I don’t know when exactly the metamorphosis took place, but I suppose it came gradually. Only a few years ago biking in Buenos Aires was considered the easiest way to commit suicide. That is understandable, if you know that there were no bike lanes, traffic is terribly chaotic in this city where cars constantly shift over the different lanes. On the other hand, today, the city is full of bike tracks and even more are still in the making. Not in every street, but enough to go from point A to point B on your two wheels. It is definitely faster then going on foot or in a taxi or in collectivo. It is more comfortable then in the hot subte.
The government of Buenos Aires is promoting the use of a bike, and you can use the city bikes that can be picked up at the different bike parks. It is for free. All you need to do is register, you get a pin, and you can pick up a bike wherever, and drop it off in whatever bike park. So you don’t even have to own one to be able to bike.
The biggest danger today is probably the risk that your bike gets stolen. Even thick chains don’t seem to be able to stop the thieves. Not even the yellow city bikes are safe. The government is still working on this, putting security cameras at public bike parks! Maybe we just have to be patient and we can park our bike without any danger of not finding it back up on our return.
I am definitely in for a trial, if it weren’t for my husband who has used his right of veto. Fortunately he doesn’t use this right very often, but no one knows as well as he does how I have adapted to the Argentine way of living, especially style of driving a car. I switch lanes as much as any other Argentine, and I suppose he sees me, like many Argentines, slaloming in between the cars on 9de Julio on my bike. He doesn’t want “his kids” to be motherless, he says. Isn’t it funny how “your kids” all of a sudden can change into “my kids”? I have some more convincing to do!