Gables Bike Day raises awareness for biker safety

For the first time in its three-year history, Gables Bike Day organizers are creating a bike route connecting the University of Miami campus to Miracle Mile as a way to further encourage participation among UM students and faculty.

The annual Gables Bike Day held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 20 is an event presented by the downtown Coral Gables and the Miracle Mile business improvement districts to promote cycling and educate the community about traffic laws as well as encourage bicycle commuting.

Robert Ruano, founding chair of Bike Walk Coral Gables, envisions the entire Gables area with protected bike lanes and striped routes, where students and residents can feel safe to ride.

“That’s our ultimate goal and why we work so hard to provide a community event that everyone can enjoy and meet people that want the same for our city,” he said.

The student organization UBike is preparing a group of students to travel together and is hosting a UBike Bike Sale and Safety Expo on Oct. 14 and 15 at the Rock. The department of parking and transportation will also work with UBike to set up the event.

At the expo, All 4 Cycling will be selling bicycles, and Bike Safe will give presentations about bicycle safety. The Dolphin Cycling Challenge will also be promoting its event, a charity fundraiser that supports cancer research.

“The event is an opportunity for the university community to be exposed to all things bicycling in South Florida,” said Ricardo Herran, who works for UM campus planning and development.

Last year, more than 4,000 people participated in Gables Bike Day. The bike path will feature scenic guided tours that pass architectural sites and gardens throughout Gables.

Bike Day will be sponsored by Bill Bone Pro-Am and will offer food vendors, children’s play areas such as face painting and clowns, hourly bike tours and nonprofit and educational booths about biking.

Local musicians and bands, like Oriente and Nil Lara, will perform at the event as well.

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What: Gables Bike Day

When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 20

Where: Miracle Mile and Coral Gables areas

For more information, visit Miracle Mile will be closed to traffic, but shops and restaurants will remain open for business. There will be free bike valet stations set up at two locations along the event route.