A couple of months before we left, Tim and I decided that we wanted to take a Spanish class while we were abroad. We researched a lot of different schools in various Latin countries, but ultimately decided on the CEPE program offered at la UNAM in Mexico City.
Mexico City has proved to be a great city to cycle in. Today the city closed 35 km of roads and dedicated them for cycling. There must have been thousands of people in the street. The Government does this on the last Sunday of every month. I almost slept in after a late night out last night, but i make it out of bed in time to complete the circuit.
Bici Nocturno — Touring Mexico City’s Historical District at Night, a photo by tf_82 on Flickr.
It wasn’t a long ride in the central district, but it was beautiful. Not sure how often the city closes the streets for this, but I’m glad I got the chance to do this.
Cycling in Mexico city is a newish sport, though at times it feels more like an extreme sport. Part of the reason why it hasn’t been so popular is because it it viewed as more of a lower class activity, but Pablo and Gabby are trying to change that.
They are part of a growing movement of Chilancos (people from Mexico city) who cycle for pleasure. In the last 3 years the Mayor has invested in bike lanes and a bike sharing program in some of the city’s nicest areas. All this is helping to curb the stereotype.
As well, Pablo and Gabby are teaching others how to urban cycle. Their goal is to promote safer bike friendly roads as well as to make drivers more accustomed to cyclists, who are starting to hit the road in huge numbers.
How huge? If the Mayor has his way, five percent of Chilancos will be commuting by bike.
Next month Pablo and Gabby will be opening a bike touring company. Today Helene and I got a sneak peak of what their tours will be like while they took us on a 30 km tour of the city.
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When I heard that the second largest Carnaval after Rio de Janeiro was in Veracruz, a city five hours from Mexico City, I was all over it. Though I had never been to a Carnaval, I had heard that they are the best parties in the world, and I didn’t want to miss it.