Want to experience Paris more fully? Ride the Velib

Arc de Triomphe

There are many ways to get around Paris, walking, the Metro, Uber, renting a car. During our trip, Kyle and I preferred the more adventurous option, the Velib. For those not familiar, the Velib (a combination of the words vélo and liberté) is Paris’ bike sharing network with over 1200 bike stations and 18,000 bikes, the second largest after China. I used to be a pretty avid rider, riding 8 miles a day to and from work, and Kyle currently rides 18 miles round trip to work on the west side. Naturally, this option fit us best.

Initially I was concerned with biking around Paris because of the traffic and my uncertainty about the streets, though my concerns slipped away quickly. Parisian motorists are quite respectful of bicyclists, most slowing or stopping for you, and were generally extremely careful. The most dangerous situations I ran into (not literally) were the tourists who would walk through the cross walks without looking.

If you derive any sort of joy from riding bikes I absolutely recommend this option. There’s a beauty and freedom to joyriding around a city that you don’t quite know, and cities don’t get much more beautiful than Paris.

(Sidenote: I took the photo above as I was riding my bike to the Palais De Tokyo. The roundabout at the Arc de Triomphe is a ton of cars and motorcycles going in every crazy direction and I was pretty proud of snapping this while I was moving!)

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