Mérida, Yucatán — La Biciruta, the community bike ride that takes to the streets each Sunday morning, has endured as both a family activity and tourist attraction.
Their numbers have grown since Biciruta began 11 years ago. Between 2,000 and 5,000 people take part, mainly on the Paseo de Montejo, each week.
The city paused Sunday to celebrate La Biciruta’s success, handing out cake and prizes in the Monumento a la Patria.
Biciruta (alternately called the Bici-Ruta, Bici-ruta and BiciRuta) starts Sundays at 8 a.m. and lasts until 12:30 p.m. The city closes streets from La Ermita to the Montejo Ford dealership past the Monument a la Patria, forming a makeshift linear park. They also set up hydration stations, offer live music, volleyball and children’s shows along the way.
And the event has spinoffs in Ciudad Caucel and at Las Américas, plus the Biciruta Nocturna, a once-a-month evening version on the Paseo de Montejo. The city is considering yet another Biciruta in the east side of the city.
Asís Cano Cetina, Director of Human Development of the City of Mérida, said that among the benefits of the program is to encourage safe, healthy activity, closing 5.2 kilometers of public roads from vehicles.
It was inaugurated on Aug. 20, 2006 during the administration of Manuel Fuentes Alcocer, who was invited to take part in the celebration on Sunday.
Mayor Mauricio Vila gave recognition to Ligia Gómez Aragón, José Rivero Turriza and Luis Vela Magos for their contributions to La Biciruta since its inception. The mayor also handed out new uniforms for the Social Service youth who act as visitor guides each week.
The city also awarded four bicycles to the winners of the Carreras Argentinas, a race that was part of the day’s program.
With information from Diario de Yucatán