For the past few years, I have been telling myself that I should get a bicycle. I’ve not been on one in probably over 15 years and it was high time that changed. But….15 years! Do I even still know how to ride a bike? Would I even like cycling anymore?? You’d think I’d just go borrow a friend’s bike and figure that out but no. I decided to do a bike tour during my stay in Lima instead.
Certain neighbourhoods in Lima are actually fairly bike friendly, having designated lanes and wide sidewalks. I quickly learned that one doesn’t actually forget how to ride a bike but one certainly is no Lance Armstrong if one hasn’t ridden in ages – my balance was iffy and my reflexes were jumpy. Of course, the Universe dictated that Kendra faced a gravelly road and a hill at the beginning of the tour – and fog. At first, we couldn’t see much beyond the giant white Jesus next to us on the hill called Morro Solar. But by the time it took us to unload the bikes, choose a bike, talk safety, and take a test ride in the gravelly parking lot, and head downhill, it had started to clear up a bit.
The first while was downhill and traffic-free – the fog lifted even more and we were able to see the small colourful homes of the area as well as Lima Bay. Our group of four plus guide pedalled along, periodically being followed by the support van which helped to keep traffic away from us in certain points.
Along the coast, we stopped to see a “monk”. It was a guy who re-enacts a local legend for tips. Basically, the story is that there was this monk and local rich girl who fell in love to the disapproval of her family. Her parents put her on a boat to send her away and her monk boyfriend stood on the cliffs hoping for one last goodbye. He stood waving and waving but she never saw him. In his despair, he threw himself into the crashing ocean. Lovely. So this modern day guy dresses up like a monk, does the waving bit, and then dives into the ocean with a safety line. I guess some people like seeing this sort of thing.
We then cycled to and through the neighbourhood of Chorrillos, stopping at a plaza for a snack and water break (self-provided or can buy at a local shop). Chorrillos was pleasant with its colonial architecture that we admired as we slowly cycled past. The colonial architecture feast continued as we made our way into Barranco, a pretty cool neighbourhood dominated by those in the arts scene. We spent some time by the popular Bridge of Sighs (where I suggest you make note of a restaurant called Songoro Cosongo – plan to come back here for a meal) and then made our way to Miraflores, again along the coast, giving us ocean views as we pedalled along.
Passing by Larcomar, a mall built into the side of a cliff, we finally reached the Parque de Amor – Love Park. It was here that the tour ended. I think that this bike tour is a fun way to explore various parts of Lima and is a very pleasant way to spend a morning. If you’re in Lima for more than a couple days, I do recommend this tour with Urban Adventures!