Locombia 2017 Chapter Seven: The Traffic
As if we didn't have to do enough biking already: Today is car-free day in Bogotá.
Distance: Bogotá criss-cross 24 kilometers
Biking in Bogotá. I had forgotten how nerve-wrecking it can be. The city is full of good intentions, planning for bike lanes and closing parts of streets off for bikers every Sunday and holiday. There is 450 kilometers of dedicated bike lanes in Bogotá. You have some catching up to do,Oslo! However, the lack of traffic culture makes biking in Bogotá an urban extreme sport.
Today was no-car day, which is observed a couple of times a year since 2000. Taxis and buses are exempt, so it's still considerable traffic. And the drivers don't yield to no one.
The pedestrians don't behave much better. They walk carefree in the middle of the bike lanes as if they thought they had just received an injection of invulnerability.
Lack of maintenance makes up the final element of a triple-threat combo. There are pitholes, cracks and open manholes that you must look out for while breaking for taxis and zigzagging between pedestrians. Today I had several bad flashbacks to when I biked to work while working here.
We won't be doing a lot of downtown biking during this trip. Highway traffic is a different kind of animal altogether. The roads are curvy and drivers impatient. Buses have horns and blinking lights in order to alert traffic when they overtake in curves. On the bright side most trucks are so old and heavily loaded that they never gain any real speed. The buses are the real threat.
But that's starting tomorrow. Today we finally ended up on the pub. And after four beers zigzagging home was a blizz.