| Cycling |

Some Good News -- Surprise! -- For Cyclists

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After a brief respite – the Bike Blog got bike clogged, you might say – we’re back. And to make up for last’s week’s missing dose of grumbling and mockery, the Bike Blog presents two bits of hope, progress, and downright democracy.

The first comes from the City of Miami public hearing on Virginia Key last night. In a shocking upset, bicycles rose to the upper echelons of a theoretical list of priorities in the (also theoretical) revamping of Virginia Key. Some one-hundred-thirty people attended the meeting, according to John Voss, president of the Everglades Bike Club, who took part in the discussion. When asked to break into groups, each group coming up with its own priorities, a healthy majority of the groups reported that they wanted to see cycling – in one form or another – be part of the Key’s future.

Voss, who is also a former president of the Oleta River Adventure Association, articulated his own vision (and that, he says, of other ORAA members) to the Bike Blog over the phone. In a nutshell, he thinks the long-abandoned, semi-wild, and rather smelly Key would provide one hell of a mountain bike trail.

“Of all the proposals people had for that space, a lot of them are very expensive or require a big lead time,” says Voss. “The great thing about building mountain bike trails is one, they’re super low-cost. We did the trails in Oleata for less than $20,000 in supplies – and a lot of volunteer hours. They’re already talking about removing exotics [from Virginia Key]. You could pay the city to do it, or you could let mountain bikers do it for free. We’ll build our trail. And the best thing is that if it doesn’t work, there’s no structures to knock down.”

Voss says he’d like to see BMX trails as well, and he points out one more benefit of the trail: security. “You have all this land that’s unpatrolled,” he points out. “Put trails out there and you’ll have bikers patrolling it.” He also pointed the Bike Blog to this New York Times article, about the safety-bringing potential of bike trails.

Our second piece of "positive" news is that last’s night’s meeting of the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee featured some discussion of a possible bicycle/pedestrian walkway over US1 that would connect with the M-path (the bike and foot trail that follows the Metrorail). Sounds good, no? The Bike Blog’s source, however, stressed that nothing would be happening anytime soon.

And – bonus material! – it turns out that the Oleta River Adventure Association holds spooky, romantico, nocturnal bike rides every second Saturday of the month. So if you can’t stomach Wynwood next month, head out for some late-night bikeage. --Isaiah Thompson

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