5 reasons why a Barcelona resident would be mad not to use Bicing
For city-livers, travel can be one of the most confusing parts of our lives: to get
between any two points, there are probably five possible methods of transport to
choose from, each with its own merits and pitfalls all flying around your mind.
Metro: get there quickly, but may have to spend the journey with your face in
somebody’s armpit. Bus: quite nice being overground, but you can never rule out an
unforeseeable road closure meaning a nice extra hour onto your journey.
I would like to make the case for the humble bicycle. Once considered slightly
terrifying (in large cities at least) and reserved for people who feel the need to be
exercising at all possible times, it has had a renaissance in recent years after
Lyon’s “vélo’v”, a system of amazingly cheap, shared bicycles available at
numerous access points. Barcelona was one of the first to catch on to this
revolutionary method of public transport, introducing Bicing in 2007, and since then
London, New York, Huangzhou and others have followed suit. So what makes this
such a great way to get around, and why is Barcelona the perfect place for it?
1. Fully integrated bicycle lanes.
If you’ve ever cycled around a major city, the chances are you’ve seen your life
flash before your eyes and thought about how you should have written a will. While
some may value the realisation this brings, that life is short so we should live it to
the fullest, I think I speak for a majority when I say I would rather go about my life
without daily dicing with death. Fortunately, Barcelona’s wide, airy streets are
graced with miles of bicycle lanes (even with their own map), so survival is an
Look at all that space!
2. It’s healthy and eco friendly.
This is fairly self-explanatory – is it better for you to be whisked around in a tin can
underground or get some gentle exercise on a bike? And of course it makes it far
easier to justify ordering an extra plate of tapas in one of the city’s many amazing
3. It’s super cheap!
At just 47.16€ per year, it works out at less than 4€ per month, and, in a city with
so much to do and see, saving money on transport is definitely worth it. Barcelona
is many good things, but few would consider it cheap, and this is an easy way to
spare yourself a few Euros.
4. Go anywhere without worrying about your bike.
By this stage I’m hoping that my powers of persuasion have already converted you
into the keenest of cyclists, and this is one area where Bicing has an advantage
over owning your own bike: you can just leave your Bicing bike in any of the
docking points and go about your business with no worries that it may be stolen or
damaged while you are away. Plus, if it starts raining while you’re at your
destination, you don’t have to think about how to get your bike home in the weather!
Well at least they left a little bit…
5. It’s a beautiful city.
This is now a universally accepted fact. There is no case for anybody trying to deny
it. So why not make the most of this and travel around it in the open air? It rains, on
average, 55 days a year in Barcelona, so there’s no excuse not to be outside!
We all agree that Barcelona is a great place to be, and by cycling around it you can
make the most of its pretty streets, lovely weather and varied attractions without
having to worry – for so little money, what have you got to lose?
Definitely a little bit beautiful.