Saturday 3 March 2012

Barcelona Rent A Bike, central Barcelona

"The best way to discover Barcelona is by bike" contends this bicycle rental company, which has two outlets - one near Plaça Catalunya and one on Barceloneta's main promenade. And it is probably right, unless you are in the Catalan capital at the height of the summer. For the rest of the year, the climate is either mild or warm - ideal cycling conditions. Better still, there are plenty of cycle lanes, fully segregated from the cars, particularly along Barcelona's extensive seafront. These lanes do fizzle out from time-to-time, but no-one seems to mind if you ride along the broad promenades overlooking the beaches and the marinas. Barcelona Rent a Bike offers a choice of very sturdy and very heavy, black Dutch-style bikes (upright with three gears), folding bikes, tandems or children's bikes. The rates are reasonable (ranging from 6 euros for two hours to 55 euros for a week). Theft insurance (which reduces the amount you pay if the bike is stolen from 250 euros to 100 euros) is a further 3 euros a day, but you may not need it - the bike comes with both a hefty chain lock and a built-in back wheel lock. You also get free child seats and helmets (although no-one seems to wear them). Just make sure you get the shop staff to pump up the tyres before you go. 8/10