Visiting Bordeaux on Bicycle
The Copenhagenize Design Company released on the 29th of April 2013 its ranking for the world’s most bike friendly cities called Copenhagenize Index . The enviable fourth position is shared this year by Bordeaux and Seville, just after 1.Amsterdam, 2.Copenhagen and 3.Utrecht.
The 2013 index evaluates 150 cities worldwide taking into consideration criteria as diverse as bicycle culture, bike share programs, urban planning, bike rides safety perception and political leaders encouragement of bicycle usage (kudos to Bordeaux’ mayor Alan Juppé for taking a hands on approach in city’s bike friendliness and investing in 3,5000 French made Peugeot bikes).
Bordeaux city has a network of 200 km of bike paths and there are 700 km more in the whole department of Gironde.
The number of cyclists has tripled in Bordeaux in the last fifteen years and to encourage this trend the city hall set up in 2001 a FREE service of bike sharing – unfortunately available only to Bordeaux inhabitants – called VVB (Vélos Ville de Bordeaux – Bike City of Bordeaux). The program was from its outset and still is a huge success.
This service was followed by another bike sharing program initiated by “Tram et Bus de la Communauté Urbaine de Bordeaux” , program called: VCub (Vélo Communauté Urbaine de Bordeaux).
VCub is a paid service available to anybody at the cost of 2€/hour with the first ½ hour free (which can make it a free service if one changes the bikes each half an hour something totally achievable given there are more than 130 bike renting/changing stations throughout the city!). The only drawback is the €200 security deposit that is charged should the bike get lost or stolen.
For a plan Bordeaux bike paths go here or download the .pdf format plan from Bordeaux City Web Site (PDF Document 3,3 Mo)
For ideas of discovering Gironde department on bike check out the “Communauté Urbaine de Bordeaux” web site (it includes bike trips to the Grand Cru wine chateaux of the Pessac region).