This is from an NPR story about Spain's ability to produce world class cyclists but not world class cycling cities.
But paradoxically, Spain has the perfect climate for biking. It's a favorite training ground for the world's competitive cyclists, including Lance Armstrong who lived here for several years. You'd be hard pressed to find another country where the people who cycle as a sport are so obsessive about it. Every weekend, the roads outside Madrid are crowded with cyclists clad in their flashy skin-tight suits.
Pressed on why there's very little casual cycling in Spain, 51-year-old Francisco Iyune says you have to be crazy to get on a bike in most Spanish cities.
Look at our culture, he says as he points to the cars and motorcycles racing by. Everyone's in a rush. We cyclists are just in the way.
This is a country that jumped from poverty into headlong economic development in the late '80s and '90s. Spain's newly built infrastructure, combined with a passion for sport, is finally paying off in international medals. But many Spaniards look down on using a bicycle for transport the same way they would see riding a donkey.
It sound's similar to some other Tour de France-champion-producing country I know.
Photo by Dr. Jaus