Saturday, May 18, 2013


Bikes are everywhere you look here in Key West. Bike racks are provided at almost every store. And if you don't lock it up, it will disappear, but sometimes that isn't enough. One night last fall, over 70 bikes were stollen off the street. Their cut cable locks left hanging on the racks.

Road bikes are rare, mountain bikes are plenty, but the most common type is called a beach cruiser bicycle. This bike doesn't have gears and most do not have hand brakes. I have not ridden one, but without the ability to gear down, those head winds will kill you. This is the bike that the rental companies stock.

People get real creative and make their bike a one-of-a-kind, with paint and ornaments. Remember the 'sissy bars' when you was a kid... I've seen quite a few here. I think they look silly.

I realize that most riders are not in a race, and they just want to take a ride down to the beach or to a bar on Duval Street. But, dang, get out of my way! I tend to ride fast... because I can! My legs are strong and I don't like to go slow.

The first week I had my bike, I rode for about 3 or 4 blocks and then had to coast because my out-of-shape legs would give out. Now, I can ride all the way home from work (about 30 minutes), as fast as I can go, and never have to coast.

A few days ago, I was peddling along the Atlantic, against a strong wind. I was already tired from a full day's work, when this youngster pasted me... and then another one. Well, I didn't have it in me that day, to pass them with the current wind speeds, but I could reach real deep and find enough energy to at least keep up with these girls half my age. When we rounded Dead Man's Curve, and the wind was at my back, I blew past them and flew home. I felt I redeemed myself, if only in my eyes.

Have you ever witnessed a drunk try to ride a bike? It's quite amusing, unless they run over you. One afternoon, on my way to work, I thought I was going to have a head on collision with this guy. About 20 feet in front of me, he veered to the curb, laid it down, tucked and rolled in slow motion. It looked as though he had rehearsed this stunt to perfection. He then just laid there, spread eagle on his back. I think alcohol may have been involved.

Like I stated earlier, if you don't lock it up, it will disappear. The other morning, I saw this stripped bike in the street.

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