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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Amsterdam by Bike

I rented a bike from Holland Bikes. Utility bike. Two locks. 11 euro for day. Riding around town is easy. As I said yesterday the bike lanes have street lights. Follow rules of the road and you are fine. I recorded video as I was riding. I hope to publish it when I return. I did lose my map and rode around for a while basically lost until I saw the museum we had visited yesterday. As I was heading through the Central Station area I zipped in front of a bus and it got back at me by splashing me from a big puddle. So I am soaked as I sit at the Bibliotheek writing this post.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Blogging from Amsterdam

I am in Amsterdam now. Lots of bicycles (600,000 approximately). Will post photos when I return. They have parking lots for bikes. No sports/fitness bikes like in the US. Only utility bikes. They don't lock the bikes to racks. They just lock the rear wheel in hopes someone doesn't pick it up and walk off. No helmets either.

The transit system is so sophisticated that there are street lights for the bikes. Cyclists pull up to the light like a car, but in their own lane. The light changes and you move through the intersection and the light actually has a picture of a bicycle in it.

The weirdest bicycle moment was when we were eating dinner last night. A one legged man doubled on the back of his friends bike. He came down the street and greeted his friend. Then he jumped on the back of the bike. His friend took off with him and his crutches in tow on the rear rack.

More later...

Monday, July 14, 2008

A New Fashion Catches On in Paris: Cheap Bicycle Rentals

By STEVEN ERLANGER - NY Times
Published: July 13, 2008
PARIS — They’re clunky, heavy and ugly, but they have become modish — and they are not this season’s platform shoes.

A system for renting Vélib’ bicycles has become hugely popular in Paris, where about 20,600 of the bikes are in service.

A year after the introduction of the sturdy gray bicycles known as Vélib’s, they are being used all over Paris. The bikes are cheap to rent because they are subsidized by advertising, and other major cities, including American ones, are exploring similar projects.

More...