Madrid is a city that little love of bicycles is an open secret. Is it because of the weather, will it be on the slopes? or is it because its leaders never paid attention to the two wheels as a solution to urban mobility?. But little by little that indifference is turning into romance. One example is the green ring around cyclist and the city: 64 km bike lane (with physical separation between cyclists and cars) that allow us full circle to Madrid safely and without strain.
Photography by sindändùne
El Barrio de Las Tablas, northeast of the city. It is a modern district with urban expansion brick buildings and wide avenues. In the background are the four skyscrapers of the former Real Madrid sports city. New Madrid, the life of the suburbs. Here lies the zero point of this great cycling ring. There are gardens with tiny trees, families strolling, children with skateboards and traffic noise. The M-40 is near its toll and leaves sound. The bike will go for many miles parallel to this great ring road with its engine sound. The cycling ring runs through the streets of Las Tablas and we must make the same stops pedestrians.
A 1.9 miles away and ten lights of interruptions appears the first rest area. A good place to take a break, stretch a little and adjust what is wrong with the bike. Rest areas are another of the successes of the ring are well distributed, and sometimes banks have shadows and always provide information on where the next area in both directions, to plan breaks. On the left, omnipresent, the M-40. Further, the barren fields surrounding Madrid.
At 3.4 miles cross Manuel Azana Avenue and enters the district of Hortaleza. So far, the bike lane is wide, compacted cement floor red. 80% is occupied by two bicycle lanes, one in each direction, and the other 20% is entitled to pedestrians.
Photography by Diabolic PEnguin
The convention center Juan Carlos I and the residential area around the big park of Campo de las Naciones. Change the urban appearance. The more modest houses give way to Hortaleza exorbitant price villas, expensive clothes among the walkers and some other private school. This is another of the peculiarities of the ring rider Madrid: with the same effort you make a second tour, this social X-ray by the city. The rich North populous south. Each district is a world and what from the car before it escapes from the soft pedal becomes a palpable reality.
It’s funny because despite the advances made by a completely urban area (in fact I’m under the M-40), level Logroño Avenue hear the chirping of birds. Madrid is a city with many trees, and if there are trees there are birds.
A bridge for pedestrians and cyclists help save the A-2 and entered the neighborhood and San Blas Canillejas. And another change of type, physical and human: clothes hanging on the walls, slum settlement association. In the background is the comb and the redevelopment of the sports arena, if we are ever at last Olympics. Works on the first stage interrupt the bike lane between the street and the Avenue Mequinenza Arcentales. It is the only section in which the ring is broken, but it is provisional and 2.entertainment on the asphalt of the streets are well marked.
At mile 13, the path, which is again broad and red, is installed parallel to the M-40 and remains so until Moratalaz. The entire route is well signposted and it is impossible to miss. Yes, you should come with the physiological needs of home-made because there is not a public restroom. Or you hold or go to a bar.
The Great South:
Step then the Linear Park Palomeras, by del Pozo train station and the park Entrevías. The signposts mark the 25th kilometer. I’m at the southern end of the ring. X-ray and social returns to a different reality, multicultural. In a football field with artificial grass playing 22 boys of different races. In the following, ground, face two teams from South America. Madrid shows here his new face of an open city.
I cross the new park Manzanares, pass under the Doce de Octubre hospital and handlebar compass tells me that gradually turn toward the West. Around the Village Avenue, this connects some of the most popular: Orcasitas, Carabanchel, Usera … For a densely populated area, the bike lane a good time to move forward without falling on the asphalt. The problem is that it shares space with the sidewalk for many miles and not all respect the pedestrian lane reserved for bicycles. We must be careful not to collide with some clueless with his Ipod.
Then we reach the station Aluche (lane other interruption of work), continue along the street Valmojado and 38.100 km crosses the A-5 to enter, at last! at Casa de Campo.
Casa de Campo:
Needless to say, this is the most enjoyable section of the ring. A piece of wood in the middle of town. People walk, people on bicycles, people sitting in the corners … and no cars, no noise. The ears are relaxed and open way. It is so idyllic that we seem no big city around.
The dream lasted until the 45.910 km, in which the lane leaves the Casa de Campo. I still fence bordering the Iron Gate Club and entered the elite neighborhood. Chalets overwhelming, high fences with barbed wire, suits and brown faces among the poor neighborhood that walk through its streets. 25 miles separate this world from the shanty town of Entrevías. Two hours of cycling, an economic and social gap.
Since I have little. The track uses the Arroyo del Fresno Avenue to save the last stages, those with greater slopes. Again modern neighborhoods that stretch the city to the North Pitis station, the cemetery of Fuencarral, an underpass under the road to Colmenar y. .. I’m back where I started in Tables! The circle is complete, the ring is completed.
Photography by albertopveiga
Thus ended the 64-mile cycle route around the entire city!