Today was a typical morning for us in Miami. We sipped breakfast coffee on the balcony, enjoying the city lights in the early pre-dawn hours. The air was warm. The coffee fragrant and hot. The conversation slid from bike ride plans to Christmas and back.
We lived in eight places before Miami. Big cities. Rural and exurban communities. Some large. Some small. One simply a cluster of homes. Our move to Miami surprised people. "Where will you ride your bikes? Why move to a city with all that traffic?" they'd ask. We knew Miami would be a good fit for us. We'd biked in the neighborhoods where we planned to live, and we had discovered the Everglades Bicycle Club.
We joined the club as soon as we moved to Miami. When we were able to start biking after the move and putting together the new place, we pedaled down to Miami City Hall on a Saturday for our first club ride. We may have ridden bikes for decades, but we were ignorant newbies to riding in a group. We started with the slowest group. The ride leaders taught us the basics. As we got better we moved to a faster group. Everyone was friendly and supportive. Despite the fact that we regularly made some amazingly dumb mistakes, they patiently showed us what to do to become better, safer riders. Slowly we learned who people were and made some friends. We've belonged to other bicycle clubs. We think Everglades Bicycle Club is the best of them. Partly it's their focus on the group rides and teaching people how to ride safely as a group in and around Miami. But mostly it's the sense of community you have when you ride with them.
As we wait for Santa to arrive, we feel like we've gotten the best present already: new friends who share our love of riding bikes. Merry Christmas to all. We hope your holidays bring you much joy and happiness