Monday, August 26, 2013

The Sunday Ciclovia Tradition in Bogota

Although there is a lot I might miss in New York City, there are some activities in Bogota that I will miss when I leave. There is such a huge focus on physical activity. This is evidenced by a weekly activity they have had for almost 40 years (since 1976) called the Ciclovia.

What is this Ciclovia, you ask? Well, basically, Ciclovia means "bike path" in English. Every Sunday and every public holiday, Bogota closes down about 120km of the streets from cars so that cyclists and runners have free access to perform their physical activity. There are also free yoga, Pilates, and other exercise classes offered in the city's largest park (Parque Simon Bolivar). Isn't that pretty great?

When I am in town on a Sunday, I usually take advantage of the closed streets to get a run in. There is nothing like running in the open streets. But last Sunday, I thought I'd take a walk and show you guys a bit of how it works.

There are food and drink vendors on the path in case riders and runners get tired, or families walking with their kids want a little bite to eat.

If your bicycle breaks down, there are small stalls there solely to fix your problems. Of course, there are also some medical assistants in case people get hurt.

Of course, as you run or cycle, you will get to some streets where cars need to cross to get across the city. So the city placed these young folks to stop traffic and make sure everyone's safe. I call them the Little Traffic Coordinators. I found this super cute girl and had to take a photo.

Of course, there had to be a random concert going on :)

A lot of European countries already focus a lot on cycling, but I really wish we could implement more things like this in the US, and in African countries. If you are in a position to do so, this is something to consider :)

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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