After a long-haul flight and with sure knowledge of a very busy week ahead it is a pleasure to have a day of orientation and relaxation in a new city, a new country, in fact a new continent.
So that was my plan for Friday – to potter about and just see how the land lies in the southern area of Rio de Janeiro, host city for Velo-city 2018.
In fact I did perhaps more than I expected, because hiring a city rental bike from one of the many docking stations in the city was relatively easy and the location of my hotel placed me just two streets back from the iconic Copacabana Beach where a series of long distance beach-front cycle lanes just kept nudging me along.
And with the bikes having a 1 hour free hire period, provided that the user takes a 15 minute break between rides, they also give a good excuse to stop and walk around a bit too. Almost without thinking I was out of the hotel for nearly 4 hours, instead of the hour exploring my immediate neighbourhood that I imagined when I set off.
So here is my day 1 taster gallery, from a circuit that started me along the calm of Copacabana Beach, turning eastwards to discover the surf bashing up the beach at Ipanema. Then heading back a few streets inland from the beaches, including the delightful colours, sounds and smells of the produce market in the centre of Ipanema and views up to Christ the Redeemer, the statue that seems to look down on the city from everywhere.
There’s a lot more to come!
Copacabana – and cycle lanes for everyone!
Ipanema – stunning to turn the corner and see the change in seascape.
Colours, smells, sounds of a different food culture, and everything here can be delivered by cargo bike, parked ready to go outside almost every shop.
Looking down over us all – Christ the Redeemer. (I have an appointment with him later!)