BEST URBAN BIKE RIDE Miami 2004 - South of the Wynwood industrial area at night
To hard-core bikers, pedaling through ungentrified parts of a city is more an exercise for the imagination than for the body. And the south side of Wynwood, with its plethora of factory buildings, graffiti-covered walls, and commercial signage, offers plenty to think about. Begin at North Miami Avenue and 36th Street, heading south. Note the string of art galleries along the west side, a sign that gentrification is around the corner. Soon you'll pass a hatbox of a building, the lovely Dorissa of Miami factory on 27th Street. Turn west on 27th and begin winding through the neighborhood to NW Fifth Avenue. You'll have biked by some of Miami's oldest homes, and businesses with painted signs advertising shoes, handbags, and synthetic or human hair. Keep heading west to NW Sixth Avenue, where you'll run into Interstate 95 humming with traffic. About two blocks south rest the ruins of the RC Cola bottling factory. Its perimeter wall has some of the best graffiti in Miami. Interspersed along NW Second Avenue are little cafeterias where you can stop for a beer. At NW 22nd Street turn east and face the mighty Continental Heidelberg Cement Factory. Though it may seem intimidating at night, the trip is worth the adventure. The glow of street lamps and security lights makes everything appear funkier, and any danger you sense is probably just your imagination.