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Paris Travel / Bike Sharing / Biking / Velib / Bicycling / → All Tags
Cyclists may find that their next ride through Paris is a bit faster (though hopefully not more dangerous) because there are some new rules of the road for pedal-powered vehicles.
This certainly should make your next Vélib' bicycle rental that much more interesting: BBC News is reporting that Paris will now allow cyclists to ride through red lights when traveling about the city. Apparently studies and analyses have shown that riding right through the red lights probably won’t cause an increase in accidents. (Just make sure that you can see the traffic up ahead over that baguette in your bicycle’s basket.)
Now, this isn't to say that bike travel will suddenly become lawless in Paris. You see, separate traffic signals for bikes will be installed right under those for cars, and these lights will indicate when cyclists can turn right or just keep moving forward — even though the traditional traffic signals require cars to stop. The roll-out is beginning this month and should be complete in September, and it’s all in the effort to encourage more green-friendly traffic to flow around the city —and maybe cut down on some of that smog along the way.
Just the other day the city and the Board of Transport just gave the okay to spend around $240 million on new spiffy bike lanes that are intended for bikes and only bikes—like no cars allowed. Much of the spending will be focused on two new routes—these are those superhighways—that will run both up and down and across central London.
Alaska Airlines is spreading its wings and venturing into another mode of transportation, as they’re kind of getting into the bicycle business. In actuality it’s more of a sponsorship deal—advertising their main business of flying to here and there—as they’re chipping in $2.5 million to help get the Seattle metro area’s bike share up and running later this year.
Pronto Emerald City Cycle Share will be similar to bike sharing systems set up in cities across the country and the globe, so we don’t bore your with all the nitty gritty details. Do note that organizers recognize that the city is a little more hilly than other metro areas, and they’re preparing the rental bikes to have a few more gears than in other cities and systems—seven to be exact.
Bike Sharing / Biking / Velib / Paris Travel / Bicycling / Active Travel / → All Tags
Here in the US, the bike sharing thing is still catching on, as even spots like New York City are getting used to pedal power. However, Paris is pretty much and expert, as their bike share system—Vélib'—has been doing its thing since around 2007. Unfortunately bike sharing may have caught on too well, as the Paris system is going through a rough patch.
It’s not just bicycle theft that’s a problem, as vandalism is also to blame for the city’s dwindling pedal population. According to Le Monde there were around 9,000 bikes damaged, stolen, or uh—misplaced—just last year alone. They’re expensive to repair and replace as well, as new bikes cost around €650 per vehicle. All in all the city thinks it spent like €1 million just last year to keep things rolling.
Bike Sharing / Summer Travel / Green Travel / Bicycling / Active Travel / US Travel / Canada Travel / → All Tags
Brand new CitiBikes at NYC's Pier 11
Bike Sharing is not all bikini-wearing girls and hot, muscled guys pedaling along as Miami would have us believe, but it is a very attractive, eco-friendly addition to the urban infrastructure, and cities across North America are either already installing solar-powered bike rental kiosks or studying those that have.
Paris' popular Velib and London's BarclayBike are the best known programs, but would you have guessed that Minneapolis is challenging New York's claim to the largest system in the US, and that Mexico City is on track to have 6,000 bikes scattered around their neighborhoods? It's not just Europe having all the two-wheeled fun. Check out our guide to North America's cities that bike share:
Bike Sharing / Safety / Travel Safety / Boston Travel / Bicycling / Green Travel / Bike Travel / → All Tags
With the appearance of bike sharing programs all over the place there’s also the need for bike safety re-education, and the city of Boston is getting ready to go all in. The police aren’t giving tickets to riders just yet for not wearing helmets, but there is quite the push to ensure that your head stays safe.
Residents and locals alike have made the city’s Hubway bike share system a hit, but now the increase in riders has resulted in a need for increased safety. Signups for Hubway encourage riders to buy a helmet, to always wear the helmet, and there are even safety classes from which to choose. The city has also started to blanket the bike lanes with signs reminding everyone what can happened to those who choose not to wear a helmet, and the results—which are not too pretty. Some of the signs show some pretty nasty injuries, and many have the tagline “And you think a helmet is uncomfortable?”
Michigan Field Trip / Island Travel / Michigan Travel / Photo Gallery / Great Lakes Travel / Bicycling / Bike Travel / Sports Travel / Active Travel / → All Tags
Summertime, and the livin' is easy. So you're thinking of a late season trip so long as there's blue water involved, hm? Believe it or not, Michigan's got beaches, blue water and budget-friendly destinations. This week we'll be looking at the ways and places in which you can chill out while diving into the state's Upper Peninsula.
Did you know: The entirety of Mackinac Island is both a National Park and a National Historic Landmark?
Did you know: Mackinac Island State Park was only the second National Park established, following Yellowstone?
Did you know: There are over 70 miles of paved and natural trails for biking on the island, and all trails are completely free of motor vehicles?
Stepping off the Shepler's Ferry, the very first thing to greet us on Mackinac Island was a sunburnt tourist man wobbling on his beach cruiser bike, shouting a warning: "first timer here, watch out!" We jumped back onto the sidewalk, but secretly our hopes for mankind were renewed; here is a place where Americans get up off their butts and get to pedaling, enjoying the outdoors. Sure, it's the only option other than hailing a slow-moving horse carriage, but stillprogress.
The best way to get around Venice is by foot, but of course there are plenty of gondoliers that will tell you differently as you make your way around the city. Despite the lack of cars and roads—and the abundance of canals and waterways—there’s another way to cruise around town. Over on the Lido bicycles are everywhere, but don’t be sad if you forgot to bring yours too, because bike sharing is alive and well in Venice.
We took the vaporetto over to Venice’s longest island, and immediately stumbled onto the city’s "Bike Sharing Venezia" program after getting off the waterbus. Unfortunately we weren’t just able to swipe our credit card and pedal away, but this time it was due to some poor planning and not the lack of a chip-and-pin credit card.
Venice’s bike sharing program works much like other bike sharing systems around the globe. Swipe your access card, pick out your bike, pedal around, and then return it before too much time passes. You’re encouraged to use the bikes to get to the next stop, as it’s cheaper to do it that way and it keeps the bikes available for others looking to do the same.
This week, a couple penguins took a few steps down the First Class aisle onboard a Delta flight and the footage went viral. Meanwhile, The Discovery Channel has installed a live Penguin Cam in the enclosure at the San Diego Zoo, keeping 24-hour watch over the waddling residents in celebration of the March 19 premiere of the new show "Frozen Planet."
The first time we tuned in to the cam, there were another 2,682 people also online, staring in at the 300 penguins (of 5 species) at the zoo. That's crazy, but it attests to the continued popularity of the tuxedo-d cutiepies. Oh, and the camera goes beyond just passively staring at the birds; there's underwater viewing and Q&A sessions:
You are watching Penguin Cam: live video of the "Penguin Encounter" at SeaWorld® San Diego. Stay tuned for penguin feedings throughout the day, and don't miss our live Q&A sessions every Monday from noon to 12:30 p.m. ET starting Monday, March 19.
It's Friday. Zone out here.
Bicycling / Biking / Hertz / Bike Sharing / Green Travel / Spain Travel / → All Tags
This seems crazy, but leave it to Hertz to figure out more ways to rent things that move to travelers when they just don't need cars. We're talking about electric bicycles, which have now entered Hertz's rental fleets in London andthe newestall over Spain, including Granada, Almería, Alicante, Valencia, Pontevedra, Álava and Barcelona. Even the islands of Mallorca and Formentera haven't been left out; Hertz has brought their nine different types of Swiss Flyer electric bikes off the mainland.
We'd probably most likely use these on an island; it's already on our to-do list now for Palma.
The preferred mode of transportation in Miami Beach is a Bentley. But if you don't want to risk getting yours rained onand don't mind getting caught in a rain shower yourselfDecoBike is the best way to zoom up and down the beach.
Sure, there's walking (narrow sidewalks, crazy people on Washington Ave., tourists on Collins and Ocean) or catching the South Beach Local bus, which costs a mere quarter. But if you want that magical combo of control, convenience and the feel of the sea breeze in your hair, you've gotta go Deco.
We first told you about this bike rental program a year ago but then, like a new hotel with the best intentions, it got delayed and only made its debut this March. We've been getting our Deco on here and there ever since, and can tell you that it totally lives up to its promise.
We love Tuesdays. Why, you ask? Because the day brings many travel tips and quips as "Travel Tuesday" on Twitter, and we're going to share our favorite with you. Got an avid travel twitterer we should follow? Let us know.
There is a man out there right now, biking cross-country not on a motorcycle but on a regular road bike. Yes, we know people do this all the time, but this instance is special. The man is Bruce Weber (@NYTBruceWeber) and as you can probably tell from his Twitter handle, he's a writer at the New York Times.
His usual area of expertise at the NYT is obituaries, as we can see from his online archive, but lately he's been pursuing his passion of cycling (and writing about it) and making the long journey for the second time in his life.