Unfortunately it takes too long to get out of Mexico City for a bike ride in the mountains or forests, but every Sunday there’s a ciclovía. One Sunday a month they do a significantly longer route. When Nashelly and I went, it was the short version which meant that Reforma was closed to motor vehicles from the south end of Guadalupe (the main pilgrim route to La Basílica) to Pereférico Norte at the south end Bosque de Chapultepec. It’s not a huge distance, but I think we spent five or six hours riding there and back.
As riding goes, it was a casual day, but the idea of the ciclovía is get out and enjoy the city in a way that’s not possible most of the time. As Isaac said, “of course Reforma is beautiful when there aren’t any cars.”
Some of the side streets were also car-free, but it’s hard to tell what exactly was normal that day. Typical for Mexico there were heaps of protests going on. Lopez Obrador was out there with yet another new political party — La Morena. Los maestros (the teachers and their union) were out in force having been kicked out of the zócalo a few days earlier to make way for the independence celebrations. The anti-privatization-of-Pemex folks were also out chanting slogans and handing out leaflets. Anti-Monsanto folks were letting people know what’s happening to their food and seeds as the ag industry bullies milpa farmers. Gay pride folks were there too even though Mexico City is one of the few (only?) places in Latin America where gays can legally marry. Yep, there’s never a dull moment in Mexico. Certainly there were more protesters taking advantage of the car-free streets than there were cyclists.
The protests seemed to be centered around El Ángel independence monument and one traffic circle north of that. Farther south in Chapultepec strolling pedestrians probably outnumbered cyclists, but all were enjoying the greenery and the peaceful public space. Nashelly and I stopped to check out a couple photograph exhibits in Chapultepec — one of La Lucha Libre and the second of portraits from a Mexican’s travels in India.
At Pereférico Norte we happened upon a bicycle race that also had that road closed to motorized traffic. Nearby was an interesting permanent outdoor art exhibit with water, grass, and rust-colored walls. This was something I had never seen before, and even Isaac didn’t know about it when I showed him the photos.
As with every good outing in Mexico, we ended with a yummy meal, a couple beers, and live mariachi music. Oh, I seem to always get hungry when I look at photos of Mexican food.