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Dead cheap bike hire on Spanish holiday island

From 2014, visitors to the Spanish tourist Mecca of Mallorca will be abe to use the island’s Boris bike-style hire bike system.

The Bicipalma bikes have up to now only been available to locals as proof of residency is needed to become a member of the scheme. But from next year that’s set to change as Mallorca recognises the role of rental bikes in allowing tourists to explore the island.

After the London cycle rental scheme was opened to casual use it was estimated that more tourists than locals were using the bikes.

Gabrial Vallejo from the local Innovation Institute said “Foreign tourists are used to using bikes to tour cities. It will be hard to reach the numbers shown for example in northern Europe but the growth of this type of transport is unstoppable.”

Three days’ rental of a Bicipalma bike will cost a very reasonable €9 and €12 will get you a whole week.

According to SeeMallorca.com, the system is used by just over 2000 Palma residents but the council expects the bikes to be used by 3000 tourists next year.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.