I bike to Badalona at least once a week, not just because I like paying homage to Ricky Rubio’s hometown, but because it’s the best bike route in the city... and also because that whole narrative of a middle-class Catalan making to the NBA is so inspirational. Timberwolves shenanigans aside, it's the only ride in the city that has no stoplights and an endles stunning view of the Mediterranean shore.
Some times I push myself and ride the 35k out to Mataro, but most the time I’ll just be lazy and slowly bike through Badalona’s tiny streets discovering eccentricities in the Barcelona suburb that’s rich in basketball heritage.
It’s the only place in Europe that I know of that has a basketball-themed mall.
There’s also this monkey guy who sits outside the Anis del Mono factory. The other day I sat next to him, ate a tasty jamon y queso sandwich and spent some quality time thinking about the monkey sitting in the pose of the company’s logo, while looking at a bottle of anis with a label of a monkey looking at a bottle and how great it is that it repeats infinitely.
Since that last line barely made any sense, here’s a photo of a cute mini favela.
Badalona is also home to the greatest outdoor court in Catalunya. The elevated viewing area makes up for the fact that the court bends 90 degrees and that one hoop is three feet lower than the other.
My favorite art in the city: