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South Beach bodies just seem to be more tan and toned than anywhere else in South Florida. To help you discover how these beach bunnies stay so fit, tag along on the Community Bike Ride and the First Friday Skate and tour the city like a native. Participation is free, equipment rental is reasonably-priced, and the chance to make new friends on Miami Beach is priceless!
It’s easy to explore most cities from the safe remove of an air conditioned shuttle bus listening to oft-repeated speeches about town fathers, major landmarks, and scenic waterways. To experience Miami Beach in truly aerobic style, head to the Miami Beach Bicycle Center (601 Fifth Street) and join the Second Saturday Bike Ride all through town under the watchful eyes of uniformed police escorts. Pedal 15 miles through the Art Deco District, up Collins Avenue to check out the Miami Modern architecture, and down North Bay Road past the elegant mansions of Matt Damon, Thomas Harris, and BeeGee Barry Gibb. Beach police stop traffic to facilitate a safe and speedy ride and sometimes sound their sirens so you’ll feel like a VIP. Registration starts at 8:15 a.m. on the second Saturday of each month and there is no cost to join. Bikes and helmets are available for the ride, which starts at Fifth Street and Washington Avenue promptly at 9 a.m. and lasts about two hours with a stop for water midway.
If you are a confident street skater with a taste for night time adventure, join the First Friday Skate through Miami Beach surrounded by the swirling lights of police cruisers. The 12-mile route averages about 10 mph and requires a degree of experience that may be too extreme for children but definitely provides a great work out for agile adults. The after dark skate stops at least once for water and requires that each skater wear a helmet and blinking safety lights. Sponsored by Fritz’s Bike and Skate Shop (1620 Washington Avenue), the free monthly outing is also open to bicycle riders. A limited number of bikes and skates are available for rent a half-hour before the 7 p.m. start time. Skaters meet at Washington Avenue and Lincoln Road on the first Friday of every month for a happy hour that’s all-wheel drive!