Short-Notice Event: “Critical Manners” comes to Tampa

Sorry about the short notice on this one…got the announcement last Saturday but didn’t have time to put it up ’til just now. Elizabeth Holland, Tampa-area advocate behind this alternative to Critical Mass, shares the following information:

The first ever “TAMPA CRITICAL MANNERS RIDE” is set for Wednesday at 5:15 PM with the following meet-up spots:

— University of South Florida at Pine and Alumni Dr. – the parking lot across from the Botanical Gardens.
— Downtown Tampa at Curtis Hixon Park, Ashley and Zack St.) This ride is point to point. It ends at Sligh and 30th (or peel off to your house or favorite watering hole along the way…maybe the Refinery, Independent or other Seminole Heights favorite.) We hope to get a good group leaving downtown.

We are also looking for volunteers to lead 30-minute rides from other locations. Rides can be point to point OR out and back.

The purpose of these rides is to improve the VISIBILITY of cyclists on our streets by engaging in safe, sane interactions with drivers. Coexistence! We will be law-abiding and friendly. Please have appropriate lights, helmets and wear reflective clothing, if possible.

I might just be able to meet up with the downtown group — if so, I’ll bring my camera and document what I can. Perhaps I’ll see some of you there?


  1. Donald Hayward

    Interesting, and I will be at the USF one!

    Though I have to say, the name seems a bit off-putting for those of us who are fans of Critical Mass. It reminds me of little old nuns with rulers… ah, grade school.

  2. Ghost Rider

    @Donny — yeah, that name rankles a few people. I’ve heard such rides be referred to as “Courteous Mass”, which I prefer (and have used in the past, even for the Critical Mass rides here in Tampa before they fizzled out).

    The reasoning is sound, though — less hooliganism and more demonstration to motorists that WE know how to share the road in the proper way.

  3. Doug Jesseph

    Damn! I think I’ve got a conflict that will keep me from the USF ride. It’s possible that I can re-arrange my schedule to make it, but I’m not sure.

  4. Terry Bruce

    sounds a lot like our flock of cycles rides in Pittsburgh. we usually get 4 or 5 times the number of riders as our critical mass rides. we had about 45 riders for the November ride for light up night.

  5. Ghost Rider

    Terry, can you describe motorists’ reactions to these types of rides?

    My experience with the Critical Mass rides here in Tampa is that they weren’t “edgy” enough for most participants, and the numbers dwindled over the course of several months. The remaining participants chose to ride in a far more courteous manner (corking intersections only when absolutely necessary, and with friendly waves). Motorist reaction was surprisingly positive, even in a bike-unfriendly city like Tampa — we got lots of honks and waves and “right on” shouted from open windows.

    I hope this new flavor catches on around here!

  6. BicycleBash

    Folks, don’t get too caught up with the name of the ride — the intent and purpose of the ride is tremendous. Show motorists we’re visible and we’re cooperative in driving the roads with them. I’m not here to pick a fight with motorists but I do plan to exercise my right to the road at rush-hour and at all hours.

  7. Ghost Rider

    The meeting location listed for the downtown ride has been revised — the group will be meeting at the new Curtis Hixon Park next to the art museum.

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