Tuesday, May 11, 2021

2021 Ride of Silence - Wednesday, May 19, 2021, arrival time 6:00 PM, ride begins at 7 PM

The 2021 Ride of Silence has returned to its live event format and will be held at the traditional location: the Crandon Park Marina Parking Lot, Rickenbacker Causeway, near the Village of Key Biscayne.

What is the Ride of Silence (RoS)?:

WHERE: Hundreds of locations world- wide.
Join cyclists worldwide in a silent slow-paced ride (max. 12 mph/20kph) in honor of those who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roadways.

WHY DOES THIS ORGANIZATION EXIST?

  • To HONOR those who have been injured or killed
  • To RAISE AWARENESS that we are here
  • To ask that we all SHARE THE ROAD
THE RIDE OF SILENCE WILL NOT BE QUIET

PRIOR RELATED POSTS - Please CLICK HERE to view prior posts relating to the Ride of Silence / events relating to honoring those who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roadways.

Monday, May 10, 2021

My Palmetto Bay Mango update - looking forward to more community trades and giveaways of our local dooryard produce in 2021

NOTE: THE FRUIT IS NOT YET RIPE. I am preparing for  another year of the Flinn family mango community giveaway. This has been a long established tradition for the family. See a related prior post of June 15, 2012: Mango season 2012 has arrived! Support your local backyard grower

My daughters have aged out from the yard side mango sales. Too cute. Great times. Fun times while it lasted and I have very fond memories. My loss is the community gain. Once again I look forward to trading and giving away mangoes in 2021.

Participants will once again be doing me a favor by taking the fruit I cannot use. Trades last year included non-mango fruit swaps as well as mangoes in exchange for samples that included mango bread and jam, but no chutney in 2020! This year I have discussed trades for peppers and other goodies. This is our Palmetto Bay community!

Planning for this 2021 season, once again, I want nothing to go to waste (or worse, to rot in my yard).  As in years past, I will offer fruit that will NOT suitable for human consumption, but suitable for tortoises and other pets who may not mind that a squirrel took a bite or that the fruit split upon landing - once we are in season, contact me at eugeneflinn@bellsouth.net and we will make arraignments for those to take these fruit (these fruits are kept away from the mangoes that I will be putting out).

The photo is of some mangoes as of today, Monday, May 10, 2021. These mangoes are working on ripening on the trees. My front trees are heavy with fruit this year, as are my side and rear trees. The front trees are so heavy with fruit that it may not be safe to park cars in the drop zone this year. 

Prior related post of February 12, 2021, Mango season is upon us. Yes, I suffered my mango sinus attack this year, but a bountiful mango season will be my (our) reward!

Enjoy!

Your friend and neighbor,

Eugene Flinn

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Riding to south Gables to view the changes - a Saturday morning ride.

I am posting some follow up photos of the demolition of the strip mall where Riviera Theatre is (or was) located. Also visited Swenson's now closed. A nice leisurely 25.5 mile ride through Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, South Miami and the Gables. Another great day to be out and active with some many other cyclists, walkers, and joggers.









Friday, May 7, 2021

Oh no! Down goes the old Riviera Theater. Photos of the day. Memories made.

Some call it progress. Proof that nothing last forever. I snapped a few photos of the demolition of the Riviera Theater in Coral Gables (Photos taken 5-7-21). Sad to see it go. I have many great memories of date nights there.  I had seen films there throughout my life; from who knows how early. All ages from Elementary School through College, Law School. I attended both movies as well as theatre productions once it turned from movies to live plays. In 2007, Alex and I attended "Defining Code Red", written by Justin Koren after the tragedy at Southwood Middle School in 2004.


The Riviera Theatre served the community well.

I would be remiss if I did not also mention that “dinner – movie” took place often in that area, involving the Riviera Theatre with local restaurants also gone; recalling both the long closed Chinese Restaurant (now a five guys, that I have never been to) as well as Swenson’s that closed earlier this month.

Memories.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

A thought provoking article. Bicycle-friendly projects are even good for people who will never ride a bike. Here's how: (AARP Livable Communities series)

NOTE: This is a reposting of a blog article that originally ran on March 23, 2019, but one that is especially relevant in the local current climate. The popularity of bicycling has increased dramatically during this COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, long term strategic plans have been tossed aside on personal whims of the current local officials.   

10 Ways Bicycle-Friendly Streets Are Good for People Who Don't RideBikes

Benefits abound for those with no intention of ever getting on a bicycle
by Jay Walljasper, AARP Livable Communities

This article is part of the AARP Livable Communities series.

Please read the entire article and consider the 10 reasons – set out in detail in the full article. But first, I would like to start with the PS or post script, which really hits home the some major points for those who skim or fail to finish the article:
 P.S. People of All Ages Like to Bicycle
Contrary to myth, bikes aren't only for kids, and bicycling as a means of exercise and transportation is not the sole purview of young, male, ultra-fit daredevils.

The article notes that the number of older, younger, female and inexperienced bicyclists is rising.
Riders age 50 and over pedaled an estimated 2.6 billion miles rides in 2009, according to the latest data from the National Household Travel Survey conducted by the USDOT. That's more than a six-fold increase from 1995, when that age group covered less than 400 million miles.

Read this article. Bike lanes are not the enemy, to the contrary, they are part of the Safe Streets Guidelines that Palmetto Bay adopted under my administration which is still the stated Policy of Palmetto Bay, unless and until that resolution / policy is rescinded.

The author makes the case that the solution is to share the streets by providing a space for each listed category of user, again, making the case that bicycle-friendly projects are even good for people who will never ride a bike. Here's how:
1. Safer Streets Are Safer For Everyone 
2. Safer Sidewalks 
3. Smoother Trips 
"The anxiety and anger that many people have about bicyclists is because we have streets designed for conflict," observes Randy Neufeld, director of the SRAM Cycling Fund. "Everyone is nervous because no one knows where the bikes belong. Protected bike lanes take that chaos and disorganization away. We're not all fighting over the same space."
In fact, says Martha Roskowski of People For Bikes, defining spaces is the reason why research shows that drivers like protected bike lanes: "It increases the predictability of bicyclists by giving them their own place in the streets."
4. Less Congestion 
It makes sense that having more people on bicycles will lead to less roadway congestion. However, a study by researchers at the University of Virginia finds that increased bike riding across America could mean more congestion if bike lanes are not included on busy streets. 
5. Increasingly Livable Communities 
"Bicycling makes cities more attractive," explains Gil Penalosa, founder of 8 80 Cities, which promotes making community livability for people of all ages. "The quality of the air is better and the amount of noise is less. You're more likely to know your neighbors and stop for a conversation." 
Arlington's Leach notes that neighborhoods with bike lanes are often "filled with people on the streets going to stores, sitting in cafes." 
6. Economic Vitality 
One of America's most ambitious bicycling projects is Indianapolis' Cultural Trail, an 8-mile network of separated bike and pedestrian lanes that has reinvigorated a number of struggling business districts and sparked a whopping $1 billion in increased property values. The Cultural Trail has also bestowed considerable cachet on this often-overlooked city. 
7. More Opportunity 
8. Saves Money For Taxpayers 
In an era when streets and sidewalks across the country are in disrepair, bicycle projects can save us a bundle in maintaining and expanding our transportation systems. 
Even protected bike lanes are "dirt cheap to build compared to road projects," says Gabe Klein, a partner at Fontinalis, a venture capitalist firm founded by Ford Motor Co. Chairman Bill Ford. 
9. Health Care Savings 
The health benefits of bicycling look almost like a miracle. Moderate physical exercise such as bicycling for only 30 minutes a day reduces a person's chances of diabetes, dementia, depression, colon cancer, cardiovascular disease, anxiety and high blood pressure by 40 percent or more. 
10. A Greener Environment 
Transportation accounts for more than a quarter of all greenhouses gases, the second largest sector after electricity (30 percent), according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 
A study from the Worldwatch Institute found that swapping a car for a bike on short commutes of four miles to work and back would generate 2,000 less pounds of carbon every year — which adds up to a five percent reduction in the carbon footprint of an average American. 
More bicycles on the streets and fewer cars also lessen other forms of air and noise pollution.


Planning for an age-friendly community requires planning to keep everyone safe and active. 

Please see a related post: March 9, 2018, Age Friendly community - an update. Palmetto Bay is the 156th community to be accepted in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly CommunitiesWhere an update was provided on Palmetto Bay moving onto the next step toward being recognized as an "Age Friendly" Community.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Repost: National Bike Month - great read: Article(s) on How to Have a safe Family Bike Ride, by A.C. Shilton

NOTE: This is a verbatim repost of a 2020 article, but the information is just as relevant and as helpful as in 2020:

"The humble bicycle is the surprise star of lockdown. With youth sports on hold, car traffic down and cooped-up kids doing park hour on living room furniture, going on a family bike ride has never sounded better." 
A.C. Shilton

But as pointed out by A.C. Shilton, there are a few things to know about staying safe and having fun.

From an Everglades Bicycle Club (EBC) past president and long-time cyclist: "This is by far the best guide I’ve seen for beginner bicyclists and for people who want to get the family involved for a bike outing. For experienced riders, share with someone you know to help get them started." So I am sharing it to readers:

I have the guide in the JPEG posted. I also have provided CLICK HERE (or the headline) links to view an article online, NY Times, How to Have a Safe Family Bike Ride, by A.C. Shilton, Published May 18, 2020, Updated May 23, 2020.

CLICK HERE to download and view a printed copy of this article if you can't get through a NY Times paywall.

The point is to enjoy cycling. It is a event that can be enjoyed alone, with friends, family, small and larger groups. This is a sport that does require some planning and maintenance of equipment (though far less than owning a boat). There are laws and courtesies that must be followed in order to ensure a fun and safe event.

Some cities have gone so far as to temporarily close off streets so families can safely cruise (sorry, none around here - think of how it would have been nice to have 'pop up' safe recreation areas - what a missed opportunity). 

On the road or the trail, there are many places to have a successful adventure on wheels. 

Unfortunately, new administrations equate to new directions, new policies, new priorities, so cycling is not being encouraged here in Palmetto Bay. 

However, the residents are speaking through their action and we have seen many people of all ages out and about on bicycles. I have posted previously about how there have been a run on bicycles - one of the hottest items to buy.

Please contact me via e-mail at eugeneflinn@bellsouth.net if you have any questions or request assistance as to cycling.

Stay safe, stay healthy and enjoy our local outdoors!

Monday, May 3, 2021

National bike month has started as a series of challenges - rear flat one day, then broken spoke on another.

 National bike month continues (with or without you).

I actually kicked it off Friday with a ride down to the People's Dock at Deering for the grand re-opening (again, thank you Miami-Dade County, Miami-Dade Parks).

I picked up a staple on the return trip. This resulted in Day One of National Bike Month starting off on a new rear tire tube (I continue to resist going tubeless).

The challenges of National Bike month stepped up a notch on Sunday morning when I heard and felt that sickening "pop" that comes only from a snapped spoke. 9 miles out. There is no fixing this type of disaster one the road. I was between two local bike shops (LBS) where I could have received emergency service on any day but a Sunday (both open later on Sundays), so its time for a pick up. Nice walk from South Miami to north Pinecrest to meet up with my pick up (*sarcasm*).

Bike Month 2021 may be the month when I finally learn how to change out a broken spoke and true a wheel for myself. 

Can you spot the broken spoke? I took the photo of my bike with roadside art - an item many of use remember as a US mailbox. 

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Happy 90th Birthday Mom!

The family celebrated a wonderful milestone event on Saturday, May 1, 2021: my mother's 90th birthday - celebrated at the family home with 2/3rd of her family.

We have spread out a bit, to Orlando, Palm Beach Gardens, and Gainesville, and even other states including Texas and Arizona, even the District of Columbia (not yet a State).  Those who could make it joined with our vaccinated family bubble. Other joined in through the wonderful technology of FaceTime, WA Video Chat and/or Zoom.

I am blessed to still have my mother here with us. She is blessed with 8 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Her brother & sister-n-law (my aunt & uncle) flew into town to be part of the celebration. Always great to see family.




I will update with more photos when they are shared.  

A photo from her 85th birthday celebration:


Happy 90th Birthday Mom!

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Kicking off National Bike Month - get out and RIDE! POD People's Dock.

May is National Bike month - a great time to get out and enjoy our Palmetto Bay outdoors!

CLICK HERE - the League of American Cyclists is promoting NATIONAL BIKE MONTH

May is National Bike Month, promoted by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to giving biking a try.

And, of course, today was the first Saturday that we all could go out and enjoy the recently completed People's Dock restoration (more on that on a future post). 

Thank you Miami-Dade County and Miami-Dade County Parks for getting this dock restored.

The weather was beautiful this morning. It was such a pleasure to see the walkers, joggers, cyclists - everyone meeting up at this outstanding location.





Friday, April 30, 2021

POD - ready for weekend cycling - unicycling that is. Seen on the street in Palmetto Bay.

It is always fun to see the unexpected. I have seen road bikes, gravel and mountain bikes, kids and adult bikes, but this is the first time I have ever seen a unicycle carried on a bike rack.  What am I missing this weekend?

I wonder if this is a road or a gravel unicycle?

Have a great weekend everyone. Just Ride.