Somehow, the Republic Bike Crawl manages to intersect alcohol and food with exercise in areas of South Beach very rarely explored, even by locals. Mention eats and libations to a person and you’ll have their attention, but bring in exercise to the equation and you’ll start to get weird stares. Yet, The Workshop offers this Bike Crawl and will have you thinking twice about missing the next installment. The first Bike Crawl held was attended by around ten guests and was used to celebrate the fact that the Freehand Hotel is now offering the opportunity for people to rent Freehand Bicycles for a whole day at the cost of $15. Throughout the crawl, we made stops at local hotspots such as Pubbelly Sushi, F1RST Surf Shop, the iconic The Room located South of Fifth, and The Regent Cocktail Club at The Gale.
After experiencing what the Republic Bike Crawl has to offer, I can whole-heartedly say that it is more than just about the food and drinks. All the guests involved were enlightened about parts of the beach that we all knew existed, but for some reason happen to neglect when it comes to being in the South Beach area. Everyone was pretty vocal about how they were beginning to appreciate places like South Point and hidden bars within hotels such as the Regent. The samples offered throughout the crawl included high quality restaurants and food, ranging from Sushi from Pubbelly to Pizza at the Regent to beer tastings at The Room. Getting to all the restaurants and having the food prepared for us already was something much appreciated, and portions were plentiful enough to satiate your hunger but not enough to leave you overstuffed with a feeling of dread when riding the bicycle.
The snow crab sushi served at Pubbelly Sushi perfectly portrayed why the Pubbelly group is as popular as it is, exhibiting the sophisticated flavors of local seafood in an asian package. The sauce served alongside the sushi was light and refreshing, being served as a way to develop the flavors coming from the fish. F1RST Surf Shop is a new addition to the Miami Beach scene, but it is a welcomed addition to an area needing a store such as this. Clothes typically found in the west coast of the country and only online if you’re a local trying to get your hands on it is being sold here, making it a definite place to check out. The Room hosted the group with two different tastings of beer and a lively atmosphere, allowing the guests to sit at the bar, enjoy each other’s company, and watch some of the Miami Heat game. This lack of pretentiousness and opportunity to enjoy South beach like a local is exactly what a tourist looks for when trying to decide on where to drink. Lastly, the Regent at The Gale hotel served four (!!!) different variations of thin crust pizza, with toppings ranging from proscuitto, to broccoli rabe, to mushrooms. The pizza itself had a flavorful dough very reminiscent to a thin sourdough with generously applied cheese that was not too greasy to detract from the toppings. It was a sophisticated take on the junk food that so many of us love, giving you the feeling that you were eating common food in an upscale setting.
Overall, the samples were enjoyed by all and played a fair part in making the experience with Republic Bike Crawl an amazing one, but being able to navigate through the city on a bicycle and getting to see South Beach like a local would was what sealed the deal. Parking was never a hassle, as we all just placed our bikes close to the area where we were dining. It was a perspective altering experience, which led everyone in the group to become friends. By the last stop, at The Broken Shaker, literally everyone involved in the Bike Crawl decided to stay hanging out and enjoyed the drinks offered by what may be the best bar program in the South Florida area.
The Republic Bike Tour lasted around three hours and managed to successfully combine much juxtaposition in a grabbing way. Exercise and food. Proper cocktails and pizza. Locals and South Point. They are things that wouldn’t normally go together, but surprises such as these are what make life grand. So yes, I would recommend this crawl. And yes, I thoroughly enjoyed the food and drinks. But the best part was being able to create lasting memories with new friends and learning about a place I thought I knew so well.
Republic Bike Crawl
1424 20th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139
F1rst Surf Shop
40 S Pointe Dr #107, Miami Beach, FL 33139
100 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
The Regent at The Gale
1690 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
The Broken Shaker
2727 Indian Creek Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33140
By blogger, Santiago Cardona