A Bike Ride, Mexico City

On my first trip to Mexico City, I very hesitantly signed up for a taco bike tour on my free day in town. As someone who bikes every day, in a city that is VERY bike-first, I was nervous about cycling in the very car-oriented Mexico City. But after conquering the taco tour on two wheels, I felt invincible (or at least slightly more confident!) so on my second trip to CDMX, I rented a bike and ventured out into the city on my own :)
I was staying at Marquis Reforma, a big pink art deco hotel near Chapultepec Park.And although it was a Sunday morning, I had about four hours of work to get done before I could go out and adventure! So I wrote decks and emailed for a few hours from bed, and then ordered the BIGGEST ceviche, salad, and nacho lunch before I hit the town!Honestly, Mexican food is a perfect mix of light, fragrant, and flavorful. There are greasy options if you want to indulge, but there are so many light and fresh options available as well.

I am going to say something crazy here . . . . I think Mexican food might be my favorite international cuisine!After I gobbled up my meal, I rented a bike from out front of the hotel, and cycled over to Chapultepec Park. We had cycled through Chapultepec Park previously on our taco tour, so I knew I could easily navigate the park by bike.There were lots of street performers and market vendors out, and I briefly parked my bike to wander through the Anthropologie Museum (more on this in my next post!)But honestly, the best part was beholding typical Sunday life in Mexico City. Watching children gather around a street performer, or families picnic together in the park.I also stumbled upon this INSANITY:Which stopped by heart but also captured my attention for a good 15 minutes! These men crawl up a ladder on the blue pole, twist a rope around one of their legs, and then slowly let the line out as they begin to spin and spin, weaving around in circles and other various formations.I was SO impressed by their bravery, although I couldn’t bring myself to tip, because it frankly scared the living day lights out of me and I want them all to go find new careers! I just can’t financially support this madness!Next up on the bike tour was a ride over to Chapultepec Castle – it’s situated on the edge of the park, and is said to have gorgeous views of Mexico City. Unfortunately, I totally screwed this on up! The castle has a ticketed entry, and the ticket office is located at the BOTTOM of the road leading to the castle. I had no idea, as there was no indication of this at the bottom of the hill. SO I merrily strolled up the long, winding, steep road to the castle – which took 25 minutes – only to find out I couldn’t get in! I seriously stood there and debated hopping over the fence, or bribing the attendant with some pesos at the gate, but honestly the last thing I wanted to do was get arrested in Mexico City. So I gazed in longingly from the outside, took some snaps through the fence, and then walked back down the hill.From there I went a bit rogue. I stuck my phone in my pocket and cycled through the park, not paying much attention to where I was headed.Which landed me at the most wonderful sight of the day – a small park with a large pond, where old men and children had gathered to sail boats.It was one of those rare gems you stumble upon, and wouldn’t otherwise have found it on a map or travel guide.I sat on the edge of the pool with my book, lounging in the sun, enjoying the ability to get some warm, fresh air in January!My last stop of the day was a small botanical garden back in Bosque de Chapultepec, called very simply, the Botanic Garden of Bosque de Chapultepec! Entry is free, and the park is open 9am-8pm, Tuesday through Sunday.
I love a good succulent display, so a gander through the garden was right up my alley.And blooming flowers in January are always a sight for sore eyes.The meticulously planted cacti were my favorite! I ended the afternoon chillin’ at the Lago del Bosque de Chapultepec (the park’s lake).I LOVE swan boats, and although I didn’t rent one myself this time around, watching the majestic boats paddle by was the highlight of my afternoon.It was honestly just such a dreamy, relaxing day – the kind of time my soul needs after a long, 12 hour flight! I love spending a day by myself – perhaps an affinity born from business travel – and I cherish these small moments of peace, whether on a work trip or at home, where I can roam at my own speed and call on the shots on where to go or what to check out next. I truly enjoy dining by myself, going to a museum solo, or having a cycle day exploring a new city where I am both the tourist and the guide! Can’t wait for more of these days in the future :)

More Mexico City to come!

xo Ali


2 Replies to “A Bike Ride, Mexico City”

  1. Hi, I’m glad that you had a great time in Mexico city and enjoyed the food as is the best!. I just have a question out of curiosity, what may you thought about potentially bribing the guard at the park, would that same thought will occur to you here in the Netherlands? or in any other first world country?
    Best regards


    1. Hey Maite, it’s a really interesting question because when I wrote that, I didn’t think too much about the cultural nuances behind it. A huge part of the research I conducted while in Mexico was to understand cultural, political, and economic behaviors in the local market. Unfortunately, the topic of corruption was common amongst all of our focus groups. Mexico is one of the most corrupt countries in Latin America when it comes to bribes for access to public services (schools, health care, etc). If you’re interested in reading more, there are a lot of studies online (huge sample sizes of 20k+ respondents) and in most cases upwards of 50% report having paid a bribe in the past year. That’s a stark contrast to where I live in the Netherlands, which is one of the least corrupt countries in the EU and the 8th least in the world. If I’m being totally honest, the same thought probably wouldn’t have occurred to me at home, as the Netherlands is a more developed country that has independent media and free speech, and unlawful behavior is typically condemned – which is not always the case in underdeveloped countries. Would you have had the same thought?? I appreciate the comment and your thought provoking question!


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