|There was a guy re-directing traffic so this group of bikers could take over the road.|
I spend a LOT of my time in Santiago on buses. Most weekdays, I have a tutoring job in the far-flung wealthy suburb of Lo Barnechea. It's beautiful, but it is not easy to get to if you don't have a car. So, I take the extremely crowded Metro, transfer from the green line to the red line, then transfer to a bus and ride that for 30-45 minutes. It can be a long commute, and while it's a chance to see the city, it's not my favorite.
Three mornings a week, I volunteer at La Bicicleta Verde, fixing bikes. I enjoy that job, and I really enjoy biking to and from it. Biking is such a fun way to experience Santiago, and as summer has arrived, I've realized that there are quite a few Santiaguinos who bike around the city as well.
One of the cool things about biking in a city is that you can change your route whenever you feel like it, you aren't stuck like on a bus. This is great because Santiago has a lot of free, outdoor cultural events going on all the time. Sometimes I find myself biking by artisan fairs, music concerts, drum circles or other fun things.
Just recently, I was biking home from Bici Verde and I encountered a huge group of cyclists taking up the road. I knew that Santiago has a critical mass event, but I also knew that had just happened a few days prior, so I figured this was something else. Since I had a little time, I joined the group and biked alongside.
I did my best to pull up to someone friendly looking and ask what it was all about. They answered, but I didn't really understand the response. I asked a few more people, and eventually pieced together that this was part of an "urban intervention" and that we were going to the GAM, a cool cultural center/museum.
After following the group a bit more, we did end up at GAM. People parked their bikes and then started participating in some kind of outdoor urban art project. I didn't have a ton of time, so I looked around a little and then went home. I did see a few especially cool things, you can check them out below:
|This says "Before I die..." and then there are a bunch of lines that say "I want to..." and people fill in the blanks with chalk. It was fun to read ones that I could understand, like "Antes de morir, quiero un taco"|
|This says "Sin Bip! Sin Tarjeta. Soy feliz en bicicleta". It's backwards because it's for screen printing on t-shirts|
|This was one part of the public art project. There were many more things being painted and built too.|