In Barcelona, you can pair pretty much everything with cycling: besides using the bike on daily basis, you can go for city sightseeing or seaside cruising. Have lunch in cyclist-friendly cafes. Or tour between contemporary art galleries, not to mention taking part dedicated events.You can take a dedicated tour. Or build your own custom one. You can join the local cycling community events or mix all the above. Here are 3 of my favorite cycling experiences, so far.
Seaside Cycling with Bicilona
We started from the charming Barceloneta and headed to Poble Nou, then to the scenic city of Badalona. As this tour was a special one, more exactly the Buena Vista Ride created by Bicilona for Guiris en Barcelona, we went further, up to the scenic town of Montgat, to enjoy the stunning view from the heights of the hill rising behind the city. The bicycles of Bicilona (“the lightweight State Bicycle Co. range, perfect for urban riding or cruising the beachfront and weighing just 9.5 kg”) are easy to ride and also include the fixie option. With a relaxed rhythm, several stops along the way to admire the view, plus tapas and a beer at a chiringuito, right on the beach of Montgat, we took about 5 hours to get there and come back.
Besides the seaside tour, Bicilona has cycling tours to Tibidabo, to Sitges or a 3 days cycling trip along the Costa Brava, up to Girona and back. There is also the option of you creating your own tour. Make sure you also check their blog for in depth posts about cycling.
Lunch at Bicioci Bike Cafè
An original venue in the charming neighborhood of Vila de Gràcia, Bicioci is a cyclist-friendly cafe owned by two young Italian entrepreneurs, Andrea and Fabrizzio. Their menu is very generous in vegetarian options, as well as in natural, energizing juices, freshly prepared at the bar.
The interior is warm and inviting. The wooden furniture and the large windows give a feeling of calm, homey atmosphere. I love the patterned tile flooring mixed with solid parquet, as well as the bicycles hanging everywhere on the walls, the hats, t-shirts, signs and all the vintage, bike related stuff, giving to the place the air of an authentic hub for cyclists to connect and for aficionados to broaden their horizon.
I went there for lunch. The menu includes, for €8.5, either the pizza or the soup + plate of the day options, with a drink. Also, the guys at Sh Barcelona and at Brunchear say this place has become one of the most popular places in Barcelona to go for brunch, serving some delicious Eggs Benedict with ham, Eggs Florentine with spinach, or Eggs Royale with smoked salmon, not to mention Scrambled Eggs with mushrooms, fresh cheese and cherry tomatoes.
Around the Art Galleries with Art Bike Tour
The Art Bike Tours reach major contemporary art galleries in Barcelona, showcasing the cultural and artistic side of the Catalan capital and engaging in cultural events, gallery openings and art exhibitions and, of course, cycling the center of the city. In my opinion, this feature of talking with the curators and the artists, having the concepts explained, having your questions answered and the artworks put in the contexts of their respective currents makes everything more dynamic and interesting.
The I took was created especially for the Art Nou Festival, thus selected different galleries (Tatart, Joan Prats and N2) but respected the routine of the usual Art Bike Tours, meaning: meeting in front of Fàbrica Moritz, cycling around the city to visit contemporary art galleries, talking with the curators, asking questions, taking photos. The tour takes about 3 hours and Duda, the guide, also offers lots of insights regarding the city areas you cross, the cafes and restaurants you pass by, and above all, the best urban cycling routes you might take.
All the Art Bike Tours are offered in English, Catalan, French, Portuguese and Spanish. There is also the option of taking a personalized tour, which can be taken by individuals, schools or companies. The tour can be completely personalized to the visitors, by theme, artist, area or, as in my case, event.