Getting out of the crisis on two wheels | Spain | DW | 22.04.2013
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Spain

Getting out of the crisis on two wheels

Most people would regard rusty brake handles, old tin and screws as rubbish. But for the founders of an alternative bicycle workshop in the Spanish capital, they are parts of a solution to the crisis.

Madrid shuns rather than celebrates the bicycle as a means of transport. Until now, just one in 50 residents has been cycling to and from work. But rising fuel and underground costs have sparked a bicycle boom in Spain - with the number of two-wheelers rising by a third in the past three years.

Aitor Gurucharri and Rebeca Paz would like to see more cyclists on the streets of Madrid - even in the district of Lavapiés, which is known for high numbers of immigrants and low rents.

Almost all cash machines in the area are covered in anti-bank graffiti, and instead of modern supermarkets, the area hosts an Indian vegetable shop on every street corner. Many here can no more afford to buy tickets for the underground or a new mountain bike than they can a regular second-hand cycle.

And that is where Aitor Gurucharri and Rebeca Paz come in.

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Solution on two wheels

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