Early Morning RideThe news that a cold front was coming into Miami spread like wildfire all throughout Saturday. Indeed, once it rained in the afternoon, everyone readied their sweaters and jackets, waiting for the tiniest bit of semi-cold air to hit. Saturday night it was very nice, but Sunday morning it was just brilliant; the temperature was in the upper 60s, the sky covered in white puffy clouds, and the wind definitely nippy: Autumn had finally arrived in South Florida. I had to get up early anyway to attend a Bar Mitzvah, so I decided to head out about an hour before to ride around a bit. Miami Beach just recently inaugurated the new North Beach Recreational Corridor (NBRC), so there I headed.

Bike Route (?!)Heading down Biarritz Dr. I suddenly spotted something I’d never seen in this area of the Beach, a Bike Route sign! It’s visibly old, but still standing, marking this road as a parallel bikeway to uber-busy Normandy Dr one block north. It makes sense, when you stop to think about it; I just wish it all was better marked (but that’s gonna be another post). A few minutes later I made it to the beach itself and joined the NBRC.

Even though it was barely 8 AM, there were quite a few walkers, joggers and bicyclists going up and down the 15-block paved walkway. It wasn’t crowded, though, so it was a great time to just ride slowly, enjoying the crisp breeze and the soft morning light. Elam even went all the way to the soft sand by the water to check it out, but it quickly discovered that, unlike its predecessor, Red Beast, it very much prefers to enjoy the sand from far away.

After a leisurely ride I headed to morning prayers, then home for breakfast (with a pit stop to pick up some pastelitos de guayaba). Tummies full and with my wife joining in, we headed out again to enjoy the most gorgeous day we’ve had in Miami in months.

The plan was to head down to South Beach to visit The Abbey Brewing Company, Miami Beach’s only brew pub (the recipes are done in-house, but the beers are brewed in Melbourne, FL) and maybe check out the new South Pointe Park. We headed out shortly after noon and went down to the NBRC, both so that Yvette could ride it for the first time, and also because it’s an easy way to avoid Indian Creek Dr from Normandy Dr/71 St to 63 St, a really busy and rather unsafe street.

Danny & Von AmsterdamThe ride down the NBRC was great. Even midday, it wasn’t crowded so it was easy riding with the sun above us and cool wind on our backs. We made it to Allison Park on 64 St, then realized that while this park made a nice bookend to the corridor, it wasn’t a practical one as it drops you off on Collins Ave without any way to connect west; you must either ride against traffic down to 63 St, or go up to 65 St and ride down Indian Creek, which is what we were trying to avoid, yet ended up doing (I’ll do a longer post on the NBRC later as well). We crossed the drawbridge at 63 St using the sidewalk, except they are doing some roadwork right at the foot of the bridge, on Allison Rd, so we had to dismount and take the street.

Yvette & WillowUnderstand, I don’t mind riding on the road, not so much by now, but I also know which roads are fine for this and which are just insane. This stretch of 63 St is an insane one; cars just fly too fast down this bridge coming off Indian Creek and heading into Alton Rd. Nevertheless, we made it to the corner of LaGorce and 63 St, then crossed into LaGorce (this is the same one I already suggested be turned into a Bicycle Boulevard). Not even a hundred feet into the ride down LaGorce, we rode over a ditch and the one of the skirtguards in Yvette’s bike came off (a chronic problem for Willow). We pulled into a driveway to get it fixed, no big deal. Once Yvette rode the bike a bit to make sure all was in place again, she dismounted to turn the bike around (the driveway was way narrow), picking up the back to point it in the right direction. The bike slipped a bit onto her, and the pedal slammed right into the tender right side of her right knee. All I heard was a yelp of pain and I turned around to see her slightly bent going ow-ow-ow.

In her own words, when the pedal hit her knee it went krick-krack, never a good sound. I told her to walk it off to see if the pain would subside, but it did only a little bit. She tried riding to see in what shape she would be, and it was decided we needed to head back home. Between riding and walking we made it back to Allison Park where Yvette rested a little bit. We then rode up the NBRC, and back home with a quick stop for a bottle of Advil. Once home, Yvette iced her knee, popped some Advil, had a beer and spent a while pondering why exactly Willow seems to hate her (she actually wrote what could be a blog post about it; I gotta convince her to post it now).

The time that we actually rode, it was fantastic. The weather was just perfect to be out on the bikes all day long and it was just divine. People all over took out their bikes yesterday and enjoyed the cool weather; in South Florida, you never know how long it will last or when the next cold front is coming through, so we tend to use these rare days to the maximum. We didn’t make it to The Abbey Brewing Company (actually, we drove later but South Beach was just too packed, so we just got some beer at Publix and watched a movie), so hopefully once Yvette’s knee recovers, we can try that trip once again.

View the route on MapMyRide.com.

Bike Love

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