It’s Saturday morning, a lovely bright sunny day leaving behind the rain of the past week. Las Chicas venture out early to explore the Ronda Verde for Mary’s upcoming article on this bike-friendly path around Barcelona. The route wraps around Barcelona, heads up to Badalona in the northeast and includes parts of Collserola Park. It also goes through L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Montjuic, and Poble Sec.
Ahoy, what’s that on the horizon?
Matey, it’s a schooner and kayak! A lovely site to begin this adventure.
The visual serenity is soon left behind as we cross the bridge over the Besós River estuary and ride past a power plant and other factory-like structures. This juxtaposition, between nature’s beauty and human-rendered scars to the environment, dot the early stages of our ride.
But as quickly as we come upon these eyesores, they disappear behind as we roll along the boardwalk and approach the Marina Badalona.
Relaxation descends as the sea welcomes us along with other cyclists,
four-leggeds, walkers and everyone else enjoying this splendid day!
We meet our first challenge on the Ronda Verde – staying on course. Signs come and go. The Ronda Verde green apple icon painted on the street is not visible on the boardwalk. Soon Las Chicas are rolling next to the wakeboarding practice pool recently shown on local TV, courtesy of Red Bull. It’s a large swimming pool type structure with zip lines and ramps, dropped in on a bumpy dirt beside the sea.
From wakeboarding to a Romanesque Tower, we continue on the path by the sea.
Mary even gets a double take from an oncoming cyclist – she thinks it’s because of her Coppi jacket, Coppi being a famous Italian cyclist. Las Chicas are both bundled up for the chilly autumn ride.
Life in movement and sound are a constant in this Spanish life. The Renfe train passes numerous times on one side of the path,
while waves break on the other side. At this point we elect to stay on the bike path by the sea and forego the original plan to explore the Ronda Verde loop. We ride as far as the town of El Masnou in Costa del Maresme and turn around just after the Playa de Ocata.
On our return, we stop to take a picture of this hill filled with prickly pear cactus, known as nopal in Tucson as well as Spain. Perhaps we are not so far from home after all.
Las Chicas return to the junction of Ronda Verde and head out along the river for a short time. Just under the bridge we ride by graffiti artists in action creating other masterpieces like the large cerdo (pig) across the way. Now in the last mile of our 17-mile ride, we decide to turn back and ride along the Besós another day.
But the day does not disappoint and offers a sweet surprise on the Metro train back to Joanic station. Amidst the swarms of passengers enters an elder man and his sidekick pictured below. As the man establishes his spot on the train, he opens the bag, and his short-legged friend quickly hops inside to ride one stop and then they are gone.
Metro train to a seaside bike path–can’t beat that for a sunny Saturday in November!
© 2013 by Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds. All rights reserved.