Saturday, February 25, 2012

Biking Miami's Key Biscayne/Rickenbacker Trail

The highway from Miami to Key Biscayne is called Rickenbacker Causeway (toll was $1.50 in 2012) and the bike trail is mostly a bike lane on the roadway.



When you first cross the bridge, you'll find the beautiful beach of Virginia Key on your right with a bike/pedestrian path separate from the bike lane along the highway.  But on the Saturday I rode it, the separate path was congested with walkers and runners, and the bike lane on the road was crowded with road bikers out for speed runs, often two and three abreast. Below you see Miami in the distance with the Causeway bridge evident.  The brick road is the beach driveway, to its right is the ped/bike path, and the highway is farther to the right with the bike lane.





As you bike father east and reach Key Biscayne, you pass the marina and the separate bike path ends, as seen here...



...but if you'd prefer to not bike on the road, you can cross the road at the marked crosswalk you'll see just after you pass the sign for Crandon Park, and you'll find a path on the north side that wends its way through park property, first passing along the Bear Paw Preserve and then Crandon Park beaches and park areas seen here...



The trail ends at the Bill Baggs Cape State Park which charges an entrance fee even for bikes, so turn around if you'd rather not pay.

On the return trip, I saw many bikers turn onto Virginia Key's Arthur Lamb, Jr. Road, a wide, well-paved, lightly used road that adds about 4 miles to your ride.  And as a bonus, I found the Virginia Key North Point Mountain Bike Trails which offers 4 miles of mountain biking on trails labeled as novice, intermediate, and advanced. Wow!  What a great course!  I did about three of the miles and compare it favorably to the Santos Trails outside of Ocala in the Ocala National Forest which I rank as one of the best in the USA with its 50 or so miles of trails. Here's a photo of one of the advanced trails as viewed from an easy one...

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