Issue #47 of Momentum Magazine features a spotlight article on greater Miami (City of Miami and Miami Beach), written by local freelance journalist and green mobility advocate Dina Weinstein. In the article we get a fly-by look at the cycling core of the city, as well as a smattering of voices highlighting the various issues facing the south Florida cycling community as we go through our growing pains.
Overall I liked the article; short and sweet, it has a very upbeat tone that touches upon our constant battles but doesn’t miss the fact that Miami is a great place to ride a bike.
I actually pitched to write this article when it was announced to the Momentum writers, and when it was given to Dina, I ended up chatting with her for about an hour about cycling in Miami Beach. Though none of my actual quotes made it in, I can see some of the subjects we touched upon scattered about, and brought to attention by quotes from people far more in positions to speak with authority than I. Which is to say I am glad that it was to Dina that I lost the assignment, and she did an awesome job.
Slow Bike Miami gets a mention in the calendar of cycling activities at the end of the feature, and sadly, that’s where I spotted a factual error, as it lists us as organizers of leisurely weekend rides, which we do not organize formally. Slow Bike Miami is all about sharing our journey on two wheels in the greater Miami area.
If you arrived here via the Momentum feature, please accept our apologies for the misunderstanding. Though know that you can certainly find weekend rides on Miami Beach once a month with the Miami Beach Bicycle Center, as well as others organized by Emerge Miami, the South Florida Bike Coalition, etc., the info for which is all provided on the article itself.
I’ve already mentioned that one of my favorite bicycling blogs is Copenhagenize.com by Mikael Colville-Andersen. Do a Google search for “bicycle blog” and you’ll see it right on the first page, which is how my wife and I found it when we first started getting into bikes. Not only has it spawned a spin-off, Copenhagen Cycle Chic, it has also inspired an entire following of blogs based on the same idea, showcasing and promoting regular bicycling in their cities: Amsterdamize.com, Portlandize.com, NewAmsterdamize.com, etc. Mikael writes that he wants to Copenhagenize the planet, and he’s well on his way.
I want to make Miami the next stop on that wave of change, and I need your help.
On Saturday, November 7, Miami Beach hosted a 13-hour long, cultural extravaganza called Sleepless Night which featured over 100 different events in stages scattered all around the city. The event premiered in 2007, and had to take a hiatus last year due to the bad economic climate. We missed 2007′s Sleepless Night, but 2009′s was going to be our playground. And the best way to enjoy a festival scattered over a 13-mile long city was by bike.
I set up a Sleepless Night Slow Bike Meetup to encourage people to bring their bikes to the event. Though it wasn’t going to be a ride (given how many events there were, it would’ve been unfair to force people to follow a set route), anyone that wanted to ride along as we headed down to South Beach from Normandy Isle was welcomed to do so. Unfortunately, I was late to the meetup point (which teaches me that an hour after the end of Shabbat is not enough time to get everything prepped up, so I know for the next one) and only met up with the two friends that came along with us, Diana and Anymir, and Daniel from the Dolce Vita Bicycling Group, who joined us as well. Later I would find out there was indeed a member of the Slow Bike Meetup group there (hello, Olga), and we just missed each other (again, a lesson for the next meetup). At 8:15 PM the five of us headed down to South Beach.
Since my post last week on Critical Mass, I’ve spent all my time addressing comments and none writing new posts. It’s been great, because I believe we’ve had a good and civil conversation, something that definitely needs to happen often, but it’s also been very draining at times. Couple that with a move to a new apartment, and it just makes for a very tired blogger.
Yesterday I checked my Twitter feed and I saw a tweet from @YanielCantelar that read, “@Highmoon this blog post is for you! http://bit.ly/2rutYv.” Yaniel is a cyclist that lives down in south Miami-Dade and whom I started following via the @BikeMiami account. He normally rides a road bike and does time-trial/speed riding, posting on his blog photos and videos taken with his iPhone, and cool graphs put together by his Garmin unit. While this isn’t the type of riding I do, I enjoy connecting with other cyclists in the city. Obviously I was curious about Yaniel’s tweet, so I clicked.
Yaniel’s post is entitled “Slow Bike Westchester,” where he blogs about having gone out on his Regions Bank green cruiser to take a ride around his neighborhood just for the fun of it. No Lycra jersey, no clipless pedals, no time to beat, just riding, cruising. And he enjoyed it thoroughly.
After a week of heavy conversation on the CM thread and other forums, Yaniel’s post lifted my spirits and brought a smile to my face.
Rock on, Yaniel, and keep slow bicycling every so often. Your road bike won’t be jealous, I promise.
Sleepless Night, Miami Beach’s city-wide, all-night-long art festival, is coming on November 7, starting at 6 PM, and with it a perfect opportunity to ride your bike all up and down the Beach, enjoying all the artistic events going on. This is precisely what my wife and I had planned to do; though daytime temps in Miami are still in the 90s, at night it cools down to a very nice mid-70s, especially the closer you get to the beach, making it a perfect time to ride relaxed, and in full cyclechic fashion.
It then occurred to me that there might be others that would enjoy riding their bikes during Sleepless Night, so I decided to use my powers as South Florida Slow Bike Movement group assistant organizer to put together a meetup that night.
It won’t be a bike ride per se, but rather a meetup to greet the night and then take off on our bikes. There are over 100 events going on that night all over the 13 miles of Miami Beach and it wouldn’t be fair to force people into a bike ride schedule. Besides, as much as I love organized chilled out rides, I’m far more interested in getting people bicycling around as their normal way of transportation.
I’m very excited about this meetup, if only because it will be the first time I’m organizing anything, though meeting other slow bicyclists will be pretty cool as well. Next step, organizing an actual ride. That will have to wait until we have finished our move to South Beach.
You can also find the Miami Beach Sleepless Night Meetup on Facebook.
There’s quite a few bicycling groups in South Florida catering to everyone from Lycra speedsters to the Critical Mass-ers. Now there is also one for the slow bicyclists!
Allow me to introduce the South Florida Slow Bike Movement group on Meetup.com.
The news that a cold front was coming into Miami spread like wildfire all throughout Saturday. Indeed, once it rained in the afternoon, everyone readied their sweaters and jackets, waiting for the tiniest bit of semi-cold air to hit. Saturday night it was very nice, but Sunday morning it was just brilliant; the temperature was in the upper 60s, the sky covered in white puffy clouds, and the wind definitely nippy: Autumn had finally arrived in South Florida. I had to get up early anyway to attend a Bar Mitzvah, so I decided to head out about an hour before to ride around a bit. Miami Beach just recently inaugurated the new North Beach Recreational Corridor (NBRC), so there I headed.
The saga of shopping for a new bike is now done with; the winner was chosen, ordered and has now arrived! As today is my birthday, what better time to make introductions.
Ladies and gents, meet Amsterdam!
There are a lot of cycling magazines on newsstands–Bicycling, Velo News, Mountain Bike, Road Bike, Cycle Sport, Cyclocross, BMX Sport, etc–covering pretty much every single angle of bicycling possible, as long as it treats the bike as a sports/specialty machine. In the last issue of Bicycling Magazine there was only one article geared towards commuter bicyclists, a list of tips for an easy commute which amounted to about 2/3 of a page, the rest filled with ads and pictures. The slow bicyclists are simply underserved in the print media dept, and that’s where The Practical Pedal comes in. Read more…
Each presents news, commentary and photos on the subject, and even though none are local to Miami or Florida (those are coming in a later post), they are useful in the information they present and the sense of community that can be fostered with slow bicyclists all over the world.
If you have some favorites of your own, do let me know in the comments. Enjoy.
Marc lives in that cycling wonderland that is Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and he “won’t take his city and its cycling extravaganza for granted anymore.” The posts are frequent and range from slice-of-life accounts of cycling Amsterdam, news, and gorgeous photos. This is arguably my favorite cycling blog, so I highly recommend it.
Copenhagenize is, as far as I know, the pioneer of the slow bicycling blogs, setting the standard that even led Amsterdamize to be created (and other City-ized blogs as well). Mikael offers snapshots of cycling life in Denmark, and commentary and news from all over the world dealing with slow bicycling and sustainable practices. Though there are photos on this blog, Mikael has taken that to an art form and to a different blog altogether.
Mikael has a blog entirely dedicated to photos of cycle chic, people riding their bikes in regular clothes, sometimes really nice clothes, and doing normal things. Mikael is a photographer, so even the hastily snapped shots while riding look great, let alone those he has time to set up. Wanna see that women can ride in skirts and high heels? That men can ride in suits? That couples can hold hands as they ride? This is the place.
I just found this blog via Twitter about two weeks ago and it has quickly shot to the top of my list. Trisha (in Nashville) and Dottie (in Chicago) ride their bikes in their cities to do regular things, and they do it in skirts and sometimes full makeup. The blog offers commentary from both members, snapshots of cycling life in the two cities, photos of riders, their bikes, and themselves riding the bikes (and they have beautiful bikes), and news of the cycling life in the US, which is a very different thing from cycling life in Europe.
The headquarters for The Slow Bicycle Movement, started by Copenhagenize and now spread all over the world. The posts are infrequent and they include stories, photos and videos of slow riding and the general enjoyment of life by taking things a bit slow.