Tuesday, February 26, 2008

¡Benvinguts a Bicing!

Note the sweet but subtle incorporation of the BCN in the logo.

After weeks of waiting, our Bicing cards showed up. I'm totally stoked to use mine tomorrow. So what's Bicing? It's the most fabulous community bicycle program on Earth. You pay 24€/year and have access (through a card) to 1,700 community bicycles owned and maintained by the city of Barcelona. They're accessed through Bicing stations around the city, and for the first 30 minutes of use, they're totally free. People thought that when the program began in early 2007, there would be theft, vandalism, etc., but this hasn't been the case; it's been an unfettered success. In fact, it's so successful that other cities, like Valencia, are considering adding Bicing programs of their own. So why are we only hopping on the Bicing wagon now? Until recently, there were no stations located within a mile of our apartment. Now there are five.

Because our Fair City is situated on a hill and our apartment is situated about two-thirds up said hill, it was speculated that Bicing would never make its way up here, since no one would want to make like Lance Armstrong in the mountains, but about a month ago, a station was built not 100 feet from our building. And, a new station was also built 100 feet from the school where I teach. My Metro bill just got a lot cheaper.

Oh, and if you're curious, bici is the Spanish word for bike (the full word is bicicleta). Adding -ing and other English-isms adds some something like hipster cachet. "Super" is everywhere.

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