I recently did away with my car or some could say it was done away from me but that really does not matter. My solution was that I bought a bicycle to get to places. I live, work and hangout in a very small area of the city of Tijuana (La Cacho, Downtown, Rio and blvd Agua Caliente to Las Torres) so in my case having a car is not essential; in fact it is almost absurd. A lucky guy like me privileged enough to own a car from 16 years of age and on I was tired of driving and need some form of physical activity in life and as of late, it seems like bikes are cooler than having a car, at least in my social circles its cooler.
The emerging bicycle scene in Tijuana is exciting and brand spanking new. In recent years a handful of bike shops, bike shop cafes, downtown pedal cabs and even a Tijuana Historic Tours by bike businesses have been created in addition to collective bike rides (some with over 200 bikers strong) are available for pedal savvy Tijuanenses pretty much 7 days a week. I courageously have joined the ranks of some of these groups and find it an exhilarating experience that I had not ever had in this city.
Bike riding in Tijuana is a true and pure way to enrich your life with exercise, enjoy the sounds and sights of the city, not cause traffic ( a nasty problem in Tijuana), not pollute and ever increasingly become part of the urban hip crowd.
All of this being said one could decipher that Tijuana is a bike friendly city but that is far from the truth. Like in many other things about the city people believe, have heard or stereo typed when it comes to bike riding Tijuana is crazy!
Why you might ask? Imagine this if you will, you're riding your bike to work for a small 2 mile ride, once you are out of the colonias and venture into the most congested urban avenidas there are no bike lanes and taxi drivers with no remorse for human life what so ever. Throw in drivers with a me first attitude and
Ed Hardy wearing,Baja 1000 racer wannabee's with their trucks, no respect and what you have is a recipe for death! Now you're finally at work or your favorite place to eat, where is the bike rack??
How many bike racks have I seen in this town, well not zero but the number that follows after, one. One bike rack in a city of close to two million people.
The city Gov. and private business have done little to help this. The city has designated one bike path or "ciclo pista" in the Rio part of town. The fact of the matter is that is reeks of sewage from the Tijuana river and is right next to smack city, the place where heroin addicts hang out and live. I don't want to ride there. I want bike lanes, "share the road" signs like the ones in San Diego, a social campaign brought forth by the city to raise awareness to motorists and bikers alike. I want more than one bike rack in the 5 mile radius I live and ride around, is that too much to ask?
A efficient and functional bike friendly city can only elevate the quality of life in a notorious and hectic town like Tijuana. The examples of other cities that have implanted this cheap, eco friendly and healthy way of life are countless but the where we can look to for immediate help from is Mexico City. Eco Bici is a program where bike stations are place in certain sectors of the city and bikers can pick up, ride and drop off in any of the many stations for a very cheap price. Tijuana is not a bustling metropolis like Mexico City but it does not have to be to get some bike lanes and racks. I encourage everyone to write the city leaders and demand these things. They will have to get it at some point and all of us will reap the benefits.