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The bicycles of Paris and riding it.
Paris is a big city and as such big traffic,nothing impossible do it all thetime but for those in eco mode, there is the bike, nice lanes and easy service available for a ride in the city.
You have more than 1500 places with covererd parking for free in more than 100 station RER and stations métro/tramway. 340 places of secure parking at the 'îlot Vélos* bicycle island at the station of the RER de Neuilly-Plaisance (service open 7j/7 from 5h30 to 1h30)
This is the site of the city of Paris that lets you calculate your traject by bicycle!! inside Paris.
just write your address on the left side columns, and enlarge the map.
For reasons of security you cant carry your bike in the Métro, Bus, Tramways ,and Funiculaire de Montmartre. However, on the line 1 the transport is possible on Sundays, holidays until 16h30. You need to ask the attendant at the metro entry to let you pass. In the RER trains you have the opportunity to carry your bike in certains moments ,and to do changes of lines in the network: the Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays all day and on the other days before 6h30, between 9h and 16h30, and after 19h.
UPDATE/ a Danish study just found Paris the 13th best city in the world to ride a bicycle !!! Considering what say about traffic in Paris, this proves once again, well, as i said ,its easy! Here is the magazine Copenhagenize article for it http://copenhagenize.eu/index/
The you have the Velib or free service bike system in Paris , you have all the info you need and more in English here
you can buy it with a card at the tourist office , the simplest way for one day or more, read here
first 30 minutes is free of usage charge after you pay a small amount like one euro.There is a number to ask help in English, at +33 (0) 1 30 79 79 30 8h to 22H weekdays and 9h to 22h Saturdays and 9h to 19h Sundays
for FAQ questions and answers you can look here
Update on places for bikers in Paris and more
«Paris à Vélo Sympa», was the pioneer for over 20 years now doing it. see it at www.parisvelosympa.com then «Vélo Paris», has thematic rides by night,medieval and along the water, see it at www.veloparis.com . There are Vélos-Taxis such as around the Place de la Concorde , at the entrance to the jardin des tuileries as Drago Pousse-Pousse. Tél.: 06 42 25 08 22. All from 15€,according to the distance. Tél.: 09 70 40 66 69. www.tripup.fr
Don’t forget the stores , you have to be ready with the latest ,after all ,its Paris. The best is Vintage Cycles, offering many choices at 0, rue Alexandre-Dumas (75009). Tél.: 01 44 93 95 85. http://www.vintage-cycles.fr/ . Then you have Vélo Vintage with used bikes from the 60′s to 80′s to ride. 58, rue du Ruisseau (75018). Tél.: 06 13 13 42 27. http://velo-vintage.com/. Another good is Bicycle Store, with accessories for bikers at 17, bd du Temple (75003 ). Tél.: 09 51 61 68 29. http://www.bicyclestore.fr/accueil.
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Explore Paris by bike
I have written a transport tip about hiring a bike in Paris, which is something that I'd still like to do.
On my most recent trip to Paris, I walked the length of Canal St Martin from just east of Gare de l'Est to where the canal joins the Seine, a distance of about 4km. It was a glorious early autumn day that was perfect for cycling, and I was deeply envious of people sailing by on their bikes.
If it's your first time cycling in Paris (and particularly if you come from a country which drives on the other side of the road) I would start on the dedicated cycle paths - along Canal St Martin and the banks of the Seine for example - before you venture forth to play with the traffic! Alternatively, book on an organised tour - I was most amused to be passed by a tour group, where the tourists were being shepherded by two guides - one at the front and one at the back, where the guy at the back of the group was carrying a warning red flag! See the website below for details of one of several operators.
Enfourchez votre vélo! (Get on yer bike!)
I believe that Paris is one of the world's most walkable cities, and that by far the best way to explore it is on foot. However, even I will concede that there are times when the distance is too far or the time frame is too limited to make walking practical, and yet the idea of diving underground into the Metro is less than attractive.
I confess that I have never cycled in Paris, but the idea of doing so has always appealed - I just never had an idea of where you would hire a bike. However, a few visits ago, I came across this automated bike hire machines along the Rive Gauche (the 'Left Bank' which isn't that helpful to the tourist, as it's actually the southern bank) about halfway between Musee d'Orsay and Notre Dame de Paris, and it seems that with every subsequent visit, they're becoming more numerous.
The photo shows the 'Velib' system (a combination of the French words for bicycle and freedom), which is an innovative concept. At a cost of €1.70 for a day ticket or €8 for a seven day ticket (at the time of writing), you can borrow a bike free of charge for an unlimited number of 30 minute periods per day (with periods longer than 30 minutes incurring an additional charge). There are apparently hundreds of stations across Paris where you can pick up a bike, and as a bonus, you can drop it off at any station (not just the one you collected it at). See the website below for more details.
You need to be realistic about what you get for your money: this is a fairly sedate three speed unisex bike, so you're not going to be tempted to join the peleton down the Champs-Élysées at the end of the Tour de France on the spur of the moment, but these are sturdy, serviceable bikes, and this would be a really fun way to explore the city in good weather.
Velib-bicycles for rent
We came across stands of bicycles as we were walking through Paris and checked out the rules but ultimately decided to use our feet instead of the bicycles. After I got home I checked out what the bicycles rented for in case we wanted to use them on a future trip and found that there are a few pitfalls to renting them, seems they are designed more for locals to use for short term communting than tourists for recreational cycling.
Some of the pitfalls are that they don't seem to take credit cards without chips although they do appear to accept AmEx. However, you can purchase a 1 or 7 day pass online which then requires you to put in a PIN and an ID number. If you use a debit card (and possibly credit cards as well) they can put a hold on your account for up to 13 days, one complaint I read suggested that they charged a € 150 deposit every time they rented them and held € 450 of their money for their 3 rentals for almost 2 weeks.
If you get the 1 € day pass (or week pass or yearly pass), the 1st 1/2 hour is free and then:
1st additional half hour is 1 €
2nd additional half hour is 2 €
From the 3rd additional half hour 4€ per additional half hour
So an hour would be 1 €, 2 hours would be 7 €, 3 hours would be 15 € and so on. So it's great for short journeys, not so great if you are planning on keeping the bike for the day unless you plan on continually returning the bike and then getting a new one. The last pitfall I'll mention is that it is possible for stations to be entirely full not allowing you to return the bike as they are not manned by people but rather by machines.
If you are still interested in the Velib system after reading this, you might check out cycling enthusiast Nemorino's general Paris tips as he offers a lot of good information about using the system.
Vélib rental bicycles
All over Paris you can rent one of the20000 bicycles at the 1800 Vélib rental bike stations.
The cheapest option is buying a daily ticket for 1.70€ and use Vélib as often as you want during 24 hours!The deposit is 150€ and will be paid back after proper return of the bicycle.
The first 30 minutes of each trip are always free of charge.
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Cycling in Paris
There are numerous bicycle rental station around Paris. There is, probably, one near where you are staying.
These Velib bicycles can be rental at Euro 1,70 per day and the first 30 minutes is free usage. You can make unlimited number of such free trips per day of less then 30 minutes each time.
We didn't rent one of those as we weren't sure where the rental stations were when we first arrived in Paris and when straight to our hotel. With hindsight, might be worth asking the hotel reception about it and as to where is the nearest rental station.
There was one rental station "behind" our hotel on Porte de Saint Cloud on the other street and there was another about 100 metres away.
While walking around in Paris, we came across many people on these distinct grey coloured bicycles.
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Vélib’ is a Self Service “bike hire”
i haver never used it,
but an article in The Chicago Tribune got me surfing
to the Vélib’ Paris site.
Sure will be using it the next time i am there
knowing some FRench will get you quicker to the site
En vélo on dépasse les autos ..
The velib' is an acronym for Vélo Liberté (bike freedom)
Since July 2007, over 20 000 self service bikes are available all over Paris (there is a station about every 400 meters). The bikes are unisex and adjustable (fit anybody over 1,40 m)
How does it work ?
First you get a a subscription (to get a user ID):
1€ for one day (24H), 5€ for a week (both available at the stations) or 29€ for one year. There is a 150€ security deposit blocked on your credit card.
Cards accepted : Chipped cards (Visa or Mastercard or Amex).
Then (using your ID), you pick a bike at any station and once you are done with the bike you just put it back at the next station (push it in any docking point, the bikes are chipped and recognized).
The first half hour is free, second half hour is 1€ and so on (there are other systems for longer rentals, for example see www.rouelibre.fr).
You can use a bike as often as you want during your subscription's validity.
The system is very popular for short rides.
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Ride your bike around
In Paris is a good selection of locations renting city bicycles.
Paris is beautiful. The streets are very smooth. Trip by bike is very frequent, relatively fast, clean, and convenient.
Steel as a short term tourist in Paris walkingand public transportation are better options than bicycling. Bicking is best reserved for longer-term residents of Paris, for those staying for several weeks.
To travel about Paris on a bicycle for business or pleasure, you will use a network of bike lanes, often shared with taxis and buses. When no bike lane exists, which is often, bikers ride with traffic.
The Paris City Hall operates a "Velib'" rental program with thousands of three-speed unisex bikes at hundreds of stations or "service points" around the city.
You can jump on a bike parked in one of hundreds of docking stations around the capital and deposit it at another station across town.
You'll pay €1 for a day ticket or €5 for a seven-day ticket, which lets you take an unlimited number of 30-minute journeys. The first half hour of each journey is free of charge, with charges rising progressively after that.
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Seems like Paris is stepping up efforts to turn itself into a bicycle-friendly capital after all.
Velo-taxis have different shape but all are powered by human power.
You will also see Cyclobulle - a new electrically powered way to discover a different Paris.
The Velo-taxis ride costs from €2.5 to €4.5 per person to predefined tourist destinations.
Rates for Cyclobulle : €25 for a 30 minute ride
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Bikes around paris
There are bikes around Paris that you can take, and they are just placed in different stations. I think you can take a bikes from one place to another, and it will only cost you if you surpass a certain amount of time. It is a good way to go around Paris and good exercise too!
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VELIB - Victim of vandalism.
There is a face of Velib which is rather sad.
Since July 2007 there have been 18.000 degradations, 8.000 thefts, 3.500 complaints at the police, according to the French press.
It goes from warped frameworks, twisted handlebars, punctured tires, broken baskets, etc. even bicycles thrown in the Seine!
J.C. Decaux owner of some 20.000 bicycles put into circulation has a subsidiary company Cyclocity with 500 workers for the maintenance. There are 1.500 repairs per day in 10 workshops. They even have a barge for repairs circulating on the Seine.
As a consequence of the increasing degradations, only 46% of the “Vélibistes” declare to be satisfied with the state of the bicycles, against 55% in 2008.
The Velib Bicycle System
Me, I gave this a miss. I enjoy cycling out and about on the car-free routes around where I live but the idea of cycling on the wrong side of the road in a strange city centre is too scary, especially having noticed the number of cars around Paris with collision dents...sorry but not confident enough ;(
However, for you bold people, Paris offers a cycle hire system with racks of bikes ready for use. You have to register on the site with a credit card to cover a deposit (they don't take the money, merely use your card details for insurance). Then, if I read the site correctly, they send you a smart card and off you go.
The bikes are free for the first half-hour and then cost 1 Euro for each half-hour after that up to a max of 4 Euros per day (if I'm reading the French language site correctly).
But as I said - TOO SCARY FOR ME! I'll stick to walking and the Metro!
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Velib - 6 deadly accidents.
The French TV announced the sixth fatal accident in Paris of a user of Velib bicycle self-service since its launching on July 15th, 2007.
They did not mention the number of deadly accidents implying cyclists using their own bicycle.
Any person having visited Paris will have noted that the traffic is particularly dense and often risky. Cohabitation between cyclists, busses, taxis, heavy trucks and vehicles of delivery is particularly dangerous because these vehicles are generally authorized to drive on the same lanes as the bicycles!
These accidents with Velib users were almost all due to a truck or bus turning right without having seen the cyclist on their side; the traditional problem of “the dead angle”.
If you are a tourist in Paris and want to drive a bicycle be particularly careful. This city does not have the infrastructures reserved exclusively to the cyclists such as in Amsterdam for example.
Best is to choose for your cycling days of less traffic like Sundays or the periods of holidays like August.
Try out the Velib' scheme
I'd not heard of this scheme but we saw several rows of these bikes all waiting to be used. They are part of the Velib' scheme whereby users are allowed up to 30 minutes of free use thereafter the user is charged. It's paid for from a credit card. The bikes can picked up and dropped off at different places.
Sadly I didn't notice anyone actually riding one of these bikes though my wife said she saw a British family using them. I'm not sure, as a visitor to Paris, I would feel comfortable riding around the city - just because I wouldn't be familiar with the territory but it seems to be a good idea though whether it is economically sustainable I don't know.
The website below gives more details of how it works. I think it would be fun to try out.
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