Cycling New Cities

A treat waiting for me in every major city of my upcoming trip: a bike tour or bike for borrowing! I could not be more excited to see Amsterdam, Berlin and Brussels from a bike seat.

The first time I took to the streets of a new city by bicycle was on an autumn trip to Los Angeles with my mom. She picked out an amazing bike tour of L.A. public and street art, which became private tour as everyone else in the group dropped out due to threat of rain.

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View of Madrid bike lanes at night

Our guide was young and completely immersed in the art scene and did a fabulous job taking us 10 miles or so around the city over the course of 4 hours (more about that tour here). He got a bit carried away with his own enthusiasm for his city, and also took us to see historical buildings and even tried to sneak into a studio of a well-known former street artist – and I mean literally sneak in. Maybe because we could have so easily fled on our bikes if we were seen? It was a ton of fun and revealed a side of the city that we did not know was there.

Because we were a group of three, all cyclists, we were a nimble and compact group able to zoom through traffic and across neighborhoods of every kind. My mom and I got the feeling that we had seen the city in a way we could never have just on foot or by using a car. Biking gave us freedom of movement while also keeping us open to the noise, smells and sights of the city.

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An afternoon ride in rainy Tacoma

Since then, I’ve had the privilege of cycling in several American and European cities, usually with a bike sharing program or simply borrowing one from an Air BNB or other host. It’s always been a lovely way to get to know a place and very useful in dense urban areas.

At home in Minneapolis I’m a part-time bike commuter, bike for transportation to social commitments and spend time with friends on random rides around the city in a cycle-friendly wardrobe.

Thank you for reading,

Ruby

 

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