Parque San Martin
The thought of driving in a South America city may frighten you, so the thought of cycling one may terrify you, but there are a lot of quiet streets and parks in Mendoza and the main green space, Parque General San Martin, is simply enormous. The park is almost 1000 acres and is centered with a long thin lake, paths, and paved roads with very little, to no automobile traffic.
Not too far to the west of the city center of Mendoza, the dense buildings and tight streets begin to thin, and open up and on the outskirts you will find Maipu. To get the bus you must have a transit card which you can buy at almost any kiosko and take the bus out towards Maipu Bikes. From here, you can rent a cruiser bike in good condition, and they equip you with a map of all the roads, wineries, cost and what to expect on the tours or tasting you decide to stop in on.
Unlike a lot of cities in North America, there are no dominant bike paths promoting cycling as way of transport but that does not mean you can’t cycle on the city streets, you just want to pick ones that are biker friendly. Depending where you are in the city, head along Bartolomeu Mitre which will lead you directly through the absolute center of the city on a spacious road.
A lengthy cycle but a peaceful one begins at Rivadivia, a town in the Mendoza province to the south east of the main city by about 60 kilometers. From here you head south on country roads through the fields, and the 33 kilometer route will take you to El Carrizal, one of the few lakes in the province with multiple campgrounds circling it, if you feel like confronting the ride home tomorrow morning.
Get in some extra kilometers and cycle out, or simply drive to Lujan de Cuyo in the heart of the wine region, and head west from the city center along road Roque Sáenz Peña. This then turns into the Ruta Panamerica as you pass tiny Las Compuertas, and weaves through some beautiful terrain and even past the Cacheuta Thermal Baths.
Starting in the small town of Uspallata on the edge of the Andes that divide Argentina and Chile, as you ride along smooth highway 7 that runs directly alongside the Mendoza River so you can wave to people rafting as you cruise past them through this gorgeous valley to Lujan de Cuyo. There’s a total of 96 kilometers on smooth quality road.
A great 55 km ride that starts hard, and ends easy no matter where you start, as the highest elevation point meets right in the middle of your starting point, and destination. Whether you want to start at the Villavicencio, head to Uspallata and end in a natural hot tub, or prefer to enjoy it at the midway point, you will see some incredible scenery, maneuver some very enjoyable windy roads, work, and relax your legs.