Location: Government Center
Time: 6:30pm (ride departs at 7:15pm)
Distance: 12-18 miles (varies)
Average Speed: 12mph
Participants are asked to keep a moderate 12mph pace & ride safely. The group is rather large and can sometimes begin to stretch out, it's very important for the group to remain close together and bridge any gaps in order to make corking easier, thus making the experience more pleasant for cyclists, motorists and pedestrians alike.
Critical Mass For Dummies
Bicycle Rules & Safety Tips
- Riders must be able to maintain 12mph and should not exceed 12mph
- Stay in the right lane, and do not ride across middle line on the road into opposite travel lane
- Do not pass the pace setters in the front
- If you do not know the route and are not pacesetting then you do not need to be in the front
- Yield to emergency vehicles
- Rain or shine, similar to Independence Day, the fireworks may be damp but still you celebrate
- Animals are welcomed inside baskets and/or trailers
- No Headphones! While riding a bicycle it is illegal to wear a headset, headphone or other listening device, other than a hearing aid or instrument for the improvement of defective human hearing.
- Safety Lights: Front & rear lights are required by law in the State of Florida.
- Do not ride on the sidewalk
- Passing: A passing cyclist is responsible for the safety of the cyclist that is being passed. When passing ring a bell and/or say "on your left".
- Yield to pedestrians and buses
- No drinking of alcohol during ride
- Do not filter forward past stopped cars at a red light.
- Skateboarders, inline skaters and recumbent bikes are welcomed
- Do not litter or vandalize any property
- Stopping: If you must stop to check your bike, phone, gear etc please move over to the sidewalk when it's clear. Do not stop abruptly in the middle of the street with the mass behind you. You will more than likely cause a cyclist to hit you and/or swerve and hit someone else.
- Always perform an "ABC Quick" Bike Check to ensure that your bike is in safe working order.
Cyclists ride at their own risk and assume responsibility for their own safety!
Miami Critical Mass is not an "us vs. them" ride, it is not anti-car, it is not a protest ride, this is a ride that celebrates bicycles, encourages cycling & reminds drivers that they must share the road. There are a lot of new riders who just recently joined the group and we need to remind them of this. This is supposed to be a fun ride, you're encouraged to smile, wave at passersby, ring your bells & have a good time.
Miami Critical Mass is composed of all kinds of individuals, folks with dissimilar reasons for riding a bicycle, contrasting political opinions and different types of bikes, yet for one or two hours on the last Friday of the month they all come together for one common cause.. to celebrate cycling & to take back the streets. The group typically police themselves, leaving 1-lane open to traffic when circumstances permit, but as expected this is not always ideal as it sometimes gives impatient drivers the opportunity to weave around the group at dangerously fast speeds.
Avoid any altercations with drivers or pedestrians, if an irate driver honks or yells at you simply ignore them or just smile and say "thank you" and/or wish them a "Happy Friday". Maybe ask them to join us the following month?
Do not tap, touch or spit on any motorists' vehicles. Those corking should also not get too close to cars, if your safety ever feels threatened by a reckless driver get the license plate number of the vehicle, alert the proper authorities and immediately warn other members on the ride.
For the most part Miami Critical Mass has been very tame, there's been little to no altercations aside from the occasional tap on the horn from an impatient motorist. I can honestly say the majority of people honking are cheering us on, same goes with pedestrians hollering from the sidewalks, I believe the mere sight of an abundance of bicycles on the streets of Miami excites them, it's a beautiful thing. On the contrary, the sight of motorists cooped up in steel boxes, isolating themselves from their surroundings while reducing the quality of air.. not so appealing, eh?
I pose a question to those who don't like the idea of corking and/or just share a common disdain for Critical Mass in general. Have you ever considered how much traffic a really large group of cyclists could back up if they didn't cork intersections? I'm estimating they can possibly back traffic up for close to an hour in some areas, not just a few minutes as they presently do. That is, obeying all traffic laws, riding two abreast, stopping at red lights, no corking etc. Chew on that for a bit.
Below is a tutorial illustrating "How to cork". Only experienced cyclists should volunteer to cork.
Download the Miami Critical Mass 2014 calendar here.
Feel free to print & distribute throughout South Florida.