The Velib’ bicycle-sharing system in Paris is by far my favourite thing here. It’s fairly simple and lots of fun to ride. Similar to dating a blonde.
It’s a brilliant system with over 20,000 bicycles in over 1400 stations, making it the largest bicycle sharing system in the world. Basically, you are almost always walking distance to a bike. It’s costs €1.70 a day or €8 a week to sign up and the first 30 minutes per bike is free which is great because you can cover a lot of Paris within that time. But this also means that you cycle for under 30 minutes, park your bike, then take another bike and you pay nothing. This is especially useful for people like me who get a bike, cycle around for awhile, realise that they are completely lost and then find a bike station to park the bike. They could then go look for someone to ask for directions and promptly take another bike. This process may be repeated a few more times until reaching one’s final destination.
Also the possibilities are endless. You could cycle somewhere and take the metro back or vice versa. You don’t have to worry about theft or maintenance. And when you’re drunk at night, there’s nothing better than getting a few people together to form a bike gang. It’s like being in grade 8 again, except that you won’t get into trouble for hanging out with “naughty girls”.
Cycling in Paris is indeed fast and fun. However, the roads are narrow and there doesn’t seem to be many bike lanes around, so it’s marginally unsafe to cycle in Paris. I’ve only almost been hit by a car 3 times so far. But that only makes it more exciting. Sort of like eating cucumbers now in Europe, where there’s an E.Coli outbreak.
What do you think of the idea of bicycle-sharing?