Can’t get rid of the feeling that the last raise of subway single ticket price is only the start and that in the very near future it will actually be a lot more sensible to buy a bicycle instead of forking out for monthly metro passes? Here is a short guide on Madrid inner city traffic rules for guiri cyclists.
1. Put on some lights at night: most bikes you buy in Spain come without, so get a pair.
2. Use the carril-bici if there is one (and leave a comment here to tell us where you actually found one, because we are curious as well)
3. Use the sidewalks if there is enough space, if you cycle slowly and traffic allows for it, but come on, you know how irritating that is for both the pedestrian and you, so use the street.
4. Choose part of the lane you want to use since no-one seems to agree on that one: the center (better visibility, no risk of parked car doors suddenly opening) according to cyclists, the right (better fluidity of traffic) according to DGT.
5. Take your bicycle with you on the subway during weekends all day and on weekdays between 10:00-12:30 and after 21:00. If you still want to.
You may not
6. Use the lane for buses and taxis. It is for buses and taxis.
7. Drink and ride your bike. Sorry.
8. Avoid the big avenidas: too much traffic there, the speed is too high and you will be slowing everything down. That is not illegal, of course, but will produce a number of stuck up middle fingers. Besides, the streets on the side are a lot more beautiful anyway.
9. Wear a helmet: it is not an obligation, just a good idea.
10. Remember every minute that the typical Madrileño driver will rather die than look left or right to check for poor cyclists before taking a turn. So you will have to make sure to steer clear of possible collisions all by yourself. There is no such thing as anticipating too much.
Prefer to get some practice first? Every last Thursday of the month at 20:00 an ever growing group of
cyclists await you and your bicycle in Cibeles to show Madrid that life on a bike is worth living.