Miami bike activists are picking up speed. -- photo by Robby Campbell
The Miami cyclist community was out in full force Wednesday night at O Cinema in Wynwood for the SafeStreetsMiami Forum, which was organized by the Green Mobility Network in the wake of cyclist Aaron Cohen’s death while riding his bike on the Rickenbacker Causeway last month. Here are a few key takeaways from the event:
Extended bike lane on Rickenbacker: The crowd grew restless a few times during the meeting when listening to public officials talk about “studies”, “plans”, and long-term goals to improve bike safety in the city and the county. The audience wanted to hear about concrete actions from the officials present, an influential list which included Jeff Cohen from Miami-Public Works, city bicycle coordinator Collin Worth, city commissioner Marc Sarnoff, and county commissioner Xavier Suarez. “What are you going to do in 30 days?” someone shouted from the back.
Following cyclist Aaron Cohen's death, local activists are ramping up their effort to make Miami a safer place to ride. -- photo by Robby Campbell
A public forum addressing bike safety in Miami-Dade is being planned following the death of an avid cyclist who was struck by a hit-and-run driver on the Rickenbacker Causeway last Wednesday.
“Lots of people are very upset about what happened — the tragic death of Aaron Cohen, and they are demanding action,” said Hank Sanchez-Resnik of the Green Mobility Network, the civic group organizing the event. “We’re trying to channel all of that energy into constructive solutions.”
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.
Instead of photographing Critical Mass on Friday night (as we do almost every month), we decided to shoot video of the mass gearing up for the monthly bike ride at Government Center, its usual downtown starting point. The song in the video is “This Is The Timing” by ANR, which is headlining the Beached Basel Bash on Wednesday alongside Millionyoung, PLAINS, Little Beard, and other fine Miami talent. To learn more about the BBB, visit the FB event page. But first, roll tape.
Bikes, art, beer. That’s the short and skinny of the G-Spot Bike Ride this coming Saturday, Nov. 26, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Led by the TM Sisters, the ride will stop at new art installations throughout Downtown, Wynwood, and the Design District. The installations are part of the G-Spot Tour, a Grolsch-sponsored project curated by contemporary art curator and writer Claire Breukel that gave 10 Miami artists, including las hermanas TM, free reign to create whatever their aesthetic hearts desired. To learn more about the artworks, the project, and how you can win an iPad 2 just for taking a photo, visit gspotartproject.com.
The ride on Saturday will end at The Stage for a round of complimentary Grolsch. The after party is open to one and all, so feel free to drop by The Stage whether you come on the ride or not. Of course, you should come on the ride, if not for the art then to work off the Thanksgiving turkey/tofurkey. To RSVP and learn more details, visit the G-Spot Bike Ride event page on Facebook.
The woman, Regina McFall, works in the theatre arts department at the University of Miami and the dolphin bike is really a normal Trek hybrid with a dolphin’s smiling face affixed to the handlebars and a fluke fitted to the back tire. Naturally, Regina wears the dorsal fin as a helmet.
As the photo suggests, Regina radiates positive energy and, through her creations, she manages to make Miami a sunnier place. So we were very upset to hear, via the Miami Bike Scene, that she recently fell off of her bicycle and broke her wrist. It gets worse, according to the MBS:
Last Thursday night around 10pm at the intersection of Sunset Drive/US1 a female cyclist accidentally jumped a curb and fell of her Trek hybrid bicycle and broke her wrist. A black male in his 20s, no facial hair and wearing an orange & black jacket approached the cyclist and pretended to be coming to her aid, instead the suspect stole her bicycle while she laid helpless on the street. The bike is blue/silver and has a rear rack, RST fork and kickstand. If you see the Trek bicycle pictured below please alert the proper authorities.
We don’t have any updates as of now, but we do wish Regina speedy recuperation and hope she recovers her Trek (which, according to MBS, was not in “dolphin mode” when it was stolen). We also hope this experience doesn’t damage her apparent joie de vivre. Miami would be a lesser place without the smiling dolphin swimming through its streets.
Update: Regina is offering a $100 reward for her bike.
Friday night a silverback gorilla, an extraterrestrial, Charlie Chaplin, and approximately 800 other cyclists all went for a 19-mile bike ride through Coconut Grove, Downtown, Shenandoah, and Little Havana. Despite the rain, an asshole in a Cadillac sedan who threw a driving tantrum dangerously close to hundreds of cyclists, and the surveillance of a police helicopter, the Critical Mass costume ride was a solid way to gear up for Halloween weekend and the Sketchy Miami Halloween Party at Awarehouse tonight (RSVP). Here are some of our photos from the ride. You can see many more on the Beached Miami Facebook page.
Beware. The Miami Critical Mass Halloween ride is upon us. -- image from themiamibikescene.com
It’s the last Friday of the month, and as always that means hundreds of cyclists will ride through the streets of Miami tonight in Critical Mass. The difference this particular month is that there will very likely be a werewolf, a slutty vampiress, and, most frightening, a perfectly normal-looking Wall Street banker pedaling in the pack.
Yes, it’s Halloween weekend and the best way to gear up for our Sketchy Halloween Party at Awarehouse on Saturday night is to cobble together a costume, climb onto your bike, and roll through the streets of Miami with fake blood dripping from both corners of your mouth. The 19-mile ride through Coconut Grove, Downtown, Shenandoah, and Little Havana takes off from Government Center at 7 p.m. and ends up at the Filling Station, where there will be a contest for best costume.
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 …