Cycling: A different way to tour Sevilla

May 4, 2013

Some cities are too big to be seen on foot and too small to be experienced by bus. That is why Seville is perfect for bike tours, according to Sevilla Bike Tour guide, Jacco Pitlo.

Sevilla Bike Tour is one of several bike tours in the Spanish city of Seville. This particular tour begins at Mak in Line, a shop that sells and rents bicycles and skates. The store owner, Anontio Vazquez, a former international skating competitor, opened the shop in 1995. It was the first inline skate shop in Andalucía, Spain. In 2008 he added the bike tours to his business.

Vazquez thought it was a good idea to show the city by bike. He thoroughly enjoys running his business.

“It is my life,” Vazquez said.

What makes the tour special is that it is not a run-of-the-mill, memorized tour of historical sites. It is a way to experience Seville with someone who knows the city, and is a mixture of historical and current information, sightseeing and socializing.

Pitlo, a native of Holland, where biking is common, loves giving bike tours of Seville and meeting the people who go on them.

“I like to see new people, and meet new people, and have new opinions,” Pitlo said. “I like to share my love for the city.”

Pitlo struggles to limit his tours to three hours. With each stop he talks about the location and throws in his opinions, as well.

“It’s not for nothing on Trip Advisor they call me politically incorrect,” Pitlo said with a grin.

The tour winds throughout the streets of Seville, on bike lanes, through the streets and through the Plaza de España. The air smells like the orange trees that grow everywhere.

The oranges have a past as interesting as the city, according to Pitlo. The Moors used orange peels to make white gunpowder for cannons. However, the sailors and gypsies of Seville ate the oranges, so they crafted the trees to also grow lemons, limes and other fruit. This made the fruit inedible, but still useful for gunpowder. Currently, oranges and limes can be seen growing on the same fragrant tree.

After several stops and similar stories, Pitlo takes his groups to a food stand called Kiosco Abilio for a beer and a rest.  Then he heads back to the bike shop, telling stories the whole way.