Photos: Miami Critical Mass January 2012

By | January 29th, 2012 | 10 Comments
Miami Critical Mass 1/27/12

Twelve HUNDRED riders!

On Friday night approximately 1,200 cyclists (!) rode 12.5 miles through downtown, East Little Havana, West Flagler, Coral Way, Little Havana, and The Roads in Miami Critical Mass. With the huge turnout and tropical “winter” weather, the ride had an amazing energy. The only hiccup for me came toward the end of the ride, at the intersection of South Miami Avenue and Southwest Eighth Street, when the strung-out Mass made four lanes of cars wait for at least 10 light changes. The motorists were honking and yelling, too many cyclists — mostly stragglers — were taunting the drivers (“We own the road!” “Wait your turn!”), and one guy got out of his car and into the face of a corker. This kind of thing will happen when 1,200 riders take over the road, but heckling motorists is childish. Critical Mass is a statement ride, but that statement should not be: “We’re a bunch of assholes.” If a driver gets feisty, there are ways to handle it. You can ignore it or try to calm him down. But don’t tempt him to run you over — you might get someone else hit. Alright, sermon over. Check out our photos of the ride after the jump.

On Friday night approximately 1,200 cyclists (!) rode 12.5 miles through downtown, East Little Havana, West Flagler, Coral Way, Little Havana, and The Roads in Miami Critical Mass. With the huge turnout and tropical “winter” weather, the ride had an amazing energy. The only hiccup for me came toward the end of the ride, at the intersection of South Miami Avenue and Southwest Eighth Street, when the strung-out Mass made four lanes of cars wait for at least 10 light changes. The motorists were honking and yelling, too many cyclists — mostly stragglers — were taunting the drivers (“We own the road!” “Wait your turn!”), and one guy got out of his car and into the face of a corker. This kind of thing will happen when 1,200 riders take over the road, but heckling motorists is childish. Critical Mass is a statement ride, but that statement should not be: “We’re a bunch of assholes.” If a driver gets feisty, there are ways to handle it. You can ignore it or try to calm him down. But don’t tempt him to run you over — you might get someone else hit. Alright, sermon over. Here are our photos of the ride.

Miami Critical Mass January 2012 by Robby Campbell
all photos by Robby Campbell

Miami Critical Mass January 2012 by Robby Campbell

Miami Critical Mass January 2012 by Robby Campbell

Miami Critical Mass January 2012 by Robby Campbell

Miami Critical Mass January 2012 by Robby Campbell

Miami Critical Mass January 2012 by Robby Campbell

Miami Critical Mass January 2012 by Robby Campbell

Miami Critical Mass January 2012 by Robby Campbell

Miami Critical Mass January 2012 by Robby Campbell

Miami Critical Mass January 2012 by Robby Campbell

Miami Critical Mass January 2012 by Robby Campbell

Miami Critical Mass January 2012 by Robby Campbell

Miami Critical Mass January 2012 by Robby Campbell

Miami Critical Mass January 2012 by Robby Campbell
To see more photos from the ride, visit the Beached Miami Facebook page.

Miami Critical Mass January 2012 by Robby Campbell

Miami Critical Mass January 2012 by Robby Campbell

Follow Beached Miami on Twitter (@beachedmiami) and Facebook and email and RSS.


10 Comments on “Photos: Miami Critical Mass January 2012”

  1. 1 Rocki Cook said at 4:11 pm on January 29th, 2012:

    Hello! I was there, with the corker who was threatened by the guy in the little red car. Just want to clear up what happened. What you wrote above isnt quite correct. I stopped to help out the guy corking, someone who is quite experienced at it, might I add. He was alone in a very large intersection, so I stopped. That is when the frustrated older man got out of his little red car and threatened my fellow rider by saying “if you don’t move out of the way, I’m gonna push you out the way”. This was after I had asked him nicely to just wait a couple more minutes. That everyone is almost through. He proceeded to then get back in his car and try and push us with it. Actually hitting my bike. That is when some other cyclists stopped and crowded around the car trying to talk to him. The first corker had taken off and I did the same, not sure what happened after. Also, initially when the red car guy started this it was not stragglers, there were still many cyclists on the road and the corker was just trying to help out, not cause trouble. I understand that those drivers were probably frustrated, but there were over 1100 people on bikes. Isn’t the reason of Critical Mass to bring awareness? I think it did just that.

  2. 2 Jordan Melnick said at 4:16 pm on January 29th, 2012:

    Rocki, we’re talking about different incidents. The car I’m referring to was white, and the intersection had several people corking, myself included. In the incident I wrote about, the hecklers were in the last batch of riders and the guy who got out of his car was probably in his late 20s or 30s.

    I should clarify: The corkers were not heckling anyone — some riders did as they passed by — and the particular corker who the driver accosted handled it really well.

  3. 3 CB said at 9:06 pm on January 29th, 2012:

    Why is corking promoted during these rides? Is it not illegal to run red lights on a bike? And really blocking someone who has a green light goes against the idea of ‘sharing’ the road.

    Every time I see a bicyclist run a red light or weave in/out of cars at a light, I think about how it’s bad PR…

  4. 4 Rocki Cook said at 7:19 am on January 30th, 2012:

    Jordan, my bad.

  5. 5 Eric Madrid said at 3:30 pm on January 30th, 2012:

    @ CB
    Corking is promoted to insure the mass stays together and is protected from motorist. Think of the mass as one big object, a traffic light is usually not green long enough for a mass of 1000 cyclist to cross through it. Getting a group that large to stop often and break up into smaller groups is not safe and would only make the ride significantly longer and more dangerous. Cars waiting an extra traffic light cycle or two is not dangerous, it is merely a slight inconvenience. I believe safety is more important.

  6. 6 Jordan Melnick said at 3:33 pm on January 30th, 2012:

    I agree with Eric. I don’t have a problem with corking — in fact, Miami Critical Mass, at its current size, is way too big to stop at every red light without chaos. That said, when the mass is making cars wait for so many lights in a row, the least the cyclists can do is NOT heckle them.

  7. 7 Robert Noval said at 1:01 am on February 1st, 2012:

    Just to add my own observations, as I was corking at both afore-mentioned incidences—as the individual in the little red car got back in his vehicle, I made it clear I wouldn’t back down. His reaction was to back up and go around me. Usually, I will accept the invitation to play “chicken”, but as I looked at the group and saw what he was getting himself into, I decided not to save him from his own folly. I remained at the intersection to the end, alternately holding off either the east or south-bound traffic, with occasional assists.

    Later, I arrived at the Miami Ave./SW 8 St. intersection where Jordan was already corking, but short-handed. Together, from a few feet away, we observed the white car incident—the corker’s work against this one driver was exemplary.

    But more importantly, why was that car where it was? No doubt he had slipped into a gap in the group, probably out of the parking on the corner.

    People riding in the group need to appreciate the hazard these gaps create.

  8. 8 Robert Noval said at 1:11 am on February 1st, 2012:

    CB—

    We merely exercise our right, as explicitly stated in The Constitution [Amend. I.], “…peaceably to assemble…”

    We can hardly remain an “assembly” if those missing a light must wait, while those ahead carry on…

    Additionally, we assemble specifically to make the sort of statement delivered to the guy in the little red car, who found himself badly out-numbered…

  9. 9 Daus said at 7:09 pm on February 8th, 2012:

    Consider critical mass as one very large semi truck. Just let it go by and it will pass. What other time could 1200 people can pass through an intersection in about 5 minutes with cars? Would you rather wait 5 minutes or 60+ minutes if all riders were two abreast and waited at each red light?

    This peacefully happens once every month. Motorists should be cheering that 1200 people found a way to efficiently transport themselves to a destination. Had any motorist had a bike instead of a car, the could have easily bypassed the traffic.

  10. 10 Jordan Melnick said at 7:14 pm on February 8th, 2012:

    Daus, it was far longer than five minutes, but that isn’t the issue, in my opinion. The issue is riders in the Mass unnecessarily heckling motorists who are waiting relatively patiently. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.