Monday, July 16, 2007

(Almost) free bike ride, day one!

You remember this post, when I told you they were currently installing a fantastic bike service called Velib in Paris? Well, that's it, they opened it yesterday (Sunday). The principle is very simple: there are 750 terminals throughout Paris (and there will be more - one every 100 meters/ 110 yards - by the end of 2007) from where you can take or return a bike. If you're just visiting here you can buy a 7 day ticket for 5€ (or even a 1 day ticket for 1 €) then pay as you go. Well, in fact you may never pay since the first 30 minutes are free... For a complete information, please visit the PDP Forum under this topic.


  1. This bike thing certainly is looking big from outside of the city! Lots of coverage...let us know in about a month what your impressions are.

    Best to you, and sorry I missed you in Boston,


  2. These bikes sure do look zippy! I'll have to try one out next time I'm there. I stayed at Le Lotti very near to the area where this photo was taken last time I was in Paris - it brings back fond memories!

  3. Have read in several newspaper this past month about the interest in cycling in European cities with Paris figuring prominently in several, especially the NYTimes last week. Have you taken a spin yet or is the scooter your preferred mode of transportation??

  4. I saw a report on this on CNN the other day. Fabulous! I think it's a fantastic idea!

  5. This seems like a great idea during the hot summer months, but I wonder what will happen when winter returns. This is a definite DO for those tourists who come to Paris and who prefer being outside versus being the Metro. I did have an initial pessimism about the likelihood of the bikes being stolen, but now after seeing them, I can confirm...nobody would want to steal one of these!

  6. I read about it too. Sounds good except where can you safely ride them? The streets? You would likely be run over. The sidewalks? You would run over everyone walking. Maybe there are bike lanes that I haven't noticed?

    Speaking of exercise, is it true that Sarkozy is constantly criticized for jogging? Seems funny to me. Running Joke

  7. I saw this on a local channel. I find it a great idea. To bad you did not have this when I was in Paris. Would've made a great means of transport for visiting.

    I just hope Bucharest will have a similar approach on the problem. They take years to build a few dedicated tracks...

  8. your picture looks a lot like the picture in today's NYtimes article about the bikes.

    Zurich has a similar program. But it only runs in the summer and the bikes are free--you just have to pay a deposit, which you get back after you return the bike. It's really great for going for a ride along the lake. I think it is used mainly by tourists because most locals have their own bikes already.

  9. I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to ride one of those things through the streets of Paris. Parisian drivers are a bit insane...
    This has been getting a lot of press, though.

  10. Oooh Place Vendôme.. très chic!
    I like the idea, maybe I´ll be brave enough to try it, could be fun!

  11. OMG, my trip is so close now I can say "next week I´ll be in Paris" !!! Yesssss!!!

  12. First of all, nice shot! I really like the angle of that shot. I did a couple like that with regular bikes but the picture didn't turn out as good as yours, I think :)

    Second, nice bikes! Brand new, spotless, not a speck of dirt... hope it lasts! :)

    Finally, nice digs... Les beaux quartiers, non? ;)

  13. I am already a big fan and I haven't tried one yet. I will be in Paris in October, will they still be out then? I hope so! I have a euro with Velib written all over it!

    A bientot!

  14. Fantastique cette idée. Ils louent les casques avec ??? ^_^
    Damned, que de changement...

  15. Well just used it today and I have to admit that this is just great! Terminals in front of both where I live and where I work!

    An other positive point is the way everyone smiles at you when you are riding these nice bicycles! I am a fan!

  16. I applaud the city's efforts. Maybe the USA won't be too far behind to follow this idea. Eric, let us have a picture of you on a Velib...if not, how about on your scooter. Beep...beep! (I wonder if the cabbies are going to like the "Velibbers"...another obstacle in their paths.)

  17. I've been reading about this for a while, and it makes me go to airline websites and look longingly at ticket prices... I hope Velib is still up and running (err, biking -- sorry, couldn't resist the pun) when I finally get back to Paris!

    Great shot, by the way, Eric!

  18. (Hmm, I tried one comment but it didn't show up. Sorry if this repeats.)

    This bicycle program, Velib, is receiving much media attention in the U.S. I hope it succeeds.

    I hope all my French friends had a fun 14 juillet. I've enjoyed the weekend thoroughly, the weather was warm and pleasant, and that means lovely summer clothing on pretty women. Vive l'ete.

  19. ces vélos ont l'air trop lourds!!

  20. Yes the bikes are big and pretty heavy, but that is the price to pay if we wan them to last more than a week...

    No I haven't taken a ride yet, because they sent me back the subscription papers because I forgot to fill in something. It's a French thing so lots of red tape LOL

    And yes I have been to the office on my scooter today, not on a bike LOL.

    And Michael, you're wrong. 2 are already reported stolen!

    As for safety well, I have been driving a 2 wheel vehicle for almost 20 years now so, what can I say? Yes it's more dangerous than a car, but not THAT dangerous.

    PS: yes Sarkozy is criticized for jogging, but Sarkozy is the President so he is criticized for almost everything ;)

    Actually AinZ, I have been amazed by the number of people who drove these bikes today. And there were Parisians not tourists in my opinion (you don't drive a bike in a suit when you're a tourist LOL!)

    Oui Monica et Tomate : les TRES beaux quartiers LOL

    Doug, don't worry, they are here to stay!

    Thalie. Non, et il n'y a pas de siège bébé non plus. Mais bon, c'est quand même un bel effort.

    OK, I promise, I will try them and have a photo taken ;)

  21. A fantastic photo of a fantastic idea, Eric. Are these bicycles motorised like a moped?
    Lucky Monica - one week and she will be able to pop into Place Vendome and hire one.

  22. Do you know why these bikes have no colors ?
    The ones in Lyon are red, so everyone can recognize them, but this grey…