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( Paris, day four continued!)VELIB!

For those who do not know, the Velib, is the public cycle system in Paris, where you can hire a bike from a rack in the street and cycle for half an hour for free. Returning the bike to one of the many racks all over the city .After 30 minutes there is a charge which rises , the longer you have the bike.  Of course the trick is to take out the velib ride for 30 minutes, put the velib back and take out another one..

The bikes are a bit heavy and only have three gears, but I very quickly get used to them and find them surprisingly easy to ride. 
Paris is a very cycle friendly city, compared to my home town which is very hilly,( bit like Montmartre) , so Bolton does not attract may cyclists particularly women like me ” of a certain age”  I am very much a minority ,( and considered a bit eccentric!) at home, where I use my bike for transport all the time. There are few cycle lanes and car drivers often just do not see cyclists. Hence I usually ride with safety helmet, high visiblity clothes and flashing lights on all the time. So it is wonderful to ride in a city where I am just one of many cyclists and I love the way French women and men just get on bikes in their ordinary clothes. Often you see very chic women with high heels cycling along the lanes.
Unfortunaltley  I can’t get past my British “health and safety” mentality  and just have to bring a safety jacket for cycling!

Not quite the same somehow!! LOL!

You can take out a one day (1.70euro) or 7 day subscription for 8euro, at the machine using a credit/debit card  with chip or online. There are also longer term subscriptions.  It is easy to use the machine, there is an English translation and you choose options from the screen using the keyboard and v for validate.
http://en.velib.paris.fr/

So I took out a velib and cycled from Republic along the canal St Martin, Canal Ourq, to Parc de la Villette.  There I stopped to eat at the very overpriced cafe at the cite de la Music, a very good croque madame, but it cost 18 euro!. After a very interesting visit to the Bob Dylan exhibition at said Cite de la Music I cycled back along the canal and up rue de Crimee to Parc de Buttes Chamont.  The most beautiful parc in Paris in my opinion. I returned back along the canal cycle path to Republique.

Here are some pictures.

Hostel on the canal, near the university.

Carousel at Parc de la Villette

Skateboard parc at parc de la Villette

I found amazing street art.

The beautiful Marie of the  19th arrondissement.

Pianos are all over Paris.

This young girl couldn’t wait to play.

..and was joined by her friends.

 A wedding car waiting for the bridal couple, these people just wanted their photos taken!

Parc de Buttes Chamont, the most beautiful parc, especially in the sun.

Denise
Love from Paris

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7 thoughts on “( Paris, day four continued!)VELIB!

  1. I guess that it's a matter of different strokes for different folks because Buttes Chaumont, which is also one of my favorite parks, completely underwhelmed another frequent visitor to Paris when she visited it for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I think that part of the problem is that she only saw a small part of it and completely missed the grotto, waterfall, etc.It was fun to see your photos of the "Play Me, I'm Yours" piano because I haven't seen any on the streets yet. I only saw them when they inaugurated the installation at the Palais Royal.

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  2. Great pics of the Buttes. I loved it there, relentless rain during my visit. I have vowed to return in the sunshine! As for the Velebs, Paris traffic intimidates me, so for now my feet and the public transportation will do. Have fun and don't forget to tell me when you get to Boston.

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  3. MK,I can't imagine anybody being underwhelmed by Buttes Chamont, even in winter it is lovely, but as you say different strokes for different folks. But in the sun and with all the flowers and greenery it was stunning.Hi Nancy, nice to see you here. I think I am not intimidated by the Paris traffic because in Bolton the traffic/hills/weather is far worse. If you are coming from a place that is flat/used to cyclists/mild weather then maybe cycling in Paris would be daunting. My only problem is remebering to stay an the right side of the road.I have had lots of fun with the pianos, probably do a separate post about that.Love Denise

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  4. Hi Denise, totally agree with you about Buttes Chaumont, it has long been our favourite Parisien park. Apart from being beautiful there is often something interesting to watch. Last time we went there was a school sports day taking place with lots of groups of small children in coloured hi vis vests having races supervised by assorted teachers and parents. They were having a great time.Like Nancy I find the traffic too intimidating to try a ride on a velib. I need to start cycling again at home before I give that a go!

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  5. I really enjoyed the Parc de la Villette. Next time I have to pay a visit to Buttes Chamont, it looks very pretty. Good for you for using the Velib. I have to admit, I was a little nervous on the bikes, but they're fun and great value.Love the photo of the street art. I also like the one of the super-chic bicyclist. I don't know how they do it!

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  6. NYCgirl….I always remember you for getting on your velib and riding to the D'Orsay, because there wasn't a metro or bus available. Just seemed so cool at the time.My cycling life has expanded…but that's another post!Love Denise

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