4
| Cycling |

Every Week is Bike to Work Week

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Technically, Bike to Work Week ended last Saturday -- but who's counting?

Not Juan, whom I met biking home from his job at a downtown construction site. Juan declined to give his last name and exact place of work because, he said cheerfully, he has no papers — he's illegal. And like a lot of the "illegal" workers building our fair city, he rides to and from work on a bicycle.

There's a prevalent myth that biking, and bicycles, lie squarely in the domain of rich white folk — an idea that assumes people only bike for pleasure. So when Juan began enumerating for me the benefits and practicalities of bicycling in Miami, I knew that the Bike Blog had found a kindred spirit.

"La gente no saben," he said -- "People don't know that riding a bicycle is the best method of transportation there is." Juan, who is 63, lives in Wynwood.

Juan's first batch of reasons were indisputably practical: "More safety and less trouble." Juan pointed out that by avoiding driving, he avoided getting himself into situations where being without papers could land him in the hot seat. On his bike, he is unlikely to be pulled over; he doesn't have to worry about insurance. He says a lot of immigrants he works with — illegal and otherwise — ride bikes to work for the same reason.

But the best of Juan's bike-talk is his more philosophical bent: He believes in bikes, and is happy to explain why. "It's the best exercise: It's good for the legs, for the heart, and for the circulation. People think you'll sweat and smell bad," he adds, "but the reason most people smell bad is that they're cooped up in their cars all the time."

"And a lot of people in cars are fat," he added finally. With that we shook hands and, in opposite directions, peddled home. --Isaiah Thompson

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.