Posted: Oct 23, 2012
How Bikeable is Key West?

​Key West is a pedaler’s paradise.  The neighborhoods west and south of White St in particular, encompassing the areas of The Meadows, Old Town, Casa Marina, Bahama Village and Truman Annex, provide streets and lanes of abundant architectural treasures, flora, aromas and hidden eateries and specialty shops. Here’s a map. For me walking takes too darn long.  And the often warm and muggy weather begs for a little breeze in the face.  My choice to remedy these two items, time and breeze, is the good ole bike. Whether two wheels or three, solo or tandem, Key West is well known as a pedaler’s paradise.

Key West has no less than seven bike shops.

Both large and small, these bike shops offer sales of bikes and equipment, service and repairs, daily and weekly rental rates, drop off and pick up service to your hotel or guest house and if you get a flat they'll rush out and pump - u up.  Here's a quick listing of bike shops in Key West:

 

  1. The Bike Shop.  1110 Truman Ave.  305 294-1073.
  2. Island Bicycles.  929 Truman Ave.  305 292-9707
  3. Eaton Bikes.  830 Eaton St. and 326 Southard St.  305 294-8188
  4. Bikeman Bike Rental Key West. 5 locations. 305 587-1783
  5. Tropical Bike and Scooter. 1300 Duval St. 305 294-8136
  6. We Cycle Key West 5160 US1 Stock Island. 305 292-3336
  7. Paradise Rentals.  110 Fitzpatrick St. 305 292-6441

On a bike, people can see you. If you are nice they'll remember.  If you're a jerk they'll remember more.

 

 

Many Old Town streets have painted bike lanes. For those that do not, just stay to the right.  There are formal rules and regulations for biking in town and if you want to review them the Florida Bicycle Association is a good place to start.

 

As a multi-year trike owner and rider (Miami Sun Trike) here are my practical riding rules:

 

  1. Stay to the far right at all times. 
  2. Be courteous. 
  3. Cars are bigger than you.  If one is following you then pedal into an open parking spot and let them by.  What the heck, they're eating gas and paying taxes. See rule #2.
  4. When you want to make a left turn, stay to the far right until traffic is clear, then turn left.  Please don't pedal in the middle of the street with your left arm out, you're just in the way. Legally you can stop in the middle of the road and turn left but why impede traffic behind you. See rule #2.
  5. Watch out for people who open their driver's or left rear passenger door without looking first.  They just forgot to look. See rule #2.
  6. Follow the rules of the road.  Some car drivers want to wave you through but they are confused.  If you do have priority then go, otherwise let the confused driver proceed. See rule #2.
  7. For chrissakes, use a light at night.  If you do not then come what may.
  8. If you absolutely must use a sidewalk please slow down.  Legally, you are allowed to use the sidewalk, but you do not have Priority. See rule #2.
  9. Texting and driving is stupid. Texting and pedaling is fatal. You're also not suppose to ride hands free or listen to your iTunes.  But people do.
  10. If you see a male bicyclist with a tall floppy hat and a stick jutting out 3' from the left side of his bike as a warning to cars when they pass him -  ignore him, he's a jerk and knows not Rule #2.

The benefits to biking are many:

  1. Fresh air
  2. No sweat exercise
  3. Easy to wave to friends and neighbors
  4. You don't have to circle the block to find a parking place
  5. Its easier and cheaper to personalize your bike then a car plus people would be more likely to buy a bike with a dayglo and sparkles paint job then a car.

Biking Key West is the most "local" thing you can do.

So park your car, rent a bike and be a local for a day (or 2 or 3 or 7).

 

If you have any comments, please Contact me here

 

Good luck!