Monday, July 28, 2008

paris: more bikes, less ads

I was in Paris this weekend.
Instead of sharing details of how I celebrated two years with the lovely Wrisley, I'll introduce you to something a little more relevant to this blog: the world of Velib.

It's like Streetcar for bikes. It's fantastic. And you can't go five minutes without seeing someone whizz past on one of these:

If I understand correctly, you pay €150 as a deposit and then you can swipe a card at one of the many Velib stands and off you go. (I realise the instructions are in English. My lack of confidence understanding is not a language thing, it's a laziness in reading thing)

The best part is that if you 'dock' the bicycle again (at any stand in the city) within 30 minutes of setting off, the journey is free. I think it's then €1 per 30 minutes after that. Fantastic.

I saw only one bike that had been discarded at a lamppost with a broken chain. Other than that people seemed to treat them with total respect. Oh wait - I just found this:

Another pleasant observation in the French capital was an apparent total absence of 48 sheet ads. There were only bus-stop ads and those ones wrapped around decorative cylinders. Nathan, you would have liked it a lot.

Lastly, Eurostar is still brilliant and still a million times better than flying. Enjoying champagne in the sunshine and under the glorious St Pancras roof before setting off is the perfect way to start a weekend. Anyway, back to my coffee and email-checking.


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