Bike Trails: Cycling Safely Through the City

Last week we talked  here   of growth of cycling as a means of transport and how you can maintain the style and elegance to ride to work.  In addition to leisure and adventure, using the bike for commuting to work is a trend that has come to stay, after all the skinny means saving time and money and higher quality of life in everyday life.

But one of the main reasons for those who resist carrying a bike around the city is safety. And rightly so, after all, sharing the street with cars, buses, motorbikes and trucks can be scary to anyone who is on top of the skinny. But the good news is that most of the major Brazilian cities are incorporating  cycle paths  into road planning. Here at Mysteryaround, bicycle paths are the exclusive bicycle lanes, which are already common in many European cities and even in Latin American metropolises, such as Bogota, which already has more than 300km of exclusive bike paths.

Rio de Janeiro

In Brazil, Rio de Janeiro is one of the best examples of the incorporation of bicycles into traffic through bike paths. Of course the geography of the city helps. The bike path along the famous Rio de Janeiro’s southern edge has already been incorporated into the landscape of the Marvelous City, and other parts of the city also have bicycle lanes totaling 290 kilometers, and the promise is that until the 2016 Olympics are 450 kilometers, interconnecting all Regions of the city. The use of bicycle lanes by cariocas and tourists has been further intensified by the  Rio Bike Bike  rental program, which has more than 600 slums distributed through 60 stations. To use, you pay $ 5 a day or $ 10 a month, and release the bike by cell phone. And recently Rio won a  cycling map Which shows where are the routes and stations of Bike Rio.

Sao Paulo

In the capital of São Paulo, there are still few exclusive routes for bicycles, but faced with the pressure of cyclists and the expressive increase of the use of the bike to escape the complicated traffic of the city, the public power has been developing a policy to integrate the bicycle to the system of transport. Today São Paulo has 63.5 km of bike path and the most extensive is the Pinheiros River Cycle Route, with 21.5 km between Jurubatuba and CPTM University. Another important bicycle route is the one of Radial Leste, between Itaquera and Tatuapé subway stations, which is 12 km long, but which has the problem of dividing the sidewalk with pedestrians, and does not reach the central part of the city. Which impairs its use for transportation.

A 1990 law foresees that every new open avenue in São Paulo has bicycle lanes, but so far this law has been little applied. But the good news is that the mayor of São Paulo, Fernando Haddad, who took office earlier this year has pledged to enforce the law and also install parallel lanes to new bus corridors. Let’s follow! Recently, Brigadeiro Faria Lima Avenue, one of the city’s main shopping centers, received a bicycle lane at its central site. In addition to the cycle routes, the city of São Paulo now has 119 km of leisure cycle lanes, which run only on Sundays and holidays, from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm, and link parks and tourist attractions of the capital, and 58 of cycling routes, which are streets already used By cyclists, where the traffic is less heavy, and have signage for bicycles. see the  Map of bicycle lanes, cycle paths and ciclorrotas produced by Folha de S. Paulo.

Other cities

Several other large Brazilian cities have a good network of cycle paths. Curitiba has more than 100 km of roads, most shared with pedestrians, see the map and other information  here. Porto Alegre has  just inaugurated a bike path in the central region of the city(), and three more are under construction. In the state of São Paulo, Sorocaba , with 80 km(more than the capital!), Is an exemplary case. Santos , on the coast, has 30 km of exclusive tracks, favored by flat geography.

Care

Cycle paths are by definition safe routes for riding a bike, but you have to stay alert, especially on routes that are shared with pedestrians. The safety equipment, especially the helmet, are indispensable, as well as the rear view mirror, bell / horn and front and rear lights for those who pedal at night. Do not pedal too fast or too slow, and try to maintain a steady speed. Watch for signs. The Vá de Bike site has several safety tips for you to ride safely, and especially in this rainy season, it’s nice to see their tips for  pedaling in the rain.

Does your city also have a network of cycle paths? Do you use it? Tell us how it is in the comments, and if you do not have any near your house, mobilize your community to pressure the public power to pay attention to this means of transport that gains more and more fans!