Like everyone else, Bicycle Porn likes being on holidays. Having a break by the beach, getting some sun. I was heading back from a day in Cala Saladeta (one of my favorite beaches in Ibiza) when I spotted this bicycle just resting under this tree, an old savina. Next to it, the owner was having a refreshment at the bar overlooking the see. Taking into account the arduous heat wave we are going through at the moment I need to point out that you really have to be insane to take the bicycle out. I keep myself away from the sun during the hottest hours (which is most of the day really). Life in the island begins only around 7pm. The rest of the day…we do as the bicycle above.
Everything has a start. In my case, the spark lighted up in my head one day (to be honest can’t remember how it happen, I guess we should track back to post number 1) as I was continuously overwhelmed by the amount of Bicycleporn I saw in one of my favorite cities, Berlin. It all began in summer 2010. I was in love with the city and the way bicycles where so ubiquitous there, and such beautiful bicycles…it was a change from the hideous mountain bicycles I was used to seeing in Sydney where I lived before moving temporarily to Berlin. And so It was good really good to be back to the city in May, seeing my old friend C., constant source of Bycicleporn, and have an intense weekend of partying and eating.
And what a super cool, 80′s bicycle we have here. Love the bell in the handle bar too. Security above all!
I won’t lie to you, dear reader. Today’s photos (the first in a while) are going to be about just that; red bicycles and yellow handlebars, or a combination of both. In the period where I have remained silent (for various reasons, but fortunately not due to a lack of Bicycleporn in my daily life) my beautiful bicycle has mutated from blue to fluoro back-to-the-80s pink and it is now very happy with its new look. It’s girly enough with the pink touch, but it’s still a racing bicycle so I get everyone’s “respect” immediately. Well that’s at least the original idea, reality is obviously different.
So, let’s pull out some fresh news. Well, not so fresh anymore but still worth mentioning. I went with a team of aficionado road bicycle riders to as far as Castelldefels, which is almost 30km from Barcelona. You made that right: 60km return! All alone, no one pushing me! I like this kind of challenges you know, at one point I thought I wouldn’t make it, I felt too much pain in my legs. But I did, and it was super fun. These guys (the “leader” is an older guy, about 50, a former Spain race champion who owns the bike shop near my place) are really into it, training during what we call the “siesta hours” (a.k.a. Spanish 3-hour lunch break) and racing on the weekends. I joined them twice, the second time I was even wearing the super pro shoes (Yeah ok – I fell on the road once too, but only on the way back because I didn’t react fast enough to having my foot stuck in the bicycle when we stop on a red light!). And after that, I love to hang out with them, they are actually super nice and I would say that they do respect me after I managed to do those 60km without complaining too much. I was quite proud of it to be honest. I never thought I would do something like that. And it made me remember something: watching, all bored during the siesta hours, the Tour de France every July in my grandma’s house in the north of Spain. In a way, I could feel their pain and I could only wonder why would a human being put himself into such suffering. Watching their agonizing sweat faces, I thought it was the hardest of all sports. Man against the machine kind of thing. Real endurance. And well, obviously I’m far from feeling anything similar to being at the Tour de France (but do you imagine? ha!) but I think I comprehend now why is it that men love this sport, going up and down a hill. It’s both a combination of joy and pain.
I’m again in the island of Ibiza this summer, and this time I brought my bicycle over on the boat. It was quite an adventure really. I have to admit, much to my mother’s satisfaction (her wise words being: “It’ll be too hot, you won’t use it”) , that it wasn’t the best idea: it’s way too hot during the day and I live to far from town to be able to use it everyday as I did in Barcelona (Mother 1 – Daughter 0). Still, I use it to go to the supermarket. Sad, I know.
I think I’ll stop here. I could go on, but I guess I have to leave some surprises for the next post. I have some super interesting bicycleporn to share in the next days:) Hope you enjoy this collection of red bicycles and yellow handlebars.
Thanks to my friend C., who I will be visiting in Berlin next month, for taking these photos from the Berliner Bicycle Fair (man, they are cool or what). If ever dreamed of having a bicycle made of gold, that is the place to go, 24k and 8500 euro.
I’ve got an update regarding my dear bicycle: it’s dying. And cursed. I mean, I still love it as it is. But c’mon, the day after I bring it to the mechanic for a general check-up, I get a flat tire. And that day the mechanic, the genius, tells me my bicycle is not fit to ride outside the city. What? I mean, I had all these wild plans to bring it to Ibiza this summer (I still do) and go on excursions with my friend D. (a fellow bicycle enthusiast). And the moment we would get tired, just leave our bikes and go under a tree to eat our ‘bocadillo’ (a sandwich). Well anyway that’s my idea. For that I will need to take the ferry to the island. Anyways, I have my flatmate insisting I should get dress to go eat sushi and enjoy the rest of this Sunday. We had like 3 different seasons in one day, the weather is seriously crazy this month.
Have a nice week!
When the music I am listening to stops playing, then I get to hear this damned rain. I’m one of this people that becomes easily track-obsessed and so my morning has been rather technoish listening to this amazing stuff, which is, by the way, 22 years old. I wonder if anything I did that long ago would still bring me the same feeling of joy that this song evokes in me. I could probably find some drawing, made with childish innocence but…it wouldn’t be the same, right?
Anyway, it’s the third day in a row that rains in Barcelona. Two nights ago the thunder woke me up at 5 in the morning. I moved recently and now my bedroom windows is facing my bed. So I wake up with the sunrise (yeah ok not literally, I haven’t been able to get up before 8 in the past few weeks) and obviously, if there is lightning like there was the other day, then it wakes me up too. But it’s these little things in life…you know.
And so it is raining. My precious bicycle has been in the mechanic for two days but I’m happy this is happening now as with the intensity of the rain I wouldn’t have been able to ride anyway. I had a little accident (well, 2 little accidents) a few days ago and decided to bring it to the bike shop near my new apartment. They seem to be nice people. This evening when I pick it up, I will find out if they are also good mechanics. The accident was completely my fault, I was too fast and became trapped in between a car and a parked motorcycle next to it. I learned the lesson I think.
Also, I have sad news coming from the universe of awkward bicycles. The lovely P., owner of the “Frankenstein bike” told me that it has been stolen here in Barcelona. You really need to be a f***ed up person to steal such a bicycle, I mean it’s just too special. You don’t want to take it apart from its owner. Fingers crossed it gets recovered soon.
What I present here is a selection of colourful bicycles that I thought would go well with the dismal colour of today’s sky. I keep experimenting with Photoshop, as you can see. The last photo is an example of how to wear a miniskirt and be able to ride very fast at the same time. Bicycleporn is what it is.
I keep on clicking ‘reply’. It doesn’t rain unless I look out of the window:)
I don’t have a Brooks saddle. But I wish I had one. I have this fantasy that having a Brooks saddle is like owning a very expensive fountain pen, the kind that adapt to the energy and nuance of your writing. Have a look at the first bicycle, it’s so special right? If you look at the details, the spotless paint, the leather seat and handlebar. It’s small but still retains the dignity of bigger, racing bicycles. Not easy to achieve.
A while ago I was searching information about this bicycle’s brand (I hope you like the photo, it only took me endless hours in desperation with Photoshop). What I found instead is a compelling story. Rabasa Bicycles was born in 1922 and for 70 years it produced, according to their website, “innovative, durable and accessible” bicycles. The company’s production went over 15,000 bicycles per year which made it one of the biggest manufactures in Spain. Despite its apparent strength, Rabasa ceased its operations on 1996 adducing a dire financial situation. It led to the start of insolvency procedures and the ultimate closing of the company.
In early 2011, a group of entrepreneurs and bicycle lovers, headed by the founder’s grandson, decided to re-start the company. Despite the current traumatic economical situation, a group of people decided to believe in the bicycle! I find this endearing.
And now I love stalking them on their Facebook page and seeing what they are up to. I specially admire the care with which they do everything that surrounds the bicycle, so the cool design is found not only in their bicycles but their business cards..up to the so called ‘Future Lab’, where they work with passion on Rabasa. Their motto, a new cycle.
(All photos from their Facebook Page)
**Disclaimer: If you find any inaccuracy/typo/delirious rambling in this post is due to been sitting in a café that is pretty much a kindergarten. Prams everywhere. I am not kidding when I say that my ears haven being listening to baby’s shouts for hours non-stop (for real) and there has been a continuum passing by of Mothers in search of other Mother’s friendship and understanding and lonely Fathers looking for…I don’t know. There’s only two of them in here and they seem to be on his own free will. I am forced, because I need the Internet to live. Oh god, they even sell Vegan cake!! H.E.L.P.
HAPPY NEW YEAR BICYCLE PORN LOVERS!!!!
I don’t usually like humans on my posts but these are exceptional humans:
My friend C. sent me the first photo. Apparently him and his buddy I. were trying to “make the Most Hipster Photo Ever” (sic). You can decide by yourself if their mission was accomplished. Judging by the two beer packs he’s carrying, I think they were quiet satisfied.
On the other photo are P. and N., two of my old co-workers at Cafe Giulia, in Sydney. As my friend S. mentioned, there’s a trend going on among the Thai community’s youngsters in central Sydney. And they take it seriously, as you can see.
Unfortunately here in Barcelona the year didn’t start too well for bicycle lovers, as only a few days ago a woman was ran over by a truck at an intersection. The worst part is that she was on the supposedly safe bicycle lane, when the truck turned right and collided against her. This is only one more example of how politicians pretend to care about making a city bicycle-friendly by building kilometres of bicycle lanes. And they think that they accomplished something? In reality they are poorly designed, shameful and dangerous paths – plus drivers and passers-by alike ignore them. I come across these every day, and for the most part, I then to avoid them. Simply put: I don’t feel safe.
To commemorate the tragedy, this month’s Critical Mass left a ghost bicycle on the spot of the accident. Then, a minute of silence. It didn’t last: car drivers were shouting and rebuking at us on how did we dare to block their road. So this is what we have in this city.
Sometimes I do feel a bit lonely on the road, me and my bicycle, it seems that I’m the only one riding a bicycle in Barcelona. But at the Critical Mass I understood that there are many others out there, people who truly love riding a bicycle – for whatever reason. There are many others, everywhere, fighting everyday to make this city more peaceful, and more respectful towards the environment and its citizens. On Friday night I met a guy who used Bicing everyday at 5AM to get to work. He was so proud of it, he didn’t pay any money on public transport and kept him fit…Like him, wherever I am, I’ll keep riding.
And decided I’ll buy a helmet.
Photo: Tejederas (El País)
New banner!!! And gorgeous photos!! I will never be grateful enough to E. for his outstanding contribution to this blog. I know, dear reader, that you are used to mediocre photos (don’t worry, they’ll return eventually) but for once I wanted to offer you something special…consider it your Christmas gift:) I’m delighted to post photos such as the ones above.
And while admiring the photos, I realised that things I thought only happened in Berlin have their replication in Barcelona (see second photo)…bike planking maybe?
I’ve got a lot of interesting and very dirty material for 2012 so get ready! In the meantime….have a lovely Sunday!! Oh, and I hope you like the new banner. My friends C. and D. helped me with the inspiration/Photoshop tricks.
I have a bicycle!!!!! And my Bicing season ticket has expired…perfect timing.
This is a big change in my life really. I feel like an adult now.
I’ve been going around with it (I gave it a name, of course: “Lighting”) for about a week. It’s very, very sweet. I love riding it…it’s FUN, fast, good. I always take the longest road to get to places, so I get to enjoy it more. To celebrate the good news my friend V. and I joined the Critical Mass group in Barcelona. What a fantastic idea: people who love bicycles get together once a month to conquer the city on two wheels. The experience of going through the biggest roads in the city, stopping traffic if necessary, it’s powerful. And everyone is having a good time. There’s all sort of people as well: fixie guys, business women with folding bikes, mountain bike freaks, and even guys and girls with Bicing! And this weird dude with a music stereo on the back of the bike playing tunes from the 90′s..(no kidding).
Regarding Lighting, it’s super sweet! I bought it for a very reasonable price at a local bicycle shop called Al Punt de Trobada in the middle of nowhere, in Poblenou. I was in the area because we are preparing a documentary there. It was such a nice image: there were three men working in the shop. One was like 80 years old (seriously), the other was about 40 and then there was a young guy. I went in because I wanted to get a business card, just to remember the shop and the young guy asked me if I needed any help…then I said I was actually looking for a bicycle and he showed me Lighting, said its price, and I was like: I’ll take it. I had found it. Then I tried and the frame was the right size, the brakes had the perfect fit, and it was sooo fast.
It has an Badalona frame, Alkon**. Italian handlebars (Cinelli) and bright blue Spanish forks (HB). Pretty, huh? My bicycle:)
Have a lovely week!
**Update: thanks to Joan, a reader who pointed out that Alkon is not American as I thought, but from Badalona, a city near Barcelona. Apparently Alkon has now moved to the town of Palafolls, 60km outside Barcelona. Maybe one day I’ll be able to visit the man who made Lighting….