After a crotchety day of continual rain, the bike gods cleared the skies just in time for last night’s 13.6-mile Miami Critical Mass bike ride through East Little Havana, West Flagler, Coral Gables, Coral Way, The Roads, Brickell, and Downtown. As you can see, the faithful Critical Massers who hauled their bikes to Government Center intent on riding come hell or high water were more than a little happy when the Civil War being waged overhead — Blue vs. Gray — ended in a Union victory.
As for us Beached Miami folk, a little rain wasn’t going to stop us from flashing our new gear.
After the rain, there was a cool(ish) breeze, and, as we crossed the river on West Flagler, we got a soul-soothing view of the sun setting beyond the city.
This ride had a different feel than last month’s 11.9-mile route through Allapatah, Wynwood, Little Haiti, and Midtown. Again we got a cheerful reception from onlookers and plenty of honks of encouragement from motorists, but we went through fewer residential neighborhoods and didn’t see as many people in the streets (one of the cooler aspects of last month’s ride).
It was also a bit sad to see my beloved Orange Bowl so thoroughly buried by the Marlin’s future stadium. I’ve got too many memories of that place to roll by without feeling some powerful nostalgia. They weren’t all good times, of course. The last Canes games I went to at the Orange Bowl ended in a loss and a drunk girl throwing up on my back. And then there was Brock Berlin. But I digress. Here are some photos from the ride.
Despite taking a different route than in August, we ended up in the same place (not a metaphor), a bar named Bar, aka “Hipsters Welcome.” I shouldn’t knock Bar (formerly PS14); it’s kind enough to let a hundred or so rank cyclists park their bikes in the back and serve up burgers and hotdogs.
Overall it was another solid Miami Critical Mass experience. I definitely enjoy the unspoken camaraderie of cruising through the city en masse with a bunch of strangers. At one point, I was riding behind a guy with a radio strapped to the back of his bike. Heard Nirvana’s “The Man Who Sold The World” and Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” before I lost him. Doesn’t get much better than that.
Miami Critical Mass bike of the month: Golden Boy.
All photos by Robby Campbell.