I also posted this on our family blog, but as it has a dose of casual sociology, here goes also. You can never turn off your social science brain once you have spent enough time reading theory.
Bicing is Barcelona’s bike sharing program and network. You get a card.
I keep my card in my wallet, but I have to remember to take my wallet out of my back pocket.
Now you can go to a station and grab a utilitarian bike.
You pay 30Euros a year (about $42) a year for the card, and then 0.5E per thirty minutes of use up to three hours. You get to swipe your card on the little screen at the station.
Now, of course, Barcelona, as a transportation network, has a long history of technological changes layered on top of prior technology and intersecting with growth, redesign, and social trends. The old quarter, with its narrow, byzantine streets had to adapt from foot and hoof traffic to cars, the 19th century, the “expansion” or “Eixample” in Catalan (clever name there), was built for trams and trolleys, many of which disappeared to be replaced by the metro, buses and gas cars. Although, the trams have sort of made a comeback with these newly installed beauties.
They are often installed on the old lines on the broad avenues, like that other exemplar of functional industrial nomenclature asethetics, “Avenida Diagonal” The Diagonal cuts, naturally, diagonally across the city.
So, on to this infrastructure palimpsest comes the new wave of cycling. I have always wanted to use palimpsest! Of course, the city was never really built with tri-use through ways- car, ped, cycle. So, cycling is always a hit or miss affair (ha ha) in terms of finding a route and surviving with your skin and/or life.