One of the most impressive things in Bogota (apart from the pickpockets that had our wallet and phone within 30min of us leaving the hotel!) was their Ciclovia. Every Sunday 120km of Bogota’s main roads are cleared of all motorised vehicles. This leaves them free for bike riders, roller skaters, joggers and walkers to take to these streets. There is a very festive atmosphere with vendors on the side of the road selling juices and buskers performing.
The local councils also set up healthy activities around the Ciclovia. While travelling, Pete and I have often found it difficult to get the exercise that we crave. However, the Ciclovia allowed us to participate in a free yoga class in a park near our hotel and in a Zumba class held in the city square!
I was so impressed at how such a simple, yet progressive concept was taken up by the community. The health benefits of the Ciclovia must be widespread. In Australia we like to think of ourselves as an advanced and progressive country, however this is one public health initiative where we could learn a thing or two from our Colombian amigos. Every city in the world should do this!