Cycling etiquette has been a topic of conversation that has been had plenty of times in the past. Covered in all types of media, from videos to magazine articles, to podcasts and yes, even blogposts like the one we’ll be doing here today.
Key Biscayne for the most part has always been a cycling paradise of sorts, it’s never been too crowded and if you’re a local and frequent cyclist of the area, seeing familiar faces around the key is a norm. As of recent, the cycling community in Miami has grown exponentially, thanks to companies like Rapha opening up a pop-up shop late 2016 into the spring of 2017. But it’s not just Rapha, cyclists in Miami have gotten more serious about the sport and are doing really cool things in the community to promote it.
All that has played a part into getting new people on bikes and getting them out riding, which is always a good thing. It’s also created new issues with new riders because of misinformation. The bike route spans from the Key to the Mainland, with cyclists from all fit levels. You see triathletes, which mostly train on their own, you have the fast Don Pan group ride which does a loop of the Key and back on Wednesdays and Fridays. You also have small groups of cyclists doing their morning training, the point is that it’s people of all cycling disciplines and fit levels.
The issues that have occurred as of late are that some cyclists don’t seem to understand that the Key route is not made specifically for them, regardless of how they’re riding. There’s been cases of harassment from certain types of riders towards others. It’s best if explained by a recent occurrence, one which we hope stops happening.
While going two abreast on the bike lane which is completely legal by the way, at a pace of about 18-20mph a few riders were getting harassed by others coming behind at a faster pace. As these riders were coming up close to them, they started screaming “Get out of the way”, “One cyclist per lane!” and obscenities. That triggered a negative and violent reaction from the others which just turns into a negative situation in general. Completely uncalled for.
This type of misinformation can be detrimental to the state of cycling in the city and specifically in the Key, if you choose to do your training in the Key route, please be mindful of others and go around them in a safe manner. Educate yourself on the state bike laws. If there’s no space to pass or if there’s motorists coming from behind, don’t jump onto the street just to pass a slower cyclist. Pause your interval session and wait to pass safely. Whatever interval or training session you’re doing is not more important than an accident in which others or yourself can get seriously injured.
To conclude, let’s keep the Key Biscayne bike route safe and open to riders of all types. The more cycling grows in Miami the better it is for the community and the growth of the sport. Training is an important aspect as well but please remember that we’re conducting our training on public roads, so always have safety at the forefront of your riding. Let’s let go of our cycling egos and teach new riders the etiquette and comradeship that comes with the sport, it’ll help all of us in the long run.