I haven’t owned a bike since I was about 12 years old but I’d like to think that back then I was pretty good at it- no hard falls, no broken bones, no bad memories scarred into my brain. So what better time than now to be a bike owner once again?! And I happen to live in a great city for cyclists I think so anyway.
I LOVE cycling in Santiago, I think it’s a great city for bikes and it’s only going to get better. With the development of more and more Ciclovias (cycle lanes) it’s encouraging people to get on their bikes!
Its not just riding to work that’s great for cyclists here but if you don’t have the confidence to ride to work or want to teach your children how to ride without needing to share the road then you’ll love this – Every Sunday, yes EVERY Sunday there is an organisation called CicloRecreoVía which has organised with the government or council whatever to close down 30kms of the main streets to vehicles from 9am-2pm . The idea is to have the streets free from cars, trucks, buses, taxis you name it so that its open to the use of cyclists, roller bladers, runners, skate boarders and so on. The first time Javier and I cycled it we did about 25kms. If you are game enough which I am not you can even cycle up Cerro San Cristobal and check out the views of the city.
Not only is it a great idea but its executed so well, its impressive. If you dont have a bike you can always rent a bike on the day and there are water stops, fresh juice, free sunblock, bike fixing stations, face painting for children, photographers- It all makes for a really fun day out. Its great seeing families together and little kids learning how to ride – it gives off such a great sense of community. You can check out their facebook page if you want to see what its all about.
A photo snapped of Javier and I riding down Andres Bello – Most of the streets if not all that are included in the 30kms are streets with permanent ciclovias on them! so even when they aren’t closed you can safely ride on the same streets any day you like! I’m not sure how long this has been going for but isn’t it fantastic?!
The map below is scheduled to start on the 22nd of November in Antofagasta which is in the North. Hopefully this organisation just keeps doing what their doing and in turn be able to reach more and more communities and people.
And just to make things even better, its not just this organisation – there are others that organize events for cyclists too- I’ll get to those 😉
So get on your bikes!
Chao for now