With world leaders converging on Copenhagen this week to discus, amongst other things, climate change and pushing around buzz words such as ‘green’ and ‘eco-friendly’, Torrevieja likes to boast to the rest of the world that visitors and residents alike enjoy possibly the cleanest air and healthiest climate in Europe. That’s a boon for bicyclists in the city, as unlike major Spanish cities such as Barcelona, the smog and pollution levels from car exhaust and heavy industry are almost non-existent.
Apart from the oversight and a complete lack of any costal cycle paths, Torrevieja has a very active cycle club and many enthusiasts. Such was the case on Tuesday morning of December 8th when around 200 or so participants set out from beside the headquarters of AFA Alzheimer’s, beside the old RENFE station, on a 13-kilometer ride around the city. With a motor bike police escort (yes, not on their bikes!) and a support vehicle playing up-tempo music to keep everyone upbeat, it was guaranteed to be a good day, since the sun was shining brightly and lunch and prizes where on offer at the end of the trip.
The sad thing about the ride was how poorly it was supported by the International community, with only three of us not being native Spanish speakers and my son deciding he’d be Spanish for the day! But no
matter, from ages three through eighty-one, nothing was going to spoil the fun, and apart from a few problems when everyone would bunch up due to the slow procession at times, everyone made it back to the starting point in one piece.
The objective of the exercise was to raise a few euros for charity. Entrance to the event was only one euro and for that one received a baguette and drinks at the finish line plus an entry into a free ballot for a variety of prizes, clothes, footballs, biking accessories, donated by Dol-Mar Sports and Ciclos Acequion. Possibly the best value for money available anywhere on the day, plus fresh are and exercise too. For cycling fans everywhere, another date for your diary for 2010.