This is the fourth post featuring some pictures I took on a trip to France this past August. The first post focused on graffiti, the second on some translation of that graffiti, and the third on a bike tour I took. Yes this post is labeled "3", but that is because there was a post 1a. This post features some random pictures I took.
Cool looking front racks, but seems to me to be more style than substance.
This is one well conditioned steed.
Sucks for him - automobile driver getting ticketed by bike cops.
I have seen a lot of bike racks in my time, but I had never seen one designed to also be a planter - until I spotted this one in Cambridge, MA. If you have spotted cool bike racks, feel free to contact us for posting.
It's been a long time since I have engaged in recreational travel by bike. I commute daily, but my last purely recreational trip was far too long ago. Reader Caio has been involved in a bit of travel and sent along this inspirational story.
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During my trip to Paris I did something I have never done before - I took a paid bike tour. It was just a few hours and was focused just on sites within the city. This was a double first in that I also had never ridden an electric bike before. Here was the standard issue bike.
The company had a fleet of them in an underground parking garage.
The controls were straightforward and operating the bike was easy. There was a key that needed to be inserted into the battery unit and after turning it on a battery indicator on the handlebars let you know how much juice you had. The bike had three modes - manual, low speed, and high speed. The mode is selected with a simple thumb lever.
I have always looked upon e-bikes with a bit of disdain, and after my experience my opinion has not changed much. My feeling has always been that people act differently when not actively engaged in powering the bike. There is this one e-bike idiot I encounter quite frequently on a bike path I ride on who is never pedaling and chooses the fastest speed possible and swerves dangerously between pedestrians and other cyclists. I could say the same of several other riders on race bikes or even fixies who ride as if slowing down would cause their world to collapse, but there is something about seeing someone whiz by without pedaling that bothers me.
While on my tour I did a bit of whizzing along myself and it definitely made the ride feel different. I don't want to get all existential and say that pedaling makes me one with my bike, however when my legs are powering me I feel more aware. I can understand why an e-bike would appeal to some, but at present they hold no appeal for me.
The one other thing I will comment on is that the tour did not require, encourage, or even have helmets. I wear a helmet every time I ride because I think it is better to be safe than sorry, however spending time in Europe and seeing relatively few cyclists wearing helmets and not wearing one myself on the tour made me feel . . . jealous.
Natives of Boston are known for having a bit of an accent. One of the famous sayings outsiders will quote when trying to imitate a Bostonian is a version of "Can I park my car in Harvard Yard?" Or in the local dialect, "Can I Pahk my cah in Hahvahd Yahd?" (29 second mark).
We have all likely heard of the Scarlet Letter, and guessing by the lack of the letter "R" in the local accent the local populace decided that the alphabet could use one less letter and excommunicated the "R". Maybe the "R" looked a little too sensual.
Anyway . . . what's the point of all this? The point is that I was having dinner near Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox, (spelling socks as "sox" causes one to wonder what the Alphabet ever did to the locals to suffer such abuse) and I stumbled across this sign for parking.
Critics of cycling in urban areas will often say that roads were not built for bikes, but the reality is that Boston was not built for cars. It is a dangerous and confusing place to drive, and there is not nearly enough space to park all of the cars people wish to drive in or to the city. Lack of parking spaces leads to high prices for parking and just when I thought $45 was high, a short time later I saw this sign -
And to cap the night off I passed this one.
One would hope exorbitant fees like these to pahk the cah would be enough to cause an automobile owner to drive to their local bike shop to purchase a bike to ride to the game. It's too bad the locals seemed to have chosen a beef with the Alphabet over a beef with insufficient transportation infrastructure.
Reader Raphael saw the first France Pictures post that recently ran and kindly offered to translate an article in French that was referenced in the post. I found it to be an interesting reading and hope readers will as well. Thanks Raphael!
I traveled to France recently and snapped some bike related photos that I will run in a short series. The weather was fabulous the evening I arrived in Paris via the Gare de Lyon train station and on the walk from the station to the place I was staying I spotted this -
I have always been interested in graffiti/street art, but seeing a bike bolted to a building is something I had never seen before. Spray painting, tiling, postering, and stenciling all have certain degrees of difficulty, but bolting a bike to a building definitely takes it up a notch. I thought it was likely a random piece, but as I settled into the city I spotted another . . .
. . . and another . . .
. . . and another . . .
. . . and another . . .
. . . and yes another.
I did notice the text "Ride in Peace" next to a few of the bikes and I Googled it and this article, in French, turned up. Anyone familiar with the street art scene in Paris and/or fluent in French please feel free to add insight.
Somewhat bike related was this face mask wearing girl . . .
. . . and along with bikes she appears to like fish.
This is not bike related but I liked it and thought I would post.
Ever get annoyed with someone's parking or driving habits? I know, dumb question. I am sure we all get annoyed by drivers but are not often able to do anything about it. Well, as I hear young people say these days, "There's an app for that." Here is the introductory text from the TowIt web site:
TowIt works with municipal governments, local law enforcement, and towing companies to remove the barriers required to make cities effectively fight and deter bad parking and dangerous driving habits.
Download our app and help TowIt relieve congestion, reduce collisions, open up economies, improve the environment and enhance the lives of urban residents and suburban commuters alike.
Anyone used this app? Or do you have your own way of dealing with annoying drivers? If so let us know about your tactics or experience by leaving a comment.
Oh, and as an aside, I get annoyed by pedestrians and other cyclists all the time as well . . . being inconsiderate of others or generally clueless is not the sole domain of those in motor vehicles.
Jason, a teacher at Hiroshima International School, contacted us and made us aware of a pretty cool ride some students will be doing soon to promote peace. BikeHacks.com is all in favor of peace and I hope readers will enjoy this story.
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STUDENTS TAKE ACTION ON PEACE
Students from Hiroshima International School promote peace by cycling from Hiroshima to Nagasaki
Students from Hiroshima International School are cycling from Hiroshima to Nagasaki to promote peace. The students are taking action in the 70th anniversary year of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The group aims to promote peace by cycling nearly 500km from Hiroshima Peace Park to Nagasaki Peace Memorial Hall and present 1000 paper cranes to Nagasaki Peace Memorial Hall as a symbolic gesture of peace.
The cyclists will depart from Hiroshima Peace Park on October 8th, cycle for 6 days, present the cranes in Nagasaki on October 14th and return to Hiroshima the following day.
Cycling was chosen as the mode of delivery because it is physically challenging, requires commitment to training, determination, and is a sustainable form of transport. The supervising teacher for the ride, Jason Underwood, said: 'None of the students have cycled very much, if at all, so this is a significant challenge for them. The students have had a few training mishaps with some falls and equipment failure but they always get back on the bikes.`
The most recent training ride was cycling from the school to the Children's Monument in Hiroshima Peace Park to commemorate the 70thanniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb on August 6.
The Principal of Hiroshima International School stated, 'There is so much about this initiative that epitomises what international education is about: connecting with our local community, taking on of challenges and promoting greater understanding between communities. This is an activity these students will never forget.`
The significance of 1000 paper cranes originates from the story of Sadako Sasaki, who was 2 years old at the time of the atomic bombings and survived the blast in Hiroshima. She later suffered from leukaemia and died in 1955, age 12. Whilst in hospital, Sadako heard of a Japanese legend that promised a wish to anyone who folded 1000 paper cranes. Sadako began the task and so inspired others to do the same. Her story was popularised in the book, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coer.
Interestingly, Sadako`s biggest challenge was finding paper, not time, to fold the cranes. In today's busy world the situation is reversed: paper is in abundance, time is scarce.
The ride, known as the 'Peace Ride', has involved the wider community with fund raising efforts and donations. Most significantly, the school received a donation of 3 bicycles from a local resident. The '1000 Paper Crane Club', run by the students of Hiroshima International School, has been working hard to prepare the cranes for Nagasaki Peace Memorial Hall. Every year the club folds, collects, and displayspaper cranes at Hiroshima Peace Park's Children's Memorial and conducts guided tours of the park in multiple languages for school students visiting Hiroshima.
The students have a Facebook page and are aiming for 1000 Likes for 1000 paper cranes. You can show your support and `Like' the page here.