Monthly Archives: July 2023

The Turia course

The Turia river crossed the city of Valencia, Spain, for ages. It provided water and fish resources to citizens long time ago and is cited in books and texts. The problem is that it overflowed every autumn in a meteorological event called cold drop in which floods were produced year after year. Thus, Valencian authorities decided to deviate it upstream so that such floods were not repeated. At this point, they thought what to do with the more than nine kilometers long of new, profitable area that is called the Turia course.

At the beginning, some idiot politicians proposed to convert it in a highway with twelve car lines. “A fast way to go through Valencia”, they argued. Immediately after, lots of citizens and associations presented an innovative idea in the Valencia of the 80’s. They fought to convert the Turia course in a massive garden which could be enjoyed by locals and foreigners. You can see the huge difference between one and the other proposals in the picture bellow. People pressed so much with demonstrations, opinion pieces in newspapers, banners in streets and so on that politicians saw their desire and how important it was. At this point, some politicians contemplated the second proposal as the most interesting and protective to the inhabitants health. In the end, it was the chosen one and we enjoy the Turia course as one of the green lungs of Valencia. By the way, you can cycle it thanks to two bike lines which start at the Cabecera lake and end in the city Aquarium.

False bike myths

  • Cycling is expensive: False, you can buy a second-hand bike for much less than you imagine. Maintenance is also cheap, much more cheap than a car or motorbike. Remember always to demand the invoice of the original bicycle so that you do not contribute with bike theft.

  • Women need women’s-specific bikes: False, women ride each and every bike, no matter it has a low bar or not.

  • Riding is dangerous: False, it is safer than driving a car as it comes to number of crashes and importance of injuries and deaths ( Even a pedestrian has more probability to suffer an accident compared to the one of a bike being involved in a crash.

  • Bike weight is the most important issue: False, regarding weight the most important issue is the rider sometimes followed by the extra weight you carry in backpacks, saddlebags, etc.

  • Cycling to work makes you arrive sweating: False, even in warm climates what makes you to sweat are issues like the speed or riding uphill. Consider the extreme case of cycling at 40º Celsius and you are at the top of a mountain. You just need to pedal once to ride, let’s say, 5 kilometers while a pleasant wind blows on your face. Remember that for long distances the combination of train + bike is ideal.

  • It is impossible to ride with extreme conditions like raining, snowing or warm temperatures: False, people from diverse countries still use their bikes no matter if it rains, snows or there is a high temperature. People in north Europe say that the problem is not the climate conditions, but the garment you wear. Here you have some photos to illustrate it

  • Biking is not for obese people: False, quite on the contrary biking is an excellent, aerobic exercise to loss weight.

  • Riding is bad for your articulations: False, indeed cycling is well recommended by doctors to those who have problems in articulations such as the knees by substituting other exercising with higher impact on these like running, jogging or jumping.

  • People with vertigo can not ride: False, this is a misconception. People who suffer from vertigo can ride a bike if their vertigo is not severe. In severe cases there is always the option to use a tricycle.

  • Bikers do not pay taxes: False, it is a common sentence by car drivers. When you buy a bike or some component you do pay the VAT or equivalent tax in you country. When you bring your bicycle to a workshop to repair, also you pay a tax which is implicit in the cost of the service.

  • Bikes should show a plate and have a specific insurance: False, another false argument by car drivers. Plates in bicycles were used in some countries such as Spain long time ago, but they were prohibited by the clear reason that it has no sense since plates were so small that a person could very hardly read it and the excessive administrative costs involved. Regarding insurance, today’s home insurance covers bike issues in most cases, where in others the possible damages caused by urban bicycles are so small that it has no sense to pay for a specific insurance.

  • Cyclists are not held for traffic violations: False, conversely cyclists are held for traffic violations the same way drivers are. It is clear that bikers present specific issues due to specific infrastructures such a bike lines, but if police catch you drunk on a bike, you will be fine.

  • Bike paths creates traffic: False, as you can see in the next picture comparing the road surface occupied by 200, the more bikes, the less surface use.