Urban Mountain Biking in Cuenca. From what I’ve read most expats in Cuenca don’t have a motor vehicle and get around by taxi, bus, and walking. I don’t have a motor vehicle either and that’s how I got around too until early January when I bought a mountain bike. I still walk of course but I haven’t taken a taxi during the day since last year or a bus in over two and a half months.
I live in south Cuenca and to me anything south of the historical district is south Cuenca. I actually cover more ground now since I got the bike than I did by taxi and or bus and walking. I probably bike around 12 – 14 miles a day, every day. I like the the rio Tomebama trail, the rio Yanuncay trail, and of course Avenedia Solano as well as other parts of south Cuenca in and around my neighborhood.
Probably the best known avenue in Cuenca is Solano. On the south end it starts at tres puentes (three bridges) and goes north and dead ends at the rio Tomebamba. On the east side is a two lane bi directional bike path that spans the entire length of Solano. Here are some pics from both directions, north and south.
Coming off of Puente Mariano Moreno to the south over the Tomebamba is Parque De La Madre. On the west side of the park is another bi directional bike path that runs the length of the park. There are guards that watch over the park and there are a number of bike racks next to the path. It’s an excellent location to park and lock a bike. From there it’s just a short walk to the historical district or Supermaxi at El Vergel to the south.
Another nice bike path is the Tomebamba trail that runs east of Solano on the north side of the Tomebamba to about Pumapungo. The trail also goes under the Broken Bridge.
The Yanuncay trail is an excellent pedestrian and bike trail as well.
Thursday – Sunday the southwest gate to Pumapungo is open right off of the river trail and there’s a bike rack just inside the gate. It’s a nice place to park a bike and walk around Pumapungo. Occasionally I’ll park there, then walk east along the Tomebamba trail, cross over to the south side of the Tomebamba, and come in the back way to Paradise Park from the east where the wooden walkways are that I posted about here.
I live close to Mall Del Rio which has two bike racks and a bike repair station with a hammer, screwdriver, hex wrenches and other tools secured with cables. This is also a very safe place to park/lock a bike up. There are a number of guards that patrol the parking lot area.
The younger crowd with their BMX bikes are around also.
Cuenca is very bike friendly and new bike trails and paths are being constructed and planned for throughout the city.
If you’d like to get your feet wet and you have a cedula, Cuenca has mountain bikes available for free to use on Sundays