On the surface, mountain biking in South Florida sounds about as plausible as deep sea fishing in Arkansas. But I’m here to tell you, my friends, that not only is it possible — but I did it! Take a ride with me in this week’s Keeping Up with Chris.
Chris Van Vliet: “I think when people hear there is mountain biking in Miami…”
Bernard “Frenchy” Riviere, Virginia Key Bicycle Club: “…They laugh.”
Chris Van Vliet: “How can you do this? There’s no mountains here.”
Bernard “Frenchy” Riviere: “There are no mountains.”
The Virginia Key mountain bike trail stretches for eight beautiful miles and was built by volunteers from the Virginia Key Bicycle Club. And here’s the best part: it’s completely free to use.
Chris Van Vliet: “So anyone can ride here?”
Bernard “Frenchy” Riviere: “Anyone can ride here. You need a bicycle and a helmet.”
Chris Van Vliet: “We’re ready. This is it. Helmets, gloves, bikes.”
Bernard “Frenchy” Riviere: “And a good attitude.”
The trails here use the same system you see on ski slopes: green is easy, blue is intermediate and black diamond is the hardest, so naturally we start off with some green trails.
Chris Van Vliet: “Woo! Check it out. Not a bad view, right?”
From there we moved onto to some more advanced trails with a few challenging obstacles.
*Chris goes down a hill*
Chris Van Vliet: “I did it! That was cool.”
*Chris goes up a bridge*
Chris Van Vliet: “Woooah!”
Chris Van Vliet: “So we’re just going to take these stairs to the next trail. Oh wait! This is the next trail.”
*Chris goes down the stairs*
Chris Van Vliet: “Wooooo!”
Chris Van Vliet: “Well, we might as well end it with the hardest trail. What do you even call this thing?”
Bernard “Frenchy” Riviere: “Well, the trail is called Highway to Hell. You’re up, you’re down, you’re left, you’re right, and you stay on or you fall off.”
Chris Van Vliet: “Yep.”
*Chris almost falls*
Chris Van Vliet: “Oh! I’m doing it, though. Oh, this is terrifying.”
*Chris falls off the trail*
Chris Van Vliet: “Oh my God! I just fell bad.”
Camera man: “Chris, you all right, dude?”
Chris Van Vliet: “Woo, little spill, but I’m all right. If it wasn’t for the helmet … who knows? How does this look?”
That’s mostly dirt on my face. Don’t worry, it looks worse than it was.
I will say that that looked bad and sounded bad, but I’m OK. I am. It could have been much worse if I didn’t have my helmet on.
By the way, helmets are mandatory on the trail, and Frenchy said he’ll kick you out if you’re not wearing one.
So what’s next? You tell me! Email me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR MORE INFO:
Virginia Key North Point Trails
Arthur Lamb Jr. Rd.
Miami, FL 33149
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