Miami Critical Mass : August Videos & Photos


Longboarders are welcomed!


An estimated 800-900 riders participated in the monthly Miami Critical Mass ride this past Friday, August 26th. The group continues to grow and attract new cyclists each and every month. While some may view this as a positive thing there is certainly a downside to it, particularly with individuals who either race near the front of the ride, ride too slow within the group allowing gaps to form, and those who cross the solid yellow lines onto the opposite travel lane. The ride would be a much more pleasant experience for all parties involved (motorists included) if everyone adhered to the recommended tips & guidelines.

The ride is in dire need of guidance in the front, pace setters are essential if we wish to maintain a moderate speed of 12mph and to not allow others to advance past the front. August's ride turned out to be the quickest Miami Critical Mass since it's inception in 2007. This was mostly due to a group of selfish individuals who took off early from Government Center by yelling and amping up the crowd that it was time to go. These folks are not interested in providing a safe ride for the group which consists of men, women, children and even dogs. They do not help in corking duties nor do they coordinate with others about maintaining cohesion, they are simply there to have good time at everyone else's expense.

A lot of bicyclists anticipate Critical Mass on the last Friday of each and every month. I've seen it referred to as "an institution" and "a religious experience". It's so important to some that they schedule themselves off from work, drive from neighboring suburbs and/or take a train from many miles away to partake in this activity with other cyclists. However, when the ride begins it seems as if they are racing to finish. Why would any educated adult wait all month for something just to rush to the end? Why are some of you in such a hurry to get it over with? It's not a race, it's a community ride! Enjoy your once a month ritual with others, discuss bicycles, talk amongst your peers, share cycling stories or tips, make the moment last. If you can hold a conversation and maintain 12mph pace without any distractions go for it, but you folks chatting it up and allowing gaps to form because you're so caught up in a conversation that the group has left you behind, you probably should wait until the ride is over for discussions.

Many friendships have been fostered through Miami Critical Mass and there's no denying the rides have helped us build a stronger cycling community in South Florida. Unfortunately the ride seems to be losing it's direction and focus, if this continues the authorities will eventually take action, remember that BIGGER is not necessarily BETTER. We didn't patiently build this throughout the past 4 years for it to be destroyed within a few months. You are all equally responsible for this ride, if you don't agree then maybe you are part of the problem.

Oh, one more thing before I lead you to the photos & videos you came here for. Lose the mob mentality. The group seems to make some behaviors acceptable that would not be acceptable otherwise, whether it's around particular neighborhoods or around women. Certainly I'm not the only one who has taken notice and I'm ashamed to ride side by side with some of you.


Below are a few links to lots of great photos & videos. Enjoy!

Videos:



Franco Ciola (above)

Tony Pavone (August video)

Rydel Deed (Biscayne & NE 55th St video)

Federico Vaca (Biscayne & NE 23rd St video)

Norman Echevarria (August video)


Photos:


Pets are welcomed!


SlipStreamX5 (133 photos)

MAU\DAC (17 photos)

Beached Miami (12 photos)

Rick the Ruler (9 photos)


Thanks to all those who contribute positively to the group in any way and to The Filling Station in downtown for providing riders with water and drink/food specials after the ride.

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5 comments

  1. Rydel, could agree with you more. This is really a fantastic event that I look forward to every month, but lately I've started to wonder how long it would be until someone (aka authorities) steps in and interferes.....

    Let's keep this going. Maybe pace-setters are up-front at GC with the same color bike-scene shirt. Let everyone know that these are the pace-setters.

    This kind of organic event is not common in Miami... it'd be a shame to lose it.

    Thanks for getting the ball rolling Rydel.

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  2. This could not be stated with greater clarity.

    All that remains;implementation.

    It's time for those who love this event to step up.

    I never ask for volunteers to cork, save those who I know to engage in it regularly. I would not ask the average cyclist to put themselves in such an intense and potentially dangerous situation.

    I'm a decades-hardened bikemessenger; this is routine for me and no one should feel obliged to emulate.

    However, pacesetting is another matter. Here, we are asking for confrontation of unruly cyclists, not menacing motorists.

    In my experience, the problem of gapping was at it's worst this past ride.

    And the under-lying cause was blatantly evident.

    Riders are so involved with each other, their attention to their surroundings is compromised, inducing them to allow the space in front of them to expand. A natural tendency to apportion finite attention capacity. Unfortunately, here that tendency serves to increase, rather than reduce hazard.

    An untoward consequence of the event's success.

    Ah, but it is these very same people at the back of a gap who are benefitting the most from the event!

    These are the people who should feel most obliged to help out by devoting some of their efforts to maintain group cohesion.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Way to be overly harsh and critical of the individuals who started the event early. You make it seem as if they had negative intentions. It was more likely that they just didn't understand how their actions could affect the event in a negative way. They were simply trying to take a leadership role in the event. This is a positive thing and shows motivation among the individuals. All they need is proper guidance and they may turn out to be the future plans of critical mass events. If you truly wish to build a community try to use language that does not alienate these individuals. I could easily do just as you have and make assumptions about you based on the way you speak of these people. Using your own logic I could say you do not wish to be be inclusive and build community, only to criticize and ostracize individuals who do not share your experience and understanding of the event.

    Im really disappointing to read such a negative blog about what should be such a positive event. I've lost a lot of respect for the author. I think you owe these people an apology and an explanation of how their actions harmed the critical mass and could, if continued, harm the future of the event.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes,well talk sure is cheap, isn't it Joey?

    The author has invested heavily of himself in making this event a success.

    So I can't imagine his inability to earn your respect will lead to insomnia.

    His complaints are directed at willful nihilists who know damned well what they're doing and even if they were open to being informed, which they clearly are not, they simply do not care about the consequences of their actions.

    To them, Critical Mass just happens with no particular cause or element of direction toward positive ends. So if their actions spoil it this month, it's just on to some other form of mindless sport.

    And while explicit organization or authority structure would be far more destructive, the negative behavior you prefer to view as innocent errors are clearly willful and deliberate.

    It is not some sort of elitist unwillingness to communicate as you imply; it's gone beyond that to a need to effectively confront and thwart...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes, "talk is cheap" but don't use that as a petty excuse to avoid critique. So what if the author has done more for this event than others? He can still be wrong.

    I was working on the assumption that people who attended the event did so because they enjoy it. How wrong of me to assume they were acting on a misguided enthusiasm. Thank you for making it clear to me that there are people who attend the event that are hell bent on destroying it.

    I agree that their effects were negative. I just don't see how the author of the blog and yourself have concluded that they had negative intentions. What leads you to conclude this? Since when has outcome been a direct indicator of intent?

    I can apply the same logic to the author and you. You are viewing one action independently and assuming that the effects of that one action are direct indicators of the intent of those participating. The effects of chastising others are not positive. If I viewed this one blog post independently and saw the negative effects of chastising others I can assume that your intention is to destroy critical mass. You can see that this is as wildly untrue as your allegations.

    Also, let go of your need to "control and thwart" other people. You are exercising a form of authority that is almost as destructive to the event as an organized one. There is no need to be self righteous and pompous. It only serves to alienate others. Instead, educate others in a positive way on how their actions effect the event. No one deserves to be yelled at by you or others when there are other ways to correct their behavior that show respect for the person.

    ReplyDelete

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