[ FRANCE TRIP ] A TIME OF EXPERIENCE CYCLING IN PARIS

The vast spaces Parisians know how to test even the most hardened walkers: think to walk from one point to another of the city proves quite challenging even when optimizing the route so as to group the same day visits to surrounding places.

The words “close” or “surrounding” in Paris are quite relevant fact.

While the meter saves time, it does not allow to see it flowing around. I like the city to live, and the bike is the best way, especially in the summer, so before leaving I checked the options to rent bicycles in Paris.

I discovered that in Paris there is Velib, the city system of rental bikes. Around the city there are plenty of Velib stations each with 20-30 seats for bikes: for rent them all you need is a credit card, the payment depends on the time of use of the bicycles themselves.

I’ll explain everything below.

How to register
If you plan to use the rental bikes in Paris you should register on site before leaving so as not to have to use the credit card on site but use only the personal code that comes online and – especially – prevent your frozen l ‘ amount of € 150.00 as a deposit (in fact the amount if made online registration will be blocked on your credit card only if not returned the bicycle, unlike when you make a subscription directly to Paris).

On the site you can choose to buy the bike hire for a day or for 7 days, the cost is respectively € 1.70 and € 8.00. Take the bike in Paris is free of charge if you return within the first 30 minutes, after which it becomes a fee (the second half hour costs € 1, the third half hour costs € 2 from the fourth half-hour the cost is € 4).

Returning to book online before departure, after paying on the site indicating the dates of your stay and after leaving the data of credit card to guarantee you will receive a user number and you can choose your personal PIN that will allow you to take your bike on place.

How does the car Velib

Once in Paris, found the Velib station closest to you, stop the tower and follow the instructions on the screen to rent the bikes. Enter your personal code and PIN chosen, select the number of bike you wish to withdraw.

To store your bike just find another Velib station with a space and free bike storage.

We have used several times the car during our trip to Paris and we found some advantages and some disadvantages.

The advantages of Velib

By bike you can cover large areas in a short time and at the same time experience the city.
Velib stations are numerous and close together so it’s easy to run into one of them and decide on the fly to continue cycling. Similarly it is quite simple to find the stations when you must file the half.
The first half hour is free.
The disadvantages of Velib

There are days – maybe the nice spring days – and places – for example, near the parks – where it’s easy to find the bike rental, but virtually impossible to find free locations in which to place your bike when you want to return. You may find yourself – as has happened to us – to wander from one station to another improvising real race with other riders trying to get to a location free and deposit the bike before you.
Sometimes it happens that the bikes are in poor condition: I happened to get one with the broken gearbox (then pedaling like crazy to make a few meters at a time), the one with the seat that you staring either producing noises quite strange. Just dropped your bike around so you try it in time to change it if it does not work well. Calculated that after depositing the bike can not prelevarne another few minutes before they are passed.
If you like to experience the city – even the largest and potentially trafficked – biking, breathing the fresh air and observing the landscape that runs next to you I will never recommend using Velib.

But keep account of the disadvantages of which I have spoken, and the advice that I have given to avoid them!

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