Broward News

Critical Mass Fort Lauderdale Is Happening Tonight: Here's How to Join the Ride and Avoid Trouble

Critical Mass Fort Lauderdale is back and running tonight, and while joining in on the ride is a fun and cool way to take part of the community, it's also seen its share of problems.

Particularly during the past few Critical Masses, when a cop tackled a cyclist and another officer allegedly knocked a rider off his bike with his motorcycle.

Naturally, the Critical Mass peeps want to avoid this kind of thing and bring things back to their rightful chill vibe.

Tonight's ride is scheduled to start at 7 at the War Memorial Auditorium, located at 800 NE Eighth St.

There's been some confusion about Critical Mass' route lately, particularly last month's event, where the incorrect route was posted online and the actual route wasn't posted until closer to riding time.

So if you're planning to attend, make sure you're at the War Memorial at 7, and then just follow the rest of the group. The ride usually covers about 14 miles or so at 12 miles per hour, rounding back to the original meeting spot.

The important thing to remember is that this isn't a race, nor is it a gathering to rail against the man.

It's a bike ride with lots of people who love bike riding and who want to promote and celebrate bike riding safety. Critical Masses are about promoting safety, particularly in South Florida, where bike accidents happen pretty frequently and where drivers and cyclists have a history of not liking each other very much.

So, it's important to keep in mind that there are rules involved in being a part of the fun.

Some of the key rules -- outside of basic common sense -- include not overriding the group by sticking to the pace, wearing no headphones, making sure your bike has the proper safety lights (per Florida law), communicating with your fellow riders (if you're gonna pass someone, give them a holler), and if you need to stop for any reason, making sure you pull off away from the rest of the cyclists.

Here's a handy-dandy list of current Florida bicycle laws.

Being a part of Critical Mass means you're there to promote safety, which isn't always the case.

If you're still wondering about the route, the best thing to do would be to check the group's Facebook page as the time approaches. (We'll update this post with any new info as soon as we get it.)

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph