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Our Weekend on the SmartRide 2016 

     We did it! Team Bike America finished the 165 mile SmartRide 2016 and      raised over $10,000 for HIV/AIDS Charities, Compass in Palm Beach county and Broward House in Broward! The SmartRide raised over $1,000,000 in total over a beautiful 2 day ride from Miami to Key West!

The first day we left out of the incredible University of Miami campus at 6:30 am, twisting and turning our way through southern Miami-Dade county. With a cool breeze in our faces, some new and some old friends our 500 rider peloton of love moved its way down the iconic US1. Along the way we had many cheerleaders and people clapping for us and our effort or maybe it was just so many happy riders and colors of jerseys and bikes going by. Wit our team of 10 riders and 3 crew we set out headed south. The motorcycle escort, provided by a local club, made the way safe on the route. Every 20 or so miles there was a pit stop, that inevitably became a rolling party with riders coming in and going back out again, music playing and volunteers serving bananas, apples, peanut butter on bagels and Gatorade galore! Our own Bike America mechanics were there at the pit stops helping any rider that needed assistance! 

With 100 miles down we stop overnight at the welcoming beauty of Hawks Cay on Duck Key. After hot showers and some more music and a dinner of pulled pork and all the Latin food favorites we all went to bed early and rested our weary bodies!

The second day we made fast time as only 65 miles laid ahead of us along with the thrill of the 7 mile bridge! Sometimes we were on US1 and sometimes we were on bike paths and bridges and seemingly secret trails along the way. Passing many riders and remembering to say “on your left” every time and hearing it from other riders as they passed you became a battle cry!  The mile markers counted down the miles for us and I could feel the collective excitement building as the we all saw the Welcome to Key West sign! We were pedaling our way to Key West High School for lunch and to wait for all the riders to come together so we could all ride in to the city together and to the AIDS Memorial on the pier for the Closing Ceremony. More cheering and clapping met us this time too as we biked through town. At the pier we all held hands and were silent for the riderless bike representing all the people that we have lost to HIV/AIDS and the ones who could not ride, some hugging one another, and some weeping in memory. Our spirits were lifted when Glen Weinzimer, the ride creator and organizer made the fantastic announcement that we had raised a total of $1,037,140! A truly incredible amount for a two day ride and a whole lot of fun!

Thank you to everyone who donated money and time and those who encouraged along the way! 

We are already looking forward to next years ride! You want to come with us? Click here to register!

Jonathan's Levee Ride Adventure

My bike took me on an adventure through the Fakahatchee Strand. We start with some planning. We like to use an atlas to get a good idea of what areas can be ridden. For this ride we started on Jones grade road. Just off of I75 Exit 80. We rode south into a thick jungle-like area. It was pretty amazing, almost how I would imagine the Amazon. 

This area is one of the only places on earth where Royal Palm Trees grow naturally along side Cypress trees. The palms grow in excess of 100' in height creating a pretty cool canopy to ride within. The ideal time to ride that area is during the dry season which is late winter to early spring. One side effect of that timing is that there are more alligators on the logging road due to the cold water temperatures.

We happened upon a clearing towards the end of the logging road where we found the "Fakahatchee Hilton."

That is a privately owned cabin along the strand. It was built in 1957 by an outdoor adventure company.

There were a bunch of alligators sunning themselves on the dock of the Hilton. 

We saw some really beautiful things along the way and we definitely left with some great stories.

This ride sparked my interest in exploring the Florida Everglades. 

It's rides like this on that make me want to see how much further my bike can take me. Til the next adventure...

Here's a map of our round trip route...

 

 

 

 

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