Oh, Cool, Critical Mass Is Gonna Ruin Traffic Again

Today is the last Friday in July, which means one of two things: You're a committed Masshole prepping for tonight's meandering ride through town, or you're dreading getting stuck for a half-hour on the Venetian Causeway because a parade of hooting Critical Mass bicyclists is streaming across the road.

Traffic-wise, tonight's route is a doozy: As always, the ride begins at Government Center at 7:15 p.m. and consists of a 20-mile loop — north through Wynwood and Little Haiti, east onto the JFK Causeway, and then south on Collins Avenue before looping back toward the Venetian Causeway. These are, of course, some of the most congested areas in the county on a good day:
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Friday, July 26! Meet up at Government Center at 6:30pm, pedals up 7:15pm 20 mile bicycle ride thru Historic Overtown, Wynwood, Little Haiti, Upper East Side, North Bay Village, North Beach, Miami Beach, Venetian Islands, and Downtown Miami. City of Miami Police will NOT be on this ride, please follow the few riders with orange flags . Ride at your own risk. Riders are solely responsible for their actions. The roads are not closed or blocked off to motorists Bring front and rear bike lights. Slower riders should start towards the front. Don’t have a bike? Rent a bike from @themiamibikeshop @citibikemiami @brickellbikes Look for @magiccitybike at Government Center before the ride starts for any minor bike repairs and FREE air in your tires. Hope to see everyone there! #miamibikescene

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Unlike some other Critical Mass rides, tonight's route won't have a police escort, so if you do take part in the action, use extra caution. That's not a suggestion to be taken lightly: Florida has been the most dangerous state in America for cyclists for many years and, in 2018, per the Orlando Sentinel, led the nation in bike deaths once again. In 2016, New Times published a long-form feature about the abysmal state of bike-safety regulations in Florida. In the years since, very little has changed.
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Jerry Iannelli is a former staff writer for Miami New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.