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There are two different types of roads in Mexico. The free roads and the toll roads. The free ones are usually busy and bumpy while the toll ones are more calm and clean. My route alternates between the two. As a cyclist the staff at the toll stations simply wave at me instead of stretching out their hand to receive a fee. Travelling on the toll roads however, sometimes feels as if I am simply covering a transport distance and except for the friendly staff there is not much of Mexico to explore along it. The local life takes place at the country roads, village streets and city squares.

After leaving the coast the roads has taken me through a soothing landscape in different shades of green, yellow-green grazing grounds, dark-green forests and sage-green lakes. The countryside is mountainous, but it levels out into an urban environment as I pedal in to the city of Guadalajara. The road becomes wider with several lanes while my bike and I feel smaller and smaller. Rolling down the potholed and glass covered streets in rush-hour feels like an extreme sport, where the adrenaline is flowing in a body that only has a styrofoam helmet as safety equipment. When I eventually reach the city centre everything calms down and I can start to enjoy another kind of traffic movement.

The cyclists have started to change the cityscape of Guadalajara. During the day I am riding up and down on its first bike lane and in the evening I am joining hundreds of bikers on the streets. In Tlaquepaque, in the other end of town, I am walking beside my bike on a pedestrian street where the art galleries are moving out on the pavement. Another cyclist leads me to the district of Tonolá where young people are practising capoeira in the alleyways and families are having dinners by the food stalls in the square. When I continue my journey east I stay in the town of La Barca and stop by at a fruit trolley in a parking space. In Pátzcuaro I drink tea at the sidewalk and in Tzintzuntzan I visit a festival in the park. And here, in the city of Morelia, I walk the streets next to a demonstration march, pass the folk musicians at the street corners and listen to concerts by the cathedral. The street life is truly alive in central Mexico and its public space is, like the free roads, accessible to all.



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