Posts Tagged ‘Bike Miami’

No More Bike Miami?

It started this morning with a status update on the Bike Miami page on Facebook:

Bike Miami Days Team: Working hard to bring Bike Miami Days back on Sunday, October 4th. That’s just around the corner… will you help us get the word out?

Cool! There’s been rides all summer, but we weren’t sure when the whole-day events would be back. Shortly thereafter, however, a blog post comes through the RSS feed from the Bike Miami Blog, being echoed almost immediately as a comment on the status update above (fourth comment down):

UPDATE: Friends, we apologize for the over-excitement. Bike Miami Days is seeking sponsors to cover the extensive costs associated with keeping this event FREE, FAMILY-FRIENDLY and FUN, all of which requires a great deal of services and financial support that we do not yet have. If you or your business would be able to sponsor the Set Up, Clean Up, Sound, Public Service Aides and Police or any other part of Bike Miami Days, please contact the Coordinator here. Thank you.

Baffled, I sent an email to the aforementioned coordinator, Kathryn Moore and after a short phone call she gave me the bad news: there’s just no money for a Bike Miami Days.

The October date was to be covered via private sponsorship, but the company in question seems to have pulled out, leaving the event still missing the close to $25,000 needed to hold the 6-hour event. This money, for the most part, pays for the City of Miami police officers present at the event, as well as other costs associated with closing a huge chunk of Downtown Miami.

The City of Miami just released also it’s proposed budget for the 2010 Fiscal Year, and try as I might, I cannot find any mention of Bike Miami in the future tense; it is mentioned a handful of times as part of the past year’s accomplishments, but nothing’s there about future iterations of the event. Add to this the fact that Bike Miami has been the brainchild of the Mayor Diaz administration, and that his term comes to an end in November, and it is easy to see how this community event could fall prey to the shifting political winds in Miami.

Plainly, this sucks. Here we are, just a couple of days ago celebrating the first victory of Miami 21, and now the event that is meant to foster the bikeable lifestyle Miami 21 seeks to facilitate is in danger of not happening. After coming from the dumps in the rankings of Bicycling Magazine’s Most Bikeable Cities two years ago to where they actually declare Miami a BikeTown less than a month ago, could it be that we’re headed for another nosedive?

Any private company/non-government organization/individual donor wants to sponsor part or all of Bike Miami Days, please come forward, please speak up.

Miami Tops U.S. City for Cycling Events Thanks to Bike Miami Days

With yesterday’s Bike Miami Days, the last of the inaugural season, The Miami Herald reports that Miami becomes the top US city in regards to car-free cycling event days with a total of 7, one per month since November, 2008.

Booyah!

The last Bike Miami Day of the season was fun, even if less attended than any I have been to (mind you, I missed Feb, Mar and Apr). Those that were there, however, had a grand old time partying at the steps of the Courthouse and riding around Downtown Miami. It was hot, probably the main reason why Bike Miami Days will go into a hiatus over the next four months, and by 2 PM the event was pretty much over. The hiatus, I think, will allow people to build up excitement for the event once more when it returns in Oct, not to mention that it will give time to the Bike Miami team to do a post-mortem of the event so far and find ways to improve on what has been, by any account, a surprise and runaway success.

Many thanks to Mayor Manny Diaz and his entire team (especially to tireless Bike Miami online dynamo Kathryn Moore) for seven wonderful months of cycling wonderland, for giving me the chance to fall in love with Downtown again and for the first time, all on two wheels. You know I’ve already set the date aside in the fall.

Bike Miami Addendum

These are just a couple of things I forgot to mention when I wrote my report of Bike Miami 3.

  • Kudos to whoever thought of putting up a Bike Miami Info Kiosk/water station at Gibb Park, at the start of the Venetian Causeway bike lane. The volunteers there were asking cyclists if they were heading to/coming back from Bike Miami and handing out water bottles. Considering the centrality of this route for Miami Beach cyclists, this was a fantastic way to raise awareness of Bike Miami. I’d love to see more inter-city cooperation like this in the future.
  • Local mainstream media, in general, once again failed to support a great event that helps build up a sense of community and spotlights the efforts to make Miami a more livable city for the new millennium. Shame on you NBC 6, WSVN Channel 7, Channel 10 and SunPost.
  • That said, some local media did actually feature Bike Miami new coverage! Here’s what I found:
  • CBS4.com had a 30-second video of their mention of Bike Miami on their morning news show the day of the event. Maybe next time they’ll mention it in advance on their prime time news show?
  • The Miami Herald had an article entitled “It’ll be a free-wheelin’ Sunday in downtown Miami” that ran the Friday before Bike Miami (1/16/09), providing a small report on the event and a guide to the day’s activities. Very nice.
  • Miami NewTimes had a rep at the event snapping pics left and right that they compiled into a Bike Miami Days Slideshow on their website (my wife and I even made it into the slideshow!).

Bike Miami 3

Yesterday was this third installment of Bike Miami Days, the City of Miami’s monthly event promoting a bicycle-friendly environment and lifestyle in Downtown Miami. This month’s event featured a new route extension all the way from Downtown to the Miami Riverfront and Lummus Landing, plus the tried-and-true route south into Mary Brickell Village, though the Bayfront Park section from previous events was shut down for this one due to a festival the night before and the lack of time to prepare the park for public use.

In short, Bike Miami 3 was a resounding success, paralleling the level of enthusiasm and attendance of the first Bike Miami in November 2008. There was a rally at Lummus Landing at 10:30 am to kick-off the day and events at Lummus and Mary Brickell, things like Yoga classes and performances by local musicians, all free. There were also free bike rentals, a welcomed addition for those who don’t have bikes of their own yet want to take part in the event. Local businesses also took part, starting a trend I’d like to see continue, bringing commercial support to the event.

Downtown Miami’s businesses also took up the banner, opening their stores en masse, and even engaging with the riders. Kay Kirk Jeweler’s was again handing out water in front of their store, and there was a live band playing near the courthouse on Flager Ave, livening up the brisk afternoon.

Once more, families made up a significant segment of the participants; it was fantastic to see all the kids riding around Downtown with their parents. I will echo something said over at Miami Bike Scene, though: cyclists need to learn the rules of riding, especially parents when they are bringing their kids over. It would be a shame to have an accident at a Bike Miami event, especially when it could be prevented simply observing common sense when on two wheels.

Bike Miami 4 will return in February in conjunction with Flagler Fest.

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