Riding bikes in Playa del Carmen
I had intended for this post to be all upbeat and cheery, but unfortunately, life isn't always all sunshine and kittens. So let me get "the bad" out of the way first.
Yesterday at the end of our excellent bike ride, Barry went out to do a couple more miles after I finished riding. When he arrived back at our rental, I could tell immediately that something was wrong by the large dirty spot on the right shoulder of his t-shirt. Turns out he had crashed. He was making a right turn on a paved street, when his bike's wheels slid out from under him, and he slid across the concrete pavement, which was very slick from age. He was very lucky as oncoming cars saw him and stopped, even asking if he was okay. He was wobbly, of course, but able to get back on his bike and ride back to our rental.
He's a little scraped and bruised up but fortunately doesn't appear to be seriously injured. He bled very little, mostly his elbow, and we cleaned and doctored up his wounds with the first-aid items we'd brought along. It was scary, though, and reminded us once again how quickly and unexpectedly accidents can happen -- that's why they're called accidents.
Up until this crash, we'd really been enjoying our rides here in Playa. There is a fair bit of traffic in the downtown area, but once we get north or south of that, there are lovely places to ride where traffic is minimal to non-existent.
So now onto the sunshine and kittens portion of this post!
On the north end of Fifth Avenue, we discovered a paved multi-use path that has very few crossings. There's little traffic along the narrow road there, so if we need to exit off the path to pass a jogger or dog walker, it's easy to do.
The best part of this path is that across the road there is colorful graffiti art/murals on nearly every building surface. We don't know the history of this area, but there are some really gifted artists whose talents are on display. Here are just a few examples of some of my favorites.
On the south end of town, there's a bike path in a loop through the huge golf subdivision Playacar. This is little more than a glorified sidewalk and is pretty narrow. It has a bit more ped and bike traffic and is not in quite as good condition as the other paths, but it is a pretty area to ride in a residential area, with some nicely shaded parts. We didn't take any photos of this one.
Just west and outside of Playacar is our very favorite path to ride on. This paved path goes either north towards shopping (busier and with more road crossings) or south to the huge Xcarat Park, often called the "Disneyland of Mexico". This path is smooth, has very few driveway crossings, and is lightly used, at least in November. There are more iguanas out sunning themselves than people on it most of the time!
The path is lined with beautiful foliage including many small Flamboyant Trees (Delonx regia). The only negative of this path is that it does run alongside the highway for the most part, so it can be a little noisy at times. But that's a small price to pay for a path like this.
Here are some of the exotic creatures seen along the bike path!
And talk about exotic, we thought these trees growing in the concrete entranceway to Xcaret were unique! See the roots coming out the bottom?
So, that's what we've discovered about cycling in Playa del Carmen so far. It seems to be one of the best places in Mexico for people who like to ride bikes. We hope that Barry will heal up quickly and we'll be back to it!
11/10/2014 12:51:47 pm
Nice to be in touch again
11/11/2014 06:16:37 am
Glad Barry is okay, and love your bikes! From your previous post, I'd agree that ya'll got a good deal. The murals are beautiful, especially the lion ... a beautiful place to ride bikes. Just don't fall again! =)
2/2/2015 01:11:49 pm
Yes! There's a really smooth section of bike path running from the southern entrance of Playacar down to Xcaret Park on the east side of the main highway. I am not a roller blader myself but have seen a couple of people skating there. There's also a nice flat, wide sidewalk area that goes on for a fair distance on the far north extension of 5th Avenue beginning just north of Calle 46 Norte. Hope this helps and that you enjoy your visit to Playa!
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Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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