Days ago in downtown Tokyo, I saw a man taking a bike got a big honk by
car. His bike was fast enough, although it's not so fast as car. As a result,
he was kicked out from the traffic. Poor cyclist in Tokyo....
Then I remember the bike in Paris. Two years ago (2007), I got a big strike
at Paris. Basically, I like the way of French people who assert individual
right. However once I got nine day strike, I wanted say just "knock
it off" It's so inconvenient. Surprisingly that was not the longest
one in France. According to the people talking to me they'd got twenty
one day strike in 1980s.
After all, I walked myself during the strike. One day, I found people ride
a same bicycle. I thought that the model must be the best seller. And sometime
tens of the bikes were tagged on roadside post. So I asked to the people
what the bike was. They told me that it's a public bike, bike sharing system
All you need to rent a bike was credit card. So I tried it. First of all,
insert the card to the slot of the machine beside the bike station. Then
pay 150 Euro for deposit and buy the ticket valid full 24 hours for 1 Euro.
That's all. Quite simple.
You must put the serial number written on the ticket and PIN code which
you made up for each rent. No extra charge was added up to 30 minute ride.
Of course the deposit would be paid back later. You could return it at
any public bike post in the city.
However this 30 minutes rule was a little bit tricky. I had to always check
the watch. Although I got to the bike post in time, I couldn't find the
vacant post for return. I gave it up and searching another post. Beeeeep.
Time's up. Small amount of Euros would be added on my next month bill.
If you want to move around Paris by this share bike, it's better to know
the map of the city. You don't need to have knowledge like a driving navigation
system. But at least, you should know well known places or land marks for
checking the road sign.
Adding to that, the thing pushes up the difficulty of this bike riding is heavy traffic of Paris. You have to ride on the street with other traffic. It's always make you nerves. As I told, France is matured society. So it's hardly honked by cars. But bike is regarded as a part of traffic. Always you must ride in the same rule as car or motor bike.
Usually bikes are regarded as a pedestrian in Japan. So I was so scared
when I turned left with riding in the central lane. At last, I came to
the bike post breathlessly, then looked for vacancy. And locked it almost
just on time. "Phew ... "
So how's going this bike sharing system, named "Velib'" now.
I'm interested in it. According to the news, a same kind of trial just
began at downtown of Tokyo. However I'm so doubtful this system really
fits to Japan. Unfortunately, we don't have "Bike culture" If
I pick up a reason for it, we Japanese hardly think about other person's
right. In another words, we tend to think about ourselves at first. We
never give the way. From my experience, in those country the most powerful
one becomes a king, which meant a car on the street.
With thinking like this, it's very easy to understand why the long strike
takes place in France. They accept other person's, or human rights thoroughly.
So the strike gets longer and longer. Yes, things always have trade-off
" My Bike " Japan 2010