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Amsterdam Travel / Amsterdam Field Trip / Neighborhoods / Neighborhoods To Know And Go / Architecture / Biking / Netherlands Travel / → All Tags
If you want to get away for a bit from the hordes of cyclists in the main tourist areas of Amsterdam, a ferry ride across the river IJ can do just that. The city’s Noord (North) neighborhood is the oldest and largest in Amsterdam, yet you don’t hear much about it. We think that’s going to change.
Formerly a shipping and industrial area, it’s becoming the cultural and creative center of Amsterdam with its mix of canal cottage villages, parks, architectural mix and the recently-opened EYE Film Institute. New condos are starting to appear on the waterfront and yet, if you’re looking for some early work of Rem Koolhaus, that’s here too.
It's finally happening, you guys. New York City is getting up off its butt and getting on the bike sharing bandwagon. What's that saying? "Better late than never." Yes, that saying. It very much applies in this case, as New York is way behind a slew of world cities who have had their bike sharing programs up for several years already.
The announcement of the NYC program and debut of the bikes came today, presided over by Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks to a $41 million dollar cash infusion from CitiBank, the program won't rely on tax dollars, but will be named "Citi Bike." London's "Barclays Cycle Hire" is the same idea, except that's been around for nearly two years.
So enough about how late to the party the Big Apple is. Let's get down to the nitty-gritty details of using Citi Bike:
Biking / Bike Travel / Cycling / Holiday Travel / New York City / Design Travel / Shopping Travel / → All Tags
A bike from Scottish brand Paper Bicycles
It's crunch time for holiday presents. This close to the weekend, you're either shelling out for 2-day/overnight shipping or just heading into a store to pick up gifts in person. Still stuck for ideas? Just think about what you wanted as a kid, but updated. Luckily our answer to that is "a bike a bike!" and buying bicycles for your friends or family is luckily something easily done last-minute.
As huge proponents of both bike sharing and cycling wherever possible, we admit that our biggest, big-ticket gift suggestion this year (for anyone, really) is a proper sturdy bike with some style. Fortunately one New York City store specializes in such two-wheelers: Adeline Adeline.
London Travel / Bike Travel / Tours / Biking / Cheap London / Active Travel / → All Tags
A cyclist heading up Regent's Canal on a sunny day in London
Underground, bus, and ridiculously pricey black cabs are the three most common modes of transport for visitors to London, but they're certainly not always the most pleasant. If you've ever stood cheek-to-cheek next to a sweaty stranger on the tube, taken a night bus full of drunken teens back to your hotel, or shelled out upward of £30.00 for a taxi ride across town, surely you understand.
But, what you'll also notice on London's streets are a bevy of cyclists, mainly locals, taking advantage of the city's many bike-friendly pathways and routes. Tourists hoping to do the same can rent a Boris bike and make their way around Hyde Park or Regent's Canal, feeling the burn in the process.
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.
Bicycling / Biking / London Travel / Active Travel / Green Travel / Hertz / → All Tags
We know that there's plenty of spots to score a rental bike, rental car, or electric rental car, but there really haven't been too many options when it comes to finding and borrowing an electric rental bike. Hertz is about to change that, as they're moving from providing four-wheeled transportation options to two-wheeled as well.
In response to London's mission to turn the city into one of the leading electric vehicle destinations in the world, Hertz has begun to offer up some electric bikes for one and all from their Marble Arch branch in the city. Just £20 will get you access to a bike for the whole day, and not having to pedal your way around the city will probably be quite handy during the warm summer months.
We can’t get enough of different cities and their bike sharing programs. London and Boston are just two of the latest towns to get their two-wheeled act together in the last couple of years, and earlier this month Toronto joined the pedal powered party.
Canada’s largest city added around 1,000 bikes thanks to a little bit of assistance from around 80 different stations in and about the downtown area. The Public Bike System Company is behind the city’s new shipment of velocipedes, but for those looking to simply score a cheap ride it’s better known as Bixi. This is the same kind of system that’s already in use in spots like Montreal and Washington, DC, so it might look kind of similar—and that’s a good thing.
No need to hit up Paris or London this summer to ride around in pay-per-ride bicycles, as another city here at home is getting ready for a two-wheel test. Boston is just about ready to unleash its public bike sharing system on the masses, so get ready for a wicked fun time.
Things are moving full speed ahead, and if all goes as planned, the new system—it's called Hubway—could begin as early as July. They’ll start with just 600 or so bikes at around 60 stations around the city, but they’re already thinking about explaining. Eventually the plan is to have like 5,000 bikes all over the greater metropolitan area including spots like Brookline and Cambridge.
Bike Rentals / Bike Sharing / Bicycling / Biking / Paris Travel / Velib Bikes / → All Tags
If you’ve been to Paris in the last few years, you’ve probably seen all those Vélib bicycles ready for tourists and locals alike to take them for a spin. We’ve even had the pleasure of pedaling one with a baguette in our basket, so it’s with great pleasure that we wish them well on their fourth anniversary this summer.
However, it’s pricey to keep all those seats nice and cushy, and it looks like the bike sharing program is going to cost everyone a few more euros and cents. Starting at the beginning of May—that’s like this week—prices will rise by around 70 cents. Now one-day tickets will set you back €1.70, where things were previously just €1—that’s roughly $2.50 for those of us that have credit cards based in the nifty fifty.
We’ve been following public bike sharing around the globe for quite some time, and we even got to test out the famous Vélib bikes in Paris not too long ago. The latest city to join the craze is London, and we’re sure that the Barclays Cycle Hire will only get bigger and better with the royal wedding just a few months away, not to mention the Olympics in 2012.
Things kicked off last summer, but the real fun began last month when things were opened up to the general public with fewer restrictions and no specific membership requirements. London’s bike rental program works pretty similar to others, so all you need to do is find a bike rack, throw down a few bucks—Pounds Sterling in this case—and then start pedaling.
Bike Rentals / Bike Sharing / Bicycling / Biking / Paris Travel / Velib Bikes / → All Tags
Last week on our trip to Paris, we had a great Tuesday all planned out--grab a croissant and a cappucino and head out to Versailles. Unfortunately, we were thwarted by a 36-hour Metro strike, an annoying but common occurrence in Paris.
So we had to rejigger our itinerary a bit to do some sightseeing instead. But how we were going to get around? We were staying at the schmancy Le Meurice on Rue de Rivoli, which is very central (and near the Louvre) but we were not keen to spend the entire day walking around the city. Nor were we going to pony up for the hotel's chauffeur services or go crazy trying to hail a cab.
Then we spotted Vélib, the city's bike rental system.
For one euro day, you can rent a bike and ride around the city like a real Parisian. The bikes even come with a basket for you to store your baguettes, fresh flowers and a bottle of red wine. Yet, there is a dark side to Vélib. Let us tell you now:
Google Maps / Google / Colorado / Colorado Travel / Bicycling / Active Travel / Green Travel / Biking / → All Tags
The Google GPS trike!
In January we told you about how Google used their new specially designed GPS trike to go where no Google Maps had gone before, mapping the inside of the San Diego Zoo. Now the search giant is taking their toy off-road, promising to add Boulder, Colorado's 360 miles of bike routes to Street View. The city officially won a contest after 1 in 5 residents voted online, asking to be the test site for a new kind of Google Maps biking feature.
Google Maps can already create point-to-point driving routes, bus routes, and walking routes for many major cities. This new project seems geared toward giving a fourth kind of route option, one that would take commuters and travelers along biking trails. If bikes are going to become a stable mode of transportationand they already are in some American cities, to say nothing about certain European capitalsthen this just makes good sense.