a simple street you can find the whole world: You can find joy and sorrow; you
can find good and evil, silence and noise; you can find all the comedies and
all the tragedies! An ordinary simple street is the mirror of the whole
― Mehmet Murat
Thanks for visiting, please be sure that I read each and every one of your kind comments, I appreciate them all. Stay tuned.
MEXICO CITY ‑ On wheels, we charge: a vast and exultant army of
cycling, skating, spinning, scooting, sweating warriors in the thrill of
We rule this city ‑ at least for a few hours.
Every Sunday morning, some of the biggest streets in car-flooded
Mexico City are handed over to bicyclists, who roll in by the tens of
thousands. Joining them are skateboarders, Rollerbladers, toddlers on push toys
and parents behind strollers in what has become a weekly festival on (small)
The leftist government of Mayor Marcelo Ebrard launched the program
in 2007, barring cars, trucks and buses from the regal Paseo de la Reforma and
other streets around historic downtown. Once a month, the route is expanded to
form a 20-mile engine-free circuit called the Cicloton.
The cyclist’s gain is the motorist’s loss. But city officials seek
to limit traffic snarls by opening alternative routes and letting cars across
key downtown junctions once the bikes have passed. On short stretches, cars and
bikes share the street in rare harmony, separated by orange traffic cones. (If
only the exhaust fumes stayed in their own lane.)
Though mocked by some as a political gimmick, the Sunday ride has
proved highly popular since opening in May 2007. The shorter downtown rides
routinely draw 10,000 or more participants, and the Cicloton as many as 70,000.
It’s an upside-down day. For a change, cars are the intruders while
cyclists get a leisurely, intimate view that makes this huge and tumultuous
city seem, well, not so huge and tumultuous.
We strap on helmets and spend two to three hours on a citywide loop:
zooming past the glassy high rises and triumphal statues of Reforma, through
graffiti-spattered precincts where sidewalk stands send up a tang of raw
seafood, along normally jammed commercial boulevards lined with chain stores
and billboard ads.
There are gleaming road bikes and creaking wrecks that appear to
have predated the 1968 Olympics here. Signs abound of classic Mexican
innovations, like the tiny wooden chair converted, by straps and blind faith,
into a child’s bicycle seat.