Critical Mass Key Weird.
meet 530pm, White Street Pier. Last Friday of the Month
I basically just copied the below from the Miami Bike Scene website. i pretty agree 100%! I would also suggest watching the Ted White film, We Are Traffic!. I am told there is a copy at the Library on Fleming Street. Watch it, it is amazing! The DVD has a few other films too, including Return of the Scorcher which is also a must see.
A critmass ride has been very slow to grow here. We’ll have a few in a row with dozens of people and then none for months….or years. It seems a ride only happens when at least two or three or more people are actively talking it up month after month day after day. I’ve gone down to the pier a few times to find no one except the people i came with, and that ain’t a mass! Its a rush to the end of happy hour and that’s about it.
Participants are to keep a moderate pace & ride safely. The ride keeps getting larger and is beginning to stretch out, it’s very important that the group stays together and closes any gaps, it makes corking easier and the ride much smoother for cyclists, motorists and pedestrians alike. The average speed is ideally 10-15mph.Cyclists ride at their own risk and assume responsibility for their own safety!Critical Mass Key West is not an “us vs. them” ride, it is not anti-car, it is not a protest ride, this is a ride that celebrates bicycles, encourages cycling & reminds drivers that they must share the road. There are a lot of new riders who just recently joined the group and we need to remind them of this. This is supposed to be a fun ride, you’re encouraged to smile, wave at passerby’s, ring your bells & have a good time.
Critical Mass Key West is composed of all types of individuals, folks with dissimilar reasons for riding a bicycle, contrasting political opinions and different styles of bikes, yet for one or two hours on the last Friday of the month they all come together for one common cause.. to celebrate cycling & to take back the streets. The group typically police themselves, leaving 1-lane open to traffic when circumstances permit, but as expected this is not always ideal as it sometimes gives impatient drivers the opportunity to weave around the group at dangerously fast speeds.Avoid any altercations with drivers or pedestrians, if an irate driver honks or yells at you simply ignore them or just smile and say “thank you” and/or wish them a “Happy Friday”. Maybe ask them to join us the following month?Do not tap, touch or spit on any motorists’ vehicles. Those corking should also not get too close to cars, if your safety ever feels threatened by a reckless driver get the license plate number of the vehicle, alert the proper authorities and immediately warn other members on the ride.
Critical Mass Key West has been very tame, there’s been little to no altercations aside from the occasional tap on the horn from an impatient motorist. I can honestly say the majority of people honking are cheering us on, same goes with pedestrians hollering from the sidewalks, I believe the mere sight of an abundance of bicycles on the streets of Miami excites them, it’s a beautiful thing. On the contrary, the sight of motorists cooped up in steel boxes, isolating themselves from their surroundings while reducing the quality of air.. not so appealing, eh?I pose a question to those who don’t like the idea of corking and/or just share a common disdain for Critical Mass in general. Have you ever considered how much traffic a really large group of cyclists could back up if they didn’t cork intersections? I’m estimating they can possibly back traffic up for close to an hour in some areas, not just 4-5 minutes as they presently do. That is, obeying all traffic laws, riding two abreast, stopping at red lights, no corking etc. Chew on that for a bit.Below is a tutorial illustrating “How to cork”. Only experienced cyclists should volunteer to cork.
A few general safety tips..
Stopping: If you must stop to check your bike, phone, gear etc please move over to the sidewalk when it’s clear. Do not stop abruptly in the middle of the street with the mass behind you. You will more than likely cause a cyclist to hit you and/or swerve and hit someone else.
Passing: A passing cyclist is responsible for the safety of the cyclist that is being passed. When passing ring a bell and/or say “on your left”.
Safety Lights: Front & rear lights are required by law in the State of Florida and just common sense.
Always perform an “ABC Quick” Bike Check to ensure that your
bike is in safe working order.