Chaotic Mexico City wasn’t really made for cycling. The roads are overrun with cars, very few of which pay attention to the rules of the road, and the city is absolutely vast. However, that’s not to say that fans of two-wheel transport can’t find plenty of spots to explore when they’re in the Mexican capital – from set weekly routes to free-access parks, here are the best scenic cycling options in Mexico City.
The weekly Muévete en Bici event is a hugely popular free attraction in the Mexican capital for both residents and tourists, given that it closes off the emblematic Paseo de la Reforma to traffic and opens it up to joggers, skaters and cyclists instead. Take a few hours, rent a bike from one of the city’s many EcoBici stands (more on how to do that here) and enjoy the convivial atmosphere as you pass some of the most renowned sights in the city.
If you don’t mind making your way to the outskirts of the city, you’ll be rewarded with the excellent biking options on offer at Desierto de los Leones, one of Mexico City’s biggest and best national parks. Admittedly, the rough and ready nature of this forest makes it better for mountain rather than road bikers, but it’s still worth checking out, not least for its easy accessibility and gorgeous old Carmelite convent.
A much more petite alternative to Bosque de Chapultepec is the nearby Parque Lincoln, situated in Polanco. A haven for dog walkers, this small urban green space has flat, wide pavements and is relatively underrated so there’s usually lots of opportunity to cycle about freely. While you’re there, grab lunch at one of the nearby restaurants, check out the tiny plant nursery or take some time to sit by the lake.
Finally, if you happen to be in Mexico City on the final Sunday of the month, the Ciclotón makes for an unmissable cycling route favorite. Larger in scope than the Muévete en Bici event, which largely only closes off Paseo de la Reforma, the Ciclotón route takes practically a full lap of the city and covers some 32km. On this route, you’ll get the chance to cycle past plenty of the city’s main sights alongside some 50,000 other attendees, all with the security of medical and hydration tents dotted along the way.