Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Riding High

From here in Berlin, yesterday I joined the Magic City Bicycle Collective  after having read the Miami Herald and beachedmiami.com articles. Of course, I had to chuckle a bit over the headline in which the beloved Herald pointed out how the group intends to "demystify" the bicycle. I don't know exactly what the mystery is -- two wheels and a bit of terror at age 6 seems to tell it all -- but if my city says it must be demystified, I'm all in. Plus, big respect to blogging Jordan Melnick who has been on his bike along with a hardcore number of us since the beginnings of Critical Mass well over a year ago now. He knows, as I know, that the real mystery in Miami is how messed up it got before the alarms went off. And we have to undignify ourselves by arguing with people who sit in daily traffic on the Palmetto; they tell us what's up. My only beef with bikers is the use of the word sharrows -- wtf?

I've talked often with Andres Barreda from Miami Recycle Bicycle Shop, another founding father (lest we forget to credit Rydel, Dario, EMERGE and the Miami Bike Scene among others please don't be offended if we left you out) moving the Miami movement and caring about it enough to do something more than I am. He returned from Spain, where riding needs not be demystified, and we admiringly talk about the culture in Amsterdam, in Paris, in Copenhagen, and in Berlin, where I road into a mammoth park last Sunday on a path by the autobahn and disappeared into woods with rope courses, lakes, swimming holes, farming plots, and hundreds of people using all of it. In Berlin, everybody seems to be riding, if not walking, and everybody everywhere is using public transportation -- DEEPLY SUPPORTED AND FUNDED BY REASONABLY GOOD GOVERNMENT. Please -- don't get me started.

It's going to take a lot more than the MCBC to change Miami's bicycle scene, but praise the chain and pass the tool kit: thanks for entering the fight. I am among the Critical Mass devoted to continuing to work for a better quality of life.