A few wheels back in history
The history of the bicycle is exciting. A french called De Sivrac is pointed out as its creator. Actually, in 1790, he invented a two-wheel artifact propelled by the driver with his feet. But until the arrival of the Scottish Mac Millan we cannot speak of resounding success.
It would be impossible to list all the improvements and modifications that, over the years, suffered the artifact: brakes, rims, chains, gears, jaws, valves, bearings, sprockets, plates were added … but we will mention an Aragonese called Catalan (Not a joke), which introduced the bicycle in Spain. During the two World Wars the invention was appreciated amongst men and women to transport themselves effectively and economically.
B for Barcelona and bicycle
After the Spanish civil war, as in many cities in Spain, in Barcelona bicycles were quite relegated to oblivion because of the growing urban automobile traffic. Thus the bicycles were either for the summer, or for a spin on the track of the Park Güell, or to watch on TV during the Vuelta Ciclista.
Partly in the fashion of practicing sport for a healthier life and partly by the policies of environmental sustainability of the City Council, in the last decade, the use of the bicycle has experienced a tremendous growth in our city. You can say that going by bike in Barcelona is a trend.
Bicycle rental in Barcelona, the official Bicing
Since March 2007, there is the Bicing, a public bicycle rental service for locals, promoted by the City Council and managed by the private company Clear Channel, which uses a system of stations and bicycles similar to other cities in Europe, such as Stockholm and Oslo. This year 2017, Bicing celebrates its tenth anniversary with discounts and surprises for users. Their white and red bicycles, circulating or aligned in their car parks located at key points on the urban map, are already part of the city’s scenery.
It’s only fair to admit that the streets and passersby began to adapt with some difficulty to this novelty. The first bike lanes were a surprise, not always well received by all Barcelona. Little by little, the rules of coexistence and the regulation of traffic are imposing their coherence. Pedestrians know there is one more vehicle now and cyclists know that pedestrians must be respected.
The truth is that visiting Barcelona by bike, we discover a different Barcelona. More slowly than in a motor vehicle but moving from zone to zone with more comfort, without waiting for trains or buses and stopping at the places of our choice. It’s another rhythm. The pace of the touring bike.
Bicycle tourism in Barcelona, another pace
If you are an occasional tourist, and especially if you have little time in Barcelona, you should know that the Bicing service requires a series of paperwork and the payment of a fee; So what suits you best is to opt for the rental of bicycles for hours. The companies that offer this service are numerous and are not difficult to find. However you have to be cautious and hire reliable companies. In Barcelonina we propose our own bike tours so you will not have to worry about anything but pedaling.
Itineraries to visit Barcelona by bike with Barcelonina
The itineraries that we can choose to bike around the city are very diverse. But you’ll be glad to know that many of the city’s attractions are well connected by the bike lanes. Before starting any “excursion” on two wheels it is more advisable to consult the specific map of tracks adapted for traffic with bicycles and to establish a correct, comfortable and permissible route. Important fact: the Barcelona Metro allows the transport of bicycles in the marked areas of the car.
Besides our Barcelonina bike tours, but we will give you some of the most stellar bike routes in Barcelona.
– All the sea front area has bike lanes and you can move from the end of the Ramblas along the Passeig Colón to Port Vell and down the Passeig Juan de Borbón to the beach of Barceloneta.
– You can continue through the neighborhood of the Born, visit Santa Maria del Mar and then the Parc de la Ciutadella. After relaxing between trees and fountains, head up Passeig de Sant Joan to Provença Street. There the bike path will take you to one of the favorite destinations of visitors: the Sagrada Familia of Gaudí.
– Options: follow to the Modernist venue of Sant Pau or return by Provença Street to the Passeig de Gràcia.
Other itineraries around the city that can be cycled:
– From Plaça dels Països Catalans, visit the Parc de l’Espanya Industrial, Parc Joan Miró and the old bullring of Las Arenas. Crossing Plaça de Espanya, head for the Fira de Mostres de Barcelona, the National Museum of Art de Catalunya (the MNAC, with one of the most important Romanesque and Gothic art collections in the world), and behind it the mountain of Montjuïc, with all its Olympic facilities.
– From Plaça Espanya itself, take the Paral·lel, go through part of Poble Sec, to the monument to Colón to link with the route of the sea front, but instead of stopping at Barceloneta, continue towards the space of the Universal Forum of Les Cultures, taking advantage to visit an emerging neighborhood such as Poblenou or the technological district @ 22 with the Agbar Tower, L’Auditori, the National Theater, the Encants Nous or the future Plaça de les Glòries.
– We return to the Rambla de Catalunya to go up until the avenue of the Diagonal, where we turn left following the bike path. Cross Francesc Macià Square and continue along Diagonal Avenue to Pio XII and the north side of Camp Nou, the stadium of FC Barcelona. From there it will be easy to cross the Ciutat Universitària and return to Diagonal Avenue to access the mountain side and get to know the Pedralbes neighborhood and its park of the Palau Reial de Pedralbes.
Here you have the city Council’s website about bike lanes and bycicles in Barcelona.
Good pedaling with Barcelonina!