Thursday, June 17, 2010

Velo Noir et Bleu

A few months ago, the city of Nice started a "green initiative" called Velo Bleu. It is a bike rental program with small stations all over the city of Nice. All you have to do is walk up to the big blue station with the big blue bicycles (velo bleu), hit the right buttons, call a number, and viola! You have a bike. Easy huh? John and I thought so too. So, we each bought a year membership and should be getting a card in the mail this week so all we have to do is swipe our card and take a bike- even easier.

This past Monday I decided to try out our new bikes. I was going to the library and thought that I could probably make it to town faster that way than I could take the bus. So, off I went to the closest Velo station. And spent the next 15 minutes trying to get it to work. It didn't. I walked to the NEXT station. No bikes. I walked to the NEXT station. Again, no bikes. Then I remembered that there is one more station in our little block. In a slightly odd place so I figured that it might actually have a bike. It did. After walking to 4 bike stations and already sweating like a pig- I had a bike. Unfortunately, there was a very narrow sidewalk and a busy street. I haven't ridden a bike in about... 12 years.. and thought this might be testing my luck just a little bit. (Actually, I am pretty sure this adventure had NO luck what so ever. You'll see.) So, I walked the bike to the nice bike path that runs from one side of Nice to the other and finally got on. It didn't go well. Something was wrong with this bike. It wanted to go right. No matter what I did, it wanted to go right. I took one hand off the handlebars to scratch my nose and BAM. Ran into a fence. I kid you not. I really ran into a fence, fell of the bike, and scraped my knee and the top of my foot within the first minute of being on this thing. But, I was DETERMINED to get to the library on this stupid bike. After walking around for 30 minutes just to FIND it- darn it, I -would- make it to the library if it killed me. So, I got back on and realized that they are doing construction on the bike path and I had to ride in the grass. (See? No luck. No luck at all.) Scraped the top of my other foot getting through all of that mess and finally made it to the nice, smooth path. Beautiful scenery, nice, calm sea, just wonderful. I couldn't look at it though. Too busy trying to keep the crazy bike from running over people. Almost took out a nice old man. ( I assume he was nice. All I saw was his back.) Oh, almost forgot, the road I was riding beside has bus stops and where these bus stops are, the path curves. In a few of these curves were work vehicles. So not only did I have to take the curve on the crazy bike but I had to also go around another car/truck. Yeh, right. I ended up on the sidewalk and then made my way back to the bike path. (Oh, it's such a good thing I can laugh at myself.) I made it up the road, found where I needed to turn to reach the library, but there were no bike stations. I road a little farther- still no stations. Eventually, I had to turn around, go back, and walk the stupid, stupid bike across the road to find a station. After a harrowing bike ride, I finally made it to the library and only an hour late. 

I took the bus home.

And, I have bruises. John and I now have a new name for Velo Bleu. Velo Noir et Bleu.

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