sábado, 15 de noviembre de 2014

The Bici-Expo

The 'Pazcicleta.'
A year ago Cesár Salamanga had a dream: He saw a white bicycle crossing a bridge, while a godlike voice told him: 'You are going to make a peace bike.'

The prediction came true, and Salamanga founded Pazicleta, which, with the help of corporate sponsors, is distributing bicycles in poor, violence-wracked Colombian provinces to enable children to get to school, making them less likely to join outlaw organizations such as guerrillas and narcotraffickers.
The peace bikes' rear wheels are red,
meaning that they leave behind violence.

Salamanga displayed his 'peace bicycles' today during Bogota's annual Expo-Bici, part of Bicycle Week, held in the Gran Estación shopping mall. Salamanga's initiative was one of the most idealistic and least commercial of the expo's offerings, which also included high-tech bikes, folding bikes and wooden bikes, as well as lots of accessories.

Near Salamanga's stand was Bicisi, which aims to produce custom-made yet affordable bikes, "so that nobody has an excuse not to buy one," explained Juan Camilo, one of the founders of the three-month-old company.

Juan Camilo with a Bicisi bike. 
Don't drink this junk, no matter
how pretty the salesgirls.
Much of the expo, which wrapped up with a group ride to Bogotá's velodrome, was unabashedly materialistic. I even saw a Pepsi photo booth, with curvaceous young women. Why let such destructive products into what's supposed to be a health-promoting event?

Bogotá bicycling jerseys.
The city published a bicycle book, altho I didn't wait around to get a copy.
Ciclobleas. Obleas, a sweet cracker treat, by bike.
A four-wheeled vehicle lent by the city.
Bike bag on a wooden bike by Gaia.
Rice with milk and bananas, by bike.
The big screen displays the downside of Bogotá bicycling: smog-belching vehicles.
During the ride to downtown, riding behind a bus which belches smog. 
This cyclist, sadly, feels the need to wear a pollution mask. 
Bikes beside the Gran Estacion's fountain pool.
Riding down 26th St. How many bikes can fit in the space of a single car?
Gimme five!
A smile and a colorful bike.

The event was held at the Gran Estación shopping mall.
Low-rider bikes.

A mature cyclist.
How many cyclists can fin into the space occupied by a single car?
A tiny bike.
Blog by Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours.

miércoles, 12 de noviembre de 2014

A Grab-Bag of Bikes

Kathy and Santa, who have a bike shop and do circus cycling.
write them at zua.zaa.cirko (at) gmail (dot) com
As part of Bogotá's seventh-annual Bike Week, bike makers and enthusiasts displayed their work on the plaza of the Jorge Tadeo University this afternoon.
Santa on his trick bike. 

Trick bikes. 
More and more bamboo bike makers have appeared in Bogotá.

Bogotá once had the region's largest network of bike paths, but I suspect that other cities have surpassed it.

Bikes lent by the Gran Estación shopping mall.

Mejor en bici is the city's best-known bike advocacy organization.
Bikes designed by Mejor en bici.

By Mike Ceaser of Bogotá Bike Tours

domingo, 9 de noviembre de 2014

Kicking Off Bogotá Bike Week 2014

A contest of 'ecological bicycles.' But aren't all bikes 'ecological.'
Bogotá's seventh-annual Bicycle Week kicked off today with contests and games in the Parque Nacional. The rest of the week, whose schedule is here, includes discussions in high schools and universities, an event about women and cycling and a commuters race, tomorrow afternoon, between bike, bus and car.

What's missing here, as in other years, are concrete programs to get people to pedal to school or work. That would mean a sensation of safety, secure parking and showers upon arrival, and financial incentives for cycling, to at least balance the big incentives drivers receive.

The cynic in me can't ignore right on the tail of Bicycle Week will follow The Automobile Showroom in the country's premier exhibition hall, Corferias. There, they'll be persuading Bogotanos to stuff more cars into the city.

The family that pedals together stays together. Riding a four-person 'bike' on La Ciclovia.

This 'bike' looks like a matchbox racer of yore.

A contestant in the weird bicycle contest.
How to turn a bicycle into a unicycle.

Nice try!

Finally got it now
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours