Want to easily get around while on holiday in the Costa Brava? Bike rental is low-cost, environmentally friendly and healthy too.
Why rent a bike?
Just imagine you’re taking a holiday on the Costa Brava at the moment. You need to nip to the supermarket to grab something to eat tonight. Or you want to get a loaf of oven-fresh bread for breakfast. Maybe you’re after a bottle of the local plonk. And it’s a little too far to walk comfortably in the heat.
You could always drive. But what about jumping on a bike instead, get your heart pumping as you feel the cooling breeze against your face and through your hair?
Cycling can be fun, exhilarating even. It’s ecological and a great form of exercise. And if you cycle to the beach instead of driving you don’t have the fuss of finding parking at the beach. What a sense of freedom!
That’s a great advantage to have. It’s win win win. But you don’t have a bike there. You’re on holiday after all.
That’s no problem though as many coastal towns have a bike hire shop. There you can rent a bike for hours, days, or for a week or two. The longer you rent for the better the deal you get. You can also rent a protective helmet and other accessories such as a child seat.
Price guide for Costa Brava bike rental
You may have to pay a refundable deposit (around €120) and the rental price varies depending on the particular shop you hire from.
In summer 2017 prices are typically as follows:
- €8.00/3 hours
- €30.00/3 days
Prices are indicative only for a basic bike and can vary depending on where you stay, the price policy of each individual shop and the type of bike you hire.
You won’t get a high end bike, but it’ll be sturdy and should be well maintained. Perfect for the job of getting you around town.
While some shops rent bikes for an hour, others require a minimum rental period of 3-4 hours or even a full day. Typically they’ll provide you with a mountain or city bike, but many shops also offer electric bikes too, although these are much more.
Now you’ve got your bike and you hit the road. It is absolutely essential to cycle well for your own safety. If you are involved in an accident it isn’t the car driver who will be worst off – whoever is at fault.
Safety tips for cyclists
Many people from the UK have passed the Bikeability or old Cycling Proficiency Tests. The same rules generally apply on the Costa Brava, although you’ll be cycling on the opposite side of the road.
- When you hire a bike make a quick check to make sure it is in roadworthy condition. If not, ask for one that is or have them put it right.
- Be aware of other road users at all times. As well as in front of you, check behind you and any cars approaching junctions and be aware of their blind spots.
- Anticipate what other road users are going to do. This particularly applies at junctions and roundabouts when cars may not indicate their intentions.
- Check traffic and give a clear signal before turning. This is particularly important if you’re planning a left turn as you’ll move across the traffic.
- Never cycle in the wrong direction. Drivers don’t expect bikes to be heading towards them, so don’t put yourself in that position.
- Use cycle lanes where available. Sometimes pedestrians use them too, so use your bell to make them aware you’re there.
- Be aware of cars that have just parallel parked. So many people open their car door to check whether there is any traffic.
- Wear a helmet. If you do get knocked off your bike a cycle helmet will protect you from suffering a head injury.
- Don’t wear headphones. You need to use your eyes AND ears when cycling on the road.
- Keep an eye on the road surfaces. Uneven tarmac, potholes or dirt road can all help cyclists come a cropper.
- Always ride in single file. Many people cycle two or three abreast and while it makes you more visible, drivers help up by you may get frustrated and attempt to overtake unsafely.
- Use lights at night. While most bikes these days are fitted with reflectors, it isn’t enough to be seen by other road users.
I ride a mountain bike off-road and appreciate things from both a cyclist’s perspective and as a driver. And while on holiday both sets of road users can get sloppy.
Drivers drive too fast, don’t indicate, stop suddenly or just seem completely unaware of other road users. The latter is often accompanied by driving extremely slowly, which isn’t usually associated with dangerous driving. It’s something to be aware of though.
On the other hand I’ve had cyclists pull out in front of me after ignoring a stop sign. They freewheeled at high speed down a hill right into my path, forcing me to make an emergency stop.
I understand the feeling of cycling downhill at high speed, but that was just stupidly dangerous. To sum up, do everything you can to keep safe on the road.
As well as rent out bikes, hire shops also offer maintenance and sell spares if you have your own bike. And if you’re planning on serious road cycling and can’t bring your own for some reason, some also offer decent road bikes.
So if you do fancy that fresh bread in the morning or want to get to the beach without all those parking hassles, seriously think about hiring a bike with all the great advantages it brings.