Category Archives: Sports

Mad-ride

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.

You must

– Put on some lights at night: most bikes you buy in Spain come without, so get a pair.

– 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)

You may

– 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.

– Choose the 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.

– 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

– Use the lane for buses and taxis. It is for buses and taxis.

– Drink and ride your bike. Sorry.

You better

– 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.

– Wear a helmet: it is not an obligation, just a good idea.

– 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.

Previously published on www.madridmemata.es

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Happy 2012. Now Start Preparing For New Year’s Eve.

So you spent New Year’s Eve on Puerta del Sol? A very good start of the year, but you were probably surrounded by foreign tourists: the Spanish watch the clock on television and prefer to avoid the flying cava bottles, the cold feet and the drunk Italians. For a more castizo celebration next year, opt for the San Silvestre Vallecana run instead.

The run, better known as San Sil, is a 10 kilometer tour through the city centre from the Bernabeu stadium to Vallecas. And 10 kilometers, that is a little bit more than an hour of exercise for the moderately trained. Do not be afraid: with just a few months of training even the biggest couch potato will be able to reach the finish line. Your reporter –not the most athletic person in the world- just finished her fifth and is the living proof that anybody who wants to can face the test and come out alive.

But the San Sil is most of all a wild race through the very city center, with dressed up people -note: for reasons still unknown, Spanish men prefer to dress up as women, with stockings, hairy legs and enormous plastic bosoms-, an audience you will never again have in your life, lots of music, an outstanding organization and an excellent Runner’s High at the end so you can go on and have fun at any party later that evening or simply go to bed and be happy with that as well.

Where else can you find Chema Martinez, a butanero, a group of bulls and their picadores, Ana Botella, a team of nurses and Superman (some real, some of them dressed up) in the very same street waiting for the cue to flood the city centre?

So write in your agenda for this year that in September you need to start training –plenty of schedules to be found on the internet- and that from the beginning of November you will need to check the website www.sansilvestrevallecana.com daily. When sales start, reserve your place immediately. The 35.000 dorsales sell out within a week.

Previously published on www.madridmemata.es