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Monday, November 11, 2013

Gran Fondo brings lots of bicyclists to town

The Gran Fondo bicycle event took place this weekend -- a fair on Saturday and the bike ride on Sunday, which started at Coral Gables City Hall and ended up at Miami City Hall, right here in Coconut Grove. 
In between was the actual bike ride, there were three courses, it wasn't a race, it was a ride. The courses were either 25, 54 or 101 miles. Bikers would ride south to various areas in the county and then come back.

It's nice to see so many riders in the Grove, sometimes it does get overwhelming though. A friend is considering starting a bicycle/riders group in the Grove, I'll give you more info when I have it.

What was nice was that at various times, as riders came onto the grounds, the courses were announced, like, "Here come the first of the 54 mile riders!"

There was lots of food and a bar set up and lots of booths with bicycle-related vendors. It culminated in a pasta party, which was held under a large tent, which had hundreds of seats set up at very long tables.

As much as there were thousands of people around, riders and spectators, it didn't feel like a massive, overwhelming thing, you know, like Critical Mass. No streets were blocked, traffic flowed as usual. It was sort of subdued in a way, maybe they were just all exhausted from the long ride.

Gran Fondo’s are fun and exciting mass cycling events popular in Italy, a country that captures the essence and the romance of this sport. "Gran Fondo" means "Big Ride" in Italian. This was the gateway into the event after the long ride, bicyclists came in under the banners here.
The end.

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Anonymous JB said...

While I enjoy cyclists, I wish I were one, I feel I must tell everyone about an incident I witnessed yesterday at the junction of Aviation Ave and Tigertail at about 1020/1030.

About 50 cyclists decided to ignore a red light coming down Tigertail cycling towards the Grove. They cycled through with no regard for the traffic coming along Aviation Ave which had the right of way. One car, heading in the direction towards Bayshore drive, had to perform an emergency stop which then the two cars behind him also had to perform the same.

Some cyclists then stopped and shouted a lot of abuse at the driver who had the right of way. The cyclists were being so abusive and using foul language that people came out onto their balconies to see what was going on. The road was not closed and there were no signs to say Cyclists coming through.

There were a handful of cyclists (about 4 in total) who did stop at the red light on Tigertail however the rest of them had no regard for road laws and cycled through putting themselves and other road users in danger.

Just because you own a $2000 bike does not mean that road laws do not apply to you. If that driver had plowed into a group of cyclists because they broke the law, he would have ended up in prison.

If this event happens again, and I hope it does because it brings people in, the roads need to be closed or at least the police need to properly escort them like a rolling road block.

November 11, 2013 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In large groups, bicyclists have no regard for traffic laws. I've seen what you described firsthand at least a dozen times. They want to share the road, but don't want the law to apply to them.

November 11, 2013 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I saw a similar instance while driving through the Grove around noon on Sunday. A group of maybe 25 bikers whooshed by my car on both sides ignoring cars, pedestrians and the crosswalks and zooming through the red light where Main Highway meets Grand, all the way screaming at cars and pedestrians. It was rather harrowing for folks like me who had forgotten that the event was going to be taking place.

I second the notion that busy roads should be closed or there should be rolling police escorts. As a practical matter, we will never get cyclists to obey traffic rules and rights of way. I suppose we'll just have to find a way to make these type of events (as well as regular pack cycling) safer for all involved

November 11, 2013 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't the solution for this type of thing for police (or some group) placing signs in crosswalks and along the route to advise motorists that a bicycle event was taking place and to use caution because bicyclists are not expected to, and most likely will not, observe traffic laws?

I mean let's acknowledge reality.

November 14, 2013 7:56 PM  
Anonymous JB said...

"bicyclists are not expected to...observe traffic laws." I think that's the problem, they are expected to observe traffic laws but as you rightly point out, they are likely not to.

As for your solution; it's far too sensible. This is Miami we're talking about.

November 15, 2013 9:54 AM  

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