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Ars longa, vita brevis
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I was in southeastern France in early September, and driven a considerable length of secondary roads in the Provence. I saw some bike path construction going on near Aix-en-Provence, but I've seen no cyclists -at all - outside the cities, except on mountain passes (Col de la Bonette, Col du Galibier).

They installed nice markers on mountan passes every 1 kilometer, indicating the current altitude, the incline on the next kilometer, and distance to the summit. I liked that, they are useful for both cyclists and motorists. Apparently they rolled it out all over the Alps and Pyrenees.


Col de la Lombarde by will_cyclist, on Flickr
 

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Le Pibal vélo of Bordeaux | Bike-sharing program for free | Peugeot Cycles | Underway








©Trendsnow


New Bikes for Bourdeaux

With the launch of the first fleet of Philippe Starck-designed bicycles in Bordeaux, the city’s image as one of Europe’s most cycle-friendly metropolises is getting an update.

The first wave of Pibal city bikes will be available for Bordeaux residents to rent long term and free of charge from the Maison du Vélo, the city’s cycling hub. The sleek yellow and gray line will gradually replace the 10-year-old models in the existing fleet of 4,000.

The design overhaul is the result of a 2012 crowd-sourced initiative from Mayor Alain Juppé to involve residents in selecting the new look and frame for its popular bike-rental program, VVB (Vélo Ville de Bordeaux).

Inspired by several hundred suggestions culled from local residents, Mr. Juppé enlisted the talents of Mr. Starck to create the bike in collaboration with Peugeot Cycles.

The winning design is an ergonomic electric bike-scooter hybrid, perfectly adapted for locals to navigate the city’s warren of narrow, largely pedestrian streets as a primary means of transportation.

The Pibal features two automatic gears that shift according to a rider’s cadence, ample rear storage racks, adjustable seats and handlebars, reflective bands on the rims, mudflaps and tires, and a central footrest engraved with a city map that allows the rider to switch from the pedaling to scooter functions in congested areas.

The revamped city bike is the latest effort in Mr. Juppé’s extensive 10-year program aimed at improving daily life for residents and significantly reducing car traffic – an initiative that has seen the number of cyclists triple in the last decade. Bike travel now exceeds more than 10 percent of daily commutes in the city.

“We need to be thinking of the bicycle’s future. Climate challenges and other ecological concerns drive us to prepare for this–for cycling to become a bigger part of our daily lives,” Mr. Juppé said. “The Pibal is a symbol of this future.”

Pibal bicycles currently are rent only by Bordeaux locals who can show proof of residency. Visitors can opt for short-term bike rentals at VCub stations across the city.
http://intransit.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/01/new-bikes-for-bourdeaux/?_r=0
 

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Nice! Would be interesting to see some pics of bike lanes/paths in Bordeaux. It seems that cycling is getting more and more popular. But what is the state of the cycling infrastructure?
Well in the video we can see the conditions before/after in Bordeaux for cycling.

[dailymotion]xs70ls_bordeaux-avant-et-apres-incite_news[/dailymotion]
 

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Have Tour de France any influence in encouraging more people to ride bikes in France?

No!
Actually, the French, after inventing pretty much everything around bikes at the turn of the 20th century have turned a cold shoulder to the whole thing. The once powerful bike industry has virtually disappeared: Peugeot? Alcyon? Ideale? all gone! It's a common misconception that, because of the Tour, the French are bike-friendly, they are, overall, not. Not at all.
Why? Many reasons but the car culture in the 60s, 70s has bulldozed everything. The French are in love with their cars, they like a good chunk of steel between them and the others, it's their closet individualistic nature.
In the last ten years, the bike culture has somewhat made a come back, it's true. But it's still very marginal, honestly, it's not heartfelt. Light years behind Germany, the Netherlands, Nordic nations...
Very few cities have a proper bike culture. Strasbourg does, a noticeable exception. From what I hear, Bordeaux is making a consistent effort. Paris is a joke, frankly.
Sad, but it's the truth. :no:
I still can't get over the fact Paris chose, for it's bike sharing scheme, a dull grey color for its bikes... :eek:hno:... you would have expected from them a little smarter, a little more inspired choice. Yellow of course! You know why!

The French suck at cycling and PR, period. :lol:
 
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Ars longa, vita brevis
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^ are you French (despite your username)? Because this way of talking, very exagerated and shouting subjective opinion as fact, is so very French! :)

I'll agree that French cities aren't particularly cycling cities, but they're not bad either. Paris is definitly way above the average of Europe that is not Northern Europe, and Velib is definitely a success story. The Velib bikes are beautiful... Beauty is not in the colour btw, but in the way it is used. RE car dominated areas, it's not actually about "French individualism", but rather about more real factors such as road layout, lack of alternatives to the car and lack of political will to change these factors.
 
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