The Orange Wave

Dutch cyclists with orange necklaces in Paloquemao fruit market.

Dutch cyclists with orange necklaces taste uchuvas in Paloquemao fruit market.

If only the whole world were a lot like The Netherlands, then bike tours would be a huge business, and the world would be a much better place.

At Bogotá Bike Tours we normally get Dutch riders in numbers far out of proportion to ciclovia naranjathat tiny nation’s size. But these last few days we’ve received a big burst of Orange-suited riders, commemorating Dutch King Willem-Alexander’s 48th birthday.

Yesterday, the Embassy of the Netherlands organized a ‘Ciclovía Naranja’ as part of the city’s normal Sunday/holiday Ciclovía, for which they rented some of our bikes. Today, an orange-dressed crew from the Dutch airline KLM did the bike tour – and even oranged up their bicycles.

decorated bikes dutch orange

As you can see, even the bikes are dressed in orange!

dutch guy with bore

An orange-dressed man lifts a bore, a kind of vegetable, in Paloquemao market.

dutch in tejo place

Playing Colombia’s official national sport, tejo, in orange flower necklaces.

dutch in traditional costumes

Dutch in period dress during La Ciclovia Naranja on Sunday. (Photo: Jaime Carvajal)

dutch park

(Photo: Jaime Carvajal)

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Final three pics are from the Dutch embassy’s Facebook page.

Blog by Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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Free* Walking Tours!

Pigeons on Plaza Bolivar.

Pigeons on Plaza Bolivar.

Bogotá Bike Tours now offers Free* Walking Tours Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 2 p.m., leaving from our shop at Carrera 3 No. 12-72, in La Candelaria.

Visit the most important and interesting sites in Bogotá’s historical center, the La Candelaria neighborhood. Learn about Colombia’s colorful and eventful history and culture.

www.bogotafreewalkingtours.com

*Tips appreciated!

The Cathedral of Bogotá.

The Cathedral of Bogotá.

Children running in El Callejon del Embudo.

Children running in El Callejon del Embudo.

Art in a La Candelaria theatre.

Art in a La Candelaria theatre.

View through a doorway in La Candelaria.

View through a doorway in La Candelaria.

The Gabriel Garcia Marquez Cultural Center, in La Candelaria.

The Gabriel Garcia Marquez Cultural Center, in La Candelaria.

interior teatro corp la candelaria

The Luis Angel Arango Library, in La Candelaria.

The Luis Angel Arango Library, in La Candelaria.

A view from above La Candelaria.

A view from above La Candelaria.

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Photo of the Month

Don't turn the other cheek, ladies!

Don’t turn the other cheek, ladies!

I love this photo of Sasha, a bike tourist from the Bahamas, posing with two local girls, Sofia and Andrea, in front of a piece of street art we sometimes visit during our tours.

The mural shows Rosie the Riveter, of World War II fame, and the phrase: ‘Don’t turn the other cheek.’ In other words, fight back!

The mural is by Toxicomano, a well-known Bogotá graffiti group.

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A Visit To Greenman, the Manure Artist

greenman and green bike

Greenman and his green bicycle.

During a recent bike tour we passed through the campus of the National University, which is always an interesting place, thanks to its frequent protests, colorful graffiti and radical left-wing politics. (It is also a good university).

greenman dislpays dead snake

Greenman shows off his art.

This time, we also visited Greenman, an artist and environmental activist, who has a unique workshop inside one of the university’s greenhouses. His artwork is also unique, since he paints with cow manure. Greenman also incorporates found objects, including dead animals, into his work. For him, they have environmental meaning and transmit a message.

Normally, Greenman rides a green bike, dresses in green and even paints himself green.

greenman displays cow manure

Manure will soon be turned into great art.

green painted bike and painting greenman and painting greenman and tourist studying painting greenman showing his painting greenmans displays his paints

Bike tourists and Greenman in the National University.

Bike tourists and Greenman in the National University.

Here's Greenman in his normal attire, with some students in El Parque Nacional.

Here’s Greenman in his normal attire, with some students in El Parque Nacional.

 

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Visiting the ExpoBici

Unicyclists pedal around.

Unicyclists pedal around.

Today’s bike tour visited ExpoBici, an exhibition of bike products and activities held near Simon Bolivar Park and part of the Semana de la Bicicleta (Bicycle Week). The event included marketing, but also excitement, technology and even romance.

Lifting a bamboo fixie. It WAS quite light.

Lifting a bamboo fixie. It WAS quite light.

Greg, from the U.S., had an unplanned encounter with an entertainer.

Greg, from the U.S., had an unplanned encounter with an entertainer.

A mountain bike race.

A mountain bike race.

This dancer got a lift from an American bike tourist.

This dancer got a lift from an American bike tourist.

This local girl wanted a photo with two tourists.

This local girl wanted a photo with two tourists.

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Riding With the Kites in Simon Bolivar Park

cyclists and kites in simon bolivar park

Bicycle tourists watch kites in crowded Simon Bolivar Park.

August is traditionally Bogotá’s kite flying month, thanks to the vigorous winds. And the place to be is Simon Bolivar Park, Bogotá’s largest public park.

Today, the 7 de agosto holiday, kites filled the sky and happy kids filled the park. A nice place for bike touring.

flying kites by the lake

Park visitors launch kites by Simon Bolivar Park’s lake.

kids flying kites

Kites fight for sky space.

cyclists and crowded simon bolivar park

The park was almost too crowded to ride a bike.

kites aren't just for kids

A kite-flying veteran concentrates on his craft.

cyclists in simon bolivar park

A pair of happy cyclists in Simon Bolivar.Park.

selling kites outside simon bolivar park

Kites for sale outside the park.

buying kites

Selecting kites by the park’s entrance.

kites in sky simon bolivar park kites and people two kites in sky simon bolivar park flying kites against bogotas hills

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Visiting a Coffee Plantation

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Hand-grinding coffee beans.

Recently, Briton Laura visited a coffee plantation a few hours west of Bogotá with Bogotá Bike Tours. Laura and Karolina, the guide, loaded their bikes onto a bus in north Bogotá and rode west, to near the town of Alban, where they pedaled to the El Porvenir coffee plantation.

The pair cycled through the area and visited neighboring farms.

On the plantation, they watched and participated in coffee harvesting, drying and roasting – as well as tasting, of course!

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Cycling (and walking) through coffee country.

Loading the bikes onto the bus for the ride to Alban.

Loading the bikes onto the bus for the ride to Alban.

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Harvesting coffee beans on El Porvenir plantation west of Bogotá.

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Weighing a sack of coffee beans.

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A stream in coffee country.

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Fresh-picked coffee beans.

Separating coffee beans by hand.

Separating coffee beans by hand.

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Examining just-picked coffee beans.

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Coffee beans spread out for drying.

Separating coffee beans from their shells.

Separating coffee beans from their shells.

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Cycling past a crossroads Virgin Mary statue in the coffee country west of Bogotá.

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A house on El Porvenir coffee plantation west of Bogotá.

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Removing the skins, or peels, from coffee beans.

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Roasting coffee beans.

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Roasting coffee beans.

Laura enjoying a cup of fresh-picked, fresh-roasted, fresh-ground and fresh-brewed Colombian coffee.

Laura enjoying a cup of fresh-picked, fresh-roasted, fresh-ground and fresh-brewed Colombian coffee.

'It's been brilliant to see how coffee is farmed and processed.' 'Thanks for the hospitality.' Laura's comment in the plantation's guest book.

‘It’s been brilliant to see how coffee is farmed and processed.’ ‘Thanks for the hospitality.’ Laura’s comment in the plantation’s guest book.

A handsome older house on the coffee plantation.

A handsome older house on the coffee plantation.

Visiting a local stream.

Visiting a local stream.

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