tice. For $5-20 USD, one could rent a bike and that would guarantee to get ahead of the 3-4 hour wait. This rapidly turned into a whatever-it-takes attitude and often a person could be seen renting a bike without a saddle, even without pedals, just to get across quickly. Subsequently that ended and now everybody, with the exception of SENTRI cardholders, waits in the same pedestrian lane.
The bicycle community from both sides remains optimistic and continues to be present for important days such as “Bike to Work Day” and they are open to dialogue with the urban planners. It is crucial for both cities to consider a smooth transition of a bicycle lane for both sides which will work as an option for pedestrians to come and go in a healthier way than standing in line for endless hours or idling inside a car for long periods of time.
TJ en Bici
Arturo (of Bici Estación) alongside other members of the bicycle community in Tijuana founded the group called TJ en Bici, which is entirely dedicated to promote the use of the bicycle for city transportation. The group has started to meet with transportation management departments in the city, advocating for good urban planning, promoting a healthier lifestyle and that it can be possible that pedestrians, cars, disabled citizens and cyclists coexist and commute on the same roads.
Since its beginnings TJ en Bici has met up, discussed and participated in national forums including Mexico City’s BiciRed, and teaming up with IMLAP, Tijuana’s Metropolitan Planning Institute, to plan for better bicycle strategies in Tijuana.
“Once there are bikes on the streets, it is a sign that a city is safer and friendlier. That is one of the goals we are after, in a way to let the people own the streets again, similar to what once started as Critical Mass in San Francisco 20 years ago, with an image that reflects from the citizens indicating that by choosing to ride a bike they are proud to be from Tijuana, ride in Tijuana and to take away from people the mentality that they can only move around in their car.” Viazcan said.
The message is clear: Tijuana is more beautiful by bicycle.
Embracing the power and presence of social media, most of the social, leisure and competitive rides that take place in Tijuana and surrounding towns are posted on Facebook. Information, connections and photos are posted shortly after each ride and this tool has played a crucial impulse in the local events popularity.
There are no bicycle festivals or fairs yet, but don’t be surprised if recurring celebrations begin to happen. People are always ready to party, to represent their citizen pride and ready to stay-up late if needed. It could almost be said that Tijuana never sleeps.
The city of Tijuana and its beautiful people are ready for you to join them on a bike ride forming its promising future, they are eager to show you the contrary to what many may think “is not the real Mexico.”
There is no place in the world where you can see the density of population covering the Tijuana hills adjacent to the San Diego landscape, experience the tangible hybrid cultures from both countries, and see the Pacific Ocean from the top of the hill while waiting for the sun to set alongside hundreds of people on bicycles.