23 April 2010

Barcelona Bicycle Passengers

Barcelona Cool
Barcelona is a city that has remembraced the bicycle in so many ways, and in such a short amount of time. The citizens are hopping onto bicycles and using them like bicycles were intended for. As transport, claro, but also as enjoyable machines. Either by yourself, riding with a friend or two or three or, as this post attests, letting the wheels carry you and someone you know and quite possibly love on your way from A to B.
Barcelona 3 Friends_1
This is a sure sign of a healthy and thriving bicycle culture. People enjoying - it's that simple - the bicycle. Sights like this are increasingly common in many emerging bicycle cultures - France, Italy, Spain/Catalonia, Mexico and well-known in countries like the Netherlands and Denmark. Just look at that smile, above. It's the smile of someone who is having fun, enjoying time with friends/loved ones AND going from A to B.

These are not 'commodity fetishists' (as the bicycle historian Iain Boal calls them) who roll about like strutting like peacocks, hoping desperately that you'll notice their carbon fibre wonderbike, fancy 'cycling clothes', shiny helmet and all the other gadgets that a frightfully out-of-date/finger-off-the-pulse bicycle industry wants you to spend money on.

These are people who have been given the tool for quicker and more direct A to B transport through their city and who have realised - often sub-consciously - that it is enjoyable. Society will reap the benefits in the form of more liveable cities and a boom in better public health. It's a win-win-win-win situation. And damn, it looks fine. The bicycle is poetry. The city is the stage.
Barcelona City Tour 3
I like how this couple on the Bicing bike share bike resembles the couple on the bus in the advert, which was for holidays to Cuba.
Barcelona Bicycle Life Barcelona Doble
Barcelona Famile Francais Barcelona Kid Transport_1
Here's some fine examples of doubling, at top, and below it's French family making last minute adjustments before heading into the city and a supermum heading home from daycare.
Barcelona Doulbing 4 Barcelona Doubling
And here at the end, a loving couple and a father and son. Visca Barcelona. Visca la bici.

If you don't see sights like this where you live, something is wrong with your bicycle culture.

16 comments:

Claudio Olivares said...

Beautifull colection! Inpiring.

eva//èvoluer said...

such nice pictures of such a nice way to share the cycling experience. I first saw this tandem style when I was over in Germany. Very useful when taking a friend home from the pub!

txell said...

How lovely is to see a couple in a bike...

A Good Moroccan said...

Barcelona must be good for all year round biking.

dodz said...

so it means that, this bicycle is for hire?

Erik Sandblom said...

Lovely pictures.

The black and white photo shows a Brompton (a folding bike) with an itChair for the child.

Anonymous said...

http://svtplay.se/t/102858/kobra

For all you scandinavian speakers, check this out.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos and thoughts.
Yes, everywhere in the 'civilised world' bicycling/use of bicycles should be the beautiful and natural part of living and the approach to bicycles and their use(s) should be 'fuss-free' just as we eat and breathe.
Lemony

evillerider said...

Lovely pictures!
I especially got a kick out of the multiple passengers on the bicing bikes. As a mechanic for a bike share program in Canada, this explains a few mysterious repairs I've had to do while wondering "how on earth could this have happened?"

dd.dd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gih said...

Can't they buy their own bike? anyway, for me that's fun but you must be careful of too much load.

Adara said...

How adorable!
Here, if you've got more people on a bike than there are seats on the bike, you'll get stopped by a policeman and yelled at. Sad.

Criteriamour said...

This is a great post, and I love the last statement.

Criteriamour said...

In Texas, where I'm from, you do see people in bikes, but they are all wearing intense bicycling gear or helmets. But helmets are probably a necessity in Texas, still.

Kim said...

It is so great to see that, but I find it very sad that if people did that here in Britain they would be condemned for doing so. It just shows how far we have yet to go, it really is sad.

sato said...

The same instant it is impossible to meet them here in Madrid, a shame.