By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – While ‘winter’ in Rio can see locals throwing on boots and overcoats as soon as temperatures dip below twenty degrees, for the rest of us it can mean a welcome relief from the sweltering summer heat. It is also the perfect temperature to explore Rio by bike, and so therefore we’ve put together five great ways to get to know Rio using good old pedal-power.
Rio By Bike
What better start to a list of the best ways to bike around Rio than with Rio by Bike, probably the most popular bike tour company in the city. Jan William Zeldenrust, from Holland, has been living in Rio for seven years and also runs Rio by Bike. He offered some comments on what makes their tours so special.
“Our bikes are different then then the ones that are normally used. We have a Dutch styled city bike that we typically call Omafiets. They are comfortable city bikes with a vintage feel. Another thing is that we have a wide range of tours, from a day tour to a short three hour tour, but also a jungle tour and a food tour.
He also added, “All tours are offered daily, and for our regular tours you don’t have to pay in advance, just make a reservation and show up.”
Go Bike Rio
Founded by two women who collaborated on a cycling tour of Paris called ‘Midnight in Paris by Bike,’ Go Bike Rio prides itself on offering cycling tours with an alternative, sustainable edge. “We believe that by providing pleasant experiences through cycle-tourism, we are encouraging people to introduce biking in their lives as a means of transportation.”
“We believe that biking democratizes the use of public space and improves quality of life, besides, it’s a sustainable solution to the environmental, energy and urban mobility crises.” Their prices start from R$140 and they have recently started offering a Corcovado cycling tour all the way up to Christ the Redeemer.
This is a new exciting cycling tour set up by Caminhos Language School. Bel Seixas from Caminhos offered some more information about what it involves, “Caminhos Tours offer an awesome bike tour to Niteroi with their ‘Sat-Venture’ Tours with qualified guides exploring Niteroi and the surrounding areas.”
The tour takes place every Saturday and won’t break the bank. “The price is super reasonable for just R$50 and includes the bike hire and ferry charge to get across the bay. The idea is to unite groups and provide inexpensive fun activities every Saturday as part of the Caminhos vibe.”
Rio Active Tours
Often combining a bit of hiking with a bit of biking, Rio Active Tours offer trips where travellers “will experience a much more authentic Rio and feel so many nuances that would simply be missed on a conventional sightseeing vehicle tour.”
They offer a very popular bike and hike up Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain) where travelers can get a discounted ticket on the famous cable car by hiking up the first hill! They typically end the tour at the local’s favorite spot, Mureta da Urca.
You can’t spend too long before spotting one of these famous orange bikes cruising through Rio, and with around 2,600 bikes currently in circulation, it’s no wonder they’re so ubiquitous. Once the Portuguese-only website has been navigated, these bikes are surprisingly easy to use, offering rides for as little as R$10 per month.
The best places to get to grips with your newfound orange freedom is either riding around Rio’s beautiful Lagoa, or along Copacabana and Ipanema beach. And with over 260 docking stations throughout the city, once you’ve had enough, you can just drop it off for the next person to use.