Muévete en Bici, Mexico City
Biking Your Way through Mexico’s capital city
There’s nothing quite as magical as pedalling between the skyscrapers along Paseo de La Reforma on a Sunday morning. To your left, small children take free bike-riding lessons and to your right a large open-air zumba class explodes with music and energy. You look up and marvel at the Angel of Independence statue that sits in the middle of a large roundabout. You’ve never been able to get this close to it and really see the detail. As you continue onto Chapultepec Park, rollerbladers practice weaving between tiny cones and you smile as a local entertainer puts on a show for eager onlookers.
With over 4 million cars and some crazy taxi drivers, the idea of riding a bike in Mexico City may be low on your priority list when visiting the megatropolis. So, it might surprise you to find out that one of the city’s most-cherished weekly events is Muévete en Bici – an open-streets-event put on by the Secretary of Environment since 2007. Every Sunday, major streets are blocked off and opened up to the public for bike riding, roller blading, running, walking, skateboarding and any other type of physical activity.
With a serious pollution crisis, the overwhelming success of Muévete en Bici has been a huge step towards sustainability for the city. The crisp morning air simply feels fresher with half as many cars on the roads and you can instantly feel the ecological impact. So throw those fears aside, hop on your bike and enjoy the Sunday ride!
SEE – Photos & Videos
GO – Getting There
When renting bikes, there are a few options:
Option 1: Use the bike sharing system Ecobici. You might be hard-pressed to find a free bike on Sundays but it’s worth a try. Keep in mind that you can only keep the bike out for 45 minutes at a time before you have to trade it in for a new one (although, the fees are minimal if you go over the allotted time).
Option 2: Rent a bike from Poray (they have 2 locations: Condesa and Paseo de La Reforma). They have various bike rental options at reasonable prices. Their bikes are more comfortable than Ecobici plus you are given a bike lock (so no stress about looking for a docking station!)
Option 3: Pick up a free bike in the Zocalo next to the Cathedral. You can rent the bike for three hours and you must physically leave your passport with them.
For first timers, the best place to experience Muévete en Bici is along Paseo de La Reforma which cuts through Mexico City’s financial district. If starting from Condesa or Roma, find a major street that has been blocked off, such as Avenida Mazatlan or Calle Durango, and follow it to the Angel of Independence statue. If you are staying in the Historical Center, start at El Palacio de Bellas Artes and make your way to Paseo de La Reforma and up to the Angel and onto Chapultepec Park.
Do – Activities & Attractions
Around the Angel of Independence there are always activities going on. On a normal Sunday, you will most likely see free zumba classes under large white tents. Don’t miss the opportunity to jump in and shake your groove thing! Sometimes they may have special events like free yoga. As you continue along Paseo de La Reforma, keep your eye out for outdoor art exhibits. Along the black fence that surrounds Chapultepec Park there are always large, professional photos on display depicting Mexican culture. If you get started early make a stop at Chapultepec Castle which houses the National History Museum or head over to the Anthropology Museum.
Stay – Accommodation
Eat – Restaurants
If you get the munchies after a few hours of bike riding, grab some tacos at Taquería El Califa (Paseo de la Reforma 382). Keep in mind that there are no restaurants in Chapultepec Park.
Time – Seasonality & Schedules
Muévete en Bici every Sunday from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm. They also periodically put on special “Night Rides” which take place on a Saturday night. If you are visiting Mexico City during a major holiday such as Day of the Dead or Christmas, these night rides are many times “themed” where everyone dresses in costumes. To stay up-to-date on special Muévete en Bici events, check out the official Facebook page.
Safety – Possible risks
Muévete en Bici is a family event and you will see people of all ages doing a variety of activities – biking, rollerblading, walking, running etc. That being said, one should always take certain precautions when riding a bike such as wearing a helmet and being aware of one’s surroundings. If at all you don’t feel confident with your own abilities, be sure to hire a guide and/or bring a friend along.
Please Note: Travel inherently comes with an element of risk (just like crossing the road does). You are putting yourself in elements that are unfamiliar and foreign to your usual lifestyle and with that, become more susceptible to fall victim those who try to play off those unfamiliar to their local scams. There are also potential dangers in the environments to which you may not be accustomed to.
Please take extra care in travelling, ensure that you have adequate medical insurance (accidents seem to happen when you least expect them), and have let a trusted colleague, family member or friend know your whereabouts and activities.
Where Sidewalks End travel advises you to travel at your own risk, and to be extra aware of your surroundings (without letting it spoiling your time).
Pay – How much does it cost?
A bike rental in Mexico City ranges from free – 300 MXN making it a very inexpensive day time activity!
Responsible Travel – Best Practices
When riding a bike in Mexico City, always be respectful of those riding around you as well as traffic signals from Muévete en Bici volunteers. Garbage cans can be difficult to find in Mexico City so keep your trash with you until you can properly dispose of it. Fill your water bottle at the hotel or hostel before starting the day as to avoid having to purchase a plastic one.
Reality Check – Be Aware
The Center of Mexico City is mostly flat with a slight incline as you go towards Chapultepec Park. Keep in mind that coupled with Mexico City’s high altitude, bike riding might feel more difficult than normal. Remember to drink lots of water and listen to your body.
JOIN US! WSE Travel Packages
This sounds like quite the adventure, right? We thought so too! Though we realize it can be pretty intimidating to get out there into the world on your own, especially when travelling to some of these off the beaten path locations. We love it when our readers give it a shot and try it for themselves! In fact, please leave us feedback if you do!! If trying something ‘this’ adventurous on your own is just a bit outside of your comfort zone, WSE Travel is here to help!
Follow this link for our ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Tours – packages that are highly personalized and tailored at your request.
Have you ever been to a city that had a really unique historical or cultural feature? Where was it and what made it so unique?
Please feel free to share your stories and thoughts in the comment section below!