Bicicletas Para Todos!

Bicis para la gente

Barcelona is a walking city. I’m shocked to learn how close everything is to one another, especially near the sea; the three trendiest parts of town, Barri Gotic, La Ribera y El Raval are so close together that wandering through cozy, beautiful streets is infinitely more pleasurable than taking a bus or the Metro. I haven’t taken either since arriving two days ago, and I’ve seen so much already.

But walking takes time, and while I’d love to imagine that I have all the time in the world, sometimes getting lost in quaint streets isn’t practical. Know what is? Biking. One thing I LOVE about Barcelona is the city-sponsored bike rental system, Bicing. Los Barceloneses pay an annual fee of 39E and have the ability to rent bicis from little stations scattered throughout the city. It’s so brilliant–you pick up a bike at a nearby station, ride it to a station near where you wanna go. No worrying about locking it up, getting it stolen, or greasing your chain.

Now, it’s clear there are some serious bike snobs here to rival the ones in Chicago, but the sweet, svelte frames and cutesy color themes are fewer and farther between. While busier thoroughfares are smoothly paved and busy with speeding cars like any other large city, Barcelona is full of tiny medieval cobblestone streets crowded with pedestrians, making zooming through carreres on super thin wheels pretty much impossible. The Bicing rides are utilitarian but still pretty cute, and they even have a U-shaped space in front for your bag or yoga mat.

The great thing is that they’re everywhere. People use the service really often and keep the bikes in good shape–for the most part they’re clean and in working order.  There are even stations outside popular bar strips–is this a good idea? Maybe.

In other news, I did a horrible tourist thing today:

Starbucks + Guidebook = America

I just really needed a big ass coffee to kick me in the face without the steamed milk and in a cute fucking saucer, and I needed it para llevar. With soy. And stevia.

Then I met up with Couchsurfing peeps and took some touristy pictures:

In time with the Space Beat.
BARCIO in Placa Nova near the Catedral. With some rogue Burger Kings.
Giant chain link fence sculpture in Barri Gotic. Who made it? I don’t know.
The Caelum is a sweet shop where cookies and cakes are made by nuns and monks. The cookies were divine, har har.

Tonight I’ll be drinking again. I have yet to find a good craft beer place in this town, though there was a tasty bar called Ale & Hop here in Born. I hear Cat Bar Cat is a good bet too. Tomorrow is Gaudi. Gaudiiii!!!


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