The first Friday in December. It's pretty cold in most of the country. Not in South Florida. It's great cycling weather in Miami and the Florida Keys.
Over 200 cyclists gathered at the Miami-Homestead Speedway for the start of the annual Escape to the Keys ride. We were going to ride our bikes to Key West. The ride is put on by the Everglades Bicycle Club. EBC member Rafael Acosta is the Ride Chair. As he has been for many, many years. He and his volunteers have earned a special place in hearts of Miami cyclists for making this such a delightful event. (Thank you!)
Some rides just get better the more times you go on them. Al and I had a great time this year. The weather was perfect. Not too warm. Sunshine. Tailwinds. We rode with the EBC Orange Crush Peloton (AKA the Fuentes Peloton). Lots of good friends.
But what really made it special were the riders who came from other states. Many had never pedaled through the Florida Keys. Hearing them talk about the beauty of the Keys made us feel pretty lucky to live here.
Some of our friends had worked their tail feathers down to nubs training for the ride. It was pretty wonderful to be able to share each success as they went along. Riding that far for the first time. Doing the bridges with a group. Keeping up with the other riders. Alex Pruna captured it superbly with one very special photo: EBC's own Arlene Carriazo on the 7-Mile Bridge, her hands clasped above her head, a big smile on her face.
Will we do the ride next year? Are you kidding? Wouldn't miss it for anything.
|Allie Geitter (the EBC mascot) giving a rider some encouragement from a SAG car.|