Cycling

Critical Mass Criss-Crosses Calle Ocho Tonight: Here's How to Join the Ride, or Avoid It

It's that time again: when Miamians either don their spandex or their driving gloves, dust off their fixies or rent a Ferrari.

Critical Mass is back. Tonight, Miami's monthly bike ride will be carving a massive figure eight across Little Havana.

If you want to participate in the peloton, show up at Government Center at 6:30 p.m. If not, here are a few neighborhoods you might want to avoid.

See also: Critical Mass: It's Time for Miami Police and Motorists to Respect Bike Riders

It's been a mixed month for Miami bikers. Carlos Bertonatti, the aspiring pop star who drunkenly hit and killed Christopher Le Canne back in 2010, was sentenced to 12 years in prison on September 12.

Meanwhile, friends and family of another slain biker -- Aaron Cohen -- rallied in Tallahassee two days earlier for increased penalties on drivers who leave the scene of an accident.

Cohen was killed by Michele Traverso in 2012. Cops believed Traverso had been drinking before he hit Cohen on the Rickenbacker Causeway, but by the time they found Traverso the next day, it was too late to test his blood for alcohol.

Both cases are a reminder to be careful tonight, whether you're driving or pedaling.

Here is the route for this edition of Critical Mass, courtesy of The Miami Bike Scene. Tonight's ride is a 13.3-mile figure eight through Riverside, Little Havana, Coral Gables, Shenandoah, Allapattah, Overtown, and Downtown:

And here is a list of directions, in case you get lost or fall behind:

Remember to bring bike lights, leave the boozing until after the ride, and listen to Critical Mass organizers with flags and whistles.

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.