Monday, July 26, 2010

Hire Ground

We're veteran bike hirers, Mrs Wheels and I. Cities all over Germany, rural Austria and Italy. Even in Nanjing, which we explored on prehistoric Flying Pigeons. We've never had the guts to try the Paris municipal hire system, the Vélib, although cycling in the City Of Light can't be worse than in London, where the first hire scheme kicks off this friday. Lately, the bike docks have been springing up all over like willowherb after a heavy rain. Here's my bike demonstrating the docking method outside the Barbican yesterday.

Apparently, the Parisians have had to replace almost 100% of their bikes, due to vandalism and theft. Last year, my brother-in-law drove past a farmer grinding his way up a hill on a Vélib in the countryside outside Marrakesh.


Affer said...

We Brits are often so terribly cynical about initiatives like this....and I am British. But putting that cynicism aside ("they'll all be stolen...break down...the docking system won't work....the payment system won't work..."), and subduing my current antipathy to cyclists ("they all wear Lycra...ignore traffic signals...blasted menace..."), this is an idea that deserves to work. I do like the traditional London of red buses, black cabs and stifling underground, but London also needs to have a modern side and just maybe this is a step in that direction? Hope so!

TIW said...

I think it'll be a massive success. Even though Mrs TIW and I have six bikes between us, we've both signed up!