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Things to know before hiring a "Velobleu" bike in NICE

Melbourne, Australia
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Things to know before hiring a "Velobleu" bike in NICE

Hiring a Velobleu bike could be great BUT you need to be aware that EACH PERSON must have a mobile phone & a credit card on them in order to hire a bike. Tough luck if you have 3 kids, you won't be able to hire one for them as each person can only book out one bike!!

The concept is very good - lots of bike racks in the city and you can pick up and drop off a bike as you pleae. As four adults, we needed to make 2 telephone calls (supposedly free but probably not as all calls on our mobiles are at international rates) to register our details and because we only had 3 mobile phones between the four of us, we could not hire 4 bikes. VERY UNFRIENDLY FOR TOURISTS!!

I telephoned the complaints line of the company only to be told "Yes we know this is a problem" !!

We would have loved to have cycled this lovely city, so I encourage anyone else who has had this problem to let the Velobleu people to let know that they need to improve this situation. Their website is www.velobleu.org

London, United...
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1. Re: Things to know before hiring a "Velobleu" bike in NICE

The VeloBleu provides an alternative means of transport for young/ fit local residents making short trips around Nice. It is not designed to provide cheap travel for tourists. Its ideal for locals, Parisiens or other French on holiday who are used to cyling around but don't have a bicycle with them, or for "niche" travel needs.

A bicycle is never going to be a solution to transport for a family with young children. Thats common sense.

There has been a real struggle with VeloBleu as organised crime - Eastern Europe gangs in all probablity - which initially saw large numbers of the cycles stolen. The hire system is more secure now with the second wave of machines and docking stations.

Its still a cost effective alternative for a small number of people - first a credit-card based registration (lose the bike and you pay for it) then one euro a day for activating hire that day , then basically a euro an hour hire thereafter, meaning you make a short local trip and dock it immediately at your destination.

Buses are still more cost effective for most people and most journeys and the bikes are of no use to those who want to travel to other towns as most tourists will.

VeloBleu is an interesting social experiment. In the mean time, there are many other methods of transport within Nice, including two feet, novel though that is for some people.

Nice
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2. Re: Things to know before hiring a "Velobleu" bike in NICE

There are several cycle hire shops in Nice which are probably more suitable for tourist families rather than velobleu as they hire bikes suitable for under 14s as well as trailer bikes , bikes seats etc

Edited: 03 May 2010, 23:10
Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: Things to know before hiring a "Velobleu" bike in NICE

Oh, Come on "NiceLife"! Give me a break.

Nice has that fabulous beach front with an excellent cycle path for many kilometres and you think tourists are not going to want to explore that for a few hours??!! Even teenagers like to cycle and explore safely with their parents. Did I mention anything about a cheap alternative to touring?? It is only one of many things to do in the area.

I do understand the need for the cycles to be secure. A reasonable alternative would be for tourists to be able to register with the local tourist office in Nice or on-line with veloblue providing all the identifying information needed and then they could still enjoy the area in this manner.

Remember - tripadvisor is about feedback - seems you are a bit touchy on this. When I travel, I like full information, not half-information. The best businesses develop and evolve as problems arise (I should know, I've been in business a very long time!) not get defensive about potential solutions. Something to consider for you.

London, United...
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4. Re: Things to know before hiring a "Velobleu" bike in NICE

Ouch! That was a good slapping down, Liz., thanks

Edited: 08 May 2010, 17:21
Guildford, United...
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5. Re: Things to know before hiring a "Velobleu" bike in NICE

I noticed last week that there are quite a few new cycle lanes under construction, which one day may make Nice bicycle friendly, although most of those that do exist have no method of protection from dozy drivers. I am some what ambivalent about cycling in heavy traffic. I have been a regular cyclist for 54 years and never had a serious accident except in races many years ago. However, five of my friends have been killed while cycling, three of them run down from behind by drivers who 'didn't see them'. Observing the behaviour of many cyclists in central London I am astonished that half a dozen or so aren't killed each day. When they finish the work near the port it will be possible to cycle from the airport to Villefranche on dedicated, safe cycle lanes almost all of the way and continue with few problems around Cap Ferrat.

London, United...
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6. Re: Things to know before hiring a "Velobleu" bike in NICE

Quite right LB. The hospital service in London refers to cyclists as "organ donors on wheels". Usually healthy young tissue, which is quite badly needed for transplants. Our cyclists are "recycled", literally.

Observing the French cyclists as one does I can't help notice an anarchic streak. Having had built for them a segregated cycleway all the way to the airport, you still see the lycra-clad macho ones who insist on cycling traditionally on the road with the cars, and some still prefer the freedom to cycle among the pedestrians on the promenade rather than the protected cycleway next to it.

Last week I noticed a lot of cycleway extension had been made from the airport towards St Laurent de Var. I guess the march of the cycle is unstoppable. Which is good news for anyone on a transplant list.

Antibes, France
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7. Re: Things to know before hiring a "Velobleu" bike in NICE

I think I saw mention in the Nice Matin last year that it was proposed eventually to have a cycle path from Menton to Cannes or something like that.

On a personal level I acquired a bicycle some time ago but never plucked up the courage to use it on French roads. It was a classic Italian machine ( think 'Bicycle Thieves' rather than 'Tour de France'). Bicycle Thieves is appropriate as last time I looked I found someone had stolen it from my parking space. Possibly saved my life from what you say.

Ed

Cannes
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8. Re: Things to know before hiring a "Velobleu" bike in NICE

I have used these a number of times and they are great value for money - fr2day.com/action/getting_to_know_the_velo_b…

Perth, Western...
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9. Re: Things to know before hiring a "Velobleu" bike in NICE

<<Observing the French cyclists as one does I can't help notice an anarchic streak. Having had built for them a segregated cycleway all the way to the airport, you still see the lycra-clad macho ones who insist on cycling traditionally on the road with the cars,>>

It's not just a French anarchic streak. Where I live there are wonderful cycle paths, yet almost every time I drive my car to work, I have to slow down because of the lycra clad cyclists riding two abreast on a road which invariable has cars parked on both sides, making it essentially a single lane road and virtually impossible to pass them if there's a car coming in the other direction.

(Note: I'm not anti-cyclist - I ride most mornings before work, and in the weekends - but on the cycle paths because that's what they're there for.)

Edited: 11 May 2010, 17:04
Scotland, United...
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10. Re: Things to know before hiring a "Velobleu" bike in NICE

Observe the real French cyclists on the hills around La Turbie on a Sunday. Real kit and cycles!