22 April 2010

Barcelona Cycle Chictastique

Barcelona Bicycle Life
Barcelona. Oh, goodness me, Barcelona.

I'm still not quite sure what hit me. I'm still reeling, dizzily, after my extended visit to the city. A certain Icelandic volcano extended my stay in the Catalan capital, for which I am grateful. Not a bad place to be stuck in a four star hotel. I finally returned home late last night, six days late, after a stop in Prague to speak at the National Cycle Conference about Cycle Chic and marketing bicycle culture.

But Barcelona. What has happened to this city with regards to the bicycle returning - stylishly and effortlessly - to the urban landscape is extraordinary. Ten years ago there were none. Five years ago there were some. Now the bicycle is everywhere, not least thanks to the implementation of the city's Bicing bike share system.

Barcelona Threesome
But while you see Barcelonans of all ages on Bicing bikes at all hours, the city is completely saturated by private bicycles. I fear I must revise the Cycle Chic Top 5 Cycle Cities list and cast Barcelona headlong into the mid-table.
Barcelona Cycle Chic
Bicycles abound in the city. In the narrow neighbourhood streets, along the busy throughfares, outside cafés and shops, soaking up sun on balconies.
Barcelona Cycle Chicista
Being stuck in a such a bicycle capital certainly meant that I missed Copenhagen so much less. Many more photos to come. You have to see this cycling city.

14 comments:

The villager: said...

Wonderful Barcelona !

Magnie said...

Brilliant City ... Copenhagen with Tapas! Same fun and friendly citizens, great art, architecture, food and wine ... and cycle chic :)

txell said...

Looking forward to seeing more pictures...I'm happy you enjoyed your stay here ;)
BCN is such a cool city to live in, tout à fait!!

lifestraveller said...

I'm from Barcelona, but living in Sevilla. i was there for the last time at the end of February and I was like you...totally surprised!! It's been a boom and I could see bikes parked EVERYWHERE. That's great!!! And I loved to see parents with little kids in the narrow streets of the centre. Totally lovely! I may even want to come back if that is increasing, cause one thing that I've never liked about Barcelona is being such a big-stressful city where you don't have so much freedom to move (going with car is crazy there, metro is ok but subjected to schedules and such...)...so VISCA BARCELONA! :-)

Joost Bonsen said...

Take a look at this 1908 film of Barcelona street life. Note the number of cycles and the chic everywhere... http://www.maximizingprogress.org/2009/03/barcelona-1908-via-tram-walking-and.html

eva said...

Their Bicing bikes look so nice! I have been there a few times and never noticed many bikes around. I will have to go back and marvel at the newly budded cycle chic there!

looking forward to more pics from BCN

info said...

Isn't it great!! You wonder what happened to Barcelona. I told you.. something magic that you could not miss!!

Txell, when will we have a Barcelona cycle chic party? ;-)

Diana

kristi @ lovelyvelo said...

The only way to see Barcelona is by bicycle!! If anyone is on their way, don't miss Los Caracoles Restaurant, it's wonderful!
Oh, and Copenhagen Cycle Chic... pedal over to lovelyvelo today, there's a little blogger award waiting for you ;)

Ryne said...

So how is Prague as a biking city?
-ryan

asao said...

I love the Images of the cyclists against the lovely cityscape. When I move to London, top places to visit will have to be Barcelona...

Maybe I'll get to bring my two wheels their too!

Anonymous said...

No offence, but, you really should post more pics of cute guys and of regular men,,,,there is a fine line between appreciating people riding on bikes and dirty-old-man-ogling! LOL

Seriously, where are the guys in your pics???

That is the reason I came to this site, because you had some cute male riders. But that was ages ago...

Bike Tech said...

Hi Mikael, thanks for your nice comments on Barcelona. I suppose you will come back some day. Next time we go for a serious cycle tour through the city with some tapas and wine. Koos

madridcyclechic.com said...

Madrid has to learn a lot of things from Barcelona. With love from www.madridcyclechic.com

milohurley2004 said...

Mikael,

One possible reason why cycling has boomed in Barcelona in the past 10 years might be that anarchy/anarchism is very deep, very strong in the Catalan blood (read about events in Barcelona and Catalonia from 1900 to 1939 to see what I'm getting at). For a new generation, cycling - 'anarchy without malice' - may be the sanest way to recover independence, autonomy, fun, a sense of community, a sense of greater fairness.
The style doesn't hurt, though it surely raises eyebrows in the more conservative parts of Spain, where memories are long.

Milo.