To know Medellín there are other alternatives to the metro or public transport. It is common to see in hotels or tourist areas foreigners or visitors from other cities in the country who prefer to walk the streets mounted on a bicycle.
The public bicycle system of the Aburrá Valley, Encicla, is an alternative for mobility for residents; However, the requirement of registration and having the civic card is a deterrent for tourists who will only be one day, one week, or less than a month knowing the city.
For any taste
Eight years ago Bikerent settled in Provence and started renting 10 urban bicycles. Then they migrated to 10th Street, two blocks from the South Terminal, and are characterized, until the sun today, by the yellow color in their steel horses and grew to have a lot of 50 units.
“Now we have retro models, tandem (to pedal as a couple), and we achieve alliances with hostels to offer their guests this way of touring the city,” noted Diego Vargas Gomez, site manager.
The rent is operated by phone or WhatsApp and 80% of customers, Vargas estimates, are foreigners or visitors from other cities, although on weekends, when there are bike paths, the percentage is reversed because it is the people who live in Medellin who he asks for them to pedal.
Another alternative is Villalbike, a business located near the Aeroparque Juan Pablo II oriented only to the sale and repair of cycles, but just over a year ago they started with the rental of the vehicles they had in the showcase.
For those who venture out of the flat area of the city and want to climb hills around the Aburrá, there is also Medebike, a company that Bikerent rents bikes by social networks, but they are different because they are all electric to facilitate Pedaling on difficult slopes.
“We have eight cycles of our own, although it is not a limitation because if they end we have an alliance with two brands that make us more useful and serve as advertising,” revealed Diana Gómez, co-founder of Medebike.
Prices and frequency of use
While in Bikerent the rent for three hours costs $ 27,000 and does not require any paperwork, in Medebike’s power plants they go up to $ 45,000 and ask for $ 100,000 of deposit; However, the latter are usually rented for weeks or there are users who pay $ 420,000 for having them for a whole month.
On the other hand, the rent of the cycles of Villalbike is charged to more than $ 200,000 for a day with a deposit of 75% of the value of the vehicle.
Vargas notes that in eight years of service, without receiving any kind of support, they have not lost a single bicycle, and adds that the hills are not an impediment to rent because many people move in flat areas, even renting up to 20 in a day, if there is good weather.
“Our clients say that Medellin is a very good city to ride a bicycle, but there is a lack of culture on the part of the drivers of other vehicles in front of the cyclist,” Villalba confessed.
The same thinks Mauricio Mesa, coordinator of the group Siclas, and added that the user of bicycle must survive the aggressiveness of the traffic.
Several hostels in the city also offer bike rentals; However, Lucy Ruiz decided to terminate the service because two years ago two guests of the hostel she manages, in Patio Bonito, were robbed.
“Since then, I did not have more bicycles, but I recommend those who stay here to go out in the caravans that are every week in Medellin, or rent them in the bike lanes on Sundays and holidays, which is also another option.”
Even so, Mesa highlighted this type of alternatives that facilitate the life of those who conceive the bicycle as the best ally to know a place, and do not close the possibilities that tourism is only done in motorized vehicles.
Diego Vargas pointed out that with the bike paths built by municipal administrations in the Aburrá, such as Las Vegas Avenue, the infrastructure is more and more available to make tourism in the city more attractive by pedaling.