Am I speaking another language? YES -- Ciclovia is imported from Spanish for day of fun on bikes in Bogota, Colombia.
Ciclovia happens every Sunday when miles of city streets are shut down for an outdoor exercise festival on wheels. People of all ages turn out on their bikes, roller blades and sneakers to jog and do aerobics.
This video http://www.streetfilms.org/archives/ciclovia/ features throngs of Colombians of all ages and social classes exercising, literally, in the streets, and a class of a hundred people doing aerobics in the park.
This is an example we chubby Americans could benefit by imitating.
The Colombians also have another idea worth copying.
About a decade ago, Colombian traffic "experts" were planning to build a network of raised highways to expand roadway capacity. Officials discarded the expensive, unsustainable, and ludicrous idea [maybe after they found out about the Big Pig, I mean Big Dig, here in Boston].
Instead of spending billions of dollars [sound familiar?], they created a network of bus rapid transit lanes connected to bikeways, that include bike storage facilities to move people throughout the city.
TransMilenio moves 1.3 million people a day at 17 to 25 mph, compared to 6 mph average for NYC buses. Take a look --http://www.streetfilms.org/archives/bus-rapid-transit-bogota/.
The population of Bogata is 7 million. They're close enough to the Equator to avoid rugged winter weather. They have a significant population of people unable to afford to own and operate cars. The video shows attended parking lots of bikes next to the TransMilenio stations. Buses run continuously throughout the day.
The system is so good, everyone uses it. Bikes are foundational to the system. The transit encourages bike commuting to the station because it eliminates the need for neighborhood buses to bring people to the TransMilenio, and saves money on putting local buses on the road.
America- we aren't setting the trend here. We need to go abroad to Colombia to find the model.