The media loves the Paris Vélib story. It was covered on NBC news on Friday night and featured in the NYTimes Travel section as a great success and great vacation.
“Twelve weeks after the introduction of the Vélib, 15,000 bikes have been put into service at more than 1,000 stations. In that time Vélibiens (or Vélibeurs or perhaps Vélibistes) have checked out bicycles almost six million times and ridden them an estimated 7.5 million miles.”
The author of the article notes how, “As I peddled around the glass pyramid at the Louvre, I was struck by the strobelike reflections from the royal buildings around it.”
Bike Hugger has ridden all over and we think there’s no better vacation or business trip than getting out into a city on bikes.
Previous Velib coverage
If you’re anything like me you look forward to Fridays with eager anticipation. Not just because it’s the end of the week, it’s also Donut Day! And if you’re anything like me, you feel obligated to do the long ride to work on Donut Day to make up for such indulgences. Which raises an interesting question… How do you fit a dozen donuts on a stripped down, clean, urban bike? Sure the donut store will give you a cardboard box to strap on your rack, but I’m not riding my longtail in just to haul donuts. No, no, these donuts have to go in the messenger bag with everything else. Here’s what I came up with earlier this morning: two yogurt containers and a cardboard oatmeal tube. It fit a dozen Mighty-O’s perfectly. No crushing despite a full bag and hard contents, all the donuts with sprinkles had the majority of their sprinkles intact, and those with icing didn’t even suffer from being stacked under their icing free siblings.
I’ve admired 925s since I first started seeing them in shops and on the road. The 925 is Redline’s popular, single-speed, urban bike with slightly slack geometry, wide bullhorn bars, and a 4130 chrome-moly steel frame. It’s a simple bike to get you around town or campus and is well thought out with flip-flop hubs, fenders, and aero levers for the ends of the bullhorn. Also notice how the tubes are free of excessive decals. This bike is more about transportation then showing off brand names.
The hugga test is to roll down the steep hill I live on and then back up it. I’ll know immediately how a bike brakes and then later how it climbs. As I discovered, I don’t want a bike to brake like a time trial bike with aero levers. Soft and spongy is not good braking and that’ll worsen in the rain. I’d add a second set of levers to the 925 and start changing out the brake pads for a more solid brake feel.
Curiously the bike was comfortable, but not particularly stiff or nimble. Granted that’s a subjective observation and not negative or really a complaint, I just noticed how on sharp turns, the bike didn’t feel balanced and a bit awkward. That has a lot to do with the wheels, big tires, and bullhorn bars. The length of chain stays and fork rake also affect the ride and it’s definitely relaxed (learn more about the geometry from Redline). The 925 is not a “snappy road bike” or “stiff-ass” track bike and that’s perfectly good for riding across town and especially for 500 bones.
We’re going to spend more time with the 925 and I’ll bring a wrench on the next ride to flip the hub over to see if I can get up the hill without walking.
- MRSP is $499.00
- Nice paint
- My ankles and heels rubbed the crank arms. My feet float a lot when I ride.
- Wear gloves. The bullhorns don’t have slots for cables and you’ll feel them through the bar tape.
The 925 we tested is a one-of prototype and Redline told me today that the brake levers will change to address the sponginess I described above. Regarding the ride, as the name says 925, this bike is meant to be relaxed and that it is. Also, a correction that the bike is not yet shipping.
Submitted by Zannestar, who noted that Bike Hugger loves, “girls, skirts, and girls wearing skirts on bikes,” some related links
- For the fashion conscious cyclist – from the Guardian UK, a guide to fashion and cycling
- Skirts and bikes – a guide from Happy Woman magazine on how to best cycle in a skirt (why with a dutch bike!)
- Chic chicks on bikes – a blog that features high-heels, skirts, and danish bikes.
- Riding a Bike in Skirts and Heels – from the San Francisco Bike Coalition, a guide for the urban girl
- Fashion for the Active Woman – from a history of Women and Bicycles.