Calle Ocho Will Turn Into Cyclist Haven This Sunday

Categories: Cycling

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Ciclovia Miami's Facebook
Ciclovía, a Spanish term for cycle path, is "the temporary closing of state roads to vehicles and replacing them with pedestrians and bicyclists who are using it for exercise or coming together as a community to celebrate music, art and sports" according to the recent press release by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). The FDOT is co-hosting such events as "Open Streets" and so far, four Ciclovías have been enjoyed throughout the state with more to come.

The first of these kicked off in Orlando and Gainesville respectively and were followed by Tampa Bay and Ft. Myers. So far, the FDOT can boast turnouts of nearly 6000. And on Sunday, December 14, Miami will become the fifth city in the state to host one of their own. Calle Ocho, a street that's had its fair share of Critical Mass rides, will become for four hours (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) an oasis of calm and community spirit between Southwest Ninth Ct. and 22nd Ave.

See also: Cranksgiving Returns: Join NBC's Today Team in the Fun Food Drive and Bike Ride

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Citi Bike Launches in Miami This Saturday

Categories: Cycling

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Courtesy of Citi Bike Miami
Weeks before Art Basel Miami Beach, residents and workers in the downtown area noticed silver, robotic-looking structures going up around popular buildings. Outside the New Times offices in Wynwood we also noticed one of these contraptions that looked like a super sleek station for bikes.

The slots are indeed for bicycles, but not for the pink, white-tassled bicycle of your halcyon youth. Like a power outlet for that awkward three-prong plug, these spots are only for the chunky blue Citi Bikes.

Citi Bike Miami finally launches this weekend.

See also: Here's a Map of Where Miami's Citi Bike Stations Will Be Located

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Free Events This Week in Miami: Finding Happiness, Words & Wine, and Black Friday Balloon Drop

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via VeganLazySmurf on Flickr
Let's not kid ourselves -- this is all we care about this week.
There's nothing like a holiday week. Three days of work, four days of leisure. Nothing but food comas, football, and family time to look forward to. Next time you hear from us, we'll have consumed potentially lethal quantities of stuffing and will undoubtedly be five (or ten) pounds heavier.

And since Black Friday is fast approaching, here's your guide to free stuff to do this week, so you can save your pennies for doorbuster madness.

See also: The Ten Best Places to Bike in Miami

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Cranksgiving Returns: Join NBC's Today Team in the Fun Food Drive and Bike Ride

Categories: Cycling

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via the Miami Bike Scene's Facebook
Two-time "Most Charitable" winner and local chef Aleric Constantin getting pumped for charity.
Cranksgiving returns for its sixth year of helping charitable operations replenish food banks across the USA. The local leg of the cycling event has, for five years now, sponsored a food drive alley cat race and ride -- a fun version of a scavenger hunt for nonperishable goods benefiting the Camillus House. The event is simple and with no sign-up fee, the $10 required goes toward the purchase of the items on the checklist. The "race" is not a competition per se, as folks can do it at their own pace as long as the items are collected and donated.

Participants will receive a map and manifest/checklist when they register before the race and will travel the ten to 17 miles (depending on route choice) to find designated grocery stores. The organizers expect about two bucks to be spent per store and will require the purchase receipts, and as they say in their release, "...speed will be an obvious factor. However, knowing your way around the city and the aisles of a supermarket can be advantageous." All types of bikes are accepted as long as everyone remembers that the cause is the most important factor uniting the racers.

As an added bonus, and showing the increasing profile that cycling is beginning to enjoy in South Florida, NBC's Today Show will join the riders to participate and document the experience.

See also: Five Reasons to Join the Cranksgiving Food Drive and Alley Cat Race

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The Ten Best Places to Bike in Miami

Categories: Cycling, Lists

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Photo by George Martinez
It's true that Miami's affinity for two-wheeled travel pales in comparison to the likes of Portland or any European city. But local bike culture is definitely evolving, and we've got more than our fair share of spots to cycle.

With the totally fantastic weather we've been having lately, there's no better time than now to pump up those tires and wipe the dust off that helmet -- don't let the angry local drivers keep you from free-wheeling. Here are ten of South Florida's best spots to put two wheels down.

See also: Here's a Map of Where Miami's DecoBike CitiBike Stations Will Be Located

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Free Events This Week in Miami: Bike Rides, Fan Zines, and Little Havana Art Walk

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This is the season we've been waiting patiently impatiently for since the boiling heat sapped the last of our summertime good cheer. Now the trade winds are blowing, the humidity has plummeted, and life is pretty perfect.

Sadly, winter weekends fly by in a breeze, but luckily the in-season awesomeness isn't limited to Saturday and Sunday. There are all kinds of fun, free events to get you through the workweek too.

See also: Coral Gables Museum's New Exhibit Offers Answers to Miami's Rising Sea Level Woes

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ARTcycle 2015: Submit Your Cycling-Inspired Artwork to Promote Bike Safety in Miami

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Courtesy Coral Gables Museum/ARTcycle
Progressive cities have progressive ideas. Miami certainly wants to play with the big boys, but there are so many simple gestures this town lacks that earns it the appropriate "third world" stamp many other states have assigned it. Recycling here is a joke. Green areas are few and far between, and the willing offering of the tax payers' derrieres to scheming developers has congested what was once an easily-recognizable coastline. Oh well, you can't fight all the ills at once, right?

But one that should be a no-brainer is making Miami a bike-friendly city. With the notorious amount of incredibly challenged automotive operators in this county, you'd think a concentrated effort would be made to alleviate traffic with more designated bike paths and stricter laws ensuring the safety of cyclists. Apparently, this is too much to ask for and that's why bike chefs get hassled, doctors knock over defenseless cyclists willy-nilly (which we are sure violates the Hippocratic Oath on so many levels), and Florida continuously ranks high in the nefarious fatality listings.

One organization, however, is using Miami's thriving art community as a platform to promote cyclist safety. The people behind ARTcycle have created a bond between the art and bike scenes here with a mission of creating a "road to awareness, respect, and tolerance."

See also: Florida Is One of the Most Dangerous Places in America to Ride a Bike, Study Says

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Emerge Miami's 100th Bike Ride to Celebrate Liberty City, Little Haiti, and Overtown

Categories: Culture, Cycling

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Courtesy of Emerge Miami
You really shouldn't need another excuse to pull your bike out of its rusty retirement, but if you do, Emerge Miami's got it. Miami's local cycling slash social activism crew has hosted a total of 99 rides, and for #100, they're joining forces with Celebrate Diversity Miami (CDM), a new initiative that aims to promote a stronger sense of connectivity between the diverse communities throughout our fair city.

The ride, kicking off on October 11, will leave from downtown's Government Center before cruising through key cultural spots in Overtown, Liberty City, and Little Haiti. The grand finale? A lovely waterfront picnic in Museum Park.

See also: Should DecoBike Make Helmets Easier To Get? Study Finds Increased Head Trauma Risk

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Freewheeling Encounters With Miami's Past: Take a Bike Tour With Julia Tuttle

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Miami may be known for many things, but history isn't always foremost among them.

Oh sure, there's the ancient Tequesta ruins squeezed beneath a rare stretch of untilled land adjacent to downtown, and the Freedom Tower, which serves as our complement to Ellis Island. We can boast an array of iconic buildings, from Vizcaya and the Biltmore to Overtown's Lyric Theater and the art deco curiosities of South Beach. Then there's the pioneers that inspire retro reflection, people like Henry Flagler, Julia Tuttle, George Merrick, and James Deering, larger than life individuals who helped lay the foundation for what would eventually become our world class destination.

That ought to be proof enough of our own worthy back story of sorts, even if that tale is barely a hundred years old. Even so, Miami's cutting-edge reputation and continuing urban sprawl make unsurprising that people tend to overlook our legacy.

See also: Miami Icons: Vote Now For Your Favorite Miami Landmark!

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Bike Filmmaker Joe Biel on Miami's Critical Mass: "It's the Biggest Monthly Ride in the World"

Categories: Cycling

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All photos by Hannah Sentenac
As home to the nation's largest Critical Mass turnout (and given recent police attention to the monthly two-wheeled trek), it seems pretty clear that Miami's cycling culture is headed toward a tipping point. Bike advocates are working for widespread awareness and major changes citywide -- and people in other places are paying attention.

One of those people is Joe Biel, a cycling filmmaker out of Portland who created the documentary Aftermass: Bicycling in a Post-Critical Mass Portland. Biel and team rolled into Wynwood's Gramps last night for Dinner & Bikes, an evening of activism and eating. They talked to Cultist about the major changes happening nationwide -- and how Miami has its own unique niche in cycling culture.

See also: Miami's Critical Mass Runs Smoothly, Looks Here to Stay After a Week on the Brink (Video)

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