After a multi-year hiatus it is past time to start posting fun cycling stories again! Summer is receding fast through the rear view mirror, so a summer story is probably the best way to start.
We had so much fun in Madrid. We got to visit Lia, enjoyed lazy breakfasts, and spent a day at the Thyssen–Bornemisza Museum. Another highlight was the bike tour of Madrid — an all electric bike tour with Javier as our guide.
We’ve never ridden these things but we both know how to bicycle so we figured it would be an easy adjustment. Yes and no, of course.
Javier explains Madrid architecture as we take a break from cycling. We are finally beginning to master our new rides!
The bikes have a traditional commuter bike feel — very stable, very upright. The idea is the motor adds a bit to whatever work you’re doing. You can adjust how much assist you get, from the equivalent of gentle tail wind to a full on partnership with you and the motor kicking the bike up to speed. Our bikes also had throttles, which Javier explained were illegal to use in the city. What he actually said was that we might really want the throttle when we’re in a hill or starting from traffic, but that it was illegal — so we should definitely pretend to be pedaling if we used it And please tell the police that the guide said don’t use it if we get stopped. So Myriam definitely didn’t use the throttle. And I probably used it at least once every 30 seconds or so.
We cycled around the city and then into the park. For hours. Javier was often well ahead, zooming around parked cars and taking shortcuts willy nilly. We all kept up as best we could, getting comfortable with the bikes. We spent the last part of the tour in the Retiro (Pargue del Buen Retiro) where we stopped to admire the birds.
This is also where we learned that there are usually two black swans but that, unfortunately, there is only one now. When one of the other women asked about the missing swan, Javier calmly told us that it was dead. Groans erupted as we suggested that Javier break the news more gently on his next tour.
We are carefully standing in front of the void — you cannot tell that there should be two black swans but that only one remains.
The tour ends with beer and tortilla de patata. We are told that it is the very best tortilla de patata in all of Madrid, but it is suspiciously close to the tour office. Luckily, it is delicious and the beer is a refreshing end to the adventure.
We had a blast and I can’t help but think that the electric bikes were part of the fun. More soon.