by Bonnie Alter, London on 08.30.11
London's Boris bikes are being invited to all the best places. They went to Paris for an outing and they have been invited to Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal as well. Lucky them.
Les Boris Bikes went everywhere: the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Musee d'Orsay and the streets and bridges of the magic city.
They did receive some curious looks: a couple of Londoners on Parisian hire bikes cycled over to find out what on earth they were up to with Boris Bikes in Paris. And it was sore to cycle on the cobbled side streets.
As for a comparison between London and Parisian bicycles :
"My first thoughts are that Vélib bikes look a lot less conspicuous than the big heavy blue London bikes, and thus are less noticeable in the streets which might be a good or bad thing depending on your point of view. They also come with padlocks, which seems a bit superfluous as Vélib bike stands are as plentiful as Boris Bike stands are in London.
They do however have the advantage of a larger front basket, which it would be nice to have in London, as the small "rack" on the Boris Bikes is a bit restricting."
No secret rendez-vous with a sexy Velib, but les Boris Bikes still had a great day out.
it's kind of cute, eh? Bixi bikes from Montreal, Melbourne, London, Washington DC / Arlington, Minneapolis and Ottawa / Gatineau are visiting Toronto for the month: bienvenue. Although there are only two of each, cyclists will get a chance to try out this international selection, if they can find them.
They are all painted different colours: London is blue, Ottawa is red and white and Montreal is grey. There are local differences as well. The Minneapolis and Washington bikes have a half-basket. The seats on the Montreal bikes don't go as high as the Toronto ones. The brakes on the London bikes had to be switched because they are on opposite handles from the North American configuration.