One of the worlds most bike friendly cities
In South America's most Northern country, there lies a city world renowned for its biking opportunity. From having free tune ups to shutting down a large stretch of busy roads, Bogota, Columbia not only loves biking, but they create a unique opportunity for cyclists of all skill levels. Though many cities now copy similar events, Bogota is the original trend setter.
Ciclovia - A bikers dream
In Bogotá, 76 miles of road shuts down on Sunday's and every major holiday, the reason? To allow the people to participate in an event called "Ciclovia". During this time, cars are banned from the street from 7:00am-2:00pm to make way for pedestrians. Within an hour of beginning the event, the street swells with crowds along the entire length. Bikers, joggers, skaters, you name it, they'll all be out riding the open road. While not the only city to do this in present day, Bogotá set the trend back in 1974 when city officials were trying to find ways to help the people get outside to get fresh air and exercise. The movement was so popular that cities the world over have been inspired to start their own ciclovia events.
Columbian biking culture
If you've ever followed bigger races like "Tour de France" you know that there will almost always be a Columbian competing. This is due to the fact that Columbians love to bike. While it seems that there is no one big event that inspired the country toward the sport, biking has become one of the most popular activities in the region. Many have speculated that the people love to bike because because the country is perfect for it. Columbia sits right at the end of the Andes mountain, giving it lots of high elevation and challenging hills. Many of the locals use a bike as their main transportation to and from work and school. Because of this, many world class athletes find their start in Columbia. Top that off with a ciclovia, and you've got a recipe for showing people how amazing biking can be. You might even say that with such conditions, it would only be a matter of time before cycling became popular.
Inspiring cities around the world
Since Bogotá started its ciclovia, over 400 cities around the world have followed the example. One organization in particular is making a difference, watch the video below to learn more:
Open street project is now helping cities across the globe to open up their streets to the public. (great news for bikers). By creating the space people need to get outdoors, more and more of them are finding healthy hobbies. It has taken some time, but Bogotá's decision to start ciclovia is changing the world!
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