purpose of Critical Mass, although I watch as CM creates a nightmare for cyclists in city after city. So, prove me wrong, and get people to use the proper gear and follow traffic laws.

  2. "I rode for YEARS with a group of over 200 cyclists in Miami who all used proper equipment, and who didn't need to break traffic laws..we had ZERO problems with Miami traffic..."

    It's easy enough for me to ignore this nonsense.

    But to younger riders who necessarily lack historical perspective, this can be effectively discouraging physiological manipulation.

    This individual refers to themselves as "Human". And proceeds to make claims as to their experience and knowledge of cycling in South Florida traffic.

    I refer to myself as "Robert Noval", the given name that appears on my DMV i.d.[I haven't driven a motor vehicle in nearly thirty years], or as "The Bikemessenger", my on line sobriquet.

    I began bicycle commuting in South Florida in the mid 1970's.

    Since 1984, I've earned my livelihood exclusively as a bikemessenger.

    "Human" is nothing more than or other than [as I'm sure most would suspect] a liar and a fraud.

    This is just a typical ego-centric motorist who believes his means of transportation makes him a rightly privileged individual.

    So he resorts to condescending lecturing to "enlighten" us as to our second-class citizenship.

    "Congress shall make no law...abridging...the right of the people peaceably to assemble..."

    Thus the U.S. Constitution recognizes the natural right to engage in a coming together for whatever purpose we, as an aggregate of citizens, deem appropriate.

    Need I point out that The Constitution supersedes traffic laws?

    In practical terms, ANY assembly will cause inconveniences for those in the immediate vicinity.

    But as with political rallies, festivals, etc., a certain amount of inconvenience must be suffered in the commons by those not involved, if the right of assembly is to be respected.

    Respect, a concept perhaps beyond our "Human" adviser.

    Or perhaps the term "human" is more aspirational than descriptive...?

    To the contrary, the excercise of our natural right in this matter necessitates corking, as it would be impossible to maintain group cohesion otherwise.

    It must be accounted that we are, by nature a MOVING assembly.

    And what is an assembly without such cohesion?

    ---The Bikemessenger

  3. Robert Noval: If you are really concerned about the young people you claim to be concerned about, you would encourage them to properly equip and ride their bikes, rather than just trying to insult me. I am a cyclist, and have been a cyclist for many years, up to and including the self reported start of your "messenger" career.
    Clearly you are not familiar with any of the cycling history in Miami, nor with the Miami Cycling club, nor with the weekly rides we did with over 200 people, covering a roundtrip distance of 75 miles FOR YEARS.
    Let me repeat: FOR YEARS we had groups in excess of 200 people riding properly equipped bikes on 75 mile rides THAT DIDN'T require the idiotic tactics that you Critical Mass dummies use to block traffic and antagonize other people who happen to be driving near your "parade".
    If you want to have a "parade, festival, or political rally" which blocks the streets...GET A PERMIT AND ORGANIZE IT.
    If, however, you want to encourage people to ride bicycles, to get out in the open, to stay safe, and to encourage behaviour which treats bicycles and cars like the vehicles they are...AND WHICH ALLOWS THEM ALL TO SHARE THE SAME ROADS WITHOUT COLLIDING WITH EACH OTHER, then you need to quit using this idiotic (and illegal, and dangerous) "corking" maneuver.
    Irresponsible, dumb behaviour will yield irresponsible, dumb results.

    By sponsoring that, you own the results.

  4. Dear Human,

    I have a few simple questions for you.

    In which areas did the group of over 200 cyclists (with all the proper equipment) do these 75 mile roundtrip rides? At what time did these rides usually take place? What was the average speed, assuming the 200+ cyclists all stayed in one group?

    Also, I'm interested in knowing where said group normally began the rides. Did they often ride there from their homes?

    Do you think it's possible to provide me with a link to your route. You can go to MapMyRide or Bikely and draw one up fairly quickly.

    Where can I go ride with a group like this? What is required of me & what exactly is the proper equipment for a bicycle. I have a front & rear lights that are visible from about 2000ft.

    Do you still live in Miami, FL? If so, where do you ride?

  5. Rydel:

    Questions about objective reality?

    I sure you don't expect answers from a cyberspace gremlin.



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