Update on Bicycling in Mazatlán

In June I wrote a post updating everyone in English about the planning for ciclovías/bike paths in town and the CicloNoches/night bike tours in this gorgeous port of ours.

I’m very happy to report that since that post, the city has joined so many other cities in Mexico and abroad, and has begun closing the southbound lanes of Avenida del Mar on Sunday mornings. Today was the second such Sunday.

Last week, opening week, we were joined by Governor Malova and Mayor Higuera, as can be seen in the video above.

The road is closed from Insurgentes to Monos Bichis, the Fishermen’s Monument. It gets closed about 8 am (though they’ve announced it’s from 6 am), and stays closed until about 10:30 or 11 am (though, again, it’s announced to stay closed till noon). Southbound traffic is routed to one lane, as is northbound traffic, both using the inland side of the Avenue. Thus, drivers are able to continue using the Avenida, and the bikers, skaters and skateboarders are safe in the oceanside lanes.

This is a wonderful chance to get out with the whole family, or with your friends and neighbors. Please take advantage of it! We definitely want to show the city how important this privilege is to us by having a good turnout. Hopefully this practice will continue long enough for citizens to learn about it and develop the habit of Sunday morning cycling, though we weren’t that lucky last time.

Something wonderful this morning was that police were loaning out, free of charge, 80 beautiful bicycles for people to use! Those wanting to borrow a bicycle were asked to leave their credenciál or identification card, in order to ensure they’d return the bike.

Regarding CicloNoches, they are now scheduled for the first Thursday of every month. September 6 will be the third such event. Meet in front of the Aquarium at 7:30 pm, for an 8:00 pm start. The plan this time is to ride down to the Escudo/the shield down in Olas Altas and back. It is a wonderful feeling pedaling the Avenida del Mar in the dark, looking out at the lights around the bay.

As in prior events, the road will not be closed for this event, but we should have a police escort and a wonderful turnout. We will be guided by a leader, and will be asked to stay only in the rightmost lane of the Avenida. You can see the rules here in the photo at the left. This is a group event, so participants are asked not to pass each other and not to go out into the left-hand lane, in order to protect everyone’s safety and enjoyment, and ensure that drivers can get by smoothly.

 

Primera CicloNoche Mazatlán/First Mazatlán Bicycle Night

180 bicyclists showed up this evening at 8:00 pm for the very first CicloNoche Mazatlán!

We pedaled only about seven kilometers, but oh was it gorgeous!

The event was organized by SEMARNAT—Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (Brenda Garcia) and CiclosUrbanos, who have been coordinating Cycle Nights in Culiacán since 2009.

Starting at the Aquarium, we pedaled south on Avenida del Mar to Belisario Dominguez, then turned up the road, around the block, and back down to Avenida del Mar. We were escorted by Mazatlán’s finest tránsitos, and we were instructed to stay in the right lane so that traffic could pass us easily.

Our route started with the sunset, and ended with the starlight. Along the way we were cheered on and joined by ever-more cyclists.

You’ll remember that a couple of years ago a group of active citizens organized a couple of months’ worth of Sunday morning closures of Avenida del Mar for bicycle riding.

The “United for Health” group was led by the very kind and energetic Dr. Angel Eduardo Olivera Sandoval, a local homeopath. Sunday morning street closures to traffic, so that families can walk and ride bikes, are common throughout Mexico and most of Latin America.

Here in Mazatlán we had good crowds turn out, but unfortunately the municipal government didn’t seem to support continuation of the activity.

Nor have we thus far seen positive outcomes from citizen-led efforts to build bike lanes here in our port, despite having extensive ciclovías planning for some time now.

The event this evening was held in conjunction with the International and National Congresses of Environmental Science, which has had events at the Mazatlán International Center and the Aquarium.

We were told that the first CicloNoche Culiacán only had 90 bicyclists show up (compared to the 180 who showed up here tonight), so there is obviously a passion for it here in Mazatlán. These days in Culiacán about 1600 people show up for the once-a-month CicloNoches.

It is our sincere hope that this terrific activity can take hold and gain a place in the hearts of Mazatlecos.

Bicycling promotes a cleaner environment, healthier bodies, enjoyment of the outdoors, time together with friends and family. It’s good for locals and out-of-town visitors.

Thank you to CiclosUrbanos, SEMARNAT, and all the organizers of bicycling events and programs in Mazatlán past, present and future!

Lets all turn out and show our support for bicycling! For our health and the health of our city!