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Letter From Key West: Bikes Blocked

“Our cars get dented form being parked on the street, and faded from sitting in the sun,” says Nancy Klingener in this essay on bike culture in Key West. “But our bikes, we take care of them… ”
Their bikes are so beloved, some people paint them up into “art bikes,” like the ones in these photos. These are all painted by Key West artists for a show at The Studios of Key West , and ridden in the Fantasy Fest parade.

Nancy mentions impromptu bike tours to see Key West’s holiday lights, and adds: “When someone’s bike disappears, we post photos, like they were lost pets.”

Certain bikeways hold a special significance for Nancy too. So she objects when the cemetery gates are locked, shutting off access to a peaceful bike path through the center of town. She also wonders about a rash of tickets handed out to cyclists over the summer. “When the city’s official stance is hostile to bicycles,” she says, “I object.”

Nancy Klingener describes herself as “a recovering journalist, aspiring librarian and addicted reader” living in Key West, Florida. She’s also the person behind the The Bone Island Book Blog.

The song in this piece is “Op de Hoek” by Miami musician Adam Weinberg.