Monday, March 17, 2014

The reinvention of daily life means marching off the edge of our maps. (Bob Black)

There is nothing more time-consuming than mapping out new in-city bike routes. It starts with maps and planning. But it all comes down to trial and error.

We wanted to ride from our home in Brickell to Redland, the agricultural section of the county. And we wanted to minimize our time on the M-Path. We also wanted a route to Blackpoint Marina and Homestead Bayfront Park. But we wanted a route that didn't repeat all of the Everglades Bicycle Club route that we rode every Saturday.

We knew we might not make our mileage targets some days. And we knew it was inevitable that we'd have some long, long days.

We were doing it old school. No Garmin or other GPS device on the bikes. Since Miami-Dade uses a grid layout for streets, it's really not that crazy. Streets are east-west. Avenues are north-south. Easy peasy.

The worst day was the one that we waved goodbye to our building's lobby staff at 7 in the morning and returned in the late afternoon. Lots of back-tracking and turnarounds, but we ended up with a sweet route to Robert Is Here. We almost found ourselves in the same situation getting down to Blackpoint Marina. It was a windy day, and it was a tailwind for the ride down to Blackpoint. We talked the situation over as we munched bananas and watched a lazy dock pelican. We needed to go to Bayfront for the miles, but we were going to be riding into a stiff headwind all the way home. We voted to sacrifice the miles.

Eat your heart out, Marco Polo.