Day Ninety Eight: Eduardo’s Road To Fitness

The man with the tuba was trying to help two lost tourists with their map. It was an unusual scene, one that I would have taken a photo of, had my iPhone not been tucked into a pocket that was buried beneath several layers of clothing. It took me a couple of seconds to realize that Tuba Man was wearing nothing more than a vest, whilst I was wrapped up like Ray Mears on one of his forays into the frozen wastelands of Siberia. Tuba playing and portage must work up a sweat I thought.

I was on my mountain bike. But was far from the mountains. I was in central Barcelona. Why? Well to be honest I’m not sure. I suppose I wanted to do something different, to escape for a while and at the same time see something new.

It was working. My legs were tired when I had started, the result of a tough off-road run the day before. My plan was to do a nice relaxed spin on the bike up the coast away from the city but, like many of my planned rides, it changed as soon as I stepped outside. Now almost an hour later my legs had loosened up and I was feeling good.

I had decided to ride straight downtown. There was to be no messing about, no taking quiet side streets, no rat runs. Just onto a main arterial route, headed smack bang for ground zero. Plaza Catalunya.

The weak winter sunshine made for a high contrast view of the tall trees that lined the wide avenues. I was riding along the cycle lane, sharing it with the many Bici Bikes, roller bladders, long boarders and other urban bikers that cruised through town. I was in city mode, alert, watching for acts of random motoring madness but I was happy.

Tuba Man also looked happy as the tourists wandered off staring at their map. He looked up at me and nodded, aware that I was watching his good deed for the day. He shifted the broad leather straps on his tuba and began to walk towards the beach front in La Barceloneta.

La Barceloneta is a funky part of town, a neighbourhood in the Ciutat Vella district of Barcelona. Triangular in shape, it is an area popular with those that enjoy sun, coffee, music and food. It seems to be a magnet for the wild and the wacky, and is no doubt a highly photographed part of Barcelona. There are plenty of Kodak moments to be had, from the iconic Peix d’Or sculpture that Frank Gehry rustled up during a creative burst of fish inspired activity, to the wide sandy beach with its long boardwalk.

I turned up the iPhone as La Roux’s track ‘Bullet Proof’ began to play and set off home, pleased with what had turned out to be a great ride through the city.

I leave you with a track, BulletProof by La Roux, its been on my playlist for a while now..


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