Saturday, April 4, 2009

Un-cycling in Oviedo

Last weekend I was on a short trip to Oviedo. Rainy Oviedo. For those who still believe Spain is a sunny country, well, it is not. At least up in the north, where the oceanic climate reigns. Never in my life had I experienced such unstable weather!

Thinking about the blog I observed all people in the street. I saw people driving cars, I saw people walking but I saw no one cycling. How can it be?

Oviedo's cathedral

First, we could appeal to the days of the week. It was Saturday and Sunday, and especially on Sunday there was very rarely anyone in the streets. But this is not a very valid reason.

Then we could say Oviedo is a small city (around 225 thousand citizens) and cycling suits best in big cities or leisure trips in the countryside. Well, this is not a valid reason either.

Finally, what is, in my understanding something more logical to set aside cycling as a way of moving across the city is the weather. Well, sure, thousands of people cycle in the snow, in the cold and in the rain, as many bloggers explain, but I think Oviedo's weather is too unstable. You do not know whether is going to rain or not. At least at this time of the year. These couple of days I stayed there I experienced everything from moist, thin rain, showers, hailstones and sun. Besides the cold. All in the same hour. And all the day was like this. I guess that you can cycle when it rains, but when it is pouring or hailing? And what is more: how can you face this constant-ever-changing weather if you ride a bike regularly?

Oviedo: Plaza del Paraguas (Umbrella square)

For certain, Spain is finally (!!!) changing some of its moving habits in cities. Bikes are filling cities like Barcelona and Seville, but I am not sure it will be the case of the north. Mainly because of this kind of too unstable weather. Maybe I am just making excuses for them or maybe I am totally wrong. If someone live in an area such as this I described and cycles, please tell how you get through ;).

Santa María del Naranco, a preromanic church (IX century) in a hill with
views of Oviedo

Anna from BCN

1 comment:

anna said...

Hm, such weather surely wouldn't keep me from cycling, but I can see how it would make people not want to start it. You do have to carry around more clothes if it changes so quickly and if you want to be prepared for everything. Well, obviously one can also always leave the bike somewhere in case there's a bad thunderstorm and hailing.
We had something like that on the Critical Mass last November in Vienna. I was well-prepared, but I still found out that my waterproof skiing gloves aren't actually waterproof. It was a lot of fun though ;-).
But I wouldn't want to be caught in pouring rain, hail and thunderstorms every day. On the other hand, I also don't like scorching heat (you probably get a lot of that in Spain in the summer too).

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