My blue Electra Townie bike has been stolen from the back of my apartment building in Miami Beach at Meridian Avenue and 10th Street. It happened at some point over the last week-and-a-half while I was away in New York, so at some point between August 1-12.
The bike is a metallic blue 7-speed Townie, made by Electra, and was purchased at Miami Beach Bicycle Center. It has a leather saddle with the Om symbol (?) on it, and leather handles. It has fenders, a basket on the front and a Townie rear rack. It bears the stamped seal of the Miami Beach Bicycle Center on the frame, underneath where the pedals connect, has a I Bike Miami sticker on the chainguard, and a faded People For Bikes sticker above the Electra medal on the front.
Here’s a pic of the basic model.
Any info, please email me at Daniel AT dmperez.com.
Well, it finally happened: today I sold my car. I am now officially car-free.
I’ll admit it is somewhat bittersweet. This is the third car I’ve owned, and though I’ve never been a guy who friggin loves his car, I did like it the way a carpenter likes a really good hammer. Miami is a sprawl of a city, so a car is extremely convenient when you have to move around from one end to the other, like I had to when I was attending pre-nursing classes and working at FIU. It gave me mobility at my convenience, which is ultimately the purpose of a car.
But it had been failing for a while now. I simply did not have the money to do the proper upkeep it needed, and even so this green bastard kept chugging along for 16 years and over 150,000 miles. But when the brakes failed the first week of January, I knew that was it. The cost to repair it was just too much, not to mention the related costs like parking, insurance and gas. It simply did not make sense for me to have it anymore, especially since both school and the hospital, the two places I attend on a daily basis, are no more than a bus ride away. That I kept it around for four months after realizing all this was simply melancholy.
I got a pittance for it, I know. But it’s cash in my pocket instead of cash going out to pay for repairs that won’t extend the life of the car for more than one extra year. The cash I got will go to pay for my student transit cards for the rest of the year, so at least the car, in a way, is still gonna be helping me to move around.
I’m writing a whole lot about a car that I just said I did not love.
Goodbye, trusty Camry, you green beast.
In 2010 I resolved to go car-lite, then car-free if possible. Fast forward two years and without me noticing, I ended up fulfilling that goal!
I wrote about it on my nursing blog, if you’re interested to learn more.
In Miami we need external cues to mark the change of seasons. I personally use beers: once the seasonal selection changes at the store, I know we’ve moved on. It is now Autumn according to this calendar.
Which is awesome, because Fall is my favorite season of the year. Not that we get much a change in weather in Miami, mind you; it is still hot here, with daily temps in the upper-80s/low-90s. But the breeze has changed a bit, and as October rolls in we will see some cooler climates arrive (read: temps in the 70s).
That means bike season is here. While the northerners have been enjoying their Summer out on their bikes, we’ve had to deal with 100°+ days and daily summer storms; hardly the best outdoor weather. But with Fall arriving, more and more people will venture out on two wheels and that’s fantastic.
I know I’ve been remiss in riding my bike during the Summer months. I asked forgiveness of my bike and promised to take it out for rides a lot more from now on. You should too. Welcome to Autumn, bike season.
After about a month convalescing in our living room, Willow is back up and running thanks to the fine folk at Miami Beach Bicycle Center. We couldn’t get the tulip seat as that was a limited edition a couple of years back, nor the cream colored tires as they’re out of stock until November, so we opted to put the regular black tires and leather seat common to all Amsterdam models. After a quick adjustment of the rear wheel, Yvette and Willow were ready to ride once more!
I am livid. My wife’s beautiful Electra Amsterdam bike, Willow, has been savagely vandalized in our very own building and I want nothing more than to get the culprits to pay for what they did.
How did this happen?
I’ll admit it, I’m getting that want-a-new-bike itch once more.
As much as I love my Townie (and I really do), I very much miss my Amsterdam Dutch-style bike. Recently I have seen a Dutch-style city bikes around South Beach made by Republic. Their Plato bikes, the name of their oma-style, are stylish and practical and just beautiful to look at. Last week or so, I saw on Twitter that Republic had teamed up with CB2 to create two models exclusive to the store built on the Plato design. They have arrived and I had a chance to see them in person this weekend.
This is the Abuela model (oma means grandmother in Dutch, same as abuela in Spanish), their “women’s” bike. More correctly, it is their step-through model, with the Abuelo being the more traditional diamond-frame model. In Holland, both bike models are unisex, something we still need to inculcate to the customer base here in the US.
That aside, there are reasons why I’m feeling more attracted to the step-through but I won’t go into that now. For now, I’m just gonna look at it and keep thinking, pondering, trying to hold myself from scratching that want-a-new-bike itch until I know that it’s not just a passing whim.
I got tipped to this story by a reader via the Contact Form on this site. The video is so hilarious that even if I don’t celebrate Christmas, it is worth sharing simply for the sheer fun of it.
What do 28 Santas and 2 reindeers look like on London city-share bicycles? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Read the whole story over at FreshNetworks: Social Santas and Christmas fun.
A fantastic new online tool has gone live today: Miami Bike Report.
This is a website with a real-time database that can be updated by users via text, email, Twitter or directly on the site, providing a map of South Florida showing where things like blocked bike lanes can be found, road hazards are present or collisions have happened. In short, it’s a living repository of cycling/road information about South Florida updated by the very people on the streets.
This is huge. For people riding their bicycles, it means they can see where trouble spots are found along their planned travel routes. For advocates, they can see areas that deserve special attention for whatever reason. For law-enforcement, they can see places where they should maybe take a look and ensure all is kosher. For city planners, they can see the areas that they should be paying more attention to based on the actual use feedback.
Literally, this has the potential to be the most useful tool available to bicycling/walking/urban advocates in South Florida. But if, and only if, we the people on the street, use it.
Spread the word about Miami Bike Report and the ways in which it can be updated with reports from the streets. That is the only way in which this will truly be useful and hopefully lead to improvements in our various cities.
Find Miami Bike Report online:
- Website: miamibikereport.com
- Twitter: @miamibikereport (use hashtags #bikereport or #miamibikereport)
Kudos to the creators for their vision and hard work. You’ve got another supporter right here.
Though I’ve been back at FIU since the start of this year, it’s only now in the Fall that I’m taking a significant number of classes in the main campus down south. It was in the Graham Student Center where one morning I saw this amazing beauty (click to enlarge):
This is the FIU Cruiser, a fully restored and customized steel-framed cruiser meant to be the pride of Florida International University.
John “Jay” Stewart has spent the last couple of months creating the ultimate FIU bike. It was a labor of love for Stewart, who works in Campus Services at Modesto A. Maidique Campus. He says he wanted to give the university, where he’s worked for more than 20 years, a token of his appreciation. He spent 40 hours stripping the 1950s era replica, painting it and adding all the bells and whistles.
Let me tell you, it is a drop-dead gorgeous beauty of a bike. Check out this video for some words from the creator:
It is currently being exhibited at the Barnes & Noble @ FIU Bookstore in the Graham Student Center at FIU Modesto Maidique Campus.
I wanna see the baby roll around campus, though. I wanna see it at all FIU games and events, and I want to see it at general city and county events where it can promote the university. Like, say, the upcoming Bike Miami Day in Downtown Miami.
If you can, drop by the university to check the bike out. If you’re an FIU student or alumnus, you almost have no excuse not to.