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Saturday, April 26, marked the 5th Annual Biscayne-Everglades Greenway Bike Festival. Riders of all skill levels and festival-goers from all over South Florida made this year’s installment one of the best yet. This ride was an impressive convoy of people of various ages enjoying a brisk 10-mile ride that started at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, looped around Biscayne National Park and headed back to the Speedway.
Despite the sweltering temperatures, more riders participated than at any other time in the festival’s short history. If riding wasn’t your speed, there was still plenty to take in, including a bike-painting activity where kids and their parents, spray cans in hand, did their best custom paint jobs on used donated bicycles. A variety of food options were available as well as vendors from the biking community like the University of Miami Bike Safe Program and others selling one-of-a-kind arts and crafts and Classic rock cover band, Main Highway, provided the soundtrack for a wonderful day under the sun.
Councilwoman Judy Waldman, who long ago saw the importance of a greenway and is the visionary behind the festival had this to say, “It’s always deeply rewarding when something you feel strongly about is also felt by others and, judging from the event’s turn out, it’s plain to see that the future of the festival and the Greenway that connects our national parks is well secured. I would like to thank the City of Homestead Parks and Recreation Department, without whom this would have never gotten off the ground, my colleagues in the council, Mayor Jeff Porter, Congressman Joe Garcia, Ms. Jacqueline Crucet from National Parks Conservation Association and all the great vendors and wonderful folks that made this event what it is.”
The trail, known as the Biscayne-Everglades Greenway, is a small portion of a larger 42-mile loop that intends to connect both Biscayne National and Everglades National Parks offering points of interests along the way. The Greenway project is the vision of City of Homestead Councilwoman Judy Waldman, which seeks to offer a safe and scenic route to the parks without concern for vehicular traffic. The Biscayne-Everglades Greenway is a collaboration among AIA Miami, the Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation Department, Biscayne and Everglades National Parks, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Office of Greenways and Trails, the City of Homestead and the NPS Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, among many others.