To bicycle in Rio de Janeiro is getting more and more common, it’s mainly used to go to and from the beach or as exercise. The bicycle is not seen as a vehicle (as is the case in many other countries), it is more seen as a fast pedestrian. You get people biking on the sidewalks and against the direction of traffic all the time!
So what about bicycle paths in Rio? Well there are quite few. They go around the lake and along the beaches, you´ll find them in some other places too. A great thing is that on Sundays and holidays they close one side of the beach avenues in Leblon, Ipanema, Copacabana, Leme and Flamengo; People are roller blading, running, bicycling, skateboarding the whole day. Here is a really good link to a page where you have bicycle routes, some of them are in the city but most of them are for the long haul: Bike Paths Rio
Renting a Bicycle in Rio
There are quite a few places to rent bikes in Rio, you have people renting on the beach in Copacabana and also bicycle stores along the main streets. There are also a few hostels that rent. It is advisable to compare prices since they vary a lot. If you are in Rio for a while it may be a good idea to buy a bike, just ask the guy on the corner or a doorman (Portuguese: porteiro) and they most likely have some good info for you. Don’t get a really nice bike, the chance that it gets stolen is really big. You shouldn’t leave it unattended since the thieves are cunning and fast.
The option to rent the orange bikes with Itaú written on them is very cheap but perhaps a little tricky for a foreigner on a brief, this since you need a working cell phone and to make a credit card deposit. Read all about it here if you want to try: Bike Rio. There are also several bike shops that offer this service, a lot more expensive, the quality and maintenance of bikes vary quite a lot. The shop Ciclovia on Rua Francisco Otaviano 55 loja A, in Arpoador since I am under the impression that their bikes are quite good and their prices on par with most others. You can leave your passport and get the bike which is quite convenient.
There are plenty of bike robberies in Rio, even armed assaults. Be careful and keep your eyes open for trouble!
There are also some companies that offer organized bicycling tours around Rio, if you have some to recommend just inform me and I can put them here:
– Cyclin Rio A Brazilian guy called Mauricio Herzog contacted me so I thought I’d put him here. He offers various tours around the city. If you go with him I would appreciate if you could drop me a line and tell me how it was. His site is: Cyclin Rio. Check out some of his Tripadvisor reviews here.