I have spent the end of November in Paris. Of 2 weeks of my visit I’ve been riding a bike for 10 days: to explore the city, to get where I was going, in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, in dry weather and under drizzling rain. So I’ve got a lot of cycling impressions in the French capital and I’d like to share them with you. Here we go!
Paris for me always was one of the favorite cities in the world, and it still remains as such (including Buenos Aires and New York). It seems I can forgive Paris for everything. Having spent in this city more than month overall, I’ve never had a chance to cycle in there, but have been dreaming about it all 4 years since the day of the first visit. And finally my dream has become true…
Vova writes from Spain:
Greetings from a small town Corella to everyone! The town is located 90 km to the South from Pamplona, which is famous for its festival San Fermin, when thousands of people are running from several tens of bulls chasing them on the streets of the town. The event is held in the middle of summer, that’s why you won’t see the pictures of us cycling away from a jolly bunch of bulls and people.
But we assume you’re probably interested in how we biked through the Pyrenees? I’m going to tell you how. Almost unnoticeable :) They are not mountains but small hills. At least, that place we were passing by. But to tell the truth, it took us the whole 2 days to cover 130 km, because we love sleeping and can’t force ourselves to leave at least in the early morning but not after lunch.
Vova reports from Europe:
While we were planning our bicycle trip to Portugal, we didn’t ever bear in mind, that we might stay for a night in real castle. It seemed to us as something unreal and expensive. But we met a Russian girl Nastya and her father in Paris — they saw our flag and came up, wondering, how we managed to get here. While had a morning cup of coffee, they told us about wonderful people, who bought an empty castle 10 years ago, settled it and now they take in guests from all over the world. They also told us about the ghost, that frightens the customers at nights. Having copied the address of castle owners and discussed the peculiarities of national French cuisine, we said bye-bye and in few hours left for Normandy.
Being in the region of Loire river, we remembered about the castle and decided to try and we wrote a letter to the owner...We got the answer in next few hours: „Tomorrow we have a spare room, next days are already occupied. Try to get in time for supper.” Now we have to cover 68 miles, big deal!
News from Vova:
Right now our location is in Angeres. Last couple of days appeared to be difficult due to some reasons: wind in face, mountains, unclear working hours of luncheonettes, besides, we had to cycle on quite big highways, and that is not always a pleasant thing. Today we have decided to have a day off. We are eating, sleeping and working in the Internet. We gathered much information we would like to share, but there was not much time for uploading and editing it, because we are trying to ride faster and to collect more material on the road. But we will make up for lost time.
In this post we are going to tell about the second part of our trip through Sweden.
The second Challenger Westwood found its owner. It’s Alexander Goncharov from Korolev. And here he comes!
So, it’s new country now. Denmark turned out to be very difficult for us. We had a row in Copenhagen (of course we made up a quarrel later). All way long it was raining. The wind was blowing furiously in our faces. A kickstand of my bicycle fell off. The cycling bicycle stop showing the average speed. Yesterday Piter punctured the wheel somehow. Both spare wheels turned out to be defective as in few miles they punctured in two places. Cause of these troubles we spent the whole day on the road. White t-shirts happened to turn into black in some places — cause of oil greasing. The last 37 miles we covered by bus, train and taxi. Cause here we have a squat at a girl, who lives in old house. And Denmark is madly expensive. We spent an incredible sum of money in Denmark... So, I hope everything will be easier... and let Denmark be an example of bicycle infrastructure. We have plenty things to tell and show. Coming soon. It’s time to go to bed now..
P.S. Tomorrow we’ll repair bicycles. There is a place here, in town, where this can be done, as we were informed.
Vladimir and Peter:
About 30% of citizens of Copenhagen and its countryside use bicycles. And more than 50% does it in the centre of the city. There have been done much for bicycles there, but our aim was not only to take pictures and make video, but we wanted to meet with Gehl Architects – the organization that inspires people all over the world, fulfills incredible projects and reconstructs cities making them more comfortable for people. We received a response from Cristian on our letter and made an appointment at their office.
An ordinary antique building in the centre of Copenhagen, there are not big signboards, only small title next to the bell button. The forth floor, an ordinary door and… very tremendous modern light office. Much useful literature; there are helmets with the title “I love my brain” hanging near the entrance; smiling people with luminous eyes. This is Gehl Architects.
To enumerate their completed projects can take a very long time. If anyone is interested, you can have a look at the site. This is indeed interesting! Below, we will tell only about some projects and particularly about Copenhagen, which is one of the most cycle cities in the world. Our meeting with Cristian lasted 2 hours, he was enthusiastically telling about Copenhagen and other projects, and we were listening and getting inspired.
In Cristain’s words, the way of Copenhagen towards the rank of cycle capital had taken more than 30 years. The arrangement was slow, there were mistakes, but a colossal experience was accumulated. Many solutions are unique.
“You shouldn’t force people, but invite, — says Cristian, talking about Copenhagen experience. – We are giving many advantages to the bicycles, and that is why more and more people are choosing this mean of transportation.”
Here is only an extract from our talk:
News from Vova:
Peter and I are in Copenhagen, “the cycle capital of the world”. Here, several years ago, the project Copenhagen Cycle Chic was established, whose format was spread in different cities of the world. The authors of the project regularly put out the pictures of beautifully dressed people and their bicycles, destroying the myth that riding a bicycle is just sport.
I do not know if the following can be called “a cycle chic” but anyway. Since the project needs a wider informational support (actually, even not the project itself, but the idea that having a bicycle is cool), we created these outstanding t-shirts, which each of you could buy for little money, thus, support our project. For instance, like these:
From each sold t-shirt there will be transferred 50 rubles to the account of the project. This money will be used for developing the project Let’s bike it! in the Internet. We are specially not making an extra-charge. It is more important that everyone could buy and wear it, showing his support for the development of the cycle movement in the country to everyone.
We have already bought these t-shirts for ourselves. I, for example, have one in the middle. You can buy and have a look at more versions in our shop window. So far, we are just testing this possibility, but in the near future we will put out several dozens of t-shirts of cool designs based on cycle themes.
We are very interested in your opinions, comments and suggestions! You can send your ideas of t-shirts to firstname.lastname@example.org. The best of everything will be made; the authors of the ideas will be mentioned and somehow rewarded.