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!
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)
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.