Despite the immense attraction that it has of being a cycle-friendly city, I was living in Barcelona for the best part of a year before I really discovered the beauty of having a bicycle here. I’d seen hundreds of thousands of young professionals moseying around on their red Bicings, however this never really appealed to me. The idea of having to share my toys? No thank you! However, having my own bike meant free travel, no traffic and happy exercise endorphins. Yes please!
My boyfriend has been a bike fanatic for years and when we first got together, he was in the process of purchasing a certain fixie. The bike arrived at our flat one sunny afternoon and was taken out of its massive packaging. He was giddy as a schoolboy when he came home from work to find it: gleaming white frame, sea blue rims and spokes; surprisingly light. Juan’s first fixie.
Back to basics
For those of you who don’t know what a fixie is, listen up. A fixie is like a road bike buuut it has no gears. It also has a fixed wheel system which means that you can’t freewheel, (coasting). A fixie is ideal for living in the city because it’s cheap to buy, cheap to maintain and gives you more control. Picture your legs attached to the bike: you are the master of your journey. It’s also a great work out!
However, I have to say that I don’t currently own a fixie myself. As I’m studying my final year at university in London, I am constantly hopping between cities. I own two bikes: the rather sturdy Decathlon Rockrider, which I ride in Barcelona, and a Challenge Countess in London. Neither bike is as beautiful nor practical as the fixie. They are both heavy as hell, to the point which I can’t physically carry the Rockrider up the stairs to our first floor flat, after a cycle.
Let’s get physical
My Challenge Countess has barely touched the road since I bought it second hand in October. London roads are unmercyful. In contrast, I cycle almost everywhere in BCN. For me, my bike is what gets me from A to B over here, whilst it remains to be seen whether London will ever become the cycle city that Barcelona is.
Go go green!
I am moving back to Barcelona for good in April and will definitely be helping to promote making the city a fully functioning cycle city! (By buying a fixie XD)
So there you have it, my cycling experience so far in my city of dreams. Remember, wherever you’re cycling, you should be wearing a helmet. No matter how good you (think) you are!
Happy cycling! XD