BiciTaxi Adventures in Bogotá


They’re all over the city, and they’re far more convenient than what their aspect would initially suggest. I’m talking about Bogotá’s ‘BiciTaxis’ (Colombia’s typical bicycle-adapted taxis) and I’m telling you: you shouldn’t avoid them, but, if you do use them, get ready for the bike ride of your life.

BiciTaxis are not an exclusive feature of Bogotá. In Asia, they are almost everywhere. Still, Bogotá’s BiciTaxis have a very ‘Bogotano’ feel to it and they can be extremely convenient if you want to go from point A to Z, in relatively short distances. They’re also an experience that, whether you’re visiting or living in the city, you shouldn’t miss.

So here are the 5 Things You Need To Know About Your Bogotá BiciTaxi Adventure:

1.    Older BiciTaxi drivers will make you feel awful about the ride, because they really struggle to take you where you want to go. While BiciTaxis have an electric engine, it doesn’t seem to help these older drivers all that much. On the other hand, this means that you go slower but feel safer about the ride (although at times it may be too slow and feel more like a leisure experience – which means that this ride may leave you either quite sleepy, if you’re relaxed, or very anxious, if you’re in a rush).

2.    Younger BiciTaxi drivers will take you on an adrenaline-rush-ride that will test your courage – and your spine. The freshness of their youth reflects on high energy levels that make them cycle in a way that you’d presume to be impossible, considering that they’re taking two passengers with them. In a 5-minute ride, you’ll ask yourself a million times why you decided to take it in the first place, you’ll mentally say a lot of fast goodbyes to your loved ones (in case something happens), and you’ll go out feeling like you just had a bizarre near-death experience.

3.    Several BiciTaxis have complimentary newspapers or magazines for you to read during the ride, in a moving touch of customer care that should be praised but which fails to fulfil its purposes. After all, if the ride is too slow, these newspapers are all in Spanish anyway, and they’re not up-to-date. Plus, they are probably not the best pieces of information in town. If, on the other hand, the ride is too fast, you couldn’t even read the first word because you just need to hold on to whatever you can grab, so that you can make sure that you stay inside the vehicle throughout the ride.

4.    You’ll often hear what the driver is listening to, which can vary from the latest ‘Reggaeton’ (young driver) or the oldest ‘Vallenato’ (old driver). In both cases, that sure makes a very authentic and entertaining experience – namely because drivers also tend to become singers on wheels (and that’s a bonus that you don’t pay for).

5.    Since Bogotá’s roads are mostly very poorly kept, chances are you’ll feel the craters on the ground all too often. The difference is that, in the slow ride, you’ll feel them as if you were being toured around the Moon, whereas, in the fast ride, you’ll feel your head bumping against the BiciTaxi’s ceiling so many times, that you may come to actually believe that you’re on the Moon.

Now don’t let this information keep you away from a Bogotá BiciTaxi Adventure. After all, what’s life without a bit of excitement?

Written by: Miggy, check out his site for more from him.