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  1. #1
    Texas Is The Reason
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    ATTN: People in Spain

    Hey.

    I am going to be over in Spain for 4 months starting in September. Would it be easy there for a foreigner to get around by bicycle. I'm not talking direction wise, but more practical issues. Are the roads in good shape? Do the cops hassle people on bikes a lot? Are cars fairly respectful of bikes?

    Any info is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oden
    Hey.

    I am going to be over in Spain for 4 months starting in September. Would it be easy there for a foreigner to get around by bicycle. I'm not talking direction wise, but more practical issues. Are the roads in good shape? Do the cops hassle people on bikes a lot? Are cars fairly respectful of bikes?

    Any info is appreciated.
    I think it depends on the city. Which part of the country are you going to visit? I don't think Madrid is particularly bike friendly as the the traffic is infernal there. Seville is becoming a lovely place to cycle, though. By the time you get here, our bike paths--all 177 kilometers of them--will be finished.

    As far as the Spanish coppers are concerned, they tend to be über laid back. They certainly don't expend any energy hassling cyclists, grass smokers or other such deviants. In fact, it's hard to even get them to go after real criminals. Many of them, at least here in the south, seem to prefer to spend their time in the confines of a barroom drinking aguardiente and talking about bullfighting or fútbol.

    The roads are much better than they used to be, thanks to E.U. funding.

    Regards,

    Ekdog

  3. #3
    Cake or Death Squid's Avatar
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    I'll be in Rota for a few days. I'll let you know how the cars behave when I get back.

    Ekdog, can you recommend a bike shop near there?

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squid
    I'll be in Rota for a few days. I'll let you know how the cars behave when I get back.

    Ekdog, can you recommend a bike shop near there?

    Thanks.
    I'm afraid all I know in Rota is the lovely beach. We used to go down there every now and again, but we've been estivating in Islantilla, Huelva, since my wife bought a beach house down there some years ago. If you are in the navy and have access to the American base, I suggest you ask there. There must be at least one in Rota and more in El Puerto de Santa María and Cádiz.

    Sorry I can't be of more help.
    Last edited by Ekdog; 01-05-08 at 11:18 AM.

  5. #5
    Commuting Horrorshow wheezl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oden
    Hey.

    I am going to be over in Spain for 4 months starting in September. Would it be easy there for a foreigner to get around by bicycle. I'm not talking direction wise, but more practical issues. Are the roads in good shape? Do the cops hassle people on bikes a lot? Are cars fairly respectful of bikes?

    Any info is appreciated.

    European drivers as a whole are far more respectful of cyclists than American drivers. You still get some yahoos; that just comes with the territory. I have only cycled in Madrid and Barcelona. Barcelona is pretty nice and even has bike rentals all over the place. Madrid however is a bit crazy. Essentially if you can ride in NYC (or a very similar city) you can probably ride in Madrid after adjusting to the Spanish traffic patterns. It's not really ever going to be super safe, but people ride there... just not many.


    Good luck.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheezl
    European drivers as a whole are far more respectful of cyclists than American drivers. You still get some yahoos; that just comes with the territory. I have only cycled in Madrid and Barcelona. Barcelona is pretty nice and even has bike rentals all over the place. Madrid however is a bit crazy. Essentially if you can ride in NYC (or a very similar city) you can probably ride in Madrid after adjusting to the Spanish traffic patterns. It's not really ever going to be super safe, but people ride there... just not many.


    Good luck.
    Seville has rental bikes, too. Actually, they're free for the first 30 minutes.


  7. #7
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    It is easy to get about Valencia by bike. The Turia (river) has been drained and one of the features is cycling. America's Cup site is also very accessible by bike and up the beaches. Generally however the city is not a place you will want to hang out in for long on a bike.

    Generally in Spain the nationals are best avoided. Motorists often hoot their horns at you but this is usually a friendly jesture. Friendly or not cars generally drive too fast on the nationals including on bends where cyclists disappear from sight. However there are lots of smaller roads and Forrest tracks that are brilliant for cycling. In land Valencia and Aragon both offer fantastic routes both on and off road.
    if you are actually going to go to Valencia region I dont mind giving more specific information.
    MC

  8. #8
    skibi
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    cycling in Spain

    I think you won´t have any problem. If you go to Barcelona there is a great bike parking there which is really safe against thieves. It is called biceberg. You can check it out in www.biceberg.es .The same bike parking designer is releasing a newer and lighter machine called bigloo, go to www.bigloo.com.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Hey, those Bicebergs are nice! Are there a lot of them around the city?

  10. #10
    skibi
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    bicebergs in Spain

    Hi there,
    If you go to google earth and then panoramium and you type biceberg you will have all the places where you can find a biceberg.I think they are mostly in Zaragoza, Barcelona, Vitoria, and somewhere else around that area. They are expanding , though.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Thanks, Skibi! I wish our cycling mayor would have some of those installed in this fair city.


  12. #12
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    I spent a few days in Seville one year ago on a trip to Spain. My wife and I quite liked it. Have they finished putting in the streetcar/trolley line yet?

    As an inhabitant of Seville who has presumably seen other parts of Spain, do you find the Spanish ride bikes very much? We were in Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, Toledo, Cordoba, Seville, Granada, Alicante and Girona from mid-January to mid-February last year, and we saw a grand total of three people on bicycles in all our time there. Do people in Spain not ride much in the winter? Thing is, the weather was in the low twenties for our first week there, though it then dropped to the single digits for much of the rest of our trip (even got to below freezing at night in Madrid).

    I was told before we went that the real cycling hotbed is the Basque country, and that outside of that region Spaniards are fairly indifferent to cycling, either in terms of the pros or just for personal recreation and/or transportation. As far as it goes, this characterization seemed to conform to our experience there. What would you say? Was it just a fluke that we barely saw anyone on bikes?

    Correction: We saw two teams training on, get this...the motorway between Toledo and Madrid. The motorway!
    Last edited by rousseau; 02-08-08 at 09:55 PM.
    The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I spent a few days in Seville one year ago on a trip to Spain. My wife and I quite liked it. Have they finished putting in the streetcar/trolley line yet?

    As an inhabitant of Seville who has presumably seen other parts of Spain, do you find the Spanish ride bikes very much? We were in Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, Toledo, Cordoba, Seville, Granada, Alicante and Girona from mid-January to mid-February last year, and we saw a grand total of three people on bicycles in all our time there. Do people in Spain not ride much in the winter? Thing is, the weather was in the low twenties for our first week there, though it then dropped to the single digits for much of the rest of our trip (even got to below freezing at night in Madrid).

    I was told before we went that the real cycling hotbed is the Basque country, and that outside of that region Spaniards are fairly indifferent to cycling, either in terms of the pros or just for personal recreation and/or transportation. As far as it goes, this characterization seemed to conform to our experience there. What would you say? Was it just a fluke that we barely saw anyone on bikes?

    Correction: We saw two teams training on, get this...the motorway between Toledo and Madrid. The motorway!
    Hi, Rousseau. The streetcar is up and running, and it shouldn't be too long before they've finished the first line of the subway. There are also plans to improve the train service to outlying villages. This is all good news to those of us who want to see fewer cars on the streets, but the bike paths (carriles bici) have had the biggest impact of all.

    Since you were here, thousands more are commuting by bike, bicycles are selling like churros, and the Sevici municipal bike rental program has become a smashing success. I think I read that over <STRIKE>14,000</STRIKE> 21,000 people have already signed up to use it.

    I don't get out of Seville much, so I can't offer you too much information about other Spanish cities, but the automobile is firmly entrenched in this country and many people still see it as a status symbol and a sign of success. We have a long way to go if we are to catch up with the countries of northern Europe in bicycle usage. The Basques have a great tradition of producing cycling champions, but I don't know to what extent they see the bicycle as an alternative to the motorcar. I do know that Barcelona has a bike rental program similar to Sevici.

    Regards,

    Ekdog

    Edited to change the number of people signed up for Sevici. I was off by 7,000.
    Last edited by Ekdog; 02-24-08 at 11:35 AM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    FWIW - I lived near Rota for two years (81-83), revisited in 1990 and again in 2005. When I was living there the cycling was great. Hardly and traffic and nice drivers. I even joined Club Ciclista Portuense. It was fun. On the 2005 visit I could not believe how the area had grown and how bad the traffic was (this was in early April). Roads that used to have no traffic were supercrowded. However, the further away one gets from El Puerto de Santa Maria, Jerez, or Cadiz the traffic drops off quite a bit. And as said above, the roads (especially the rural ones) are better now days. We did a week day drive through the mountains to several of the "White Villages" and there was not much traffic. The country side is very scenic. If you go in late spring, summer or fall, you can count on dry days. Gets hot in the summer when you get very far from the coast though.

  15. #15
    Senior Member psykoocycle's Avatar
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    Hello everyone... thanks for the info so far... maybe you locals can help me out...ss

    I will be going down to visit some friends in Madrid around October and early November. I'd appreciate any information you can give me:

    I'd like to tour around the mediterranean area (malarga, cartagena, ibiza) on my bike.

    Can anyone suggest a nice scenic route along the mediterranean (I'm thinking maybe 2 weeks of casual 20-40 ks per day)?

    Is there a specific seafront trail that is dedicated to bikes?

    What about the issue of bike theft, common in spain?

    How much is the average hotel/motel per night in that area?

    any suggestions/info would be greatly appreciated. Cheers... from a Canadian!

  16. #16
    newelectricbike Windecopower's Avatar
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    windecopower

    I can only answer for Catalunya north Spain but the roads are usually in good condition, the cyclists usually ride inside the white line in the verge on most roads, but most motorist are courteous, but watch out for round abouts, Spain is a very bike friendly place and the road racers are usually on the roads most days of the week, I have heard that the Russian cycling teams come here to road train and acclimatise

  17. #17
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    I live in Malaga in Spain. Went riding during the summer last year, big mistake, not only ended up nearly dying from the heat, but also turned a corner out in the campo, and next thing was wham baaam right in the center of a bee farm.....never again i tell you my friends!!!!! Will be bying a new bike now in a month or so, will start riding when it cools down here as some beautiful trails here....

  18. #18
    newelectricbike Windecopower's Avatar
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    Cycling in Spain

    The cars are good natured towards cyclists the roads are fair we have a 50 km cycle track in our area that used to be a railway track but it does climb into the mountains, so not a flat stuff and the scenery is to die for Tortosa to Gandesa and beyond.
    In fact I recently found out that you can get 2 points on you license here for inconsiderate driving towards cyclists

    So all in all its a good country to cycle in www.finca-avellana.com

    Best regards Stuart

  19. #19
    Senior Member hornytoad's Avatar
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    hello all, hope you are well.

    what are some lbs names in valencia that rent bikes? i have searched the interweb and can only find rentals of cruiser/hybrid type bikes. is it possible to rent nice road bikes in valencia? thanks. regards, hornytoad

  20. #20
    Newbie
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    [QUOTE=rousseau;6133730]I spent a few days in Seville one year ago on a trip to Spain. My wife and I quite liked it. Have they finished putting in the streetcar/trolley line yet?

    As an inhabitant of Seville who has presumably seen other parts of Spain, do you find the Spanish ride bikes very much? We were in Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, Toledo, Cordoba, Seville, Granada, Alicante and Girona from mid-January to mid-February last year, and we saw a grand total of three people on bicycles in all our time there. Do people in Spain not ride much in the winter? Thing is, the weather was in the low twenties for our first week there, though it then dropped to the single digits for much of the rest of our trip (even got to below freezing at night in Madrid).



    Was only our yesterday and must of seen over 50 bods around, but only 2 stupid bods doing the hill we were doing!! Never made it back got to punctures, so quick call to the wife to collect me, thank god she was not out on the horse!!
    Still rather warm here, when the sun comes up though!!
    REgards
    Mario

  21. #21
    newelectricbike Windecopower's Avatar
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    Roads in Spain

    Hi Forum Euro peeps

    I found this link and thought it might be of interest to people planning bike trips through Spain!!

    http://www.btinternet.com/~ultrablad...s_spanish.html

    If the link doesn't work try putting ultrablade roads spain into google

    Best regards stuart

  22. #22
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting that. That site is for motorcyclists, but some of the routes look like they might be interesting for us cyclists, too.

  23. #23
    Old Pedaller
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    I live on the Costa Blanca....see lots of people riding what look like rental bikes, plus the serious lycra-clad honkers!
    I'd like to buy myself a 'little runabout' to go shopping and to the pub in the cooler times of year/day, and wonder if anyone can recommend a good make which I could get here, which equates with a company like Dawes? I tried an inexpensive hybrid in UK the Dawes 201 Discovery ....something like that would be ideal for me.

    I am having trouble finding a bike shop which doesn't just sell cheap, heavy mountain bikes.
    Last edited by rogerb40uk; 10-17-08 at 07:22 PM.

  24. #24
    newelectricbike Windecopower's Avatar
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    Re Dawes

    You could try your local Car Boot sale, Here in the Costa Daurada, we have three regular booties, mainly populated with ex-pats selling off stuff they no longer need or use,we managed to pick up a moulton equivalent made by Raleigh, Folding Shopping Cycle which we use to trek down to our local shops a bargain at €20, we also hire out cheap mountain bikes for tourists wanting a gentle cycle down our nearby cycle track and we also have two electric mountain bikes for the less energetic.

    You could also try your local English Press and put an ad in their Wanted section, I have found this quite successful when selling and buying, ours is http://www.theolivepress.eu/, and we also Have a Forum for the Ex-Pats http://www.tortosaforum.com/ which also has a wanted and for sale section, you may have similar in your area.

    At least you could be specific and ask for just what you want

    Anyway good luck in your quest
    Stuart
    Last edited by Windecopower; 10-20-08 at 03:29 AM.

  25. #25
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    Hey again...

    Still havnt got a bike, but see a lot of roadies now clogging up the road....Crazy...
    Only place in Europe that i know of where roadies can ride taking up half a lane on a dual carriege way and not have the police on them in seconds....Iv seen a lot more mountain bike activity in the hills as well, im in Malaga, costa del sol by the way!

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