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The island’s salt water environment is hard on bikes. Consequently, not many places rent bicycles as they are difficult to maintain. Bikes are a great, cheap way to get around and allow you to see more things at a slower pace.
If you head North, you can ride quiet paved and dirt roads as far as Passion Island . Be sure to ride into the golf club as it is very pretty. If you ride into town, be sure to use a bike lock so your bike doesn’t go missing.
Places to rent bikes include:
-Sombrero Bikes & Scooters. It is located on the east side of the main plaza -- on Ave.10 between Juarez and Calle 2 Norte. Phone 872-5501, hours Monday to Sunday from 8.00 a.m to 7.00 p.m. The shop currently has Scott mountain bikes -- high-quality 18-speeds with disc brakes -- and single speed cruisers as a less expensive alternative, and beach-cruiser tandems. Rentals are by the day or week, locks are provided and helmets are available. www.sombrerorentals.com
-Beach Bum Bikes next to the Eagle Rider Harley rental place about 1/2 mile north of the International Pier. The longer you rent, the cheaper your rate. The bikes are in excellent condition and some are brand name bikes. http://pedegocozumel.com/rentals/
- The Rentadora place across from the taxi dispatch on Calle 2, between Avenidas 5 & 10, on the North side of the street.
- Rentadora Gallo on Avenida 10 between Rosado Salas and Calle 1. Rentadora Gallo rents cars, scooters, and bikes.
Mountain Biking the Island
There are numerous trails and dirt roads that mountain bikers can use. Most of these can be found on Google Earth. The tree canopy hides some of the trails. If you are looking for a 1-1.5 hour ride, go to the north end and head up the road as if you were going to Passion Island. On the left is a cobblestone-like road. Use Google Earth to find the dirt path. Your entry point is where there is an old fence, a cobblestone road and an old telephone pole. The video below shows the entry point. This trail is the same dirt road system the off road jeeps use. (Or at least parts of it.) On the right side of the trail, and about 1 mile into your ride, you will see a fence and a gate that has been compromised. That is a good exit point if you don't want to retrace your steps. The video has a passing glance of this exit point, but it is easy to see on Google Earth or from the dirt road to Passion Island.
You will find a few good talus piles to climb, some boulder climbs and lots of dirt and coral trails.
The ride up to Passion Island is a dirt road and not exactly an MTB ride, but it is enjoyable.
Closer to Passion Island, one will see some some trails to the right side of the road with a government sign and a chain. Heavy rains will make these trails nearly impassable. Unfortunately, they don't really go anywhere as the scrub brush has closed the paths after 1/3 of a mile of so.
Things to bring:
A Camelback back pack is a great place to store your gear. If you fall, the coral rock and roads can cut you, so wear a helmet.
There are also many trails in the center of the island that can also be spotted on Google Earth.
Around the Island Bike Ride
For experienced bikers, this can be a very nice ride. A few things to consider are the time of year and time of day. It can get very hot in Cozumel and the ride around the island is approximately 44 miles. You will need plenty of fluids and some energy snacks. The mornings are usually a better time to do this as it is cooler and there are less chances for thunderstorms. A little sunscreen probably wouldn't hurt either.
There is almost always some sort of wind on the island. Experienced riders usually suggest the route heading south on Melgar and working one's way North on the east side. When you get to the transversal road you might even have a tailwind as you head back to the west side of the island. The two lane road on the west side is a little bumpy bit OK for road and MTB's. If it is too bumpy simply switch over to the four lane road and use the bike lane/shoulder.
Of note, the east side, 2 lane road is dedicated to bikers, but that doesn't always mean that scooters and some cars aren't on the 2 lane road by accident (or crossing the road). Keep a sharp eye out for these bikes. On the West side of the island, the Northbound lane is "supposed" to be dedicated to bikers from Punta Sur to around el Presidente. It seems that rule is rarely followed, but this is a nice scenic route and the cars are going slower.
Another suggestion is to carry $10-20 in small bills in case you need to stop for water or food. The island has green and white pick up trucks to assist tourists. If you have a mechanical issue, flag one of these trucks and they will assist you if they can. Cell service does not cover the entire island, but it's worth taking a phone.
The video link below travels the opposite of what is recommended above. However, it provides you a good idea of the spectacular views you will have on your journey. Take your camera and take a few pictures on the way.
Additional articles on cycling in Cozumel: