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The other day my carefree, fun-loving, anything-goes sister-in-law, Mercy, invited us to join her at “Critical Mass” — a world-wide flash mob biking event which takes place the last Friday of every month — not only here in Miami, but in many other cities in the US as well as other countries.

We met up with our group at the City of Miami Government Center in Downtown Miami. There, we joined an estimated 2,000 riders for a ride that would eventually snake through Downtown Miami, Little Havana, Coral Gables, Brickell Avenue and back.

These Critical Mass events are not officially sanctioned by the city. As such, there isn’t a police escort controlling the traffic or the streets. The thrill of the ride lies precisely in this point. The rides are never the same. The abundant riders overwhelm street lanes, and no car traffic can get through.  As the mass crosses red light intersections, “corkers” help maintain the cohesiveness of the group by stopping traffic and protecting the mass from cars. The best thing about it? No experience necessary. No fancy bikes necessary.

We rode along bikers, unicyclists, tricyclists, skate boarders, and inline skaters for our 13 mile ride. As our mass filled the streets, people walked out of their homes, restaurants and businesses to clap and cheer as we passed. I can’t recall the last time I was among such a carefree, bohemian, and mostly sober, bunch — and on bikes, no less!

When we reached the finish point, hundreds and hundreds of celebratory participants spilled to the streets and crowded into the bars that line those narrow streets. It reminded me of the Mardi Gras and Gator Growl parties of my youth.   😉

Here is a link to Critical Mass events in  your city/country.