Monthly Archives: March 2010

Barcelona’s First Alternative Bike Tours!

Dear amigos, sorry for taking my eye of the blogging ball… been a bit busy recently getting a new project off the ground!

Yep, after nearly a year slogging away as an impoverished travel writer/blogger I’ve decided to try and supplement my income with something that might actually get me away from my desk and into that fabulous Barcelona sunlight.

Naturally, being a lazy bugger, the criteria for any income supplementation couldn’t involve anything resembling real work and thus the idea of Barcelona’s first alternative bike tour was born!

The concept is that, instead of taking a group of twenty wide-eyed college kids around the Gothic Quarter and Gaudi’s life works, I would focus on taking small groups of arguably more discerning tourists and show them some of the districts and sights that oft get overlooked thanks to the overpowering attractions of Guell and La Sagrada Familia – not to mention the beach!

On a research mission in Poblenou

To begin with I’m focusing on Poblenou, and have spent the last several weeks reading up on the district’s attractions… and there are surprisingly lots of them! Torre Agbar is the obvious one, but the Encants flea market, Parc Central de Poblenou, Parc Diagonal, the amazing neo-classical cemetery and plenty of renovated factories from Barcelona’s industrial era means there’s plenty to see and talk about. And the simple pleasure of a pedal down Rambla de Poblenou shouldn’t be overlooked either! (Bikes really are the best way of getting around Barcelona, especially this large but largely traffic free district).

The Encants fleamarket, below Torre AgbarI’m also keen to fuse sightseeing with interactive experiences to make the tour less tour-like, and more like just an amazing afternoon taking part in what Barcelona has to offer. Unfortunately this is proving slightly trickier than I would have liked, although I have set up agreements for a recycled fashion presentation with Demano and Spanish farm house cheese tasting with La Formatgeria La Seu… still working on an agreement to borrow cameras from the Lomo shop but you can’t force people to work with you unfortunately! Hopefully they’ll come round…

Anyhow the website is up – Steel Donkey Bike Tours – named in part after the endangered national animal of Catalonia, the donkey (hoping if things go well we can raise some money and adopt some of the handsome fellas!) and the flyers are being printed as we speak.

Los chicos in Parc DiagonalI ran a trial tour last Saturday with some friends and you can see the photos on our Facebook group… by all means become a fan!

Our amigos at Barcelona Life have been kind enough to give us some great coverage on their bike tours of Barcelona article so we’re all set! If you have a blog and want to run an article about the tour, I can of course offer you a free (wheeling) sample. Just get in contact.

UPDATE: These tours are now in the (far more) responsible hands of BCN.Travel, with awesome new itineraries run by local professional guides. The concept of a small group alternative tour remains though, so if you’re looking for a more behind the scenes, off the beaten path experience then check them out. The tours are also proving very popular on Tripadvisor, where they won certificates of excellence in 2013 and 2014 (and look likely to do so in 2015)!

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