One of the things I love most about cycling is the way it lets you experience a place in a way that is so completely different to any other form of transport. On the back of a bike, with the wind in your hair and the sun in your face, you get to see things you might normally miss in a car or on a bus. Everything feels more real and the adrenalin buzz, if you're fighting for road space with other vehicles, makes you feel more alive.
While this blog largely details my exploits crossing London by bike, in recent years I have had the good fortune to cycle in Australia, China, East Sussex and New York. It is the cycle trips that I remember most from my travels, probably because there's no better way to experience a new place firsthand than by pedalling the streets and seeing where you might end up.
One place I'd love to see by bike is Barcelona. I'd either hire a bike from a company for the duration of my stay or try the city's bicing scheme (along the lines of London's 'Boris bikes'). And then I'd hit the road to see landmarks associated with five of Barcelona's most famous residents:
1. The architect Antonio Gaudi's Casa Milà (La Pedrera), Casa Batlló, Crypt of the Church of Colònia Güell and his unfinished masterpiece Sagrada Familia. And, provided I could manage the hill, I'd love to see Parc Guell.
2. The architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner's two most famous designs, Hospital de Sant Pau and Palau de la Música Catalana, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
3. Museu Picasso, the museum housing the works of artist Pablo Picasso. I believe that the five adjoining medieval buildings that comprise the museum are worth a look for the architecture alone.
4. The Dali Museum, which celebrates the work of artist Salvador Dali. It's based in the coastal town of Figueres, Dali's birthplace, so I might have to catch the train there first, then cycle around, but I think my effort would be rewarded.
5. The Miró Museum, which celebrates the work of artist Joan Miró. This is located in the Parc de Montjuïc area, which would be also be fun to explore by bike.
Just writing about this stuff makes me want to pack my suitcase and fly out to Spain! Have you visited Barcelona before or gone cycling there? What attractions would you recommend?
This post is my entry in a blogger competition being run by www.GowithOh.com to win a month's accommodation in four cities across Europe. To find out more visit the competition page. Or to win one of four fantastic prizes, like the company's Facebook competition page.