We bike pretty much everywhere here, to the point where we have trouble remembering the last time we drove. (When my parents were visiting we had to drive because my dad has trouble getting around with his back problems. That was the first time I’ve driven in Old Town, and it was as terrible as expected. Just don’t drive in Old Town. Walk, bike, take a pedicab, get a hovercraft – anything but driving.)
Most of biking here is fantastic. It’s flat, many of the streets have bike lanes, and there are so many people who use it as their regular transportation – locals and tourists alike – that you feel a certain safety in numbers. However, Key West is not really that bike-friendly a town; the streets are narrow, the drivers are often drunk, and the city planners would rather you rode on the sidewalk than the street. It’s kind of dumb for a place that’s beyond perfect for cycling and pedestrians.
My bike is adapting to local life, too: in addition to my coconut cupholder, my basket is now wrapped in beads that I got at the Fantasy Fest parade, I have wheel lights, and it’s rapidly becoming covered in stickers. It’s the adult equivalent of the wicker-basket-with-a-flower and spoke streamers I had as a kid.
I realized yesterday why I like biking so much: it’s the only exercise you can do in flipflops.