Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Saturday Tour de Rickenbacker-Key Biscayne (Come One Come All)

You've got to love the Rickenbacker on weekends. If you're alive in Miami and own a bike, the Rickenbacker seems to be where you go on weekends. The sheer number of cyclists of all ages and abilities is amazing. Has anyone ever done a head count of their numbers?

We got up and did chores early, eager to be done with work and out on the bikes. By 8 o'clock we were out the door, rolling the bikes to the elevator. It was a fabulous morning. Warm and humid, but breezy. It's a surprise how much less sweaty bike riding is here than at our old Florida home. There is always an ocean breeze here, and the ocean keeps temperatures a bit cooler than those we were used to in Florida's interior.

There were lots of groups of brightly patterned lycra clad riders on skinny tired road bikes. Unlike weekday mornings, all levels and types of riders were in evidence. We were amused at the ones that drove their cars over the bridge to Virginia Key before parking and unpacking their bikes.

We rode to Key Biscayne and into Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. We looped the state park's perimeter on the unpaved path beside the seawall. Lots of fishermen. Families were staking out picnic tables for gatherings, and parents were shepherding their flocks of kids on bikes around the park's quiet trails. The state park is a pocket of quiet in urban Miami. Birds twitter. Waves lap the shore. Palm fronds flutter and whisper.

We left the park, looping a route through the back streets of Key Biscayne before heading back to the Rickenbacker. Mansion building is alive and well here. Some are boring and pretentious, but there are some beauties, too. We did a lot of meandering, finally arriving home about three hours after we had left.

Our ride mileage is inching upward, but (more importantly) we're moving along at a more normal touring speed. Which for us means fast enough for us to do touring mileage, but with no worries if there are lots of stops or slow-downs to take in sights, enjoy the day, and savor the ambiance of the area.

A family group on their bikes in the state park pass a group of fishermen.

Pelicans fly in formation behind a boat. Stiltsville is in the distance.
Riders stopping for coffee at one of Key Biscayne's cafes. Riders give the local coffee spots a lot of business.