Friday night’s 14.3 mile Critical Mass through Little Havana, The Roads, Coral Gate, Shenandoah, Brickell and Downtown drew about 500 riders. It also drew Miami-Dade County mayoral candidate Carlos Gimenez, who showed up with a team of supporters at Government Center to smile at young people before the ride started. Gimenez’s presence, as well as the presence of the Red Bull mobile, the “U R Awesome! Free Hugs – High Fives – Peaceful Pounds” contingent (see below), and several other peddlers of this and that (including a couple of annoying guys selling wolf t-shirts), suggests that Miami Critical Mass has made an impression on local politicians and businesses alike. Whether this is a good or bad development remains to be seen, but Friday night it was quite conspicuous.
Meanwhile, Gimenez’s opponent, Julio Robaina, did not make an appearance, but he did send a representative.
Here are some more photos of the ride.
A flat tire prevented us from getting photos of the entire ride, which included a beautiful eastward stretch on S.W. 16th Street beneath an arbor of yellow-flowered trees (Tabebuia?). I don’t remember ever taking 16th during Critical Mass — or maybe the blooming trees made the street look different. Either way, a message to the invisible hand that draws the route every month: Let’s do that again.
FYI: There are 79 more photos from the ride on the Beached Miami Facebook page.
As usual, the ride ended up at BAR on N.E. 14th Street. Earlier this week, we mentioned that BAR will shut down at its current location after July 4 weekend, so Critical Mass has to find a new watering hole for the July ride and beyond. (I’m hearing the Filling Station.) Friday night, BAR graciously welcomed the swarm of sweating cyclists with cheap beer, barbecue, and that “Customer is always right” smile.
Seriously, I’m going to miss BAR. It’s been good to us riders and a good foil to its higher-energy (and higher-priced) neighbor. Here are a few photos of farewell.
Check out 79 more photos from the ride on our Facebook page.