Ed Alcock for The New York Times
Bonnie recently extolled the virtues of the Velib, the new Parisian bike rental system; now Eric Rayman of the New York Times tries it out.
"The French have embraced communal bike ownership, according to my informal survey of my fellow Vélibiens, as have other Europeans. A culture of Vélibistes is emerging. The camaraderie — a French word that seems to have been invented in anticipation of this new cult — among the riders is entrancing. Riders advise one another on where to find the nearest Vélib docking station, where to park if one is full, and how to find the best routes around the city. When they speak of Vélibs, Parisians smile, even those like a waiter who admitted not having ridden one".
"To explore Paris by foot, by Métro or by taxi is not like embracing it on a bicycle. As I peddled around the glass pyramid at the Louvre, I was struck by the strobelike reflections from the royal buildings around it. Then I swung over the Pont du Carrousel and stole a glance at the ripples of light shimmering along the Seine in the shape of the arches of the Pont Neuf. I turned on the Boulevard Saint-Michel and discovered to my mild distress that it was a long climb. I heard the delighted laughter of a young Frenchwoman on her Vélib schussing by in the opposite direction."More in ::New York Times
This isn't some little yellow bike system, but an organized, large scale intervention that seems to be working well. When will we see its likes in North America?