Ciclorutas and Ciclovía : Useless or Useful?
What do you think of the ciclorutas and ciclovías in Bogota? Before coming to Bogotá, many of my Colombian friends living abroad reiterated the fact that the streets of Bogotá were hectic and undrivable and that the public transportation system was not very efficient. (Read my Transportation Guide to Moving Around Bogotá)
Ciclorutas and Ciclovías in Bogota are surprisingly good!
Although this holds some truth I was surprised upon coming here to find such an extensive bike path system or ciclovías of Bogota. Dedicated bike paths can be found in many areas of the city, make cycling a great option to escape the dense traffic of the capital. Paths are wide and in some areas, they even have their own traffic signs and traffic lights. These bike paths were built during the Peñalosa and Mockus presidency in efforts to improve city infrastructure. And honestly, I think they were off to a good start. So if you’re interested in wandering off and doing your own bike tour, feel free to do so! To see up to where it extends be sure to check out the cicloruta map here.
What’s Ciclovía Sunday all about?
To promote bike use and citizen health, ‘Ciclovía’ is organized every Sunday and public holiday from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. closing off main streets to cars in order for citizens to enjoy the open air and get some exercise. To join in on the bike riding, check out the closest ciclovía routes in your neighborhood. ‘Ciclovía’ is popular in Cali and Medellín as well as in a dozen of other cities around the world that have been inspired by Bogota’s efforts and replicated the system for their own citizens.
The ciclovía of Bogotá needs a better infrastructure.
Although it’s a good start, there is much to be improved to make the ciclovía of Bogota truly efficient. Some bike paths are dilapidated, others are not extensive enough and many cross paths with car lanes (And as we all know, bogotanos are infamous insane drivers.)
Oh, how many stories I’ve heard of the guy that needed help because his bike was broken and sped away with his victim’s bicycle instead. Or the gringo that thought he was having a harmless chit chat with a local who wanted to test drive his bike and never came back. Be weary and trust no one! Make sure you keep it under lock when you’re not on your bike. Even better, don’t buy a bike that you will feel bad about in case it gets stolen.