Last Friday, on June 19, Jon Ranellone was biking home in South Beach. As he reached the intersection of 14th Street and Alton Road, he was struck by a car and thrown from his bike. Authorities came to the scene and found that Ranellone's injuries weren't critical. As he got up to drag his broken bike home, he was given a $180 ticket for allegedly riding against traffic in the street (he denies doing this).
For cyclists, Miami is still far from paradise. But it's getting better, and that's not by accident.
Thanks to events like the monthly Miami Critical Mass and the efforts of various members of the Miami bike community, progress is being made. An increased awareness of bicycle rights is gradually making its way into this city's collective consciousness, and as time passes, more and more folks are opting for two wheels and a pair of pedals to get around town.
The Magic City Bicycle Collective has been at the forefront of this movement for the past three years, growing Miami's bicycling community and recruiting fresh faces along the way. Founded in 2012, the Collective's mission statement is simple: "To empower the bicycling community with a workspace for affordable bicycles, repairs and educational workshops, thereby strengthening community bonds and encouraging Miami to adopt bicycling as a viable form of alternative transportation."
The Collective provides Miami cyclists with a comfortable place to learn about, repair, and purchase affordable bikes. Anyone — from veterans to rookies with training wheels — are welcome at MCBC. The collective offers cyclists use of a wide array bike tools (which aren't cheap) for a mere $5 donation. But they won't fix your bike for you. Rather, a member of the collective will sit with you and show you how to repair your own bike. As a nonprofit, MCBC's mission revolves around education and inclusion. Walk in on any Tuesday or Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. or Saturday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and you'll see for yourself.
The Collective has stayed afloat thanks to a devoted core of volunteers and donations from local businesses and bike enthusiasts. The shop is located at 1100 North Miami Avenue, across the street from The Corner (which donated the space for the Collective's use).
And that's where the celebration will be happening this Saturday.
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Starting at 4 p.m., Magic City Bicycle Collective will be throwing its third anniversary party with members, friends, and anyone else who's curious. Funky Buddha and MIA Brewing will provide some drinks, and Jolt Radio will provide a soundtrack. Cover is free (though donations are encouraged) and merchandise will be on sale for those looking to rep the Collective.
If you're digging its message, here's how you can help or volunteer. But for now, the best way to show your support is to pedal over on Saturday and have a good time.
Magic City Bicycle Collective Three-Year Anniversary. 4 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at the Magic City Bicycle Collective, 1100 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Visit magiccitybicyclecollective.com. Admission is free.