Critical Mass is Alive and Well: Guadalajara’s Paseo de Todos
Walking and bicycling in Guadalajara can be dangerous in many parts of the city, but there's a big movement among many citizens to alter that. GDL en Bici is a group of wonderful citizens and bicycle advocates who have been organizing multiple weekly bike rides for years, and nothing is more impressive then their first Thursday of the month ride - the Paseo de Todos - which regularly churns out up to 5,000 riders to celebrate and demand safer cycling conditions.
People just have a lot of fun. You'll see families, students, and older citizens heavily sprinkled throughout the critical mass. Drivers who usually rule the congested roads seem to mostly tolerate the inconvenience. The police largely ignore the whole thing. Helping matters is that each of the rides is theme-oreinted: one month it might be to celebrate Mexico's Independence. Another week it could be comic books. This month was particularly fun since it was all about celebrating the Day of the Dead!
Streetfilms would like to thank Guadalajara 2020 for making it possible to make the journey to document this wonderful event & sponsoring the film. And to Gil Penalosa, Executive Director of 8-80 Cites, for organizing the details.
Carmen Diaz: [00:14] We’re at the Paseo de Todos, the monthly ride that we organise. In this ride we invite all cyclists to come join us in a nightly ride where we take back our streets.
Speaker: [00:26] One of the great things, one of the highlights of night rides is that they are totally citizen organised and community done. And once a month, on the first Thursday of every month, all the rides get together and they do a huge ride with thousands of people.
Ovi Montiel: [00:52] Around 4 or 5,000 cyclists come. Students, whole families, grandpas, what’s so nice is that whole families come to ride.
Speaker: [01:07] It’s a cool experience because it’s strange to ride through the whole city on bicycle.
Speaker: [01:14] You feel like you own the city for a little while.
Speaker: [01:17] I ride my bike every day but riding with a whole bunch of people is a lot more fun.
Gerardo (El Chino): [01:24] This night ride was created to take back the space that cyclists need, to take back the streets, to make ourselves known and to have rights.
Speaker: [01:41] Basically to demand that drivers respect us and to know that we are part of traffic.
Carmen Diaz: [01:52] We have a theme, different theme every month. And for tonight it’s going to be the deaths night and the devil’s night.
Speaker: [01:59] In this vicinity is the day of the deaths we celebrate in Mexico. We don’t celebrate Halloween. We celebrate death and in a happy way.
Speaker: [02:09] Let’s go! Let’s go!
Speaker: [02:14] This is stress relief, that’s it. That’s it, stress relief. I mean you just want to be home sitting down watching TV, eating popcorn? No, come out here, enjoy yourself.
Speaker: [02:25] It’s a great way to meet one another, of showing how the bicycle is a great way of helping the environment.
Speaker: [02:32] Reducing the amount of cars – increasing the amount of alternative transportation, bike lanes, buses and light rail.
Jess Linz: [02:44] And you see a lot more people riding who aren’t normally out on every Wednesday night ride, thousands of people every Wednesday. But this gets more people who have other obligations.
Speaker: [02:56] It’s a great way for people to meet one another while using an alternate means of transport.
Speaker: [03:09] For those of you who have candles, we’re gonna stop at el andador Escorza to leave them there.
Speaker: [03:19] It’s difficult to ride your bike during the day as a means of transportation. It’s risky to ride alone.
Speaker: [03:26] This is a good way to make the people in the government that this is important to have ways for the people that is in bicycles.
Speaker: [03:58] It’s cool, everyone’s in a good mood, we’re physically active, we want a cleaner city with less cars.
Speaker: [04:10] It’s fun, you get to see the city from a different point of view.
Carmen Diaz: [04:17] For me it was this sensation of freedom, of being able to live today what I would like to see one day.
[04:29] Every time that I come to Guadalajara, and I come quite often
for some kind of work, I come to this because you really get energised
from riding with people, and there you get enough energy for a few months.
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