Currently viewing the tag: "biking"

toyride2009Sunday, December 13, 2009
7:00-7:30 AM Toy and Donation Drop off & Refreshments
7:30 AM—All Rides begin
Ponce de Leon Middle School, Coral Gables

Admission fee to ride:
$15.00 or more donation or an unwrapped, new toy or gift for children infant to17 years old, worth at least $15.00. Gift Cards are especially appreciated for the teenagers.

3 Rides:
Easy Pace Family Ride 12-16 MPH approximately 12-15 miles total—leaves at 7:45 AM
Medium Pace Ride heading north to Miami Beach, approximately 26 miles with and average speed of 18-20 Fast Pace Ride heading to Miami Beach, approximately 26 miles with an average speed of 20+ MPH

Please contact Mary Beth Garcia, Holiday Toy Ride Chair @ 305-389-5156 or mbgarcia@novations.com for additional information.

Click here for more information

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The Miami Beach Bicycle Center organizes a monthly bicycle ride (2nd Saturday) with a Miami Beach Police escort.  This is a great free event for the entire family.

601 5th street (Corner of 5th and Washington)

Miami Beach, FL 33139

Tel: 305-674-0150

Experience Level: Novice/Intermediate

Bring water and sunscreen.

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Here’s your chance to speak to an FDOT representative about the recently released Dangerous by Design report that ranked the following four metropolitan areas within Florida as the most dangerous for pedestrians in the United States.

1.         Orlando-Kissimmee, FL

2.         Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

3.         Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL

4.         Jacksonville, FL

The MPO Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee will hold their monthly meeting on Wednesday Dec. 16th on the 18th Floor (room 18-3) of the Government Center. This will be the first meeting since the Dangerous by Design report was released. Please come out and express your concerns to the FDOT representative that will be present. We need to work together with FDOT and encourage them to design complete streets that address the needs of all users and not only those of cars.  We deserve better streets.

Darlington Media Group and the Darlington Cycling Campaign produced a short video about overcoming social stigmas in order to encourage women to ride bicycles in the UK. A few months ago Scientific American reported that that best lead indicator for bikeability are women riders. As you may know, we here at Transit Miami are big fans of women on bicycles.  So check this video out ladies.  All the trendsetting women are on bicycles nowadays. We hope to see you out there on your new bicycle soon!

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Friend of Tranist Miami Kenneth Bereski was injured on Wednesday night after a green Mini Cooper convertible with dark side stripes intentionally hit him. Here’s how the incident occurred according to Ken:

It started when the guy tried to use the bike lane as a right turn lane on 16th and Alton. After honking at me to move and me pointing out that it was a bike lane, when the light turned green and I didn’t immediately move he got upset. Words were exchanged, ending with him accelerating to hit me. I swerved into another lane between cars. He followed partially, just enough to hit me and send my bike flying. He then swerved back into the turn lane to run straight through a red light to escape. The actual hit and run occurred on Alton Road and 17th street by the movie theater”

Although Ken is doing OK, he’s got an emergency room bill to pay, is unable to work, and his bike which he relies on for transportation is totaled. If caught, the driver will face battery with a motor vehicle.

If you have any information on possible suspects, please let us know.  Ken said he would be able to identify the driver.  This crime deserves a punishment.

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Government Center
101 NW First St
Downtown Miami

Our friend Rydel over at Miami Bike Scene is organizing a very special Critical Mass ride this month. This ride will be dedicated to the memory of Rodolfo Rojo, a 17 y/o who was killed by a speeding car on October 30th, 2009. Rodolfo was planning on attending his first Critical Mass (Halloween) on the date the tragedy took place. Unfortunately this young man’s life was cut short by a careless driver. Please join us on this memorial ride where we’ll be stopping by the scene of the accident, a ghost bike will be placed for Rodolfo at this location. My sincere condolences to his mother Claudia Fernandez and siblings who will be joining us on the ride.

The ride will head north on Biscayne Blvd towards Miami Shores & surrounding areas. The group will pass through Downtown, Edgewater, Design District, Little Haiti, Upper East Side and Miami Shores. 20 miles total.

Invite all your friends with bicycles. This is a night ride so please bring lights for safety!

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In what has become a sadly regular occurrence another bicyclist was killed in a hit and run accident on Monday night.  The bicyclist died on the shoulder of the road in the 15300 block of Southwest 157th Avenue.  According to the Miami Herald the unidentified victim was heading home from work when he was struck by a car heading north.  His family became concerned that he did not arrive home and went looking for him.  They found the victim unconscious on the side of the road around 8:30 p.m. Very sad, our condolences to the family of the victim.

As can be seen from the below photograph, poor road design certainly contributed to this accident.  The road design encourages speeding and has no traffic calming devices to slow down speeding cars. Please observe that there isn’t a shoulder, bike lane or sidewalk. Another fine example of how roads should not be designed.

View Larger Map

Its official folks, Miami has officially been ranked the 3rd most dangerous city in the country for pedestrians. Dangerous by Design, a report produced jointly by the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership and Transportation for America has concluded that:

The Miami metropolitan area is one of the nation’s most dangerous for pedestrians because the roads here generally have been designed to speed up — not slow down – traffic”.

Although the blame needs to be shared with the County Public Works Department (i.e. broken pedestrian signals), FDOT deserves an honorable mention for this shameful award. If they keep designing roadways, crosswalks and bike lanes like the recently completed Coral Way resurfacing project, Miami should be able to clinch #1 spot in a few years. This is pathetic at best and should be of no surprise to anyone.

You can find the full report here.

The new Big Box shopping center which opened up on South Beach seems to be very popular amongst bicyclists. I have ridden and driven by on a number of occasions and I am astonished to see the number of bicycles parked outside the entrance to new Publix on 6th Street between Lenox Avenue and Alton Road. It seems like the developers of this shopping center did not account for the fact that shoppers would come to this shopping destination by bicycle.

Today I counted 23 bicycles parked outside the entrance to Publix.  With only two bicycle racks available on 6th Street, we can all agree that this shopping center is underserved by bicycle parking. In addition to being underserved, the bicycle parking should have been placed in a safe, secure and covered location, much like the parking which is available for cars. To be fair, there are additional bicycle racks on Lenox Avenue, but they are about a block away and not utilized due to their distance from the entrance. The parked bicycles on 6th street are locked up to anything that is anchored to the ground, including trees, garbage cans, and sign posts.

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This is poor foresight by the developer of this project.  It should be of no surprise to anyone, except for the developer, that so many customers would not arrive by car. Although I did not check out the parking garage, I’m willing to bet that a large percentage of the available parking is empty.

If the developers had really understood their target market, they should have known many of the trips undertaken to the shopping center would be done by bicycle, public transportation and foot. Crosswalks in the area have seen very little improvement, and with so many elderly people living in the area, need to be enhanced to ensure their safety. Developers should share the responsibility of providing safe and secure access, not only for cars, but for actual people too.

It’s really in the developer’s best interest to have fewer people arrive by car.  Instead of allocating precious square feet to unused parking, the developers would receive a higher ROI if they could lease out commercial real estate space instead of parking. Sounds like a win-win situation for everyone.

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Thanks to Rydel for sending this along. From Miami Bike Scene:

Riders will go to 5 grocery store checkpoints and buy non-perishable food items from a checklist. There is no registration fee, the $10 goes to purchase the items. All collected goods will be donated to Camillus House at the end of the race. This is for a great cause and at the same time shines a positive spotlight on the local cycling community.

The race is tentatively 17 miles, speed is an obvious advantage but knowing your way around the city & the aisles of a supermarket can also help you significantly. This will be a very fun race, the first of it’s kind in S. Florida. These races have been going on in NYC for the past decade. This will mark our 1st annual Cranksgiving, we plan on continuing the tradition. Sponsors & flier coming soon. Start spreading the word, particularly all you “there’s never nothing to do, this city sucks” types.

If you’re a local bike shop & interested in sponsoring this event then contact me ASAP. If anyone has a connection for “fliers / spoke card laminates” email me.

Additional details, sponsors & prizes TBA.
www.miafixed.com/cranksgiving

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For us mountain biking urbanites that long for some single track every once in a while, Oleta River State Park fulfills our needs quite well.  As the largest urban state park in Florida, this patch of green space has approximately 14 miles of well maintained mountain biking trails. The trails are clearly marked and they are classified as easy, intermediate, or expert. Although fourteen miles of trail may not sound like very much to some people, let me assure you, there is enough single track to keep even the most hardy of mountain bikers occupied for a couple of hours. This man-made mountain bike park has some relatively technical trails, with even some small climbs and descents. If you are not careful you can get hurt, especially on the intermediate and expert trails.

Trail Head is Clearly Marked

Trail Head is Clearly Marked

Trails are somewhat technical in some areas

Trails are somewhat technical in some areas

Oleta River State Park is located in North Miami Beach off of  163rd Street. Unfortunately, the vast majority of mountain bikers that use this park come by car.  The bicycle infrastructure that connects to the park is virtually non-existent and the bicycle lanes that do exist on 163rd street (SR 826) are unsafe and inappropriate considering the design speed of this major thoroughfare.

Bicycle lanes on 163rd street are not physically separated and protected

Bicycle lanes on 163rd street are not physically separated and protected

A few years ago FDOT, in their never-ending quest to do the bare minimum for bicyclists, painted a couple of white lines, some bicycle symbols and put up a few “Bicycle Lane” signs on 163rd street and decided to call it a bicycle lane. For those of you that are not familiar with 163rd street it essentially a 3 lane highway. Considering that most of the vehicles traveling on this street are usually traveling above the posted speed limit of 45mph, you would think that FDOT would have designed a bicycle facility with an emphasizes on safety. Quite the opposite is true.  FDOT is in fact encouraging unsafe bicycling by including poorly designed bicycle lanes in some of their projects. If FDOT were sincere in their attempts to encourage bicycling, they would have created a physically separated and protected bicycle facility to promote bicycling on 163rd Street.

Physically separated and protected bicycle path would be safer and much more appropriate

A physically separated and protected bicycle path would be safer and much more appropriate

To make matters worse, the unsatisfactory bicycle lanes that FDOT designed on 163rd Street begin and end at the entrance of the park. In other words, the bicycle lanes do not connect from 163rd Street over the bridge to Collins Avenue, where the population density is located. There seems to be systematic choice by FDOT not to include appropriate bicycle facilities on bridges and causeways (i.e. Julia Tuttle and MacArthur Causeway).  FDOT needs to understand that they have an obligation to consider the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians and failure to do so is negligent behavior on their part.

What happened to the bicycle lane? It just disappeared.

What happened to the bicycle lane? It just disappeared.

FDOT has to play an active role and encourage bicyclists to ride to Oleta River State Park by bicycle rather then driving there. Since this is a major bicycling facility for the county, bicycle infrastructure should branch out from Oleta River State Park to encourage more bicycling to the park. The first step would be to design a proper bicycle facility for 163rd Street.

You can find more information about Oleta River State Park here.

Friday night’s  Halloween Critical Mass ride was yet another success with an estimated 300 bicyclists coming out for the event. The event was well organized without incident. For the most part pedestrians and motorists cheered us on as we cruised in costume down Calle Ocho, through Mary Brickell Village and the Design District. For a change cars were honking for us and not at us which was encouraging. Costumes that deserve an honorable mention include: Cool Runnings, the Mormons, and Rydel in fishnet stockings.

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A source close to Transit Miami has informed us that 17-year-old Rodolfo Mex Rojo was hit by a car and killed on Friday morning between 2:00am-3:00am near 113th and Biscayne Blvd. Rodolfo was riding his bicycle with a 17-year-old friend in the right hand lane and both had lights on their bicycles. Rodolfo was hit from behind by a speeding car and passed away on the spot. No word if the motorist was charged with vehicular manslaughter.  Unfortunately, incidents like this go underreported and this particular incident was not reported in the Miami Herald. Our condolences go out to the family of Rodolfo MexRojo.

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Costumes Encouraged

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The ride will be passing through Little Havana, Mary Brickell Village, Downtown, Bayside, Edgewater, Design District, Wynwood & Midtown. 17.5 miles total.

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Here’s a link to the route. On Bikely you can follow the route point by point.
Friday, October 30th @ 6:30pm
Government Center
101 NW First St
Downtown Miami

A special thanks to our Rydel over at Miami Bike Scene for organizing this ride.

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As a true transit and bicycling advocate, Gabrielle Redfern understands the fundamentals of good urbanism. According to the Miami Herald, Gabrielle Redfern is advocating for a system of four Beach-only circulating bus routes on 20-minute schedules to alleviate congestion.  She also supports charging market rates for on-street parking with the revenue going towards enhancements in the neighborhoods that generate it. This is the kind of, out-of-box, forward thinking candidate Miami Beach needs.  Join us in supporting Gabrielle Redfern for the Group 3 Commission seat.

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