Panama is not a bicycle-friendly country. There are no bike lanes, few places to rent bikes, and only a handful of areas where it’s even marginally safe to venture out on a bike. A trailblazing friend is determined to build a bike trail through Parque Natural Metropolitano in Panama City, and it may actually exist by the time you visit.
If not, the best bet for a reasonably safe workout are the hilly loop roads above Boquete, though even here it’s important to keep a sharp eye out for speeding trucks and cars.
The Calzada de Amador is a good place for a flat, leisurely ride with great views.
Isla Colón in Bocas del Toro is pretty much the only place that lends itself to biking as a sightseeing activity.
There are few bike shops and rental places in the country. The main place in Panama City to rent bikes is Bicicletas Moses (tel. 211-2579, 8 A.M.–9 P.M. daily) on the Calzada de Amador, which not coincidentally is pretty much the only place in Panama City where it’s safe to ride them.
Bikes can also be rented in Gamboa, Santa Clara, Farallón, El Valle, Boquete, Bambito, and Bocas del Toro. Do not expect high-quality bicycles at any of these locations. Rentals tend to be basic mountain bikes or clunky old road bikes. Bike rentals are usually around US$2–5 an hour.
Some true adventurers (masochists?) have biked all the way from North America to the Darién Gap.
© William Friar from Moon Panama, 3rd Edition