sábado, 11 de diciembre de 2010

Arboreal Bicycle Parking

Secure bicycle parking can be hard to find in Bogotá. Many car parking lots refuse bicycles - despite the law requiring them to accept them. Or, try locking your bike to a pole on a sidewalk and you could be pounced on (as I've been) by police and security guards enraged at this violation of civil order. On the other hand, if you do manage to park your bike in public, don't be too surprised if it's a bit lighter on your return.

But this guy, whom we met during a bike tour, did manage to find secure bicycle parking - and on an upper story, no less. His treehouse is alongside the Iglesia Santa Ana in the Teusaquillo neighborhood.
See anything funny about those trees on the left?
No lock needed up here.

Taking the down elevator. 

Tree man
Here's the tree man, Glautier Nieves Estrada, on his bike. He's lived up there for seven years and appears happy with his lodgings, despite some hostility from neighbors. He makes his living by scavenging the trash for saleable recyclables, so he's doing his bit for the environment.

He comes from a peasant family from the Valle del Cauca region. They were driven out by paramilitaries, who this man said chopped their victims into pieces, and became more of Colombia's millions of people displaced by the country's armed conflict. He lost contact with all of his relatives, including his three daughters.

UPDATE In early January 2011 the man's house disappeared from his tree. I'd heard that some neighbors had complained about him, so perhaps they removed his things while he was gone. He's probably under a bridge, now.

Or, perhaps he reunited with his daughters. We can always hope.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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