Biking on for a better planet is what Bike SoMi is all about

By Raquel Garcia….

Bike SoMi riders make a stop at Mack Cycle to don their bright yellow team t-shirts

The Bike SoMi group has been busy since they were denied the right to peacefully assemble outside city hall for a community ride in June by city manager Hector Mirabile because they did not have a million dollar insurance binder permit. The bikers recently completed their postponed citizen’s ride to explore the neighborhood for bikefriendly pathways.

Marice Chael is a local architect specializing in new urbanism, green building, and sustainability practices who presented the idea of a “joyous ride” before the commission in June. The team has put many miles behind them since. “As a member of the volunteer advisory board, the Green Task Force, I took on the bike initiative. Now it seems to have a life of its own thanks to the support of so many. We have gathered over 1,000 signatures to support a bike friendly city and our recent citizen’s bike ride was a huge success with over 50 bikers participating.”

Clad in yellow Bike SoMi t-shirts donated by Mack Cycle, the group of adults and children started at Miami Recycle Bike Shop and spent over an hour biking along 62 Avenue bike lanes, the Madison Square area, historic Cambridge Lawns, and the neighborhood greenways around 64 Court. The group made a stop in the Peacock neighborhood (whose center is Allo America Park) and rode along the M-Path or bike and pedestrian pass along the Metrorail.

Chael says the ideas represent a holistic approach to goals which include the bike friendly petition, community bike rides, and making the city less auto centric by promoting alternatives to driving as well as cracking down on bad drivers.

“Everything is connected for a better quality of life for all and to encourage us to look out for each other. The laws in Florida say drivers need to yield to pedestrians and bikers in the crosswalk. We need to really enforce the elimination of texting and drinking while driving, especially for repeat offenders. Signing the bike friendly petition also means as a driver you will be more mindful behind the wheel.”

“Biking is one of the components of sustainability practices in addition to The Farmer’s Market and the idea of growing local produce, planting trees along the greenways, and ultimately making our planet greener to improve the quality of life for everyone.”

The next citizen’s ride will focus on exploring the northern neighborhood greenways with anticipated stops at some of the local eateries as well as touring some of the southern boundaries and possibly gardens and parks also.

To find out more about the Bike SoMi initiatives go to the Green Task Force website at greensouthmiami.com or visit Bike SoMi on Facebook.


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