Or one of the coolest things about living in Medellín
Ciclovías, reading this you may be wondering what the heck is a ciclovía and why are they so special? Ciclovía translates in English into a bike path, but in reality, a ciclovía is when our department of sports and recreation (INDER) closes off certain roads to motorized traffic and opens up portions of these roads to people walking, biking, running, rollerblading and more. INDER has staff at nearly every corner, to help people stay safe, answer questions, direct traffic and more. On Sunday mornings and holidays when we have the ciclovías you will see people of all ages and families running, biking, walking, rollerblading and more. Many people bring their dogs, and on the sides of the ciclovía, you will often see people selling food, drinks, sometimes renting out bikes and/or doing bike repairs on some parts of the ciclovía for Avenida Poblado/Carrera 43A.
On a Monday holiday in August, when I was walking on the Ciclovía for Avenida El Poblado, from Poblado to the suburb of Envigado, I actually saw the mayor of Medellín running with his two sons riding bikes nearby him. One minute I was messing with my phone, and two people on bikes were zooming past me, and it startled me. Then I looked up and saw police officers on motorcycles riding past me and then there was the mayor of Medellín, Federico Gutiérrez running past me. It was quite a surprise since I always see the mayor on Instagram or in the newspaper, but there he was on the ciclovía for Avenida Poblado in Envigado with me. While this was super random, it was cool to see the mayor out and about, and it’s reassuring to know that he appreciates the ciclovías.
The idea behind the ciclovías is to encourage people to be active and get outside by providing people with a free and safe place to exercise. In total there are a little over 58 KM or 36 miles of these paths in the city of Medellín alone. You can take the Avenida del Río ciclovía all way from the suburb of Bello, a municipality north of Medellín, all the way down to Poblado. It is important to remember that the municipalities of Envigado, Itagüí and Bello, three cities which are part of the greater metropolitan area, all have their own ciclovías, which are administered by INDER for each municipality. The majority of the ciclovías happen on Sunday mornings and holidays, assuming there is not an election or special event like the Feria de las Flores. However, there are some nighttime ciclovías and Medellín is the only city in Latin America which has nighttime ciclovías according to the INDER website.
Below is a list of the major Ciclovías, types, dates, approximate locations, distances and times when they are in service. Here is a link to the INDER website, which lists all of the ciclovías and has more detailed information in Spanish, http://www.inder.gov.co/es/node/66.
This is where our soccer stadium is and where we have a humungous sports complex, Unidad Deportiva Atanasio Girardot is located. You can reach this ciclovía by going to the Estadio metro station; the Estadio is also close to the popular Laureles neighborhood.
Tuesday and Thursday nights from 7-9 PM, within the internal ring for the Unidad Deportiva Atanasio Girardot, this circuit is approximately 2.200 meters.
Sundays and holidays from 7 AM-12 PM: This circuit travels clockwise crossing Calle 48, Carrera 74, Calle 50/Avenida Colombia and Carrera 70 (la 70), which is linked to the river along Calle 48 (Pichincha). This circuit is approximately 2.200 meters.
Sundays and holidays from 7 AM-12 PM: This ciclovía goes from Calle 48 (Pichincha)/Calle 70 goes until Avenida del Río (Autopista Sur). This ciclovía is approximately 1.150 meters.
Avenida del Río
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8-10 PM: This ciclovía occupies part of the Avenida Regional running from the South to North, between Calle 65 (Sector el Chagualo-my river environmental classroom) and Calle 19 Sur, close to Jumbo Las Vegas. This ciclovía is approximately 8.290 KM.
Sundays and holidays from 7 AM-1 PM: The ciclovía goes from Solla Bridge, Carrera 20E in the municipality of Bello to the Aguacatala bridge, Calle 12 Sur. This ciclovía is approximately 13.650 meters long.
Sundays from 7 AM-1 PM: This begins below the Horacio Toro bridge through a controlled crossing that links it with the Ciclovía del Río, it follows the Avenida Oriental corridor, crossing places at the center of city such as the Plaza Minorista, the the tunnel of “Los Puentes”, the Avenida La Playa and Parque San Antonio finally to reach Calle 44, los huesos. This ciclovía is approximately 3.650 meters.
Ciclovía on Avenida El Poblado (Carrera 43A)
Sundays and Holidays from 7 AM-1 PM: This extends on Avenida El Poblado (Carrera 43A) from Calle 41, los Huesos until Calle 21 Sur, La Frontera, where you can find the southern city limits of Medellín, this is right around where Medellín ends, and the suburb of Envigado begins. You can continue on this ciclovía into Envigado, where this ciclovía begins. I saw the mayor of Medellín on the Envigado portion of this ciclovía from Poblado. This ciclovía is approximately 6.650 meters.
Ciclovía Avenida Las Palmas
Sundays and Holidays from 6 AM-10 AM: This ciclovía begins near Centro Comercial San Diego (the San Diego Mall) until el alto Las Palmas, (Retorno 12, Columbus School). Avenida Las Palmas is the road you take from Medellín when you are headed to the airport in Rionegro. This ciclovía is approximately 16.000 meters.
Ciclovía Ciudad del Río
Sundays and Holidays from 7 AM-1 PM: This ciclovía starts off linking up to Ciclovía on Avenida El Poblado/Carrera 43A, going down towards the river using Calle 23, picking up Carrera 43F. This ciclovía is short in that it is only 800 meters.
Additional information on the other ciclovías in Medellín
There are six other ciclovías administered by INDER from 8 AM-1 PM on Sundays and holidays in certain neighborhoods in Medellín, but these neighborhood ciclovías are meant for the people living in certain neighborhoods, not served by the ciclovías above, and they are usually pretty short. For more information on Medellín’s Ciclovías, you can visit the INDER Medellín website and search for Vías Activas Saludables or use this link for more detailed information in Spanish.
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