Critical Mass ride generates Heat — in a couple of ways

LeBron James' Twitter pic from the Critical Mass ride.

LeBron James’ Twitter pic from the Critical Mass ride.

Friday’s night’s Critical Mass Miami bicycle ride generated some traffic slowdowns, but no major incidents as 1,000-plus riders cruised from downtown Miami through the Upper East Side and across North Bay Village, down Collins Avenue and back through the Venetian Islands to downtown.

Among the riders was LeBron James of the Miami Heat, who sometimes bikes to work at the American Airlines Arena. His Twitter photo post from the Friday’s ride was shared hundreds of times. Dwyane Wade participated in the September ride.

Most surprising about the ride, at least to your Belle Isle Blog, is the heat is generated from both commuters and and bicycle community.

Critical Mass holds a ride the last Friday of every month. We reported the ride in advance of this one because we figured non-riders in the Belle Isle area would want a chance to change their driving routes on Friday to avoid delays. We thought the city of Miami Beach was responsible in warning of possible disruptions – just as they do for road races, parades, and when a presidential motorcade is expected to travel through town.

We’re surprised the warnings from the city seemed to annoy some Critical Mass participants.

Likewise, the anger from commuters seems misplaced. There are a lot of ways to get from point A to point B in our crowded town. Miami Beach’s DecoBike service is an acknowledgement of that.

Respecting the rights of bikers and runners — and yes, they have rights on the on the roads — is important anywhere, and especially in an urban environment such as ours.

We heard complaints from drivers that some cyclists don’t obey traffic laws, as they are required to do. We’ve all seen it happen. It’s worth knowing that Critical Mass promotes rules for safe biking, both in practice and on its website and Facebook page.


18 responses to “Critical Mass ride generates Heat — in a couple of ways

  1. I love it. I am not a bike rider and I can get really annoyed with some bike riders because they aren’t following the rules of the road. Having said that we all have to move toward talking to each other instead of finger pointing and anger – we need to reach a tipping point in our thinking about transportation and Critical Mass, along with other events, can help us get to that point if we can all, I think, find the teachable moment.

    Some people say they were late for a meeting, appointment, dinner because of Critical Mass. I have to wonder why they don’t get as angry when they miss an appointment because of traffic congestion! I think the issue is with Critical Mass is that it is something concrete to get mad at. With traffic we feel we have no control so who do we get mad at? If more people used bikes, buses or walked maybe . . .Well, I think you understand where I am going with this.

    We all need to find ways to support each other without a militant perspective from either end. Bikers HAVE TO OBEY the laws just as cars do. At the end of the day; however, it is PEDESTRIANS that have the ultimate right of way.

    *Can we have a Critical Mass-type event that includes pedestrians, bikers, HOV vehicles, electric cars, hybrid cars, etc? I think that would be a beautiful thing. :)*

    On Sat, Dec 1, 2012 at 6:36 AM, Belle Isle Blog wrote:

    > ** > belleisleblog posted: ” LeBron James’ Twitter pic from the > Critical Mass ride. Friday’s night’s Critical Mass Miami bicycle > ride generated some traffic slowdowns, but no major incidents as 1,000-plus > rid”

  2. By the time the Critical Mass riders got to my building ‘Venetian Isle Condo’ to get onto the Venetian bridge, the bikers had hogged BOTH sides of the Causeway and caused a lot of horn blowing from stuck cars. I watched from my condo window. Bikers have to obey the rules of the road if they want any respect. Most of the time, they are arrogant.

  3. Watched from Biscayne. Looked dangerous at times, as some drivers get pissed and drive thru anyway. Didn’t see any accidents, but close calls. They should tighten up the mass, or get police to block traffic.

  4. Ok LeBron or not, they claim they promote rules for safe biking. How exactly are a thousand or so riders promoting safety while running red lights and stop signs? Where, do you as a group of riders, receive the authority to break laws to stay safe? Who sanctions that or do you feel you’re entitled to take it upon yourselves as a group of bike riders?
    If you have to break laws to ride safe as a group without recourse to lawful procedures, that is borderline vigilanteism. The bigger your group becomes and you’re setting yourselves up for road rage incidents. You riders have alternative locations away from city streets otherwise each of you should pool your money or apply for sponsorship to provide yourselves a police protected sanctioned event.
    Anyone wanting to start complaints about Miami Critical Mass should start by filing a complaint with the county here:

    • Ahhh. Little baby gonna cry. Doesn’t like the bike widers widing down the street ! Better call the police before Little Baby starts crying again !!!!! LOL

      Go ahead and file all the complaints you want. It’s a futile endeavor. There’s 2000 bike riders and only 1 crybaby.

      Good luck.

      • I never said I don’t like bikes riding down the street! Where in any of my posts do I say that? Secondly, How old are you?

  5. There are over 30,000 car crashes in Miami-Dade county each year. It’s the cause of hundreds of deaths, untold millions in property damage and a drain on first-responder resources. Instead of directing your complaints at a ONCE A MONTH bicycle ride, you should direct your anger and complaints at the deplorable motoring situation that is literally killing people every single day in Miami-Dade county.

  6. And Dwyane Wade was on this ride too, along with Mario Chalmers, Gabrielle Union and Lebron James.

  7. The bottom line is that the bicyclists are breaking the law:

    A bicycle is considered a vehicle, as is a car, defined by law, and must abide by state laws, this is not just a nuisance, but illegal. Especially when they stop in the middle of the road and block cars from moving, called CORKING, which is illegal also. I plan to report them everytime. If I decided to block the road with my car, or drive in the bicycle lane, I would expect the same repercussions. I ride a bicycle and abide by all laws, including stopping at red lights and yielding to pedestrians.

    If you choose to break the law, don’t complain when an angry driver takes it upon one of the bicyclists and get in a “driving match”, as they break the law also. At the end of the day, the Car will always win. Isn’t this the MAIN reason why they added bike lane’s on the Venetian? so they can stay in the lane and can share the road with drivers? People need to start banning against critical mass and force them to abide by the rules also

  8. Really James, find something more productive to do with your time than incessantly ranting about a once a month bicycle ride that goes through some red lights for 10 minutes to keep the group moving. If traffic flow is your main concern, than this is much more expedient than having 2,000 people legally stop at every red light.

    By the way, drivers incessantly break the law also.

  9. Really Craig, focus on the topic rather than ranting about what else happens on the streets of Dade county! You seem to be ok with a bunch of riders taking the law into their own hands one night of the month. Wrong is wrong, period! What part of that don’t you understand?

  10. Dominic Benchilio

    If these comments are representative of the kind of critical thinking capable of Dade County voters…..well, I think we found our problem. The fact that you’re all entrenched in your “opinions” shows that you’re all completely wrong. As is true with most of our problems, this issue is very complex and requires serious contemplation, something – as stated before – you all are clearly not capable of.

  11. Craig, the time it took the whole bike crowd to pass thru 17th street and Alton Rd was ONE HOUR. Seriously, how could you think it was ten minutes? and to say, drivers break the law so it’s ok that the bikes go thru an hour worth of light changes on a friday night when people are trying to get home? Come on, you know it’s not right to say if one person breaks the law others can too.

    And for the City to participate and block traffic for a group that has no permit and is not paying for police, is just crazy. Miami Beach residents pay a lot of taxes to not have to wait an hour at a light to get home. It’s not whether or not these rides should or shouldn’t happen, it’s how you go about interacting with the rest of the city residents. Geezus, just stop the dumb bike riders at red lites like everyone else in America has to do.

  12. Close – It was not an hour.I have ridden in this ride for years, and the videos prove it. Here is a video from North Bay Village…it took about 12 minutes for the group to come through intersections. The cops are trailing the ride at the end.

    • It was approximatly one hour from beginging to end here on Venetian Causeway next to the bridge. And they took both sides of the road and all the cars were blowing horns and trying to get through.

  13. Director Sportif

    Think of the Critical Mass ride as a parade, held once a month, on Friday eve, after most folks are home from work. All are invited to participate, and it is free. The route is published so all can plan for it. Miami proubdly hosts many such traffic snarling events (eg, ING Marathon, Ironman Triathlon, Corporate Run, Coconut Grove Art Festival, Boat Show), not to mention the occasional road consuming celebrations — eg, when the Heat and Marlins won their respective championships. It is part of the reason we love to live in this community and so many tourists crave to vacation here, even if it means an occasional delay in getting from one place to another. Instead of complaining about it, try it. You might have fun

    • You are an idiot. Yes the city makes plans like the Ironman and the police direct traffic via detours. These morons on bikes are asking for someone to run them over in a fit of rage because they want to break laws.

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