BICING Barcelona. The story of the first sharing bike in the world.

BICING Barcelona. The story of the first sharing bike in the world.

In any case, it is not important, in fact the reason for these lines is the celebration of the first bike sharing in Europe. Founded in 2005. When everybody was thinking in terms of property, in capitalist terms, Barcelona pursued a dreamy socialist Ayurvedic dream: sharing.

And also a healthy clean on the streets of the city. According to the administration of those days, there were too many cyclists and too unruly. Bicing, the new bicycle rental system, would have solved the wilderness parking. Barcelona would no longer be covered by a crust of bicycles anchored to poles and benches. Bike rental was the solution. One medal with only one side. He solved the problem of obesity and cholesterol, put an end to stolen bicycle traffic, and avoided those common scenes of people in jackets and ties coming up in the office with the saddle and the front wheel in their hand.

The first bike park  was built, at the beginning in the old town, and then spread to oil stain throughout the city. Costs were more than affordable, it was 25 euros per year.

There were rules, of course. Half an hour of maximum use and residence in Barcelona. Tourists, passers-by or non-EU citizens could not and still can not enter the Bike sharing community today.

On the exclusion of tourists I expose myself to a judgment: it was a correct decision. Managing the rental would be a madness. Already it was with the only residents.


The pitfalls, as for all that began, were numerous.

The operation is simple, you know it, the cyclist goes to a station, rub the card against a reader, and gets a bicycle. So he goes where he has to go and park in the nearest station.

Unfortunately, from point A to point B  there are many critical nodes.

From bike malfunction to the managerial problem: lack of free space where to park the bike. The parking spaces have limited space, so those who first arrive ...

In Barcelona the problem at the beginning  was to understand flows and manage them. In summer, for example, there is an apocalyptic swarm to the beaches. The cyclist takes the bike

under his home and head to Bogatell or Barceloneta. Not thinking that like him there are other millions who are doing the same. So he is in front of the beach parking with a question: And what the fuck do I do? Do i wait for a free spot? Do i look another parking lot? And where's the other parking lot? And if that was full? I have no time for this Can i get a fine for this? Why?  I'm innocent!

Soft chains, bumpy pedals, funstable seats, unusable brakes or gears. These are the hardware issues.

So the informatics, related to bicycle management. When you leave the bike, you have to insert two spheres emerging from the handlebars in the parking bar and wait for a green light.

Sometimes that green light blinked for no reason, leaving the bicycle free. The bike could then be extracted and used by anyone, even those outside the Bicing ayurvedic circuit as malicious people, rapists, and brokers.

The true problem from the point of view of the cyclist was that very bike remain of his responsibility, so in the unlucky cases it could be fined for something that he did not do.

These were the beginnings. Bike sharing has had its childish problems, so adolescent ones, now at a distance of a decade, the situation seems to have improved. I say it seems because I do not use it anymore. I opted for a property bicycle, which I get off the front wheel whenever I leave on the road. My friends reassure me and so at least they see my eyes. I no longer see people kicking the broken bike or swearing for hours in front of the other full park. I only see people who ride with smile. More or less.


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