In France a great initiative has been developed in Paris (and several other French cities): the Vélib Cycle System which exists since July 2007. The system is quite simple and easy to use. There are approximately 20.000 bikes and 1.800 bicycles stations, which are not further apart than 300 meters!
All over the city center of Paris you find bike racks with gray bicycles and a Vélib Terminal with a LCD-screen.
On the spot you buy a subscription for a day (€ 1,70) or week (€ 8,00) with your credit card. You just grab a bike from the rack and pay for the time until you put it back in a rack. The first half hour is free of charge. The second half hour will cost you € 1. The third half-hour costs €2 and each next half-hour costs €4. The longer you ride the more expensive it will be.
You can plan a route with a the special bicycle map ‘Paris à Vélo’ available at the tourist offices. On this map, the Paris cycle lanes are indicated in red. You can view this map on line here.
We may conclude cycling in Paris is not a ‘city jungle experience’ anymore. All the highlights of this beautiful city can be reached by bike in a quick and safe way! Enjoy your ride!
‘Living the Seine River‘ takes you on a guided cycle ride from the outskirts of Paris right into the heart of 19th century city centre where the barge is moored.
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Picture: © Velib Paris