The video for the megahit “La Bicicleta” shows a carefree Shakira on her bike zooming past a never-ending line of cars stalled in traffic. Now, when I think of Colombia or Latin America, the term “bike friendly” doesn’t always come to mind. Since I used to live in Cambridge — arguably the most bike friendly city in the U.S. — I decided to do some research and put Shakira to the test.
I should have known better. Is Shakira ever wrong? While many Latin American cities have a long way to go before achieving the highly developed biking infrastructure of cities like Amsterdam, they’re certainly on their way. So in honor of National Bike Month in May, plan your next biking excursion to one of these cities.
Since 2012, Buenos Aires has implemented more than 85 miles of bike paths. The city launched an Ecobici bike share program in 2015, expected to clock in about a million trips per year. Their focus on bikeability is just one of the many city planning initiatives to address congestion, urban sprawl, and transportation inefficiencies in the South American metropolis.