Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Biker group's 'Queer Mass' is slow ride to raise awareness, acceptance

TAMPA — Local cyclists are a diverse community — not just the stereotypical weekend warriors clad in spandex.

To tout their many shades and to advocate for openness, riders of all types will hop on beach cruisers, fixed gears, mountain bikes and more Sunday, as part of Tampa's first "Queer Mass."

The slow moving ride will be modeled after a "critical mass," in which a group of riders take over a lane of traffic. The idea is to raise awareness, letting cars know that cyclists have the right to be on the road.

Queer Mass, however has a more focused aim: gathering people from the gay, bisexual, transgendered and lesbian communities, along with supporters, to let them know that there is a place for them among cyclists.

"It is about accepting everyone but also about creating a specifically queer positive space," says event organizer Seven Mitchell.

Keith Sherwood of Tampa Heights has a bike but only takes it out once or twice a month. He says he's never been on an organized ride before but plans on attending the Queer Mass.

"I think it's a great idea," he said. "A queer positive ride, without being a protest. It helps the sense of community."

Riders will meet at Tampa Bike Co-op Space, 2512 Silver Lake Ave., and leave at 6:30 p.m. Cyclists will snake through downtown, into Channelside, Ybor and back.

Members of the Tampa Bike Co-op meet monthly and host bicycle repair workshops. The group wants to give more people access to cycling by teaching them how to repair their own bikes.

Mitchell, a graduate student in anthropology at the University of South Florida, has been active in the Tampa bicycle community for nearly two years and is a regular at the co-op. He says the ride is open to anyone who is pro-equality.

"I want this to be about acceptance," he said. "It's bigger than just sexuality."

Joshua Neiderer can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3374.

Biker group's 'Queer Mass' is slow ride to raise awareness, acceptance 04/23/09 [Last modified: Thursday, April 23, 2009 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump awards Medal of Honor to Vietnam-era Army medic (w/video)


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday turned a Medal of Honor ceremony for a Vietnam-era Army medic who risked his life to help wounded comrades into a mini homework tutorial for the boy and girl who came to watch their grandfather be enshrined "into the history of our nation."

    WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 23:  Retired U.S. Army Capt. Gary Rose (L) receives a standing ovation after being awarded the Medal of Honor by U.S. President Donald Trump during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House October 23, 2017 in Washington, DC. Rose, 69, is being recognized for risking his life while serving as a medic with the 5th Special Force Group and the Military Assistance Command Studies and Observations Group during ‘Operation Tailwind’ in September 1970. Ignoring his own injuries, Rose helped treat 50 soldiers over four days when his unit joined local fighters to attack North Vietnamese forces in Laos - officially off limits for combat at the time.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) 775062921
  2. Long day of diplomacy: Tillerson visits Afghanistan, Iraq


    BAGHDAD — Far from the Washington murmurs about his future, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson traveled to two of America's enduring war zones Monday, prodding leaders in Afghanistan and Iraq to reach out to longtime rivals.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, center, speaks Monday at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, accompanied by Gen. John Nicholson, left, and Special Charge d’Affaires Amb. Hugo Llorens.
  3. Head-on crash kills Wesley Chapel teacher and Zephyrhills man


    TAMPA — Two men, including a high school math teacher, were killed Monday in a head-on crash on Morris Bridge Road, deputies said.

  4. Pinellas sees slight increase in black and first-year teachers


    A year after the Pinellas County school district was chastised in a state report for clustering inexperienced teachers in the state's most struggling schools, the district has reported a first look at its teacher corps.

    The Pinellas County school district has taken a first look at first-year teachers in struggling schools and minority hiring, both of which ticked slightly upward.
  5. Editorial: Trump owes apology to fallen soldier's Miami family


    There is no more sacred, solemn role for a president than to comfort grieving family members of soldiers who have given their lives in service of their country. Those calls cannot be easy, and some presidents are better at it than others. Yet President Donald Trump and his administration continue to engage in a …