Monday, May 10, 2010

VELIB!  You see women dressed to the nines riding them; men in suits with their briefcases tucked into the basket on the front, peddling on the cobblestone streets; Parisians and tourists, young and old, beating the traffic. This is the brilliant bicycle system Velib — the name combines "velo" (bicycle) and "liberte" (freedom),  and it has transformed the way many Parisians get around.  This eco-friendly transportation system is free(!) for 1/2 hour trips from place to place.  There are over 20,000 bikes in the city, with 15,000 stations ... that's about 1 Velib station every 4 blocks, making this choice of transportation convenient and easy to use.
When you are on one of these bikes, you feel part of a smart and responsible community and you have an exuberant sense of adventure. The bikes are beautifully designed, sleek and grey, sturdy and comfortable.  And surprisingly, Paris is cycle-friendly.  The added benefit:  that second pain au chocolate you ate this morning ... those calories gone in the first 15 minutes of cycling!
click here for a short video of how the system works.  click here for an in-depth look at the positive ecological impact the system has had on the City of Lights.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful! And, at least while they're shiny-new, the bikes and racks are quite beautiful. Thanks for a glimpse of this great resource.