Monday, October 22, 2012

Fiesta de la Bici en Pozuelo de Alarcón

Yesterday was the 34th edition of the Fiesta de la Bici (bike festival) in the town where I live on the oustskirts of Madrid. It was what started off as a fairly grey day and so it was impressive to see 600 people on their bikes lining up behind the police escort. I found it particularly amazing because I never would have guessed that there were even that many bikes in Pozuelo, judging by the frequency with which I have seen other (urban) cyclists around here. There were people on tandems, on two bikes welded side-by-side (like a "buddy bike" but with four wheels), a guy on a penny farthing or similar, people on single-speeds, BMXs, retro racers (before they were renamed "road bikes") and, of course, lots of mountain bikes. I was accompanied by my two kids (aged 8 and 10) who demonstrated a bike handling agility that made me feel proud, managing to navigate the see of riders trundling along at an almost dangerously slow speed.

It was a lot of fun to be part of such a huge pelotón and have the whole road to ourselves for once. The only problem was that, had I known we were going to be moving so slowly, I would have put on something warmer.

We finished up in Húmera, near the Casa de Campo in the Parque Forestal de Somosaguas where we were all given a free drink as well as the chance to win one of two mountain bikes. I decided that we would head back ahead of the crowds and, by the time we got home, the kids were quite tired from all the riding around. I can't help wondering whether one of our numbers was called out in the raffle but I'd rather not know if it was...

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