At this month's Critical Mass in Fort Lauderdale, there seemed to be more police present than cyclists. Cops on bikes, in cars, and mounted atop horses showed up at Holiday Park to herd several hundred riders along their group ride on Friday. Even (and oddly enough) park rangers were present.
Close to 8 p.m., one officer laid down the ground rules through a megaphone: Biking sober, obeying all traffic laws, and putting helmets on kids were expected. About 500 cyclists applauded and cheered in response.
It was a surprising reaction given what happened last month. May marked the first time that FLPD assisted with Critical Mass, which takes place in about 300 cities across the globe, and it was also the first time conflict occurred at the event. Dan Littell was tackled by an officer, and Rahim Benjamin says a police motorcycle rammed him on purpose.