Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Viva le velo

Hopped the water and found ourselves in....

Came to the City of Lights to get our bike fix. The grand Tour de France was finishing up here with a few laps of the Champs Élysées. Even though we had hoped to be waving our BC flag and hollering "Ryder" at the top of our lungs, a crash earlier in the tour meant this wasn't to be. That's ok, it's just a small delay for our flag and hoarse voices. We'll be front and centre (well, in the cheap/free seats) for him in the London road race.

But keeping in the bicycle spirit. We decided to check out Paris's bike rental stations.

Cheap like borscht!

For €1.70, you get a one day "membership" to the bike program. Then you log-out bikes - the first 30min is free, then it increments up, the longer you have the bike out. So the program is there for those short hops around town.

The rental station does multi-languages, takes credit cards and gives full instructions for using the bikes. And there are 1,800 stations around town! So it's easy to find one to take or return a bike.

The bikes have the cutting edge features like:
Adjustable seats!
Three speeds!
And a cable lock!
The seats were large and cushy though...although nothing is enough to cushion you from riding on these:

But here's photographic evidence that we did:

If your orientation of Paris isn't up to snuff, we're riding up the Champs on the bikes. To get there, we've ridden through the Place de Concorde, a.k.a., the mother of all roundabouts (as the Arc de Triumphe is the grand-daddy of all roundabouts). And yes, Brad's helmet is non-existent.

Let's just say that we rode those bikes like we would NEVER ride back in Victoria. But we were riding amoung cars/scooters/motorbikes that drive like we never see in Victoria. As cyclists, we were always yielded for, period. Ahhh, Europe. It seems we'll never get like this in North America, so it's so nice to take advantage of it while we're here. But we promise to put our Victoria heads back on (in helmets) on our return to the City of Gardens.

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