Merida, in the Yucatan state of Mexico, has an awful lot to recommend it:  the beautiful architecture, the great restaurants, the cultural activities, and the many parks being among its attractions.  And in the winter, the weather is absolutely beautiful. However, one of the Merida traditions we were most excited about was the Bici-Ruta or bicycle route.  This occurs every Sunday morning, when a long stretch of streets, including the Paseo de Montejo, are closed off to motor vehicle traffic, allowing cyclists and pedestrians to take over and cruise up and down more easily.  We were absolutely delighted that our visit would allow us to participate in this fun event since we had a full Sunday in the city.

We rented two cruiser bikes right on the Paseo (between Calle 45 and 47) and joined the other cyclists on the street.  The hourly cost was just $40 MX (approximately $3.20 US) for the two bikes -- a deal.
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Bike Rental place on Paseo de Montejo
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I tried out a lot of bikes before finding one I felt comfortable on.
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Weeeeeh! This pink one was the one.
There were some really interesting human-powered vehicles among the more conventional bicycles.
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Fun family bike, but difficult for the person doing all the work!
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There were several other spots set up along the route to rent bicycles.
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They were playing loud music on speakers near this tent -- I guess the set-up was for an event later.
Near the north end of the route was El Monumento a la Bandera, the Monument to the Flag.
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Monument to the Flag
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Barry looking happy with his red bike
He made me pose at the monument too.  Looking at these photos now, I can't get over how blue the sky was!  It was a perfect day for a bike ride.
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Weeeeeeeeeeh!
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Going round the huge Christmas tree
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Barry and Santa
Although in most of the photos it appears that there weren't many others on the routes, at times we ran into real bottlenecks of meandering cyclists, children on tiny bikes, dog walkers, and people who had obviously not ridden a bike since their own childhood, so we did have to pay attention and stay on our toes.  There were also several places with traffic circles and motor vehicle crossings, so we'd have to stop and leave in a bunch.  Still, it was great fun, and our hats are off to the many volunteers who direct traffic and help out on this event.  It is all the more impressive when you consider that  that they do this every single week, year-round.  In the US, something like this would happen once a year at best.  You have to love a city that holds cyclists and pedestrians in high enough regard to make this a weekly event.  

Merida, we ♥ you!

Please stay tuned for more from this fine city.

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