Jun.
01
2011
The Miami Bike Zeitgeist: From Deadly to Dead Sexy

It’s happening. Can’t you feel it? It’s something I’ve felt like a cardboard sign-waving crazy person for preaching on bartops for years, but the long wait is over. This is it. Slowly, but surely, the biking prophecies are coming true.


The Bad Old Days

In the olden days (like, four years ago) going to Best Buy, flipping real estate, and carbon-copying Bright Futures scholarship drones was all it seemed Miami’s transportation culture cared about. And carting around those clones in shiny Death-Bling, like Escalades and Armadas, was the way people did it.

Not anymore.

Come Together

Crawling out of the Britto and Botox death trap that it had become in the early 2000′s, Miami’s disparate boroughs (Coconut Grove, Downtown, The Gables, South Miami, Kendall, etc.) are finally coming together. But it’s not because we built a new super-expressway (espress-whey, if you want to be Miami about it).

The frayed ends of Miami’s transportational fabric are being brought together by small coalitions of people who are fed up with a kind of traffic that can only be described as insanity-inducing. Snakes of vehicles pour out of schools, strip malls with La Carretta restaurants lodged within, and on and off expressway ramps at all hours of the day.

And at least the more centralized parts of Miami are experiencing a change in attitude towards their already sun-assaulted civilians: a bike and pedestrian friendly philosophy. We may have not gotten rid of the particular brand of driving that makes Miamians such passionate law-breakers, but we’ve put up more new bus routes and bike lanes in the last year than any decade in recent memory.

Miami Bike Scene to the Rescue

And that’s not all. Thanks to the efforts of Miami’s Bike Scene, high media exposure and attention has been brought to bike deaths at the hands of hit-and-run motorists. They also monitor for virulent Miami bike theft. Now there’s a reason to enjoy the fact that Florida is so damned flat and Miami is so persistently sunny. There’s a famous saying : “Melancholy is incompatible with biking.” And big-ups to local Rydel Deed for his huge contributions in helping organize and direct the future of Miami’s biking culture.

I’ll say this in the most vulgar way that I can: there’s nothing quite like straddling the saddle and taking a long, hard ride through the streets of Miami. There’s more to see than pink snail monuments, painted cock statues, and, again, Romero Britto art bulimia.

Bikes. Check ‘em out.

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