River Cities

Dolphins' Cycling Challenge cuts through Miami Springs

Traffic in parts of Miami-Dade Country became complicated last Saturday morning when streets were closed and traffic diverted for about 3,000 bicyclists who were riding 29 miles for charity.

Beginning at Sun Life Stadium, one of the routes in the Dolphins Cycling Challenge took about 3,000 cyclists southward and through Miami Springs via East Drive before heading east across causeways to the finish line on Ocean Drive on Miami Beach.

The event closed countless streets, including SR-112 and I-195 from 7 to 11 a.m. Officers from a dozen agencies, including the Florida Highway Patrol, worked to close streets for the safety of the cyclists.

The fundraising mission of the Dolphins Cycling Challenge was to tackle cancer by supporting innovative research at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Since the inaugural event in 2010, approximately $10 million has been raised. This year’s ride brought in more than $3 million.

The parking lot of the charter school on East Drive was used as a water station and also provided snacks, two dozen portable bathrooms, repair station and first aid center. East Drive was reopened after the last cyclist rode off at about 9 a.m.

Despite the grueling ride, the weather was cool and breezy and almost every rider arrived and departed with a smile. Many of the cyclists wore clothing touting corporate sponsorship but others were there for the fun of the ride.

“Being able to ride a bicycle across the causeway to the beach is a once-in-a-lifetime event,” said one cyclist.