MIAMI -

Bicyclists pledged to have a safe ride through the streets of Miami after the city's police chief criticized the monthly Critical Mass event as a traffic-snarling "mess."

Thousands of cyclists are expected to gather downtown Friday evening and ride a nearly 13-mile route through neighborhoods including Wynwood and Little Havana.

Chief Manuel Orosa held a news conference Wednesday calling on organizers to better control the ride or face potential fines.

Critical Mass rides were started in San Francisco in 1992 with the aim of reclaiming a public space for bicyclists.

In Miami, the event has drawn criticism from motorists having to wait while thousands of participants cycle by. The ride draws everyone from young families to the elderly, though it has been marred at times by rowdy cyclists.