South Beach, Miami Beach although best known for the beach and vibrant nightlife also boasts a rather extensive biking path. This four to five mile path borders the east side of Miami Beach starting at 23rd street continuing down to South Pointe and looping around the island and going north to end at the MacArthur Causeway to Miami (which is also bike accessible). As suggested by the closeness to the beach, the bike path, especially at the very southern tip of the island, is beautiful as one can see the ocean while feeling the slight breeze that seems to loll across the path.
Unfortunately, many other people, including roller bladers and strollers are keenly aware of the route-even the dirt path connection one must take to go from the end of the park at Ocean Drive to South Pointe part. Therefore, it can be quite crowded and daunting to people who lack experience riding in a crowd. These groups tend to appear mostly in the late morning to late afternoon and disappears close to sunset at least during the week- weekends are always crowded no matter what the time of day and extra caution is needed. Miami Beach can get really hot during the middle of the day and biking tends to exacerbate the problem. Therefore, the best times to bike and beat the crowd is the early morning around 9 and early evening between 7 and 8 as the air is cool and a lot less people to compete with for biking space.
In terms of acquiring a bike one of the easiest ways to rent a bike is to use the many bikes offered by Citi Bike. Offering either a pay by the hour plan, 24 hour plan or monthly plan for a low flat fee, Deco Bike provides flexibility in choice of rental plan but any choice is still governed by the same rules. Every hour one must return a bike to a stand and dock it as any time after that will incur a late fee/ But one can take out another bike immediately after returning one and start a new time period. The trick is to keep track of the time and plan to be near one of the many Citi Bike stands in the Miami Beach area (with many being found along the bike path and just off the beach near Collins Avenue). To make sure one has returned a bike to the Deco Bike electronic stand to end a rental period listen for a beep to indicate the bike is returned. As some stations require a little force to slot the bike, make sure a returned message is displayed or you may not get credit for an on time return. Remember, a tardy or missing bike incurs fees.
In terms of availability during the week, most bike stands have 3-4 bikes (each stand can accommodate 20 or so bikes) at any given time except for high demand areas and peak times in which case there can be none. On the weekend, the problem of finding a bike is very common in the hotel areas and near the beach and you should take this in account. All the bikes are in good to decent condition with adjustable seats, manually powered light, a basket, and a bell. They are quite heavy and can survive a crash or two with no noticeable damage and can handle dirt paths and roads easily.
In other words, Deco Bike is a great but slightly finicky rental service but the rental plan offerings make up for the inconvenience.
Hourly and daily rentals can be done at the stands with the use of a debit or credit card. If you want to take advantage of a longer term plan one can sign up online and either have the rental card mailed to you or you can pick it up at Deco Bike’s Miami Beach office (which offers an internet kiosk for quick sign up). By setting up an account one can track usage on line and keep tabs on late charges.
723 Washington Blvd. Miami Beach. FL 33139
Open 7 days a week:
Mon, Wed: 10am-5pm
Tue, Fri, Sat: 10am-6pm