Thursday, May 21, 2009


It's 1 o'clock am and I'm cycling with number 13421 Bicing bike (one of the brand-new ones!) across Diagonal's wide bike lane in Barcelona. Diagonal is usually a crowded street but now there are only a few cars. I am alone with the bike, cycling back home after meeting a friend I had not seen for months.

I walked about 15 min to get to station with a bike and I got a good bike (the only one left). The brakes worked, the gears too and I did not even need to adjust the saddle. First, what else could I ask for?

Then the breeze at the wide cycling lane. I close the eyes just one second to become aware of the moment. I open them again. On the right hand side the trees curve towards the lane (those trees that give refreshing shade during the day): beautiful dark green leaves over my head. And me and the bike, no other bikes coming from the other direction nor anybike before or behind me. Just me.

My thoughts fly. To Anna's visit last month, to the friend I have just seen, to my whole life, to the thing I feel I am living. It is me, at 1 h am.

And then, when I leave Diagonal's bike lane, I enter the cozy streets of my quarter, Les Corts. No cars, no noise. The reflection of me cycling on a dark glass. There is no one on the street but, still, I feel safe.

I experience momentary bliss. I can't say why. It's something bigger than me that seizes me. I forget about my troubles, I feel safe. I cannot explain. And maybe all this already sounds stupid to you (as it sounds a bit to me now...but it is not stupid)

I am sad to leave the bike. I reach home and decide I will write about it. I realisedwe can find normal things so extraordinary sometimes. This time it was me, the bike and the refreshing spring breeze of a 15-16th May night in Barcelona.

Number 13421 bike, or the bike of bliss

Anna from BCN


anna said...

I'm glad you had such a nice time when cycling at night. Well, cycling is always a pleasure, but very rarely in such a way. I hope you will have many more of these moments!

She Rides a Bike said...

What a thoughtful post. Cycling at night and you felt safe! Imagine that. The American Congress just passed a bill that had a rider attached making it lawful to carry registered handguns in national parks and forests. That does not make me feel safe. I am surrounded by national parks and forests. I, too, love pedaling my bike at night. I pedal a bit more slowly and listen to the quiet night sounds and appreciate the stillness. The darkness becomes a security blanket, and I am alone with my thoughts, or if my husband is with me, alone with him.

bashley said...

Nicely crafted piece on night riding, like a prose poem!

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