What South Florida cycling lacks in climbing opportunities, it makes up for in unique scenery.
Barrier islands, national parks, coastal trails, causeways...bike routes in the Miami area are unlike any in the United States. Add to it intriguing organized rides and great bike shops and you've got a good place—though a flat one—to get on your bike and ride.
Here's a cyclist's guide to visiting Miami—routes to explore, rides to sign up for, and bike shops to visit.
Places to Ride
If you want a long ride, head west to the Everglades. It is one of America's truly unique places, with hundreds of miles of paths to explore. Try the Shark Valley Trail, which is paved for about 20 miles through Everglades National Park. This trail is about 35 miles west of downtown Miami.
Be warned: You are very, very likely to see alligators along this trail, and you may even have to veer around one or two. But hey--a good story to tell, right?
Other popular routes:
- A good route is to take bike paths and bike lanes around Key Biscayne and Virginia Key via the Rickenbacker Causeway. Depending on how you map it, the ride can be 10 to 20 miles on the barrier islands alone. Great scenery.
- If you're heading south to the Florida Keys, be aware of the ongoing development of the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail, which will be 106 miles long and connects Key Largo to Key West. It will be closed to motorized vehicles. At this point, about 70 miles of the trail is completed.
Events to Remember
The Homestead Speedway Century in October is a cool event—it starts with one lap around the Homestead Miami Speedway, then continues south through rural south Miami-Dade County to Key Largo (for the 62- and 100-mile rides). Rides of 25 and 41 miles are also offered, all with a mass start.
Other well-known races include:
- The Miami Gran Fondo Giro d'Italia in November has routes of 25, 63 and 108 miles. The course is unforgettable.
- Escape to the Keys in December also starts at Homestead Speedway but finishes the next day in Key West, about 150 miles away.
Stores to Check Out
Mack Cycle, 5995 Sunset Drive, is frequently listed among the top bike shops in the United States—and THE place to go in Miami.
The store has an enormous variety of cycling gear and apparel and also caters to the triathlon community. It is located in South Miami just off U.S. 1.
Other cycling shops include:
- Cycle World (8476 SW 40th Street)
- Revolution Bicycle Services (3444 Main Highway, Suite 16)
One Last Tip
If you're looking for some great hills to climb, perhaps you should plan a trip to Colorado instead. The elevation in Miami-Dade County never exceeds 40 feet above sea level, with the average being about 6 feet above sea level.Search for a cycling event.