5.16.2008

vive velib!






I have a secret wish to live in a town where cars are prohibited and only bikes allowed.  Perhaps not an imminent reality, though Paris has moved a step in this direction.  My husband and I just returned from a week-long trip and spent a blissful (though sometimes dangerous) time navigating through the winding streets on these two-wheeled marvels.  The French make it easy with bike racks and bike rentals readily available.  Velib is one such brilliant endeavor.  It costs about 28 euros a year for unlimited access to bikes scattered throughout the city. (Though each ride must be under 30 minutes).  To use the bikes for a week or less, an American Express credit card will suffice.   Now I have big plans of abandoning my car (maybe just to the garage!) and getting a bike with a child seat mounted on the front and one on the back.  I just hope I'll be able to make it up the steep, steep hill leading to our house!

27 comments:

kirsten said...

i love that bike idea. my husband and i were having the conversation of 'why does the US do NOTHING?' it's frustrating to live in this country sometimes...

lynne said...

welcome back!!! what a cute picture of you. and that's so awesome, all those bikes. I'm glad you didn't get hit by a car and I am also glad that you will have such super-strong muscles from the double-kid biking! :)

taylors said...

missy!! so happy to see a picture of you and yes it's very cute. You and Lynne are doing such a great job with your blog. I stop here often.

Hope I can see you when you come around these parts again.

Tammy said...

I love that idea. That is why I fell in love with Venice. No cars, just walking, walking, walking and then the water taxis and water buses. It give you such a soothing feel when you walk through the maze of the city. I am glad you enjoyed your trip!!!

Lauren said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful trip. Paris has done a great job implementing the biking system. I love the idea of biking everywhere!!

Welcome back!!

xoxo

Joslyn said...

that is my secret dream too...sadly Dallas is oh so bike UN-friendly. we need to move ;-)

Carissa said...

It would be lovely to bike everywhere, think of how fit we'd all be. I like the idea of rental bikes because I'd be nervous about leaving my own bike around town.

Rubyellen said...

Oh how I wished that I could have fit in your suitcase!!! I love Paris! Actually, I love all aspects of the french style of interior design and oh their french antiques... that is where all my money goes!!! So jealous of your trip!

Rebecca said...

I was obsessed with these when I was in Paris in March! Everywhere I saw one I would point and say "ooh!" (you can imagine I did this quite a bit!) We never did inquire about how to rent one, though.

fanja said...

oh my, you must have had such a good time! you were lucky with the weather too.. i haven't tried the velib yet but am looking forward to the day when i am. you look very parisian on your pic!

Audrey said...

Riding a bike is my favorite activity. Today is bike to work day and there are festivities all over the place encouraging people to bike! I wish the US in general were more bike friendly. I just sent an email last night to my local county government to petition for a bike path on the busy road near me! I guess I can at least try!

I am glad you had such a wonderful time! You look so stylish riding your bike in that outfit!

Kari said...

Looks like a fabulous trip. Love the pics. I was always too scared to ride with a kid on the back, I'm counting the days till they can all ride their own, for family fun bike trips!

My Love is..... said...

we are great bike riders in our family also. we have a trailer that tows behind the bike for our kids..... so light and manovearable its fantastic.
goodluck with your new biking motivation.

Bethany Hissong said...

I totally agree! I wish everything was in walking/biking distance. That's how I grew up! And Paris... please show us more photos!!!! I will get there some day for sure, but I can live vicariously through you right now!!! ;)

heather said...

My husband and I are just a couple weeks away from giving up our car! I'm actually really looking forward to it! No more gas money and bikes rides every day!

Honestly, I know there will be times I'll miss the car but it will feel so good not to be tied to those gas prices.

Of course, we do live in Germany so our compact city and bike lanes and excellent public transportation and train system will make it easy to get around.

Sarah said...

We just invested in bikes for the family. It is my understanding that trailers are safer for children than seats attached to bikes. The plus is that most with seat two.

Jenny said...

Sounds like a fun trip! Denver is hosting the DNC this summer and the city is going to install those bike rental stations around town to help ease traffic. I think it's a great idea!

cookie said...

love the idea! putting it in to practice...
lol:), just trying to picture myself panting along..

Jamie, Shad and Shiloh said...

i wish we still used horse and carriage transportation....hmm, maybe i should become amish :)

mikodesign said...

Yes Paris is lovely, we biked there with our children in bike seats, it's a bit complicated but I love it. We have a "bakfiets" and no car, but we don't have any hills here in Holland.

katie said...

melissa, i'm going to be so amazed and impressed if you can make it up that hill with all the extra weight! i want to hear how the double-child seated bike goes, we've been considering it for ourselves the past several months.

and, i love this picture of you riding!

kayla_d said...

I'm so with you! I miss my bike-riding life in Japan. Here I have a bike, but there's nowhere close enough to ride a bike to. Cruising the neighborhood is not quite as satisfying!

Alyssa Coberly said...

oh i would love to have a little trip guide - we are going to paris in the fall and im gathering as much info as i can ... if you have a second you can email me at dacoberly@hotmail.com

jojo-caramel said...

Ah oui ! En plus je les trouve beaux ces vélos ! Velib fonctionne très bien à Paris ! :)

Mary said...

I like the shoes you're wearing in this pic. What are they?

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