cycling in paris

19 July, 2011


i like to think i have a brave and adventurous spirit so i tend to just go all out when i really want to do something. this has payed off, i assure you, as i've done lots of research and planning for this trip in France. cycling in Paris is one of those things that requires bravery, i say this honestly because Paris is a large and busy metropolis. you'll see lots of cyclist and lots of pedestrians but the roads are flooded with traffic too, and it moves quickly requiring one to keep up or move out of the way. yet, one thing i noticed is that the Parisians are very relaxed about traffic laws and such, giving pedestrians and cyclist more freedom than motorist, that's what you get with a green mayor who started the bike share program Velib in Paris. there are bike lanes everywhere, as there are velib stations, and bicycle traffic lights but it's challenging accessing them as double bike lanes can all the sudden become part of one way traffic lanes or just end at a stop light. regardless, cars always give you the right of way. i have to admit, my first day riding got me incredibly lost, i was looking for the safest routes, but following bike directions is not my forte here as i try to keep up with traffic, me being brave at my finest. whenever i feel lost, i eventually find my way back to the Seine, bless that river, it always saves me. what i love about cycling in Paris is that when riding in the bicycle lanes i'm not sharing or riding in door zones, usually i have a whole lane to myself, sometimes separated, sometimes just painted bike lanes. whenever i feel like getting off the bike and walking, i just take the velib to the nearest station and lock it. if i want to get back on i just go to another station and take one depending where i am, so in this case, it's like i'll never forget where my bike is because there is always Velib, it's quite lovely! although the amount of cars, lanes, traffic circles, and streets might be intimidating at first, it's enjoyable to gain a sense of Paris on two wheels.

4 comments:

Valentine said...

How brave you are!!!
I think the Velib' are stupidly HEAVY and not easy to ride at all!

Nevertheless, you look gorgeous on this photo ;)

Bisous

CrystaL* said...

It makes me so happy to see that Paris does the bike share as well. Montreal has been doing this for a few years now and Melbourne in Australia does it as well. We even have a bike swap with Melbourne so I see their blue bikes around our streets, it makes me want to go there so badly! Hopefully soon.
Thanks for sharing your adventures!
Much Love,
Crystal

cb said...

i remember being so scared while driving in europe! they are so crazy over there!! wish i could tag along with you in paris!

xo,
cb

Veronica :: MamaJots said...

safe pedaling on your velib tina! love the photos!