GoPro Video Shows Why Biking in Miami Could Kill You

Biking in any major city is dangerous. But biking in Miami every day can be straight-up suicidal.

One study shows Miami is the fourth most dangerous city in America to commute on two wheels — behind Jacksonville, Tampa, and Orlando, three other Florida cities. Miami's roads aren't just crowded and poorly protected; they're also full of drivers who seem to openly hate cyclists. In June, one bike commuter told New Times that an 81-year-old woman berated her after the elderly driver ran her over near the Miami-Dade/Broward County line.

Need further proof? One Miami Reddit user known as "gpind" spent all of 2016 cycling around Miami-Dade wearing a GoPro camera. And he almost died roughly a billion times.

In the five-minute clip, gpind spends much of his time biking through the car-centric areas around Southwest Miami-Dade, where most roads lack proper shoulders, let alone bike lanes. Cyclists are forced to compete side-by-side with vehicles for space on the road. Cars whiz past the cameraman, cut into oncoming traffic, turn straight into him, and damn near flatten him without any hint of remorse.

At 1:20 into the video, he's nearly backed into. At 2:00, he almost gets sandwiched between fenders trying to weave through a gridlocked, two-lane intersection. He barely avoids getting nailed at the 2:20, 3:00, 3:35, and 4:00.

For frequent bikers, each of those near misses likely triggers a small heart attack. But the video shows that Miami drivers weren't just careless on the road; they were also mean. Drivers honked at him, taunted him, and zoomed around him, uniting motorists of all nationalities and backgrounds in the singular act of harassing people who don't have cars. One car even beeps at him twice on the same road.

In case these incidents seem harmless, New Times reported in a June feature story that cycling fatalities are actually increasing in Miami-Dade despite the county's best efforts to stop them. Multiple city governments have installed bike lanes and launched bike-safety public-service campaigns, only to reap almost no reward: Bike fatalities jumped 260 percent from 2012 to 2014, and injuries are up 34 percent. Some riders told New Times they were giving up biking out of fear for their safety.

"In Miami, you have to ride aggressively in order to make yourself seen," Karim Nahim, manager of the Miami Bicycle Shop, said six months ago. "Any way you ride here, it's dangerous." Miamians have waited decades for protected bike lanes across the MacArthur and Julia Tuttle Causeways, and the issue only became more apparent after the Venetian Causeway — which has dedicated bike lanes — closed multiple times this year.

And if all of that weren't enough, at the 1:25-minute mark in the clip above, the rider almost runs over a live crocodile.
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Jerry Iannelli is a former staff writer for Miami New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.