How Emerge is Connected to Biking

Emerge Miami began dabbling in bicycle ride organizing back in 2006, when we launched a monthly Critical Mass ride every second Saturday. We recognized that Miami is a swell town to ride in year-round, but that with the exception of cycle clubs and sports rides there was not much to do for leisurely celebrations of alternative transportation and collaborations with local recreation. We started our rides to provide a schedule of activities for folks to get on board with our organization and a chance to tour our town in an exciting and engaging way.

Why it’s a tool for organizing

  • We’ve learned a ton from our bike rides, such as how to form lasting bonds with local groups and businesses and how to get involved with city and county government. In 2007, on a ride stopping by the Legion Park Farmers Market, we encountered City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz who welcomed Emerge representatives to an upcoming meeting with bicycle organizers at City Hall. Presto! Following that meeting and a series of collaborations, the Miami Bicycle Action Committee formed with Emerge members involved, and a Mayor’s Proclamation and a decade of organizing later, and Miami’s cycling infrastructure continues to propel us to national recognition as a Bicycle-Friendly City, according to the League of American Cyclists.
  • Bicycle organizing has taught us so much about engagement and organizing. We’ve learned to use fun and all-inclusive event planning to bring together organizations and business of all walks, from supply drives for the underprivileged to our yearly Sweet Treats rides which take folks to independent dessert shops to replenish those calories burned while bicycling.