We pedaled south to Miami City Hall to join the start of the ride. The very early morning sun revealed a large group of about 60 riders gathered. There would be three parts to the ride. Bob Williams, EBC Treasurer and a long time resident of Miami Springs, was our first tour guide. He explained to the assembled group that Miami City Hall was in fact the tour's first point of interest. The building we now call Miami City Hall was once the Pan American Seaplane terminal.
We sorted ourselves into riding speed groups, and we headed out for Miami Springs. On the way, we stopped to see a cluster of buildings on one edge of what is now Miami International Airport. Now just a fraction of MIA, it was once the whole airport, built by Pan American originally.
|Glenn H. Curtiss|
The second part of the Aviation Spice Ride was a tour of the Curtiss Mansion. (see Miami Springs web page) The mansion is on the historic register and beautifully restored. Curtiss Mansion curators took us on a tour of the building. (Fun fact: Curtiss was an energetic man and didn't have the patience needed for a standard game of golf. Enter the concept of archery golf. Take arrows, light their tips, and shoot them down the fairways instead. Sweet.) We also had a pleasant breakfast catered by Johnny's Restaurant of Miami Springs.
|MIA Air Traffic Control Tower|
Then it was time to go. We said our goodbyes, and the group headed out for a brisk ride through the city. A sprinkle or two fell, but the rain bypassed us.
I've been told that Everglades Bicycle Club Vice President and Ride Coordinator Mary Beth Garcia is the genius behind the Spice Rides. Kudos is due her for creating these rides. Miami is one of the most interesting cities on the East Coast. The Spice Rides let us use our bikes to do a little touring of this marvelous place we call home.