World cup 2010

Photo credit: Shine 2010

With the excitement of the World Cup behind us and a heartfelt congratulations to both Spain and the Netherlands for a well played game, it’s a good time to revisit our recent blog posts about cycling in these two countries.

The competition between the countries is apparent in more areas than soccer.  Barcelona and Amsterdam also provide quite the experiences for cyclists.  Amsterdam is a no-nonsense, bike laden mecca for the serious cyclists.  Whether you are talking about cruisers, cargo bikes, folding bikes or racing bikes, cycling has become ingrained into the culture.  The Barcelona cycling culture allows for more time to enjoy the scenery and not using the bike as necessarily the main mode of serious transportation.  Your more likely to come across a folding mountain bike than a cruiser in Spain but they still take their cycling very seriously. Which is better?  Well, it depends on you.  Let’s take a look at the cycling communities in these two new rival cities.

Cycling in Spain

Our previous blog post on Barcelona centers on bike rentals for tourists or the occasional local cyclist wanting to explore the beaches and trails or the “Green Ring” around the city.  The beaches are impeccable, and exploring them by bike makes it a cinch.  Check out this exert from our Barcelona blog post for more information on the beaches in the area:

“The beaches in Barcelona are incomparable. The Bogatell boasts stone walkways perfect for walking, jogging, or cycling. Nova Icaria is always full of life and is lined with beach bars and restaurants for the night owls of Barcelona. Mar Bella, Barcelona’s only naturist beach, is tucked away behind a “wall” of rustling bamboo and provides the opportunity for kayaking, wind surfing (lessons available), and a peaceful park where beach goers can picnic or relax in the shade under a palm tree. Barceloneta provides many “American-style” restaurants with wooden board walks as well as the very popular Catalan restaurant, Agua. Head out of town for less-crowded and cleaner beaches, especially with small children. Trains run to beaches both North and South of Barcelona and a folding bike makes the perfect train partner!”

There’s also a pretty cool video of what you can experience on a bike (or a scooter) in Barcelona!

Cycling in the Netherlands

While the Spaniards lay claim to World Cup champions in 2010, there’s no denying Amsterdam’s superiority in the cycling community.  Known as Europe’s Biking Capital, Amsterdam keeps the Netherlands head-and-shoulders about the rest of the continent…at least in cycling.

Amsterdam holds this title for many reasons of which other cities (especially in America) should be jealous. From a three-story parking garage explicitly for bikes, bike traffic signals,249 miles of bike lanes, and a whopping 40% of the population traveling by bike, it’s the perfect place for any cyclist. Bikes in Amsterdam are absolutely the most convenient way to get around. In such a high energy, high traffic city, people really appreciate the portability that a bicycle provides…But be sure to read the tips for safe cycling in Amsterdam before you start your journey!”

You can see all that Amsterdam has to offer in this video by MichaelBauch.

Both are winners

There’s no way for you to lose if you have an opportunity to cycle in either Holland or Spain. Have you been fortunate enough to bike in either one of these beautiful countries. Share your experience with us below.