Words cannot really express what a brilliant invention the Vélib is…why has it taken NYC this long to jump aboard. For those of you who are not familiar with the Vélib, it is a system of hop on hop off bikes organized throughout the city providing an excellent means of transportation for Parisiens. This system also exists in many other countries…I believe starting in Amsterdam. In all my trips to Paris I have never signed up for the the Vélib. Mainly because at the station you have to have an EU credit/bank card with a chip and I probably never thought to do it online. Regardless, I live here now and I decided this has to be a part of my life. Because I do not own a Vespa any more (which is quite upsetting for me) I want to feel the freedom of getting somewhere fast and without taking three trains. Late at night it is an amazing way to get home without worrying about taking the metro before they quit running. For only €29 you get free access for the entire year!
Of course it wouldn’t be a french experience if there weren’t problems (or maybe it is just me!). In just the first week I had the bike that wouldn’t shift out of first gear or the seat kept sliding down or the brakes didn’t work or the handle bars were wobbly. But I feel as if I have made it past this trial period of the city laughing at me and now I enjoy taking the bike daily. Next time you are in Paris I definitely suggest you try it, it is a wonderful way to see the city.
a bien tôt