Have you ever gone on a group bike ride? No? Well, then you should because you’re missing out.
The popularity of group rides in Miami has increased over the last couple of years.
Not only is the city making a bigger attempt at creating more pathways but during the course of any given week there are at least three groups meeting up in different parts of the city to bike up to twenty miles through Miami streets.
Group rides offer cyclists a number of benefits over riding solo, the most important being safety. There is safety in numbers so groups tend to be between ten and thirty riders. Riding in a pack makes bikers more visible to passing vehicles than they would be if they were riding alone. Anyone that lives and has biked in Miami knows how aggressive drivers here can be.
Besides safety, riding in groups is fun.
“It feels better when you interact with other people” says Ulysess Lopez, a Miami native who enjoys different forms of cycling.
Half-way through group rides, cyclists stop to rest and joke around over pizza and a beer and after thirty minutes they jump back on their bikes.
Group rides are also great exercise. Speeds range from 12 mph all the way to 24 mph. For those that know they need to get in shape but dread going to the gym, hopping on a bike and cycling through the beautiful Miami streets is a much better alternative.
“By the end of the ride I’m drenched in sweat” says Lopez about the group ride he participates in on Wednesday nights.
For riders, the most significant benefit after safety, is that group rides allow them to improve their skills.
Group riding allows bikers to draft. Drafting happens when there is another cyclist in front breaking the wind. Drafting saves energy so that the whole group can move faster than they would be able to on their own. Faster speeds give riders the chance to improve their skills and riding ability.
The coolest thing about group rides is that they are free an anyone can participate. Groups are organized based on biking ability so that there is something for everyone.