Bogotá, ColombiaIt’s like falling in love all over again; every Sunday without fail, and holidays too, the inhabitants of the car-choked, noise-filled, stressed-out city of Bogotá, 8,660 feet up in the thin air of the Andes, get to feel that the city belongs to them, and not to the 1,600,000 suicidal private cars, 50,000 homicidal taxis, nine thousand gasping buses, and some half-million demented motorcycles that otherwise pack into the buzzing capital of Colombia. The Ciclovía’s director, Bibiana Sarmiento, said that in a highly stratified society like Colombia’s one of the things she loves about the program is its egalitarian nature. Photograph by Juan Cristóbal Cobo, National Geographic The weekly miracle occurs at an event you could call the Peaceful Community Gathering on Wheels, but is actually named the Ciclovía, or Bicycle Way. Starting at seven in the morning and until two in the afternoon, vast stretches of the city’s principal avenues and highways are turned over to everyone looking to enjoy a bit of fresh air. All kinds of transportation are welcome—bicycles, roller skates, scooters, wheelchairs, skateboards—as long as they are not motor-driven. The Ciclovía isn’t just for cycling—it’s for napping, doing pushups, and running, too. Photograph by […]

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