Sunday, 31 August 2014

To cycle or not to Brazil!

When telling friends and family about your holiday I often get asked 'Did you cycle?'

With that I assume either they think I had a Cycling Holiday or I just couldn't live without a bike and had to hire one to get my 'kick'. This time was no different.

About eighteen months ago we decided that we wanted to do a different kind of holiday and instead of going to South Africa where we go regularly, the choice became Brazil. Brazil because of the 2014 World Cup, the 2016 Olympics and a friend who lives there.

We never planned to cycle whilst on holiday in Brazil but we were on the lookout - as always- for any type of evidence that cycling was popular. And to be honest, I don't know! There are certainly lovely cycle paths along the beaches and you can even rent bikes, but the worst thing about Rio de Janeiro (where we spent most of the time) was the traffic. Absolutely horrendous. It is overwhelming and loud with a lot of older cars which I am sure will never pass an MOT and the drivers usually follow their own set of rules. I decided after a few days that it was organised chaos!

I couldn't for one moment imagine cycling in Rio apart from along the beach on the promenade.

There were some highlights though. We ventured to a distant beach one late afternoon which is close to a National Park. All long the road were markers on the road showing caution for cyclists. Also see the yellow traffic sign above reminding drivers to allow at least 1.5m passing distance between their car and the cyclist.

We did briefly see a group of cyclists one Sunday when we went out really early around 7.30am. They were just at the bottom of one of the longest hills in Rio about to start the climb.

One of the rental bike stations along the promenade

Bike lane along the Copacabana Promenade

A rental bike station at Copacabana Beach

More cycling fun along the promenade at Copacabana

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