Cycling in Sao Paulo

To cycle on a single speed here in Brazil you need steel legs, a shield-like chest and lungs like whales. For many reasons!

You will need to protect yourself from stupid non sense stressed small minded psychopath and angry drivers that want to run you over like we saw in Rio Grande do Sul one Friday in March. He chose a quite sad and irresponsible attitude to deal with cyclists on the road. My mouth remained open for 20 min in shock!! Unbelievable!

After the anger drained away I started thinking about what kind of precautions we should practice to keep ourselves away from people like that. How do we make ourselves visible in the chaotic traffic that Brazil’s huge metropolis have? Should we be excessive and hang thousands of lights on our frames and backpacks? Mirrors all around, get our carnival costume on and start the party!

Anyway, despite all my convictions that in this country the law will never reach people with money, the mad driver is facing a 7 year prison sentence! This action shows us that Brazil IS getting better, improving its common sense and heading towards a new era!

Now, about cycling in São Paulo, I am still a bit scared. I do not feel safe on this fast pacing traffic, with no cycle paths and little respect for people like us. After cycling for a long period in London my legs urge for repetitive movements. I have built a crap singlespeed to ride off road but its impossible to climb hills in my hometown without gears… You will need climbing ropes for that.

But it’s wide and long São Paulo’s streets are calling my desire for speed. I can fell the warm breeze on my face. Dont forget, its Brazil man. Everything is hot!!!

By the way, if you want to see video footage of the cyclists being hit by an extremely ludicrous driver in Rio Grande do Sul then type “Driver running over 15 cyclists in Rio Grande do Sul” but please be warned, this is really horrible footage, not for the feint-hearted!

by Alexandre Beraldo

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