After the last Miami Critical Mass, on August 26, 2011, I realized that we had first photographed the monthly group ride almost exactly a year earlier, on August 27, 2010. In fact, that ride was the subject of the third post ever on this here blog. Feeling nostalgic, we decided to compile our favorite photos from a year of Miami Critical Mass, one each from the 13 rides between August 2010 and August 2011. Each photo links to its original post, where you can see more photos from the rides. The next CM is this Friday. We will be there, camera in tow.
Last night’s Critical Mass drew another big crowd for a 12-mile ride with a long stretch north through Allapattah and Liberty City along N.W. Seventh Avenue, another straight shot east along 71st Street, and a home stretch south along U.S. 1. Aside from attracting a bit of police attention — at one point, on 71st Street, they forced part of the mass (momentarily) off route — the ride went smoothly from where I was peddling, and it was over way too soon, only about an hour after it started. Most of our photos this time around come from Government Center, before the ride started.
Friday night’s ride through Overtown, Wynwood, Allapattah, Little Havana, and downtown ended, for the first time since BAR closed down, at the Filling Station. I’d report back on the new Critical Mass watering hole, but I couldn’t manage to squeeze in. Anyone else? Here’s hoping each of the several cyclists I saw eat it during the ride got the beer I wanted. And here are some photos from the ride. Head over to our Facebook page to see the rest.
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.
Friday night’s 13.6 mile ride through Little Havana, Coral gables, Miracle Mile, The Roads, Brickell, and Downtown somehow managed not to get snarled in bumper to bumper traffic on US1. Add to that the cop who voluntarily used her car to cork the intersection at Coral Way and S.W. 22nd Avenue and I’m starting to believe there really is a first time for everything. All snark aside, it was a beautiful ride that brought out close to 500 riders. Check out the pictures after the jump, and visit the Beached Miami Facebook page to flip through a bunch more. Also, check out this month’s Iconcyclist if you missed it.
In my ongoing “Good artists borrow, great artists steal” spree (see Miami Missed Connections series), I’ve decided to pilfer and localize an idea from artist Mike Joos, who makes digital prints of pop-culture figures riding apt bikes (Mr. T on a fixie with gold-chain tires, for example). Here we have Magic City mother and citrus entrepreneur Julia Tuttle riding through the city she built on a couple of Florida oranges. I dressed her scandalously because no one has ever thought of the matronly Ms. Tuttle as sexy, and for good reason.
I’ll be posting a new MIA Iconcyclist once a month before every Miami Critical Mass from here on out. Please feel free to suggest my next rider.
Friday night’s 12-mile ride through Downtown, The Roads, Miracle Mile, East Coral Gables, and East Little Havana never went through Overtown as planned. Instead, the mass missed the N.W. Second Avenue turn and, for the third month in a row, found itself clusterfucked on Biscayne Boulevard, this time with a Heat game and Ultra in full swing. No matter what the map says or how hard the lead bikes try to keep the mass en route, Biscayne seems to always prevail. “Come to me,” it says. “The motorists in my car-stuffed lanes need something to look at while they idle in traffic.” The spell works every time.
Nonetheless, it was a solid ride, with the Coral Way stretch to the beat of the (still unnamed?) Bicycle Sound System being particularly glorious. My favorite part was when an entire karate class came out of the dojo to watch us ride past on Ponce de Leon. Ah, the power of the Mass. Not even the Sensei could resist.
Here are some photos from the ride.
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.
Last night’s 12-mile (+detour) Critical Mass ride through East Little Havana, Allapattah, Wynwood, Little Haiti, Midtown, and Edgewater drew several hundred riders, the most I’ve seen in the last five months. Not sure what brought so many people out on a 50-degree evening, but despite several wipeouts the first ride of 2011 had a damn good vibe, especially with the Bicycle Sound System (still badly in need of a nickname — the Studenboom? the Dauster?) banging out dance jams with not a single technical difficulty. The marriage of Mass and music was made in heaven, and judging from last night the honeymoon promises to last a helluva lot longer than most blessed unions. Cheers to that.
Here are a few photos from the ride.
So it’s the last Friday of the month and that means Critical Mass. Tonight’s ride will take off at 7 p.m. from Government Center downtown and run 12 miles through East Little Havana, Allapattah, Wynwood, Little Haiti, Midtown, and Edgewater. (Get more details and/or RSVP on the Miami Critical Mass Facebook page.)
If you saw our post from last month’s CM, you know one fine gentleman provided a soundtrack for the 15-mile ride via a speaker attached to the back of his bike. Of course, listening to the likes of LCD Soundsystem and Broken Social Scene along the route just about perfected the experience of riding en masse through the streets of Miami on a breezy night, and I’m happy to report it was not a one-time treat.
Last night I spoke to said fine gentleman — one Daus Studenberg — and learned about the Miami Bicycle Sound System Project, a “labor of love” with the mission of setting Miami’s mass bike rides to music from here on out.
When did the Miami Bicycle Sound System Project start?
DS: It started about a year ago. Emerge Miami organized the Bike Prom, and they approached me to make some kind of sound system. I was very happy to do it, but I didn’t have much time. So I took whatever I had out of my garage, hacked my stereo system, took two-by-fours, tore up my bike trailer, and put it together — I even put a record player on top. I brought it out for the ride. It barely made it, but the reception was beyond most people’s expectations. I passed it off as a Bike Prom thing, but a number of people kept approaching me to build a sound system [for long-term use]. Finally I said ok. I wanted to bring the community together, so I went ahead and created a Facebook page and started taking everyone’s suggestions.