Urban Cycling in Buenos Aires
Cycling the streets of Buenos Aires sometimes makes me feel like a bike courier in New York as I weave between cars, taxis, buses and pedestrians. At other times I feel I am on the only person alive after a nuclear explosion with no traffic and no people to be seen or heard.
My courier days are within the microcentro, the dense small one way streets that make up the central business district. I am often bemused how I survive these journeys, with the roads barely large enough for one vehicle let alone a bus, a motorbike, a parked car and a cyclist. The pure bulk of the speeding buses gives them right of way regardless of traffic rules. There are nods, waves maybe a horn or two but very little road rage or nasty words, well not from the drivers at least. I tend to be rather vocal as I pedal along. I give driving advice to slow-moving taxis, fashion tips to dawdling pedestrians and parking commands to stationary cars. All in what would be suitably termed as colourful language.
Of course, Buenos Aires boasts numerous places for peaceful non life-threatening biking. The parks of Palermo, the tracks in the Costanera Sur or the public transport free area of Puerto Madero. The roads are flat, the pace can be slow and it is the perfect way to enjoy the city from a new perspective.
Biking in Palermo, Recoleta, Puerto Madero and Costanera Sur
So if you want some adrenalin pumping sensory overload routes head into the city on a weekday, or if you want to cycle these same streets without practising some Argentine lunfardo wait just until the weekend. No pedestrians, no taxis and no cars. Just you and the road and quite possibly me, commenting on your choice or cycling attire.