Touring Bogotá’s Biggest, Newest Graffiti

The other day, with a couple from the U.K., we did a graffiti bike tour – except that this became a mega-graffiti tour, thanks to some huge murals the city recently sponsored in Puente Aranda, a gritty industrial neighborhood which normally has very little of outside interest.

The murals, along two streets of warehouses and factories, make for dramatic scenery . However, the local residents walking past didn’t seem to pay any attention to the artwork. Perhaps that’s just because they pass by it every single day.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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A New Graffiti Street

We see lots of street art – or graffiti – during our bike tours. Aand now, Bogotá has yet another graffiti street, painted in recent weeks.

The street runs between the Plaza de Toros and the Museo Nacional, below the La Macarena neighborhood, and the painting was sponsored by a local cultural center and various street artorganizations. It’s only unortunate that few people see the works, except for users of the street’s parking lots.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours, which also offers graffiti bike tours.

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Mountain Biking Above Bogotá

cycling up el verjon

Pedaling up El Verjón, with two Canadians, with Bogotá in the background.

Bogotá Bike Tours offers mountain bike tours: a great way to get a workout, see some great views and escape from the big city! After a few minutes of riding, you won’t believe that you could be so close to the city.

El Verjón attracts hundreds of cyclists on a nice weekend or holiday morning, riding beat-up mountain bikes, old bmx-ers and high-end racing bikes, sometimes with police escorts.

The road twists and turns through the forest of pines and eucalyptus, offering spectacular views of Bogotá and its surrounding savannah – and a great excuse to stop and catch one’s breath in the thin area at 3,000 meters above sea level.

The Altimetrias Colombia blog says the full ride measures 18.1 kms and climbs 647 meters to reach 3367 meters above sea level, with an average grade of 4.12% and a maximum grade of 12%.

verjón climb

The profile of the Verjón climb, from the Altimetrias Colombia blog.

At the top, stop in the Marquéz del Once for a snack and a hot agua de panela – water sweetened with sugar cane popular with Colombian bicycle racers.

From the top of El Verjón you can coast back down to central Bogotá or ride north and return via La Calera, making a big loop around the city center.

This is one of several mountain bike rides offered by Bogotá Bike Tours.

a selfie el verjon

A selfie near the summit.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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A World Cup Futbol Tour

Our bike tours the other day got consumed by an outside force of nature: Colombia’s World Cup match with England. Once play started, interest in riding waned, and we rode from television to television, where we waited, impatiently, for a Colombian goal. We just happened to catch Colombia’s dramatic equalizer in the last minutes of regulation time in a small restaurant on Carrera Septima.

Then we rode on to the tejo pitch in the Las Nieves neighborhood. However, for once, almost nobody wanted to play Colombia’s official national sport, preferring its national passion: futbol.

The two overtime periods passed by with few goals, but lots of passionate yells from the Colombian fans, who took time out to snap selfies with the foreigners. Finally, came the passion and disappointment of the penalty kick-off, which ended with Colombia’s defeat – by a single failed penalty.

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A Fresh Cacao Stop

cacao at chocolates andino

Tasting cacao beans outside of Chocolates Andino, near Paloquemao fruit market.

Bogotá Bike Tours

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Two Boys and a Bull

During Sunday’s bike tour these two naughty boys climbed onto the raging iron bull in the Santamaria bullfighting plaza. Fortunately, the security guard was distracted.

Perhaps the bull was symbolic. After all, Sunday was election day in Colombia, and from my perspective, lots of the candidates were full of it.

two boys and a bull

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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A Ducky Stop in Santa Fe

While passing thru the economically depressed Santa Fe neighborhood the other day we encountered this feathered individual. Was he a pet? Or heading for someone’s dinner plate. He appeared so at ease that he must have been a long-term resident.


By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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