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Old 03-16-14, 11:01 AM   #1
Alex Klein
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Greetings from Colombia, South America!!

Hello everybody,
I am a musician and writer from Bogotá, Colombia. I have been riding my bicycle everyday to basically anywhere for four years now! Some fun facts about Bogotá:

- It is the city in South America with the biggest and largest bicycle path network. Despite this, riding a bicycle everyday is still considered to be an eccentricity. The paths themselves are good, but they are getting better everyday through campaigns that are promoting daily bicycle use (the traffic in Bogotá is incredibly bad).
- The weather here is nicknamed the "eternal autumn". It is mildly cold all year long...we have no seasons here.
- The city is quite literally located in the mountains (high plains), 2,600 meters above sea level. As a native here, I am accustomed to this, but foreigners often feel the effects of the altitude when they exercise.
- Bicycles ARE the main transportation means of security guards and gardeners. They are also used extensively by local grocery stores for deliveries.
- Special bicycles are manufactored here for delivery purposes. The main local bicycle brand is called GW, which sometimes mixes local manufactured parts with parts coming from Asian countries.
- All kinds of bicycles can be seen in everyday Bogotá, including roadsters with rod brakes. As far as I know, there are no strict regulations that restrict certain types of bikes from riding on roads. If the regulations exist, they certainly are not enforced at all! You can get away with riding any type of bike anywhere at any time.
- Indian roadsters are extensively used by gardeners. I love indian roadsters myself. I own two Eastmans and ride them everywhere, every day! Raleighs are harder to come by, but they can be found on occasion.

Anyway, I think I got too long-winded. I hope you find any of this interesting!!
Best,
Alex
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Old 03-16-14, 11:12 AM   #2
rm -rf
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That sounds like good cycling weather! Maybe you can post some pictures from a ride. It's always interesting to see where other riders live.

For instance, samosaurus in Malaysia has a lot good trip reports. Here's an example.

Last edited by rm -rf; 03-16-14 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 03-16-14, 11:26 AM   #3
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Hola and welcome aboard!
Cycling in Bogota seems interesting.
Are there still Sundays where some
roads are closed for traffic? They started
doing something similar here in NY in the
summers. A lot of bikers, skaters and
walkers/joggers really enjoy it.
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Old 03-16-14, 01:18 PM   #4
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I'd also love to see some pics of the places you ride in Bogota, and also the bikes - they sounds quite interesting!
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Old 03-16-14, 02:14 PM   #5
Alex Klein
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Thank you everybody for your welcome!
I promise I will take some interesting pictures about bicycles in Bogota. For now, however, I can show you some pre-existing pictures of utility bicycles in Bogota. Here is the classic delivery bicycle:

I am pretty sure most of these are manufactured here. The ones i've seen lately are from the GW brand, a colombian factory that recently gained some notoriety because it got the gold medal at BMX competition in the 2012 olympics. Anyhow, these bikes are EVERYWHERE: streets, bike paths, sidewalks, you name it. Most, if not all, grocery stores have them.

Now, bicycle taxis are not as common as they are in many Asian countries, but they can be found on the north of Bogotá. Here is what they look like:



Finally, for now, I did mention that gardeners use indian roadsters as transportation. Here is a picture of one:



Notice that the rod brakes and handle bars have been changed, yet most of the components seem to remain intact. All of the gardener's utensils are attached - somehow - to the bike. These men (i've never seen a woman here doing this) are probably still the main users of indian roadsters in the city, although there has been a recent surge of popularity for college students. I have seen many lately riding them, rod brakes and all!!

I will post more personal pictures in the coming days.
Thanks for your feedback!
Alex
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File Type: jpg Domicilios.jpg (74.3 KB, 3 views)
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Old 03-16-14, 02:19 PM   #6
Alex Klein
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
Hola and welcome aboard!
Cycling in Bogota seems interesting.
Are there still Sundays where some
roads are closed for traffic? They started
doing something similar here in NY in the
summers. A lot of bikers, skaters and
walkers/joggers really enjoy it.
Hola y gracias!
Yes, every sunday plenty of main roads are closed from 7am to 2pm exclusively for bike riding! It is a tradition in the city known as the "ciclovía" and has existed for many decades. You can spot all kinds of bikes there, and skaters, joggers do in fact join in! Helmets are recommended but are not mandatory (or, if they are, the law is most definitely not enforced). As I said previously - for better of worse - you can get away with riding any bike anywhere at any time. For instance, it is not rare to see people ride terrible bikes with no brakes freely on the paths and even on streets, with cars. Also, it is fairly common to see two people on one bike.
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Old 03-16-14, 04:23 PM   #7
Lacumo
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Welcome to BF!
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