Miami Critical Mass February 2011 Ride

By | February 26th, 2011 | 14 Comments

Westbound on Venetian after long stretch through Miami Beach.

Friday night’s 19-mile ride through Downtown, Wynwood-Edgewater, Upper East Side, North Bay Village, and Miami Beach drew between 300 and 400 people, making it the third ride in a row with a really big turnout. It seems as if Critical Mass in Miami is growing organically now, without Halloween or any other special occasion bringing out more riders than usual. This has its obvious pros: the more the merrier, power in numbers, etc. But it also has its drawbacks, the tendency of the mass to stretch out and impede traffic for red light after red light being the biggest. This is a recipe for conflict with motorists and cops (not good). Luckily, there’s an easy solution: Keep up.

We were supposed to ride through Overtown last night, but apparently a good chunk of the mass took a wrong turn out the gate and ended up on Biscayne Boulevard downtown exactly as another mass, made of cars and people, was making its way to American Airlines Arena for the Heat game. Clusterfuck. Again, begging for a cop-issued clothesline and/or taxi door to the torso.

After we fought our way through downtown, the ride went pretty smoothly. The route through Miami Beach was a good change of scenery, especially the peaceful stretch under the canopy on Pine Tree Drive. Not so peaceful: having our picture taken at every red light by every light on Indian Creek.

As always, the ride ended up at BAR (only this time in installments) where, sadly, the DVD player rejected Quicksilver. Damn shame. I was really hoping for a good ol’ fashioned 80s bance-off. [Update: Just heard they got it working eventually. Alas, still no bance-off.]

Here are some photos from the ride.

Lots of bikes, but only one …

Bike of the Month

1953 Carlton International Clubman (from England). All original parts. Pifco Lantern.


It’s coming. RSVP for the March 5 Miami Bike Hunt.

14 Comments on “Miami Critical Mass February 2011 Ride”

  1. 1 Titmawz said at 2:28 pm on February 26th, 2011:

    The solution is to slow DOWN

  2. 2 Jordan Melnick said at 2:33 pm on February 26th, 2011:

    Was a bit fast last night. Usually pretty reasonable pace though.

  3. 3 Cam said at 4:06 pm on February 26th, 2011:

    If CM got any slower, we might as well just stay at Government Center

  4. 4 Titmawz said at 4:27 pm on February 26th, 2011:

    @Cam: Dude 20 mph is not the most desirable speed for CM papo <3

  5. 5 AC said at 4:31 pm on February 26th, 2011:

    I agree it was a bit too fast. It was still fun but not as much as last time. Looking forward to the next one.

  6. 6 reason125 said at 6:19 pm on February 26th, 2011:

    The issues are more than that. I purpose a few ideas for a smoother ride:

    1. If you are going to ride in a group, its a good idea to follow the group organizer. e.g. Rydel Deed…not some other idiot who yells “THIS WAY” and makes hundreds of people go against traffic.

    2. A moderate speed needs to be followed. Granted, a few riders went a little too fast (at moments) but the reality is that hundreds more go TOO SLOW. Those few who go to fast need to slow down and those who go too slow need to speed the fuck up. Both of these issues cause major gaps. Too many cars were being let in last night. We need a tighter “mass.”

    3. MOST IMPORTANTLY: as the numbers of the mass rise, its logical that it requires a lot more corking. More people need to step up and cork a few lanes. For the few that actually do the cork it is very difficult to get back to the front so we can cork again. If you enjoy the ride, help out from time to time.

    So if we follow the CORRECT leader, we all keep a similar speed and stay in a mass, and with more riders corking, the rides can be a lot smoother. I love these rides and last night i grew incredibly pissed off at the slack ass attitude that was shown last night. We need to remember that though we are hundreds strong, all it takes is one car to take out a huge number of us. We are still on bikes. lets not forget this.

  7. 7 AC said at 6:37 pm on February 26th, 2011:

    Reason125; I agree with you in everything. I was tempted to stop and help corking but as a girl and second time riding it I did not get enough courage to do it. Next time well get it right. ;) thanks for putting this together!

  8. 8 reason125 said at 7:46 pm on February 26th, 2011:

    nuff said

  9. 9 Bryan said at 7:59 pm on February 26th, 2011:

    Ride def needs to slow down… it creates major gaps, makes us more prone to cars, and makes the job a LOT harder for corkers.

    When a ride gets this big, it NEEDS some people to organize the entire thing… and by “organize” i simply mean stay in front of the group and set the pace. I’d love to see 15 people wearing a very distinguishable that everyone knows they’re in charge of setting the pace and giving directions.

  10. 10 name said at 11:46 pm on February 26th, 2011:

    i agree with the slow down. not alot, but a little. also the crazy kamikaze riders need to be reigned in. people doing stupid stuff too close to other riders. the pack gets so tight at times that any false move will cause a wreck.

  11. 11 Roy said at 1:42 am on February 27th, 2011:

    People need to speed the fuck up. Last nights pace was decent at the front but those in the back need to step it up. If we slow it down anymore it’ll be a 2-3 hour ride.

  12. 12 jason said at 10:36 am on February 28th, 2011:

    The ride needs to slow down in the front. Once the gaps start it is impossible for the people in the back to catch up as they end up getting stuck in the red lights and cars.

  13. 13 Craig said at 1:41 pm on February 28th, 2011:

    We need to pass out flyers with basic CM ettiqute. Lots of people come out that aren’t used to this sort of thing and probably don’t read these articles. Because Miami CM is growing and on the police radar, we all need to step up and educate fellow riders.

  14. 14 reason125 said at 2:40 pm on February 28th, 2011:

    I cork…I wait for the last bike…then I catch up to the front…then do it all over again. I’ve done this on my beach cruiser as much as on my fixie. The ride is not going too fast. To quote the Facebook CM page:

    “Speed: The average speed is ideally 12mph. Please be able to maintain 12mph, riders are not to exceed 12mph, this is a community ride is NOT a race.”

    …the ride does not go faster than this. For instance, the ride on friday took 1 1/2 hours…it was 18 miles long. You do the math.

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