Thursday, 8 April 2010

Velib Bike Hire

I have just got back from a family Easter Holiday in France.  Yesterday we stopped in Dijon for lunch.  Opposite the restaurant was this rack of Velib bicycles.  It is not just Paris but virtually any French city of any consequence that has this scheme.  Looking at the instructions one week's subscription to the scheme could be had for one euro; then any hire of under half an hour (more than enough I would think to cross Dijon) was free.  The machines look practical and sturdy with an interesting shaft drive rather than chain connecting pedals and rear wheel.  I would have loved to give one a go but will have to wait for the London scheme to launch this July.  Naturally the success of these schemes depends upon not finger pointing at cyclists who choose not to wear helmets.


  1. I was in Paris last week: these bikes for hire were truly everywhere - and when the sun shone the racks in which they are held emptied within the hour. I saw all sorts of people, from 'suits' with leather briefcases to middle-aged ladies with the shopping to students, tourists, the works. Note that traffic was no paradise: I wouldn't say cars gave bikes any more room than in the UK, or drove any slower. Still, no helmets.

  2. I think they get about 10,000 stolen a year and shipped to Romania