Cycling in Medellín has to be one of the most dangerous and thrilling things to do in the city.
Traffic here, like in most South American countries, is fast, furious and unforgiving. Cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles do not take notice of pedestrians or bikers and it is very often you can catch yourself running for your life.
Many streets do not have traffic lights or walk/don’t walk signs and many of the round-a-bouts can have up to 5 different streets pouring into them with 2-3 lanes each.
The most important thing to remember, if you feel unsafe on any of the streets, is to get off your bike and walk. However do not let that stop you. Medellín has begun to insert bike lanes into a number of streets.
[Click here to see a listing on the city government website]
Medellín has also been doing Ciclovia Sundays for the past 22 years. This is when a number of the larger streets are closed to all traffic, and bikers, roller bladers, walkers and runners alike have the freedom and fresh air to move throughout the city.
Along the routes are policemen, food and drink vendors and many little stations where people can have their bicycles fixed, or buy new parts and accessories for their bikes.
Sundays from (approx) 7 AM to 1 PM
- All of Avenida Regional between Solla and Calle 113
- Calzada Oriental between Calle 113 and Calle 67 Barranquilla.
- Calzada Oriental of Autopista Sur between Calle 67 Barranquilla and Calle 12 Sur
Tuesdays from 8 to 10 PM
- Autopista Sur between Calle 67 y 12 Sur
Cycling outside the city is very popular with the locals. Medellin is surrounded by towns that are embedded in the mountains. At any time, on any road during the weekend, you will see teams of cyclists whizzing by.
*Three time Tour de France stage winner Santiago Botero Echeverry was also born in Medellin.
Believe me, riding my bike over the San Juan bridge (Calle 44) crossing the Medellín river was one of the scariest moments I’ve ever had on a bike and I’ve been riding since my teens. Centimeters from getting hit by enormous trucks every five seconds.
Oh yes. I rode my bike from Floresta to Poblado on a Sunday afternoon in the middle of traffic. We went over 3 bridges to get there and had to cross a few 4-lane streets. It was extremely nerve-racking but incredibly thrilling. But, I definitely do not recommend it unless you are with a local who knows the streets VERY well. 🙂 keep riding!!