Vigilante cyclist Ken Bereski films bad drivers

It's past midnight on Super Bowl Sunday when a sedan barrels through the bike lane on 16th Street at Alton Road, right at cyclist Ken Bereski.

Bereski slams on his handbrakes and swerves. The car squeals to a halt inches from his tire. "You do realize this is a bike lane, right?" Bereski hollers.

"You got a problem?" a rotund man behind the wheel demands. The driver opens his door, but he's so fat he can't pull himself out to fight.

Bereski bikes away laughing — but shaken at the close call.

Like all of Bereski's encounters with Miami's terrible drivers, the near-fistfight was caught on camera. Bereski, a computer consultant who bikes thousands of miles a year, got so tired of getting run off the road that he outfitted his red Raleigh with digital cameras on the front and back, launched a website — livetobikeanotherday.com — and plans to shame the worst of the worst motorists online.

"If you're not going to apologize and listen to what I'm saying about bike safety, I'm going to put your face online," Bereski says.

A sharp-featured 30-year-old with ice-blue eyes, Bereski moved to Miami after finishing college in Boston in 2006. He had always biked around Beantown, so when he started an Apple consulting company in South Florida, he figured he'd do the same.

What he didn't take into account were the Magic City's legendarily awful drivers and the area's lack of infrastructure for bikers. That combination is so bad that Bicycling Magazine in 2008 ranked Miami the third worst city in the nation for cyclists.

Bereski saw that firsthand. As he biked from South Miami to Aventura, he saw road rage and swerving texters, and watched cops, buses, and city vehicles alike run him off the street.

The final straw came two years ago when a cabbie hit him (also on 16th Street at Alton) and then had several other drivers lie to police. "I decided, 'Why not catch everything on camera so no one can lie about it?'" he says.

So Bereski dropped a couple hundred bucks on two small, cigar-shaped digital cameras and then jury-rigged mounts for them below his handlebars and above his back tire.

Since then, he has collected hours of unedited video. He says he worried at first about putting the near-crashes online — but then he points to a small gold sticker under his handlebars: "This bike protected by closed-circuit cameras."

"Don't say you weren't warned," he says, smiling.

(Check our Riptide blog this week for some of Bereski's videos.)

 
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9 comments
Yopi
Yopi

Bunch of pussies, find a trail, as if Miami Beach isnt hard enough to get around, no we have to put up with a bunch of Lance Armstrong assholes.

tony
tony

Ican simpathize I was also hit by a turning motorist.Who proceded to blame me until I mentioned calling the po po....I feel ya

Billy Ray Sumbich
Billy Ray Sumbich

There are plenty of insane Miami Bicyclists to match those insane drivers. Bicycles are not cars, and should not hinder the flow of traffic on roadways which they cannot at the very least, maintain the speed limit.

Ghap1348
Ghap1348

None of the links to ANY video's work!!!!

Rob Boyte
Rob Boyte

What a timely story. Just this past Monday, while doing my 6-mile bike trek into work, some idiot in a van came within an inch of my left arm passing me. Now I am used to drivers violating the unknown Florida law that says they are to give 3-foot clearance when passing bicyclists, and if they can’t they are supposed to drive behind them until they can. I usually just yell “Three Feet Asshole” as they drive past.

But this guy was just too close and when I saw him stuck at a red light a block away I took off. Got next to his van and started pounding on his window, yelling all sorts of obscenities at him while educating him on the Florida law.

A friend later told me to be careful – you know about the dangers of ‘road rage.’ Yeah, I know the dangers but I was enraged that this asshole (I called him worse) disrespected my safety and I was gonna tell him about it. Actually I told the whole block about it yelling at him thru his windshield. He never attempted to get out of the van.

When we all took off again, I noticed a car trailing behind me. Apparently he could not give me three feet of clearance so he waited until the left lane opened before passing.

Rob BoyteMiami Beach

theroacheart
theroacheart

The website you link to doesn't exist, there are no videos of this on your Riptide Blog. Too bad would have liked to see those videos of insane Miami driving.

Ken Bereski
Ken Bereski

True - there are bad cyclists, plenty of them. But their poor decision making and cycling skills is not going to get anyone but themselves killed. A motor vehicle is a deadly weapon, something most drivers don't understand. Innocent people die, everyday, due to injuries related to bad drivers. And Billy Ray, "at the very least, maintain the speed limit"!? Are you serious? It's a speed LIMIT, last I heard the speed limit was the maximum speed, not the minimum. A bicycle is a vehicle just like any other vehicle on the road, and is entitled to a full lane of traffic when necessary. If you'd like to privately fund a fully comprehensive network of bicycle only lanes I've got no problem staying away from those steel cage death traps on the road. Until then, it's been my experience that 90+% of the vehicles hindering the flow of traffic are motor vehicles - even on the bike lanes that do exist

RichardZ
RichardZ

Even if some bicyclists don't obey some traffic laws, drivers shouldn't cut them off or threaten their lives. Three feet is the law. I ride about 60 miles per week and regularly have drivers speed past me within a foot of my handlebars. Granted, some of these drivers are just ignorant, but others are being a-holes. btw, i do obey traffic laws, ride on the right shoulder, use lights, helmet. etc. Some drivers in Miami at this point think it's okay to use their vehicle to harass (threaten the lives) of bicyclists. Bottom line is that it is always not okay to do this. You can hate bicyclists, hate pedestrians, hate moms pushing baby carriages for all I care, but you cannot endanger their lives by using your vehicle.

 
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