In my previous post I commented on being "below budget" in my goal for cycling mileage in 2013. A large part of this has been due to significant travel so far in 2013. Since March, I've been out of the country for 56 days, 10 of which were vacationing with Pati and the rest were for business trips to Brazil and Argentina.
Although this kept me from quality cycling on a quantitative basis, it has not lacked in qualitative experiences as I've been able to experience biking in several other cities. My first trip out of the country this year was to South America, and after a week in Sao Paulo without biking, I left for a week in Buenos Aires where I was able to do some riding.
The city has a bike share program for locals, but I was not eligible to try Mejor en Bici due to eligibility limitations having to do with the type of visa I had (or rather, didn't have). So instead I rented a bike and explored the city. Trusty #128 (see below) turned out to be the worst bike I have ever paid to ride, but even a horrible bike is better than no bike.
I was quite impressed by the cycling facilities. There are many on-road bike lanes, and many of the parks also have dedicated bike paths separated even from running and walking lanes. For locals it is especially convenient because the bikeshare stations are ubiquitous in the heart of the city. Biking the city as a means of transportation seems to be gaining momentum in Buenos Aires.
I picked up my rented mule in Palermo and initially biked back to my hotel to load up my laundry (I noticed a laundromat a few blocks away from the bike station so thought I'd put the bike to work). The chain fell off no fewer than three times, and after I dropped off my laundry and washed up, I exchanged the first bike for good ol' #128, which was only superior in that the chain stayed on the entire time.
I did most of my exploring in and around the Palermo area, but did get as far as the Estadio River Plate (to the northwest) and also to my hotel near the Estacion Retiro and Torre Monumental. I really wished I had a more comfortable bike to traverse the 20-some miles, but it was still worth the 75 pesos I paid for four hours of biking.
After my time in Buenos Aires was up, I returned to Sao Paulo for another week and a half or so and was back in Minneapolis by the end of March.
The next post will cover the Barclay's Cycle Hire scheme in London..
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