Interview with Lizette Sanromán: Museum Bike Tours in Mexico City.
by: Nicholas Stockman in the investigation: "An International Culture of Lates" of Culture 24
Museum Bike Tours in Mexico City One of the barriers to attending Noche De Museos is navigating around the vast city. L&S Proyectos Culturales A.C. (L&S) confronts the issue head-on by offering organised cycle tours between selected participating museums. La Vuelta A Los Museos (Museum Bicycle Tours) has been part of NdM for three years now, as Director Lizette Sanromán explained: “The bicycle tour is to go and visit three or four museums but to get off, go through the museum, we make the museum greet them. We
take care of the bicycles. People enter, and then we go to the next museum.”
Each tour group accommodates up to 180 riders on their own bikes wearing their own helmets. For a fee of 100 pesos (£3.50) L&S provide ride organisation, technical back-up, safety oversight and liaison with the participating museums to provide entertainment tailored to the large group. There are stewards at the front, back and sides and a van called The Sweeper, “If somebody bursts a tyre, or if you can’t keep on going, we put them [the bikes] on top of the van. We have a big group, we go slowly, we take care of the front and the rear and we don’t let them open out. Every bike goes in a lane.”
The cycling part of the experience is tightly organised:
*Email address, ID and telephone number are required as part of registration in case of emergency.
*The route is shared on Facebook so that people know where to pick it up if they are running late.
*Each participant receives a badge or sticker with the visited museum’s logo on to identify those people who have paid for the tour
On arrival at the museum the group may be offered a hands-on activity, a music performance or talk by emerging artist groups (organised by L&S) which doesn’t preclude other parts of the museum being open to non-cycle tour participants at the same time.
The bike tours are attractive to sponsors and provide an alternative to petrol-powered travel. “Our project supports the use of the bicycle, we help the environment, we improve the greet and we bring the people to the culture. We are currently supported by Red Bull and Pascual Workers Foundation.” Importantly the tours are a group experience, an opportunity for participants to bond and another way for museums to work together in clusters. They guarantee an audience for the participating museum’s offer and reinforce the concept of the circuit of events. I hope we will see similar offers in the UK soon.