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Madrid bicycle lanes, different plans for the same city

One of the best alternative modes of transport to a car or motorbike in Madrid has always been a bicycle. Opting for a bicycle is not only environmentally friendly and fun, but it also saves time as you won't have to use public transport in the capital. Riding a bike has grown in popularity in Madrid and there are many different activities that you can take part in.

Since 2014, cyclists have been able to tour the city of Madrid through a service known as BiciMAD. Currently, the number of electric and pedal bikes exceed 2000, with more than 163 stations and machines that allow you to rent one of these bikes for the day. These cycling stations are spread over eight districts of Madrid, including: Arganzuela, Tetuán, Chamartín, Centro, Retiro, Chamberí, Salamanca and Moncloa. This service has been created to promote "sustainable mobility". There is also a mobile app that lets you pay for your bike rental by credit card.

Madrid - madrid-bicicleta.jpg

The service known as Bike Picnic adds an incentive to walk around Madrid and ride on the back of a bicycle whenever you desire. It basically involves renting bicycles for three hours, equipped with a picnic basket full of good quality food, for a minimum of 2 people. At the moment, the possibilities are limited to Retiro Park and Madrid river, with five menus ranging from sandwiches to bagels, plus salads or cheese platters. For convenience, the kit includes mat, disposable cutlery, water bottle and a returnable thermal cooler.

BbIke is better known as the bicibarra and can be seen on the streets of Madrid since a few years ago. In essence, it is a kind of open tourist bus with four wheels. There are ten seats with pedals that allow a total of 10 people to take the route from Atocha to Plaza de Cibeles, which will take about 45 minutes. It passes buildings like the Museo del Prado. Soft drinks, beer and snacks are served onboard. These buses are mainly used for all kinds of events.

A more conscious way to use bicycles as a means of transport is Bici Critica, a group that celebrates a mass rally last Thursday of each month at the Plaza de Cibeles. During the 5-kilometre tour, cyclists are shown how to get around the city and take part in the popular gatherings such as "Ciclonudistas". This is a tour that involves cycling naked in the city.

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