On Any Sunday: A Visit to the Cycling Capital of Mexico

Gideon Lasco - Daily Inquirer
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January 2, 2022

Muévete en Bici in CDMX (DÓNDE IR)

Every Sunday, I would join the weekly “Muévete en Bici” (literally “Move around on your bike”) organized by the government of Mexico City, in which entire sections of major roads from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. are closed to form a protected route around the city that cyclists, runners, and skaters can take.

From my apartment in Condesa, I would join the route in Avenida Mazatlan, and follow it all the way down to Coyoacán then back to Condesa via Avenida Patriotismo. If I’m feeling energetic and the weather is good (as it usually is this time of the year), I would continue to Paseo de Reforma all the way to the Basilica de Guadalupe. Otherwise, I would happily just stop by my favorite bakery in Roma Norte, Panadería Rosetta, for a guava roll (or two), having already completed a good 20 kilometers at that point.

Throughout the “Muévete en Bici,” cyclists still have to stop at traffic lights every 500 meters or so, but it can still be a great workout akin to high-intensity interval training; what makes it fun is that other participants with your pace and you end up racing or trying to catch up with each other. Of course, you can just take it easy, too; I see families turning out with bikes of all sizes.

Aside from volunteers staffing every segment, there are bike repair stations and even medical stations along the way to make participants - even cycling novices - feel safe. And for children and adults alike who do not know how to bike, there are biciescuelas (bike schools) along the route.

For those without bikes of their own, the city rents bikes for free so people can join the bike ride on Sundays. All you have to do is leave your ID and fill out a short form.

One can also make use of ECOBICI, Mexico City’s highly acclaimed public bike sharing system, which offers 6,000 bikes scattered in over 450 bike stations around the city, which residents and tourists alike can avail for only 496 MXN (around 1200 pesos) a year.

All of the above facilities and services have clearly succeeded in the goal of encouraging people to “move around in their bikes,” and the past few months have seen record attendances - more than 100,000 on a Sunday. That number is reflective of just how popular cycling has become in the city and the country.

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