Biking around the world…

Downtown Bogota from the summit of Cerro de Monserrate

…well almost.  Here’s quick update of the last three weeks.

I’m back from three weeks away.  I visited Vancouver BC for two weeks for vacation on account of a family wedding.  Excellent weather, excellent food and lots of bikes!  Cycling is a way of life in the city, and the bikey infrastructure seems very advanced.  Bikes & bike shops were everywhere.  Rented some bikes and took the fam out for a ride around the seawall in Stanley Park.  The kids had a blast. 

I spent four days in Bogota, Colombia for work.  The city traffic is insane, but bicycles still figure into the mix.  There is a separated bicycle network in the city, but to commute to the industrial areas (where I was working) the riders have to play in very dense and aggressive traffic or use the unreliable paved shoulders.  Somehow this dance works.  I  saw riders on everything from department store Huffy’s to expensive Colnagos.   The weather is mild all year, but rains are frequent.  It’s also worth noting that Bogota has spent some considerable money on improving public transit with bus rapid ways (Trans Milenio system).  There are separated bus lanes with stations in addition to the other semi-private collectivo buses.  It looks like this has been a victim of success, as the buses were absolutely jammed.

I worked in Maracaibo, Venezuela at another site.  With gasoline at something like $0.12 a litre, I didn’t see a single bike.  Also, the temperature there is very, very hot.  It was 35 C with 75% humidity at 07:00!  Roadways that I saw & bumped through were in terrible shape, particularly in the industrial sector.

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