oBike arrives in Madrid: a bicycle service shared throughout the city

oBike arrives in Madrid: a bicycle service shared throughout the city

Shared mobility continues to make inroads in large cities with the consequent improvement in traffic, a decrease in pollution and greater convenience for citizens to access all places. When we talk about shared mobility surely the first thing you think about is carsharing companies such as Emov or Car2Go; from today we can enjoy in the capital a new shared bicycle service that comes to offer us more options: it is oBike.

The main novelty of this service of shared bicycles or bikesharing is that, as they do not have an engine, they do not need charging stations to fill up the batteries of the bicycle and, therefore, they can be parked anywhere (anywhere where bicycles are allowed to park, it is understood, and always within the municipality of Madrid, being able to leave the M-30 zone).

The service, according to the company, will be free throughout the month of October, with the user having to make only a refundable deposit of 49 euros as a way that the user is always responsible for the bicycle. Here’s how this new service works.

This is how you can start riding with oBike

To start using oBike all we have to do is download its free application (available on IOS and android), register through the app and you’re done. In the map will appear the bicycles available and close to us in the form of yellow icons. We can reserve the bikes for a period of ten minutes through the app, before unlocking them.

The bicycles have a Bluetooth locking and unlocking system: once the bicycle we are going to use has been located, we scan the QR code on the handlebar with our phone and unlock the padlock. When we finish our journey, we park the bicycle, put the lock back and so ends our journey.

The bicycles have a GPS positioning system that tells us where they are at all times, as well as a tracking system that tells us in our user account how many kilometers we have traveled, how many calories (approximately) we have burned, and so on.

Price per trip and points system

The price of each trip depends on the user points we have: each user starts with 100 points that can go up or down depending on the behavior of it. According to the same application, “the oBike points system is used to promote non-fraudulent travel and responsible behavior”. Thus, for example, if you park your bicycle in an area not designated for this purpose, 20 points are lost; or if traffic rules are violated during a trip, the points balance is reduced to zero.

In the same way, the user who circulates responsibly is also rewarded by increasing his points in the application, and thus being able to obtain prizes and discounts. If we report a bicycle breakdown through the app, for example, two points will be added to our balance.

With 100 points, the bicycle trip will cost 0.50 euros for 30 minutes, while if we have between 0 and 60 points, the trip will cost 10 euros for 30 minutes. A system that seeks to dissuade those who are not going to make a civic use of the bicycle.

Is it a good option for Madrid?

This new bike sharing company can certainly compete with BiciMad: oBike’s prices are similar (as long as we have all our points) and the fact that we can park where we want and not have to limit ourselves to the charging stations is an advantage for the user. Of course, being able to leave the M-30 zone with your bike is another of the great advantages of oBike over BiciMad.

The main disadvantage? That bicycles do not have a motor to support the cyclist, and the slopes of Madrid are pronounced (depending on the area) to climb them “by hair”. They don’t have gears either, something that they could implement for the benefit of the user in their next fleets. The deposit of 49 euros can also pull back some users when making that first outlay.

oBike will have to be given time to see how it works and if it is implemented in other Spanish cities. At the moment, we welcome all ideas to improve mobility in cities.

Madrid premieres an ordinance of sustainable and healthy mobility: that’s how you have to move around on a bicycle, roller skates or motor scooter

Madrid premieres an ordinance of sustainable and healthy mobility: that’s how you have to move around on a bicycle, roller skates or motor scooter

The city of Madrid is seeking to be increasingly friendly to pedestrians and eco-friendly means of transport: that is the aim pursued by approving today the new Sustainable Mobility Ordinance which, among other novelties, reduces the speed at which vehicles can circulate on most streets at 30 kilometers per hour.

More and more people are using bicycles, motor scooters (either their own or from rental companies, which have been proliferating in recent months) or even scooters to move around the city, but do you know how you have to behave in each case? Here’s what’s new in Madrid’s new Sustainable Mobility Ordinance.

If you ride a bicycle in Madrid

Thanks on the one hand to BiciMad and on the other to the different bike rental companies that have arrived in the capital, the bicycle is becoming the favorite means of transport for many people in Madrid. The extension of the bicycle lane (much criticized by some sectors) has also contributed to more people being encouraged to use the bicycle to move around the city.

With the new Mobility Ordinance, the great novelty for bicycles is that they will be able to turn right at red traffic lights as long as it is signposted. In addition, they will also be able to cycle in the opposite direction through residential streets (as long as it is signposted) and bicycle streets. When parking their bicycles, cyclists may leave their bicycles attached to street furniture (fences, benches, etc. but not vegetation).

If you move around on skates, skateboards or scooters without motors

Cycling is not the only means of transport that is beneficial to our health: many citizens also use skateboards and scooters without engines or skateboards not only in their leisure time, but also to move around the city.

If you use non-motorised skates or scooters, you will be able to ride on the sidewalk at pedestrian speed, and also on cycle lanes, cycle paths, cycle tracks and cycle streets. The most important thing in any of the cases in which space is shared with pedestrians is that you should try not to disturb pedestrians and not put them in danger, and not to exceed 5 kilometers per hour.

If you move with a motor scooter

The electrically charged motor scooter is not as beneficial to our health as the use of the bicycle or skates, but it is an option increasingly used by more citizens, especially since some companies have arrived in the capital to rent scooters.

From now on, if you are traveling on a motor scooter or other personal motor vehicle, you will have to do it on the road, never on the sidewalk. You can also use them on protected bicycle lanes, bicycle tracks and on the residential streets. They can be used, like bicycles, on all streets that limit the speed of traffic to 30 kilometers per hour (thanks to an amendment to the ordinance).

The road to Santiago by bicycle: this is how you have to prepare yourself physically

The road to Santiago by bicycle: this is how you have to prepare yourself physically

A few days ago we talked to you about the physical preparation necessary to make the way to Santiago by walking: not only does it consist of tying our shoes and walking, but we must also have the adequate preparation to be able to face long hours of hiking through different types of terrain and with great unevenness.

The same thing happens with the second option preferred by the pilgrims to make the way (although very behind to make the way walking): the bicycle. Doing the Way of Saint James on two wheels can be an unforgettable experience, but we must be prepared for it: here are the keys to start the way optimally.

The road to Santiago by bicycle

Nearly 22,000 people arrived in Santiago by bicycle during 2017. While the total number of pilgrims has been growing in recent years, the number of bicycle pilgrims has declined considerably, going from 16.33% of the total in 2011 (29,949 bicycle pilgrims in that year) to fall to 7.29% in 2017 (21,933 bicycle pilgrims). Even so, the bicycle is still the second option to reach Santiago.

The most common if we make the journey by bike is to opt for the French way, starting from Sant Jean Pied de Port in France, to reach Santiago after covering more than 900 kilometers through 13 stages. Each stage by bicycle is equivalent to one or two stages on foot, depending on the area, and cover between 50 and 70 kilometres a day.

How to Prepare for the Road to Santiago by Bike

The previous physical preparation is very important if we have planned to do the way of Santiago in bicycle: to cross the way in bicycle has nothing to do with the filming by road or by the city that we can do habitually and it is important that we prepare specifically for it.

Having ridden a mountain bike before, and having gone out on the mountain (not only by road or by city) is essential if you want to make the way to Santiago by bike: in the months before the start it is advisable to make some outings with unevenness to get used to it. The terrain that we are going to find on the way is rarely flat, so getting used to the legs (and buttocks, which are the most likely to suffer with the hours of cycling!) to that effort will not pass us so much bill at the key moment.

Before leaving for Santiago, rehearse some departures carrying your luggage in your saddlebags.

In addition, it is important that we know how we are going to take our luggage on the bike and that we also “rehearse” some outings with the bike more or less loaded to ensure that we develop well with it.

The work in the gym is also important: to prepare above all our lower train and our middle zone will be the priority in case of doing the way in bicycle. Reinforcing the musculature of our legs, in addition, will help us to protect the articulation of the knees, which will be the ones that suffer the most at the time of giving pedals. Exercises such as isometric squats (and other variations: here you have up to 23 different ones), dead weight and jumping into the box (with all these variations) should be part of our training routine.

At the time of working the central zone of our body we can opt for all type of plates or plates, that will work the internal musculature of our abdomen to the complete, training also the lumbar zone, helping us this way to avoid pains once we mount in the bicycle. Here you have 20 different variations of the plank so that you can vary your training.

Cycling along the road to Santiago is undoubtedly a great challenge for bike lovers: a personal and introspective journey and a physical challenge.

Shared bicycle services: health and economic benefits

Shared bicycle services: health and economic benefits

Shared mobility is fashionable throughout Europe. Carsharing and bike sharing services have been made with our cities, with the benefits they bring for pollution and traffic improvement. In the case of shared bicycle services, it seems that the benefits go further, improving our health, reducing the number of annual deaths and positively impacting the economy.

A recent study carried out in 12 European cities, with bike sharing systems in place, studied the consequences of this system on health, pollution and economy.

The study was carried out only in cities that had more than 2,000 shared bicycles, both normal bicycles and electric bicycles. Among the cities studied were Barcelona, Madrid, Seville and Valencia.

The researchers took into account the number of expected deaths – whether bike sharing systems increased or prevented such deaths – due to physical activity, traffic accidents and environmental pollution.

The shared bicycle system can provide both health and economic benefits.

The results they found suggested that the shared bicycle system may provide both health and economic benefits. According to the data from these researchers, bike sharing promotes physical exercise and decreases environmental pollution and traffic accidents. All these effects help to improve the overall health of the population. The consequence they found was that all these factors helped to decrease the number of annual deaths, which positively benefited the economy.

Throughout the study they warn that all this depends to a large extent on whether the use of shared bicycles is given in place of the use of the car. That is, if a person who would normally use the car to move around the city, leaves the car, and in return uses the bicycles. The greater the substitution of the car by shared bicycle journeys, the greater the impact.

In particular, they find that, in the cities studied, with the current level of substitution of car journeys by shared bicycle journeys, 5.17 deaths per year are avoided. This represents a saving of 18 million euros. They estimate that if all bike sharing trips were substituted for car trips, 73.25 deaths could be avoided in all 12 cities, with an annual saving of 225 million euros.

This could suggest that, if the shared bicycle system were implemented in other European – and world – cities, the number of deaths could be reduced, and economic savings increased.

In addition, investing in promoting the use of bike sharing among drivers, or users of other models of shared transport, could also have greater impacts on health and economy.

The use of bicycles has many benefits for our health and, now, moreover, we have every reason to leave the car and join the bike sharing.

All you need to know to get around the city by bike

All you need to know to get around the city by bike

Increasing our daily physical activity is one of the best ways we have to take care of our health, and moving around the city in alternative means of transportation, such as bicycles, can be a very good option for adopting healthy habits in our daily lives.

But do you know how to cycle around the city? Do you know how to get around and what are the different alternatives available to you? We tell you everything you need to know to ride a bicycle safely through the city.

If you go by bicycle, the traffic rules are also for you.

For legal purposes, a bicycle functions as a vehicle when we travel in the city, and the rules of the road also apply to cyclists. This means that in order to be able to ride our bicycle we will have to do it either on the bicycle lane, if there is one, or on the carriageway, as one more vehicle. In some municipalities, depending on their rules, you can drive on the sidewalk, but it is not usually the norm.

When driving on the carriageway we must always do it in the center of the lane to make ourselves more visible.

When we ride on the road with our bicycle we must do it in the right lane (or in the left if we are going to make a left turn) and not in the bus lane. In addition, it is important that for our own safety we circulate through the center of the lane: this helps us to make ourselves more visible when we go on the bicycle and to avoid dangerous overtaking or car doors or taxis that open without notice when parked.

We must also bear in mind that we have to signalize the maneuvers that we are going to make on the bicycle: the left turn is signalized raising the left arm, the right turn can be signalized either raising the right arm or raising the left with the elbow bent at 90 degrees. If you are going to stop, it is also advisable to mark it by raising your left arm slightly.

Unless otherwise marked, you should cross zebra crossings on foot as pedestrians, with your bicycle in your hand. Some zebra crossings in places where there are many bicycles can be adapted to them, with a signposted lane through which we can pass without getting off the bike.

Can I be fined while riding a bicycle?

As we said, the bicycle is considered another vehicle and, of course, we can also be fined for not complying with traffic rules. One of the most frequent fines for cyclists is the one that penalizes riding a bicycle while wearing headphones: this is totally forbidden, as it reduces the cyclist’s attention to the road. This conduct is punishable by a fine of 200 euros, and also applies if we wear only one headset or if our headset is bone conduction, without covering the ear.

Fines for driving bicycles with a higher than permitted alcohol content have increased in recent months, especially on weekends.

Another of the frequent fines that cyclists receive is for riding their bicycle with a higher than permitted alcohol level. If we ride a bicycle we cannot exceed the rate of 0.5 grams of alcohol per liter of blood or 0.25 grams of alcohol per liter of exhaled air. As for the amounts of alcohol, the law acts in the same way as it would with a driver of a motor vehicle with the only difference that it does not lead to a loss of points on the driver’s license.

Failure to carry the proper signage on the bike (a fixed white front light, a red light, fixed or flashing, rear light and a non-triangular red rear catadryoptic) is also grounds for a fine. Be careful with this because if we do not carry the lights regulations can also fine us even if it is day. The bell is also obligatory.

Other actions for which we can be fined when riding a bicycle in the city are to run a traffic light, drive on the sidewalk or drive the mobile.

The different alternatives for cycling in the city

Nowadays the cities are more and more bike-friendly and more adapted to bicycles as a means of transport. Many cities have already joined in offering bicycle rentals, with or without engines, to make it easier for citizens to get around. Among the best known we can name the BiciMad in the city of Madrid, Sevici in the city of Seville or Bicing in Barcelona.

Nor do we need to have our own bicycle to move around the city: shared bicycle rental systems such as oBike or oFo offer an alternative to those who prefer to rent bicycles by time or by route without having to depend on the charging stations of electric bicycles and thus being able to leave the central almond of the cities.

Before we pedal from one side of the city to the other, it is a good idea to know the itinerary we are going to follow: for this it is a good idea to use the Google Maps bike itinerary service, which will tell us which is the most recommended route for our trip, as well as other interesting data such as the unevenness that we will find on our journey.

Every day more and more people use the bicycle as a means of transport in the city, do you feel up to it?

Is there a bike for every lifestyle?

Is there a bike for every lifestyle?

The popularity of bicycles is becoming more and more evident and, frankly, it is not a surprise. Thus, more people are enjoying its many advantages as a means of transport, including savings in fuel and public transport, as well as the fact that they do not pollute.

But buying a bike that fits your lifestyle could, in many cases, be a more complicated task than it should be. Today you can find them of all kinds. They can vary in size, weight, number of speeds and types of components. However, it is not necessary to complicate your existence, here we will talk about the four most common types of bicycles and how they can adapt to you.

Urban bikes

Ideal for: transporting you through the city without too much complication.

They are made for the city. They are not very fast and, in most cases, do not have cushioning or speeds. The most famous urban bicycles are the fixes. The main characteristic of these is that they have a fixed pinion and, therefore, only one speed, which makes them the ideal transport in cities with few slopes. Thanks to their very simple operation, these bicycles do not require as much maintenance and do not attract much attention.

Electric bicycles

Ideal for: moving around the city without getting tired.

Electric bicycles are designed to move around the city with ease. They are very useful if you sweat too much and don’t have a shower in the office. Most electric bicycles have two modes of operation: one that assists the pedaling, making the task much easier, and another that replaces it 100%. The autonomy of these will depend on speed, weight and slopes, however, many of them claim to be able to travel up to 80 km with a single load.

Folding bikes

For: go through the city and transport it everywhere.

If to move around the city you need to combine other means of transport, such as the Transmillenium, this is the best option. Its size and weight are reduced, so it is also possible to enter your office with it, avoiding the risk of leaving it on the street. One thing you should consider before deciding on a folding bicycle is that almost all of them are designed to be used on paved roads and, although they are not very fast, they do have speeds that will be useful in case you want to use it on slopes.

Mountain bikes

Ideal for: transporting you through all types of terrain.

This type of bicycle is designed to roll on dirt roads, slopes and mountain roads. They have good damping, several speeds, disc brakes and in general more complex components, which also raise the price. Thanks to the fact that they are extremely resistant, mountain bikes have become very popular and are even the favorites to ride in the city; however, before this you have to make some modifications in tires and group to have a more efficient driving.

Choose the one that best suits your lifestyle

Before choosing a bike, consider what you need it for. Once you’ve determined the type of bike that’s right for your lifestyle, consider the height of the seat and handlebars to avoid injury and make it easier for you to use.

Remember that today there are several online stores where you can take advantage of Cyberpunks discounts and promotions.