Miami Critical Mass safety awareness event draws thousands

Event in downtown Miami helps bring awareness to cycle safety

MIAMI - Thousands attended the Miami Critical Mass safety awareness event held in downtown Miami to help bring awareness to cycle safety.

The event drew about 3,000 cyclists on Northwest 1st Street, and for as far as the eye could see east of Northwest 2nd Avenue.

"Mass transit has to move to the bicycle," said Frank Vega. "It's great for your heart. It's a great way to get around."

Safety was on the minds, too, of Miami police, who kept watch over the crowd, to keep the peace and respond to any major accidents.

The officers were not citing or stopping the cyclists from breaking the law of not sharing the road with some pretty upset drivers.

Police told Local 10's Baron James that Critical Mass, which has grown from a handful of members since its founding in 2006, had no event permit and that the ride is not sanctioned by the city.

"It's a little bit difficult but usually when a driver sees about 3,000 riders the driver tends to slow down, which is part of the awareness cyclists are here," said Critical Mass member Albert David. "They have a right to the road."

Still, according to Critical Mass' website, they do encourage cyclists to follow the group's many critical safety tips and rules, which does not include riding in the middle of the road.

But like with any party with a purpose, some said things can get out of hand.

"I've seen accident happen. Some riders, they make it into a race event," said one person. "They do something they shouldn't be doing, like consuming alcohol and other things they shouldn't be doing."

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