Saturday, January 28, 2012
Friday night we went on a bike ride with 600 friends.
It was another two-wheeled adventure sponsored by the cycling advocate group, Critical Mass Miami.
They call it "a celebration of cycling". Every month they invite bikers to join them for a mad dash about town. Above you see us gathering in beautiful downtown Miami.
It begins at 7 pm on the last Friday of the month at Government Center.
It's always a friendly bunch,
most between the ages of 20 and 40. Two carried babies and one girl, astride a Barbie Bike, was six.
Our friend Gina was easy to spot in her signature dolphin helmet. Her left arm is still in a cast from a cycling accident two months ago.
At 7:30 someone gave a shout and we slowly began to roll. For ten miles we zipped along happily running red lights and stop signs. Helpers blocked the intersections as they do in funeral processions. They call their procedure "corking". Said one rowdy rider, "We don't block traffic, we are traffic!".
Somewhere 17th Avenue I lost Francesca in the fast-paced crowd. Zipping along at 12 m.p.h. it's not easy to stop.
When I did a stranger lent me his cellphone so I could find her. My two sons were somewhere in the pack as well though I never saw them (and they never saw each other). Its a long procession that stretches out for blocks.
There are Critical Mass rides all over the world. Consider being part of the fun. Join us downtown next month (February 24th), or in another city (listed at www.critical-mass.info) or start one of your own (same website). The local group is on Facebook (CriticalMassMiami) or can be found at www.themiamibikescene.com .
The legality of the rides continues to be questioned. Organizers feel they are within the law. They do not seek permits saying, "If cars don't need them why should we?"
Legal or not, it's a fun affair. Friday's tour took us over the Miami River, through Little Havana, past the new baseball stadium, and back though the glittering condo canyons where it all began.
It reminded me of Pamplona except instead of bulls chasing us, we chased each other.