moving to Belo Horizonte Brazil
in july and wondering if i should take my road bike. i spend a ton of time doing urban riding here in san francisco and venture out into the hills (berkeley and marin) and don't like the idea of not having my bike but also want to make a smart choice.
I've been to most parts of Brazil. I haven't been to BH in about 20 years, but I'm sure you are aware it is a very large and crowded city. I think it's still the 3rd largest city in Brazil after Rio and Sao Paulo. BH is surrounded by hills and mountains, it's in a generally rugged terrain area. BH is not what I would consider bike friendly. If you have a skinny tire road "racing type" bike, your options might be limited. A more rugged road bike with fatter tires like a Surly would get by a little better. On the other hand, if you were moving to Curitiba or some of the smaller cities in Parana, Santa Catarina or Rio Grande do Sul, your road bike riding options would be a little better. Even Brasilia is not bad for cycling in the high plains area on the outskirts of town.
How did it work out for you?
I live in Recife and I hope your situation in BH is better than we have it here. The drivers of motorized vehicles here are extremely rude and dangerous. I was hit by a full sized bus a little over a year ago and the driver yelled at me and said it was my fault because I was riding on the pavement. When the transit police got there (3 hours later), The driver ran to the car and probably slipped him a bribe because the officer started telling me the same thing. The national trafic laws in Brazil that pertain to bicycles are good and the bus driver clearly was at fault on 3 counts. The most obvious was that his vehicle was suppossed to clear mine by a meter and a half. I recovered from my concusion after 2 days in the hospital and a week in bed at home. I never bothered to go back to get the police report. I probably should have. It might have been good for a laugh.
Then there was the time a van ran into the back of my bike (another professional driver). He broke the glass windows I was carrying on the rack. He said it was my fault because I used my brakes in front of him. I convinced him that he was not leaving the scene until he payed for the glass. I had the bill in my pocket because I had purchased the glass moments before.
I guess they will have to kill me though to get me to stop riding. I have logged more that 5000km since the bus hit me.
Let me know how your experience was in BH. That is if they didn't get you yet.
Hi! I am from BH, and although BH is not that good for road biking, we have the Pampulha lake here, that is surrounded for about 18 km of very good tarmac. Otherwise, here is one of the best places in the country for mountainbiking, and you seldom need to put the bike on the car to go out for a ride, the tracks are just a walk across the street. Just take a look on our rides on www.motionbased.com
If you need some info just drop me a PM
I'll be spending time in BH soon. Would you please comment on how safe is biking around Pampulha lake? Is it safe enough to ride alone or shall I do it with a group?. Changing sports now, can you comment on places for swimming and running, I mean Trails and/or Cross Country?.
I'm from belo horizonte and I say: bring your bike with you. But I'd bring a set of fatter (700x28c) tires just in case. BH is a relatively safe place, but I wouldn't take any chances until you develop that sixth sense that people do around here. We can spot danger from a mile away, you'll eventually learn that. Biking around Pampulha lake is safe during the day. Just team up with someone, there are a lot of people who regularly ride there.
Last edited by fonfa; 06-14-09 at 08:24 AM.
I know this is an old thread, but if anybody else finds it on a search, there`s a great bike forum based in Brasil:
It`s all in Portuguese, but if you can understand it there`s a lot of good info divided both by region and by type of riding.