The Town of Cutler Bay’s annual bicycle event, which started back in 2006, took place on Apr. 26, but this year became the “Bike Ride & Bike-B-Que” as the town teamed up with the Village of Palmetto Bay for a combined cities celebration.
Starting at Lakes by the Bay Park in Cutler Bay at10:30 a.m., with free bike helmets provided to those needing them, the ride proceeded with a police escort up the Old Cutler Bike Trail and ended at Ludovici Park in Palmetto Bay. There a free barbecue lunch was provided, as well as other activities, including a raffle for a child’s bike.
A total of 171 riders participated this year, with 60 adults and 30 children from Cutler Bay, 27 adults and 7 children from Palmetto Bay, and 44 adults and 3 children from other cities, including Homestead, Miami, Pinecrest, Coral Gables, Hialeah and Pembroke Pines. After lunch, the police escorted the riders back to Lakes by the Bay Park.
At the Ludovici Park portion of the event, Cutler Bay Councilmembers Peggy Bell and Sue Ellen Loyzelle attended and Palmetto Bay was represented by Mayor Shelley Stanczyk, Vice Mayor John DuBois and Councilmember Joan Lindsay. Due to other commitments in a busy day, this was the first year that Bell didn’t ride in the event.
“I went to the start and I went to the barbecue in Palmetto Bay,” Bell said. “I think it’s really wonderful that we’ve taken the bike event to that next step of joining our sister city in producing an even greater event. I think it was a wonderful day. It was a little warm, but everyone had their helmets on and everyone took off from Lakes by the Bay Park on time. It was super positive. The food was great — the barbecue, that all worked out. The Parks Department participated in the cooking with the Palmetto Bay staff.”
Alan Ricke, the Town of Cutler Bay’s Parks and Recreation director, didn’t just work on the nuts and bolts planning and coordinating of the event, he participated as well.
“I rode in it for the first time this year,” Ricke said. “I really enjoyed it. Ten miles wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, especially since we broke it up into segments.”
Public Works staffers were busy the day before removing any tree debris and other potential obstacles from the sidewalks and bike path to ensure a safe ride for the event’s large number of riders.
Bell said that coordination between Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay was great and she would like to see the combined event continue.
“They’re our sister city so we get along really well,” Bell said. “I’d like to see the event grow even bigger. I’d like to see more families get out there and enjoy a safe bike day.”