Mérida, the colonial city in the middle of the Yucatan, blocks off a route through the city on Sunday mornings for middle-class and gringo recreational biking. For the other 6 1/2 days of the week, Calle 64 and Paseo de Montejo are busy-busy with buses, collectivos (vans operating as jitneys), taxis and some private vehicles. An article from Yucatan Today describes the weekly event:
Get your bicycle out of the bodega, dust it off, and participate in Bici-ruta! Every Sunday from 8 am to 12:30 pm more than 5 kilometers of roads in Mérida are closed off to traffic, allowing cyclists to enjoy a morning of bicycling in a family-oriented ambiance that is healthy and safe. Yucatan Today is proud to support Bici-ruta.
The objectives are: unite the city and its inhabitants, provide a space for family activities, improve the quality of life for the citizens of Mérida, promote the values of healthy fun and mutual respect, create a sense of belonging to the city, promote the appropriate use of free time with a healthy activity, foster family integration, create a culture of physical activity, promote good health through the practice of sport, and promote the city as the most hospitable of the country.
The Bici-ruta runs from La Ermita de Santa Isabel (Calles 66 x 79 x 64A x 77 in Centro) north to the glorieta on Prolongación Montejo at Circuito Colonias.You can get onto the Bici-ruta at any point. The Bici-ruta is open to families, competitive cyclists, tourists, young people, old people, everybody!
Another fun aspect of the Bici-ruta is all the cultural, sport, recreational and health events at various points along the way. These stops include : La Ermita, Paseo de Montejo x Calle 43, Paseo de Montejo x Av. Cupules, and Monumento a la Bandera.
If you don’t have a bike, there are various places along the way where you can rent one for $10 pesos an hour. You will have to leave an official ID which will be returned when you bring back the bicycle. There are places to park the bikes, but chains and locks are not included in the rental, so bring your own if you plan to make any stops along the way.
At 12:30, the buses start to run again and bicycle use reverts to what it is all over Mexico: transportation for the poor.