Cover image: Arriving to Groningen back in 2016
Biking has been in my life in many different ways since I was a kid. Firstly it was something to have fun with, I was still a kid when I started to ride mountains all around Spain with my father. I also got a bmx which I used to go from here to there in my neighboorhood. Somehow, all that disappeared. I’ve got a scooter and my father’s bike started to catch dust.
It was not until 2012, —Erasmus in Lyon— when I used the public bikes everyday and something woke up inside me. Since then I have been using bikes again, this time as my everyday commutting and as a way to explore the city. Madrid is a huge one, somehow unfriendly with bikes, somehow exiting to ride.
As I was studying architecture I found biking and walking the absolute winners in moving modalities for cities: democratic, respectful, ecological and, the most important, sensitive. This means, whoever is walking or riding a bike is in dialogue with wherever his path goes through. If you read about Guy Devord’s “Dérive” I am sure you know what I am talking about. I focused my final architecture project on that.
And the same applies for travelling.
Our trips are usually too fast. We almost teletransport to a city without knowing many times too much about the country or even the city we are visiting. We try to absorb as much as we can but at the same time usually isolate ourselves from the reality by visiting what is theoretically the most interesting.
Bike touring, even though it is still too fast to really understand a city, gives you the reference of the autour. Each city has to do with another city that is close, —and even 500km away— and so its culture, architecture, people and so forth. It also has to do with the geographical and climatic conditions of the area. And all that is experienced at is best while pedaling, slowly, step by step, joining nodes.
Two years ago I decided to leave Madrid and look for something refreshing, and, perfect timing, some months after finishing my studies, I took my bike and started pedaling. It has been a beautiful experience.
Today I am flying back to that city where I arrived and spent a memorable year. Last time I went the farther I’ve been to the north from my city, exploring and living the Dutch way. And so I am doing now, this time with Scandinavians.
This blog is something I do, in part for me, to record my trip and feelings and share them to other bike-travellers, in part for people like you, expecting you to get an idea of why I am doing this and hapilly planting a small seed for you to soon enjoy travelling slow, clean and free. May I count on you for my next trip?