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| Culture |

DecoBike Pre-launch Party: A New Bike Share Program in Miami Beach

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​Last night, cyclists, business owners, and party crashers enjoyed drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and a floating bike at the pre-launch party for DecoBike, a new bicycle sharing program. The green carpet event at the Shore Club offered a first look at the two wheels that will be the newest way to get around SoBe.

DecoBike, in partnership the City of Miami Beach, won a bid against major corporations such as Clear Channel to run this public program. The mission is to "green" a very lush, but not very eco-conscious Miami Beach. DecoBike, touted as "a revolutionary public transit system," will consist of over 100 solar-powered stations with nearly 1,000 custom bikes. The rental kiosks will be as far north as 85 Street, but the bulk of them will be scattered around South Beach.

Last night's posh crowd revealed that there's no doubt Miami Beach cares

about its abs and its appearance. The gift bags, which consisted of reusable bags

(great for Whole Foods) and David Barton Gym month-long memberships

(also great for the abs), were the perfect marriage of what these bikes represent: looking hot and environmental consciousness.

The event was geared toward encouraging businesses to buy their employees memberships and offering them financial incentives as well corporate sponsorships. Bikers in business suits is always a delightful sight, and just adding palm trees makes for a dream scene from Twin Palms.

For the everyman, renting a bike will cost $5 per day and monthly memberships will cost $15 (with a credit card deposit of $150). For those who care about keeping their brains inside their skulls, they can grab a helmet at the DeoBike store on 723 Washington Avenue in Miami Beach. The program officially launches in the new year. It's a vague date, but they say they're still making the stations safe.

Bicycle sharing systems already exist in many major and minor cities around the world, including Paris and Portland, Oregon. When asked why he came to the event, Milton Hidalgo of Top Dog Cycle (3001 SW 27th Ave., Miami) said, "It happens in Asia and Europe. It should happen here." The plan is to expand the program to be the largest of its kind in the country.

Rydel, the master of Miami Bike Scene, told Cultist, "It's exciting to know South Beach residents and visitors alike will soon have access to all these bicycles. We need to turn as many people as possible to the benefits of cycling, I hope the project is successful for both DecoBike and the City of Miami Beach."

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