Traveling outside of the US for the first time was an experience I’m so grateful to have had. It was good for Andrew and I to see a tiny glimpse of the elements (language, food, history) that make each culture different. To be able to compare the way we live with the way others live and to appreciate the differences.
One of the elements of Europe that we really enjoyed was the bikes. I consider my hometown, Greenville a very bike-friendly community, however the main focus here seems to be on ‘cycling’ as a sport. One of my favorite memories (one I didn’t get a photo of) was walking down streets in Germany and being passed by business men and women riding their bikes home from work. In their suits. Some with briefcases. Some with groceries.
For most of us, riding bikes is something we did as a kid. And unless you’re a dedicated cyclist or mountain biker, it’s not really something you do as an adult. But in Germany, riding your bike is just a regular, normal part of everyday life. One we really liked.
In Barcelona, I did get evidence of this bike culture!
This is a station where you could drop off and pick up a bike. In the the second photo, you can see exactly how many stations there are throughout the city! We didn’t rent one because we didn’t know exactly how the system worked, but we saw a good number of them being used as we walked around. From what I understand, these bike stations are part of the public transportation system. Bikes work alongside buses, trams and metros to move people around the city.
There is a company doing something like this in the US, called B-cycle. I think the concept itself is wonderful, and the website and materials for it are designed very well. I really hope to see B-cycle come to Greenville eventually. Their only current location is Denver, but you can vote for your city here (right now Greenville is ranked #17).