Posts Tagged ‘cycling’
“What’s it like to ride in Paris?”
This is a question that gets asked regularly, both by those interested in cycling and also by those that just think it’s nuts to ride a bike in a big city.
It’s actually a hard question to answer, because there’s no easy answer. It’s difficult. It’s wonderful. It’s often a hot mess. It’s rewarding. It’s big city biking after all.
But there’s nothing better than exploring a city on two wheels, and if you’re up for the challenge of riding in Paris, you won’t regret it. Plus, the more people riding, the better. That’s how we make change.
This week I’ve got a guide to cycling in the City of Light over on HiP Paris.
Despite all the romantic pictures you’ve seen of ladies in flowing skirts with flowers and baguettes in their quaint bike baskets, cycling in Paris isn’t always beautiful. It’s often fast, dirty and sometimes a bit harrowing. But it’s also rewarding. Because when the sunlight hits the buildings just right and you get into the flow of navigating a tight Parisian street on two wheels, life feels really good.
Paris is a city of winding streets and grand boulevards; cars, buses, and pedestrians that don’t pay attention; and recklessly antsy scooter riders, ready to dodge a vehicle whenever the opportunity presents itself. Stop paying attention for a few minutes and you can get yourself into a lot of trouble.
This is not to deter you from cycling. On the contrary, I want you to embrace cycling in Paris – the more cyclists the better – but it’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into. An added benefit of mastering vélo riding in Paris is that because it’s not always an easy city to ride in, you’ll feel especially accomplished once you learn to make your way through the network of streets and bike lanes. You will definitely deserve that glass of Sancerre when you saddle up to the wine bar later in the evening.
Read the full article here.
I have found myself constantly inspired in the last year by the story of the Afghan Women’s National Cycling team, pushing the boundaries in a country where cycling is considered taboo.
I recently wrote about them and a new film being made about their story on GOOD:
What if you were told you could not ride a bike because you’re a woman? What if your younger sister wasn’t allowed to ride? What if every single woman in your family was kept away from bicycles simply because riding them was seen as immoral?
While most of us have the luxury of being able to head out on two wheels whenever we want to, for the women of Afghanistan, the world of two wheels is reserved for men. Riding a bicycle is a taboo and a sign of immorality. Something so simple—a means of transportation that so many of us take for granted—is off-limits if you’re a female.
But that is changing.
Despite the cultural taboo of females on bicycles, there is an Afghan Women’s National Cycling Team in Kabul. These women who challenge their country’s gender expectations by riding are the subjects of an upcoming film called Afghan Cycles (Let Media). Earlier this year, co-directors Sarah Menzies and Whitney Connor Clapper travelled with Mountain2Mountain Executive Director Shannon Galpin to Afghanistan with a stash of cameras and more than 350 pounds of bike gear. The goal was to document these amazing, courageous women, but also to provide support for what is hopefully a growing movement.
You can read the full article here. And to support the team, Mountain2Mountain is currently doing a 100 Bikes by Christmas campaign – to help in the launch of a new women’s mountain biking team in Bamiyan – as well as a bike gear drive. To take part and support these women visit mountain2mountain.org/donation or email info[at]mountain2mountain[dot]org.
To learn more about the documentary, check out the Afghan Cycles website. Want to support? Mountain2Mountain is collecting bike donations so that they can launch a women’s mountain biking team in Bamiyan.
Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.
- John F. Kennedy
Life is simple really. Take a moment to slow down. Appreciate the present. Celebrate in the small things.
Standing on Pont des Arts I captured this shot, a woman cycling in the afternoon sun. Maybe she was on her way to meet a friend, maybe she was on her way home, or maybe she was just outside taking in the summer day. Whatever she was doing, it was beautiful.
Love bikes? You’ll love The Culinary Cyclist, a cookbook for anyone that believes that life is better spent on two wheels.
Excited about these new bike tube earring designs – you can snag a pair as one of the Culinary Cyclist Kickstarter rewards (my new book) before June 23, 2013!
Here’s the thing about riding a bicycle in new places: it’s like learning how to ride a bike all over again. No matter how used to the bicycle you are – at home in Portland I don’t even own a car – discovering a new city on two wheels makes you fall in love with cycling all over again. It’s a challenge. Navigating streets you have never walked down before, learning the ins and outs of local bike culture, figuring out how traffic works. There’s a flow to cycling, and each city has its own variation.