Bogotá is the capital of Colombia. The city is home to more than 11 million Bogotanos. Bogotanos is what we call people from Bogotá. To give you an idea about the population in Bogotá, New York City has approximately 8.4 million inhabitants. Bogotá has more.
Living in the city is exciting and provides many opportunities you may not get by living in the countryside; however, having open and safe spaces to exercise can be limited. Because of this, the city of Bogotá implemented the Ciclovía. Although Ciclovías are now happening in many cities across the globe, Bogotá was the first city to implement it.
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What is a Ciclovía?
Ciclovía literally translates into “cycleway.” Every week, the city of Bogotá creates a bike path by closing different streets throughout the city so that people can use the path to exercise. All forms of transportation are welcome as long as they are not motorized. Bikes are the preferred method of transportation in the ciclovía; however, you will see people skating, rollerblading, using scooters, or simply walking and jogging.
During an interview with National Geographic, the ciclovia’s director, Bibiana Sarmiento, said, “The ciclovía is the moment when motor vehicles make way for human beings.” She mentions that one of the goals of the ciclovía is to have people take over the city’s public space and enjoy each other’s company.
What do you do in the Ciclovía?
The ciclovía in itself is a chance to explore the city in a different way. It is also an opportunity to exercise, breathe fresh air, meet old friends, or make new ones. In addition to providing a safe space for people to exercise, the Ciclovía has fun stops along the way. Some Sundays, you may find an energetic Zumba instructor teaching you how to move your hips to the beat of the music. On some other Sundays, you may see a yoga instructor or a band playing fantastic music. You may also find fresh juice carts, my weakness, or a cart that sells fresh cut-up fruit.
What you do during the Ciclovía is up to you. There are serious exercise people that bike the path without making stops. On the other hand, you may find groups of friends or families taking a leisurely stroll and stopping at different places to people-watch, enjoy food, dance a little, or take a break.
When does the Ciclovía take place?
The Ciclovía happens in Bogotá, Colombia, every Sunday from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Where in Bogotá is the Ciclovía?
The ciclovía runs through the majority of Bogota’s 20 districts. One of the highlights is that it also goes through the Historic District of La Candelaria. There are is a lot to see in that area.
Can I rent bikes for the Ciclovía?
Yes! You can rent bikes for the Ciclovía while visiting Bogotá. The Ciclovía will have different bike stations where you can rent bikes from. Just be sure to have an I.D. Other bike rental companies include Bikingbogota, Baja Bikes, Bogota Bike Tours, and Bogota Travel Tours.
If you are in Bogotá on a Sunday, I recommend joining the Ciclovía. You will be able to see Bogotá from a different perspective, and you will be able to enjoy a lovely day out in the city.
Tips to make the most out of the Ciclovía
- Wear comfortable and athletic clothes.
- Wear sunscreen.
- Keep yourself hydrated.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
- Watch your surroundings.
- Bring cash.
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