September Critical Mass: Rain Ride

By | October 1st, 2011 | 8 Comments

In light of recent rowdy 1000-person rides, the unofficial organizers of Miami Critical Mass put a lot of thought into how to keep last night’s ride under control. They chose not to create an event page on Facebook, and they kept the 20-mile route to themselves so that, the theory went, the mass would have to stay en masse throughout the ride since individual riders wouldn’t know where they were headed. But as they say …

Downpour II by Robby Campbell

Downpour by Robby Campbell

… “You can plan a pretty picnic, but you can’t predict the weather.”

Under Cover by Robby Campbell

For the first time since we started photographing the ride a year ago (see “A Critical Year”), it rained. The downpour threatened to drench the ride and moot the well-intentioned strategy of the MCM’s unofficial organizing body. As the gathering of several hundred riders — a bit smaller than previous rides — huddled under the Government Center Metro Station, the bike-toppling gusts of wind and the high-voltage branches of lightning seemed to declare, “No ride tonight.” To which someone eventually said …

Piso Mojado by Robby Campbell

“Fuck that” and peeled out. Instinctively, almost everyone followed. Very mass.

Up the bridge by Jordan Melnick

When we pulled away from Government Center, it seemed like a really bad idea. Heading up the S.W. Second Avenue bridge, it looked like we were ascending directly into a thunderhead (as you can kinda see in this shitty iPhone photo).

Cash For Gold by Robby Campbell

But the rain never returned and the roads dried up surprisingly quickly. After the brief shower, there was a cool, rain-infused breeze and continual strobe-light flashes overhead. In other words, the atmosphere was beautiful, cause for that most pagan of modern celebrations …

The Wave by Jordan Melnick

… The Wave.

Blue Boy by Robby Campbell

The rest of the photos in this post were taken at Government Center, before the ride and the rain. They are also on our Facebook page for tagging/sharing purposes.

Kangoloo by Robby Campbell

Distrustful Monkey by Robby Campbell

Made for walking by Robby Campbell

Tricky by Robby Campbell

Red by Robby Campbell

What ride? by Robby Campbell

Super Yellow by Robby Campbell

Inell by Robby Campbell

Jimmy by Robby Campbell

Rain a-coming by Robby Campbell

Apron by Robby Campbell

Calisthenics by Robby Campbell

Ape Man by Robby Campbell

The First Drop by Robby Campbell
“Was that … rain?”

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8 Comments on “September Critical Mass: Rain Ride”

  1. 1 yORKA said at 10:16 am on October 1st, 2011:

    Kudos to you guys!!!!

  2. 2 BTJones said at 2:09 pm on October 1st, 2011:

    Great stuff thanks!

  3. 3 Cami Miami said at 5:38 pm on October 1st, 2011:

    Wow great job capturing so many personalities in the brink of time :)

  4. 4 ryanedward said at 11:00 am on October 2nd, 2011:

    can someone explain the purpose of “They chose not to create an event page on Facebook”?

  5. 5 Jordan Melnick said at 12:28 pm on October 2nd, 2011:

    @Ryanedward, they figured that would keep the numbers down.

  6. 6 ryanedward said at 1:56 am on October 3rd, 2011:

    that seems kind of contrary to the spirit of the mass. =/

  7. 7 Jordan Melnick said at 9:02 am on October 3rd, 2011:

    @Ryanedward, I was thinking the same thing, but I think it’s more complicated than that. Consider that Critical Mass rides all over the world are supposed to be unorganized. Obviously that isn’t true in Miami or there wouldn’t ever be an official route or a Facebook event page — or perhaps there would be several of them. So, in some ways, this last ride was truer to the spirit of the mass than usual. On the other hand, the decision to not publish the route or promote the ride through an event page was made by a small group — dedicated proponents of the Miami bike scene, to be sure — on behalf of the mass at large, which would seem to violate the leaderless, unorganized tradition of Critical Mass. That said, I don’t have a problem with Miami Critical Mass having leaders/organizers, official or not. It’s not like they rule with an iron fist. I appreciate the people who dedicate a lot of time and energy to trying to make the rides as positive as possible. And I don’t want them held to account if the police decide to hassle us, which leaves us at square one: Pretending MCM has no organizers.

  8. 8 John Bar said at 12:55 am on October 4th, 2011:

    Since I moved to miami I found it bizarre how far MCM strays from CM’s roots. Im glad to see people backed off from being self appointed event organizers. About fucking time they did. All this crap from the Miami Bike Scene blog stating “Not a protest ride” “Not anti-car” shit is far against the nature of critical Mass. They go on to say “There are a lot of new riders who just recently joined the group and we need to remind them of this.” I’m new to Miami but I don’t need a some fixie bike messenger worshiping group of hipsters “reminding” me that my reasons for riding critical mass aren’t the right ones and theirs are. Im anti-car and ride as a form of protest. You may not feel exactly the same way, so what. This type of attitude is destructive to the event. We all ride CM for different reasons, all of which can probably be summarized as being pro-self-propelled commuter. Cheers to Miami taking a step towards having a more critical mass like critical mass.


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