May is National Bike Month and as a way to celebrate cyclists and “green” commuting, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is offering free museum admission this month to all who arrive via bike. They hosted a kick-off event on Cinco de Mayo, and dubbed it “Cycle de Mayo,” as a way to give back to cyclists and alert the public to this promotion.
Afrobeta, Miami’s romance/electro/funk band, played on PAMM’s outside terrace overlooking Biscayne Bay during the three-hour May 5 evening event, while patrons enjoyed cocktails, Florida beers and Mexican food for purchase. Others strolled the museum’s current exhibitions, viewing art like that of Romare Bearden, one of the 20th century’s most prolific artists known for his imagery of “some of the first artistic representations of black traditional and popular culture from an African-American perspective.”
Carlos Trujillo of Miami rode his “tall bike” to the event, even after pulling his calf muscle earlier that day and suffering a bike accident last week during Critical Mass. “I’m still tall bike for life!,” he says. He’s a member of Tall Bike 305, a crew of locals who ride tall bikes in and around Miami. When asked how one gets on and off a tall bike, the seat being four or more feet above the ground, he said “very carefully.”
“The benefits of riding tall bikes is that everyone can see you — and you can see everything because you can see over cars, hedges and fences,” he says. “Since you can be easily seen, people are more involved in the novelty of it, so they’re very friendly about it as opposed to being on a different bike where they might be offended that you’re sharing the road with them.”
Complimentary bike valets at the event were provided by Green Mobility Network, while Brickell Bikes did free bike check-ups — testing brakes, chains and other parts. The Miami Downtown Development Authority and the Knight Foundation were among the sponsors of the free event.
Emmanuel Genao, PAMM’s marketing manager, said of the inaugural event, “The whole idea behind free admission for cyclists during May is because this is such a populated area, being in downtown Miami, there’s a lot of cars, so it’s a good way to get cars off the street and to help the environment.”
He points out that the Museum Park Metromover station leads directly to the museum. Bicycles are allowed on public transportation in Miami-Dade. “So that’s a great way of getting here quickly and lowering the carbon footprint on the environment,” he said, “and contributing to the green movement.”
Bike racks are located at the Metromover station and in the museum’s parking garage, in the lower level and throughout Museum Park.
While cyclists enjoyed the event, not all of those on two wheels were impressed with the museum’s accommodations.
“They need to have ADA-compliance parking that’s van-accessible,” said Anson James, of Miami, who is in a wheelchair and drove a van to Thursday’s event with friends who were also in wheelchairs. The garage’s roof was too low for their van to enter, so they had to park down the street in a separate lot, pay $10 for parking and “wheel over rocks” to get to the museum. He said that during inclement weather, especially with rain, they wouldn’t even consider coming out to the museum.
“We want to come out to these events and show support, but we have to come and wheel all the way over here and it’s not good for us.” There is a drop-off point outside of the museum, but it doesn’t account for drivers who are handicapped with vehicles not meeting the clearance requirements.
Tracy Belcher, PAMM’s director of marketing, said that after the May 5 event, the museum “added signage outside of the garage which tells people with wheelchair accessible vans that exceed eight feet, two inches in height, whom to contact for parking accommodations in case they don’t see an attendant close by.”
She said the art inside the museum was a little “too funky” for her tastes but that cycling and staying active is what keeps her going.
“I have to stay young. I’ll be 67 soon,” she said. She and 150 others valeted their bikes during the event — the tally given by the Green Mobility Network at night’s end.
Contact reporter Caitlin Granfield at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To receive free general museum admission throughout the month of May, post a photo of your bike ride to PAMM on social media with the hashtag #BikeToPAMM and tag @pamm (Twitter) or @pammpics (Instagram). Show the post at visitor services for free general museum admission during regular museum hours.
For hours, address, parking and admission information, visit pamm.org/visit.