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Old 07-16-07, 09:39 AM   #1
head_wind
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A New French Revolutionís Creed: Let Them Ride Bikes

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/16/wo...tml?ref=europe

Note: the NYTimes requires (free) registration and in many years I have not
received any spam that I attribute to them.

The best line: "The Champs-…lysťes is not for the faint-hearted." My kids
say that I am very easily amused but I have spent hours watching traffic
trying to negotiate the Champs-…lysťes.
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Old 07-16-07, 12:51 PM   #2
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The Arc de triomphe in the Champs- is an experience never to be forgotten. There I was happily going round the Roundabout in the rush Hour-And I was in a 17ton truck- And I had cars coming at me the wrong way round the roundabout. I parked up and took the metro.
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Old 07-16-07, 01:02 PM   #3
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Never been to France but if they drive like the Romanians.....I concluded that even touching the brakes over there is considered a sign of weakness. And their roads are truly MUP: little tiny cars, big trucks, baby carriages, bikes, horse-drawn buggies, all seemingly oblivious to each other. The only time I wasn't terrified on the road is when I was in a big coach of a bus.
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Old 07-16-07, 05:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam
The Arc de triomphe in the Champs- is an experience never to be forgotten. There I was happily going round the Roundabout in the rush Hour-And I was in a 17ton truck- And I had cars coming at me the wrong way round the roundabout. I parked up and took the metro.
Police cars turn on their sirens and lights to get a little distance. I once
watched an Aston Martin DB5 go around one section at a time and stop
at the curb each section. You could see that the driver was just about
out of breath from the exertion! I haven't ridden a bike (or car) there but
have seen bikes mastering the circle.
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Old 07-16-07, 07:19 PM   #5
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I spent Hallowe'en to Thanksgiving 1982 in Europe and fortunately never touched an ignition key the entire time. It was indeed interesting to ride with our sales representative while he maneuvered his BMW 5-series around the Arc traffic circle. Fortunately, Paris traffic speeds tend to low enough that bicycling might not be that bad. They need to do something about traffic congestion -- every large city eventually reaches the point at which private automobiles are no longer a time-efficient means of transportation.
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Old 07-16-07, 07:49 PM   #6
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Riding a bicycle in Paris might be the most dangerous thing you could attempt. Spent a week there and did not see a sole riding a bicycle. The car drivers are crazy. The motorbikes even worse. The underground is the only way to get around the city.
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Old 07-16-07, 08:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by oilman_15106
Riding a bicycle in Paris might be the most dangerous thing you could attempt. Spent a week there and did not see a sole riding a bicycle. The car drivers are crazy. The motorbikes even worse. The underground is the only way to get around the city.
I guess 2 winters ago I visited my son who lived and studied in Paris.
I saw very few roadies but a fair number of commuters. Of course
not as many as in Amsterdam. My recollection is that the trucks and
buses and cars and motorcycles and scooters and mopeds and bicycles
all got along pretty well. (Maybe my recollection of mopeds is from a
_l_o_n_g_ time ago!) There were bus and bicycle only lanes on quite
a few roads. Those commuters were riding in weather colder than
I'd ride.
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Old 07-17-07, 12:10 PM   #8
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Paris? Pikers. You should see the drivers and traffic in Bangalore (or any large Indian city).

Saw one brave (or suicidal?) roadie in Bangalore. If a truck or bus or scooter or car or autorickshaw or oxcart(!) doesn't get you the potholes/cracks/other road hazards will. Every other bicycle was one of those rod-braked zillion pound "utility" bikes. "Hero" is one of the big brands there.

Last edited by bcoppola; 07-17-07 at 12:16 PM.
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