Saturday, March 07, 2009

It says no bikes!

This could be seen as a provocation: a bike attached to a street sign that says explicitly: no bikes! And though, nobody really cares... In every country there is a certain room around the law and people know from experience what's OK and what is not. When you're a foreigner, it's always tricky to adjust to the local rules. That's also part of the fun when you travel, isn't it?


  1. To me, the sign appears to say bikes are ok. Our "no" signs have a slash of red right through the middle of them, plus around the edges.

    This looks like a country photo!

  2. I suppose it's alright to park the bicycle. You are just not suppose to ride the bicycle. Is that some kind of apartment building behind the bike? Maybe, whoever the bicycle belongs to lives in the building.

  3. Yes, I must admit, looking at the signs indicates to me that this is a bike route, and the blue sign indicates the direction of travel for bikes. But, je suis juste un americain, peut-être je ne comprends pas.

    (Suzy, that is not a reflections of the ET int he window...)

  4. I thought it was a "which way the bike riders are supposed to ride" sign myself...but my international "sign" language classes were long ago, so maybe not!

  5. triangle sign = danger
    round sign = forbidden (if red circle) or mandatory (if blue sign)
    square, blue sign = a piece of information.

    for those who like signs :
    (many pictures, explanations in french)

    Here, the triangle sign warns you that there might be bycicles ahead ; from what I can see on the blue sign, I guess this is a one way street for cars, but bikes are authorised to go in both directions. Which means there might be some right in front of you, going in the opposite direction.

  6. Great shot reminiscent of Doisneau! Get the signs out, put a B&W filter on it ... voilà! ;)

    Bikes rule!

  7. Great shot, Eric -- comme toujours.
    Gotta admit that I would bever be able to translate this sign enough to figure out what's allowed and what isn't. So I'd just park there like this guy, and hope for the best.
    Good going, Suzy—GF again!

  8. Shadow is right.
    But bikes can't go both way.
    The signs say:
    Be careful, there might be some bikes coming from the opposite way whereas motor vehicles only drives one way which is the exact opposite.

    I remember seeing this road somewhere in the newspapers a couple of years ago because it raised questions from the residents of the neighborhood

  9. Gosh! Sorry for the mistakes. Hey, it is 1.30 am ;)

  10. Yay, ET Suzy!

    In Australia, this kind of white and red triangular sign is a Give Way sign, so I'd take it to mean Give Way to Bicycles. Helpful hint for when you arrive :) No wait: maybe it would mean Bicycles Give Way to Everyone Else. Scratch that helpful hint.

    Perhaps the cyclist was so confused that he figured it was safer to leave his bike there and walk.

  11. IF I would be so foolish as to ride a bike on the streets of Paris ( do I want to look like GUMBY, DAMNIT??)
    I would be clueless about that sign too. Stupide!!!!

  12. I really love the photo Eric.
    Travelling and getting into trouble scares me. In some countries, you can offend or break the law without any idea that you have. It makes me uneasy. Not......that I'd be planning anything riotous you understand. Moi? ;)

  13. Oh! Eric, this is so funny and so true. I just love this photo; hey, and your comment is so charming. Maybe New Zealand and Australia is getting to you -- they have that "tongue 'n cheek humor". New Zealand changed my life forever when I was 21. The tribes and their artwork, I found to be very moving -- they hit my soul.

    BTW, I watched a great romantic comedy film "Samoan Wedding" (2006) or a/k/a "Sione's Wedding" Monday night. This film reveals a side of New Zealand's Polynesian culture which is rarely seen. They are really beautiful people -- so playful and lovable. Globalization is real, the soundtrack, the movie's Hip Hop slang, and trash talk are evidence of that.

    You're funny Shell Sherree -- sooooo many ways to interpret a sign.

    UK Lynn, what a cute and sexy profile photo of you! It really fits your personality!

  14. Virginia: Against all logic, the Parisians respect the bike lane. I have lived to tell the tale of surviving riding around Place de la Concorde! I will admit to being scared to death, but the other streets were quite normal to ride around.

  15. Phx: and did you notice all these Velibs all over the place? Impressive.

  16. Before the No Smoking rule, I used to laugh when smokers came into a bar in Menton, sat at a non-smoking table and promptly lit up. The patron then came over and moved the No Smoking sign to another table. Vive la France!

  17. Could the answer come from a parisian ?
    In fact, the story begins with.... the Vélib' ! Many people took wrong ways with those because the nearest station was just around the corner. If you know Paris by car you understand that respecting the "one way street" rule can lead you a long way from home ! So, they decided to add cycle tracks against traffic.
    The red sign says "watch out, bikes". And the blue one explain that they might be coming the wrong way. There was probably on the road itself some markings, right Eric ?
    Shadow was right, bikes can go both ways.

    Still that is a funny picture, and some funny talks about it.


  18. Maybe the bike is parked there so the rider didn't have to break the law?

  19. i am inspired by your lovely site and have started one @ for people interested to see my country from my point of view :) thanks for sharing and keep posting :)

  20. To break the rules, that's so French! ;)
    But Eric, shadow is right...bikes are allowed and the sign tells the drivers to watch out.

    And you drive a scooter in Paris, hu?!! LOL

  21. Eric, Eric! Pfff!
    I'm afraid you wouldn't get your driving licence if you had to pass it today...
    As said above, a triangle is a warning sign....
    But maybe New Zealand is too far away from Paris, and, from there, you can't make the difference between a tiangle and a circle ;-))

  22. Thanks so much Lois! I've since been to the hairdressers and she snipped some of those flicks off! I now have very short hair. Eek. It's taking some getting used to. I quiiiiiiite like it but I'm also wearing a lot of hats.

  23. Yes........any unwanted hats gratefully received...please send. lol. Seriously. I'm covering up.

  24. In Canada too a triangle means 'warning' or 'yield' and a 'forbidden' sign would have a bar through it. How confusing!

  25. They say "never say never," but I believe I can safely say I will never drive in Paris. I would probably hit a bike.

  26. I've driven in Paris four times and yes, Petrea, that's very wise. I'm not sure I would again.

  27. Tomate: The Parisians have really taken to the velibs!
    Veleb stations are all over the place. I would like to know if a Velib map is published so you know exactly where to drop off your bike, so you don't get charged more while looking for a dropoff station.
    BTW, if I saw this sign Eric posted, I would not know what to make of it before Anonyme disected it for us.

  28. I suspect that driving on the other side of the road as we do down here has temporarily made Eric topsy-turvy.

    Lois: playful and loveable, yes, and seriously scarey when it comes to football! You may enjoy this if you haven't already seen the ritual. It's the pre-match Haka tradition of the NZ Rugby team, All Blacks, performed to intimidate their opponents {who like to make out that it doesn't, but I'm not too sure about that!} This particular one is vs Tonga, performing their own version called 'sipi tau'.

    And for the 'à propos' of it, here's a lesser quality version but vs France with French commentary.

  29. "it says no bikes"
    No it doesn't say so.