sábado, 28 de septiembre de 2013

Scenes from the Ruana Ride

La Ruana, along with coffee and the sombrero vueltiao, represents Colombianess. Along with representing tradition and the humble campesino, this year La Ruana has come to be a symbol of rebellion against corporate and government power. Thus, donning a ruana in protests like this one means solidarity with the long-suffering small farmer.

This evening's bicycle ride, then, was a gesture of support for the farmers, who say that low prices for products such as milk and potatoes are making it impossible for them to make a living. The ride, from CityTV, down Ave. Septima to the Parque Nacional and then thru Teusaquillo and back again, was sponsored by Mi Caballito de Acero, a group of classic bicycle enthusiasts.

Mi Caballito de Acero

Riding down Ave. Septima
A campesino-style basket carrying bike.

Pedaling along Ave. Septima. 

Bicycle power kid.

Classic bikes and period clothing in the Parque Nacional. 

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

viernes, 27 de septiembre de 2013

TransMilenio Attacks a Cyclist

A cyclist descending Ave. Jimenez (also known as the Eje Ambiental, the Environmental Axis), on a collision course with a TransMilenio bus's exhaust.
The suffering cyclist after a toxic bath, courtesy of TransMilenio.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

viernes, 20 de septiembre de 2013

Bogotá's Bicycle Parking Paradox

A bicycle (mine) rests on the grass beside the Centro Memoria's car parking lot. 
Bogotá's has laws and policies requiring bicycle parking, in order to promote sustainable transit. But when the new Centro Memoria, a human rights documentation center, opened recently, it included two car parking lots and none for bicycles.

But right across the street  the small and relatively new Parque del Renacimiento has a half dozen bike racks with capacity for perhaps 100 bicycles - but rarely contain more than one or two bikes.

It fits a pattern of incontistancy in Bogotá's parking, which suggests several things to me: That bicycle parking isn't designed by cyclists, and that corruption might be involved. Are huge bike racks built more to give someone's uncle a contract than to actually service cyclists?
The new Centro Memoria also has an underground parking lot for cars, but no parking for bicycles.
Across the street in the Parque del Renacimiento, multiple bike parking racks sit empty.
A lonely bicycle in the Parque del Renacimiento racks.
In contrast, the city recently installed several simple and practical bike parking racks in the Parque Nacional. 
Newly-installed bike parking in El Parque Nacional in Bogotá.
The city also installed practical bike racks in the still-unopened Museo Nacional TransMilenio station. It's the only TM station I've seen with this sort of small, practical bike parking.
Several TransMilenio stations have these big, expensive bike parking structures (this one sat empty for years after completion until demonstrators staged a protest in front of it). They're nice, but 90% of stations have no bike parking at all - even tho Mayor Enrique Peñalosa, who designed the system, is a cyclist.
Build it and bikes will come: A few years ago some of us lobbied the Central Cemetery to install bike racks. They did, and today the racks get used, at least on Sundays, when La Ciclovia goes by on neighboring 26th St.
On the other hand, Ave. Septima, which is closed to car traffic during the days, has no bicycle parking. Here, someone chained their bike to a tree.