I was reading an article on 20 Minutos earlier today called (in English) “the rebellion of the bikes“, which was discussing not just the fact that Madrid is a “hostile environment for bikes” but that there there is a growing increase in the number of people who are starting to use bikes to get around the city. I have also seen a growing trend in foregin tourists travelling around Madrid’s historic sites on bike.
Madrid doesn’t have too many hills but it does, in its favour, have a number of parks – such as the Retiro, Casa de Campo, the grounds around the Royal Palace and the Parque del Oriente. It also has an increasing number of pedestrian areas – indeed in some parts of old Madrid you will hardly see any cars.
One company which is helping to get more people on to the streets is By Bike, a bike rental company located near the Retiro Park. Their location makes it ideal to get around Madrid’s large, central park and they can even offer recommendations for other locations in Madrid – such as the Green Belt, which has a dedicated cycle path and takes you out as far as the Royal Palace of El Pardo.
Prices for bike hire start at 4 Euros an hour, with one day costing 22 Euros. If you’re interested, there is also a bike demonstration by nudists starting at 12 p.m. from the Cibeles Fountain!