Who rents $3,500 bikes! What a moron.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Who rents $3,500 bikes! What a moron.

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    PARIS — Just as Le Corbusier’s white cruciform towers once excited visions of the industrial-age city of the future, so Vélib’, Paris’s bicycle-rental system, inspired a new urban ethos for the era of climate change.

    Samuel Bollendorff for The New York Times
    A vandalized "Velib," a public rental bicycle, in Bastille Square.
    Residents here can rent a sturdy bicycle from hundreds of public stations and pedal to their destination, an inexpensive, healthy, and low-carbon alternative to hopping in a car or bus.

    But this latest French utopia has met a prosaic reality: Many of the custom-made bikes, which cost $3,500 each, are showing up on black markets in eastern Europe and northern Africa. Many others are being spirited away for urban joy rides, then ditched by roadsides, their wheels bent and tires stripped.

    With 80 percent of the initial 20,600 bicycles stolen or damaged, the program’s organizers have had to hire several hundred people just to fix them. And along with the dent in the city-subsidized budget has been a blow to the Parisian psyche.
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  2. #2
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    Pretty sure that some of those downhill sleds they rent at lift assisted parks cost more than that .

  3. #3
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    Yeah but this is a huge fleet of no deposit rentals. Wouldn't something more in the sub $1,000 range be far more suitable?

    Rent a DH rig and you leave a credit card deposit and you are on the hook if you munge it up, rent one of these $3,500 dollar babies and you're free and clear to do what ever you want to it with absolutely no recourse.
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  4. #4
    Don't believe the Hype...
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    Leave it to a Gov contract to pay way to much. Hell a heavy duty $300 bike should be fine for that...
    Made with real bits of Panther, so you know it's good...

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  5. #5
    I'm with stupid -------->
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    3500 x 20600 = 72 million!!!!

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    And we thought our Govt was screwed up, pssst-don't let our "leaders" find out about the bike renting thing, I am SURE they can screw it up worse!!!!!!!!

  7. #7
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    Did you read the the whole article?

    So, despite the increasing costs, the city and JCDecaux are pressing on. The company invested about $140 million to set up the Vélib’ system and provides a yearly fee of about $5.5 million to Paris, which also receives rental fees for the bikes. In return, its 10-year contract allows it to put up 1,628 billboards that it can rent.

    The advertising company is the one that is paying for most of the bike repairs/initial costs in exchange for some advertising around the city. Brilliant idea if you ask me. I'd point the blame at society on this one...had to ruin a good thing by damaging/stealing them. On the whole, the program seems to be doing okay given the number of trips taken each day. Tempe should look into something similar with cheaper bikes.

  8. #8
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    Whoever thought this was a good idea is probably related to the guy that thought it was a good idea use the honor system for payment on our light rail system.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tls36
    And we thought our Govt was screwed up, pssst-don't let our "leaders" find out about the bike renting thing, I am SURE they can screw it up worse!!!!!!!!

    Mr. Obama would TRY to screw it up worse!!!!
    ...Dying is the easy part, its living that's the challenge...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom93R1
    Whoever thought this was a good idea is probably related to the guy that thought it was a good idea use the honor system for payment on our light rail system.
    You know what....AZEPIC is on to something....this is more a comment on Society than gov't. Go to Vienna and get on the U-bahn. It's all honor.....schoolkids, biz folks, sketchy folks, etc....everyone pays...but under the honor system. It's eye opening.....




  11. #11
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    Americans can't handle the honor system though, we like stealing stuff too much.

  12. #12
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    heres some videos of the Hooligans!


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnatiAZ
    It's just like some of my [immature] co-workers who feel like it is their civic duty to thrash every rental car they drive simply because they aren't the one responsible for it.

    AZEpicRandR sure it's a societal problem, but these guys that run it are morons for handing over super expensive (seemingly over priced) bikes with no recourse whatsoever.
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  14. #14
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    My wife and I were in France about a year ago and these bikes were great. When you spend the entire day walking and you're feet are throbbing, it's nice to just find one of these stands and drop a euro and rent a bike almost instantaneously. All you had to do was fine another stand to return it to and check it back in. We loved them!

  15. #15
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    I'm curious to see...

    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris
    Many of the custom-made bikes, which cost $3,500 each, are showing up on black markets in eastern Europe and northern Africa. Many others are being spirited away for urban joy rides, then ditched by roadsides, their wheels bent and tires stripped.

    With 80 percent of the initial 20,600 bicycles stolen or damaged, the program’s organizers have had to hire several hundred people just to fix them. And along with the dent in the city-subsidized budget has been a blow to the Parisian psyche.
    I'm curious to see what one of these $3500 beauties looks like...

    Anyone got a photo?
    If more people rode more bikes, more places, more often, the world would be a more better place!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Doc
    I'm curious to see what one of these $3500 beauties looks like...

    Anyone got a photo?
    What the YouTube video posted above.
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  17. #17
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    Just google Velib and you will get a ton of matches. Here is one link:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/0..._n_233338.html

  18. #18
    Plasko
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom93R1
    Americans can't handle the honor system though, we like stealing stuff too much.
    Apparently the French can't handle the honor system either, yet they hate the United States so passionately

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by generic602
    Apparently the French can't handle the honor system either, yet they hate the United States so passionately
    no no no... the French are starting to love the US now. They realized how boring "Le Tour" was without Lance... since his return they have been much friendlier. How can you not like the guy?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by generic602
    Apparently the French can't handle the honor system either, yet they hate the United States so passionately
    If you'd ever been to France...which you prolly have not.....you would distinguish the difference between Parisians and the rest of the country.....the hatred in this country of everything French is absurd considering 99.9995% of the vitriol is coming from folks who ignorantly have no basis of understanding for their emotions except for talking heads on cable TV.

    For the record......I still think Parisians are Assh0les....I'm just introspective enough to not damn an entire nation because of a bunch of talking points delivered to me 8 years ago via cable TV..




  21. #21
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    When we went to Paris (and various other parts of France) last year, I went in with the expectation of everyone treating me like a total idiot from the US and be very rude to us. I had this notion because everyone I knew told me to expect that from the French. What blew my mind away was that when we went over there, EVERYONE was extremely nice to us. Every single person that had told me that the French are rude to Americans were completely wrong. In the 12 days we spent in France and the dozens of people we met, not a single person treated us badly or rudely and in fact, some even went out of their way to help us!

    My theory (and I witnessed this first hand while we were in our hotel lobby) is that there are quite a number of Americans that act like the proud, entitled, and arrogant Americans the rest of the world thinks we are. They demanded that others speak English to them and made NO effort to assimilate into the culture whatsoever. I felt horribly embarassed listening to this guy in our hotel lobby yelling and screaming in English to the hotel workers. I almost wanted to apoligize to the hotel workers that not all Americans are like this but the reputation is already cemented in place because of idiots like this.

    Before we went to France, we made an effort to take some basic French classes and also learn the customs of the French culture. We also made sure to wear clothing that did not make us look like pathetic tourists... we would make an effort to blend in. It is amazing how easy it is to get people to treat you nicely when you make a genuine effort to enjoy their country/culture. People forget that they are a guest in other contries and the citizens of that country will respect you if you respect their culture.

    If it were the other way around and people were visiting the US, didn't speak a drop of English and didn't try to learn and were demanding things in their native tounge, Americans would be pissed off and rude too!

    Taht being said, my wife had an awesome time in France and don't let anyone dissuade you from visiting. The food was absolutely AMAZING even in the smallest of rat hole places. Even the food at the gas stations on the side of the highway was incredible!

  22. #22
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    ECE-Turo.....Exactement! Sucks that this became a referendum on who is cool with other cultures and who is not....but that's the way it's leaning. It's amazing how much a difference better butter can make in terms of your entire dining experience......




  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECEGatorTuro
    When we went to Paris (and various other parts of France) last year, I went in with the expectation of everyone treating me like a total idiot from the US and be very rude to us. I had this notion because everyone I knew told me to expect that from the French. What blew my mind away was that when we went over there, EVERYONE was extremely nice to us. Every single person that had told me that the French are rude to Americans were completely wrong. In the 12 days we spent in France and the dozens of people we met, not a single person treated us badly or rudely and in fact, some even went out of their way to help us!

    My theory (and I witnessed this first hand while we were in our hotel lobby) is that there are quite a number of Americans that act like the proud, entitled, and arrogant Americans the rest of the world thinks we are. They demanded that others speak English to them and made NO effort to assimilate into the culture whatsoever. I felt horribly embarassed listening to this guy in our hotel lobby yelling and screaming in English to the hotel workers. I almost wanted to apoligize to the hotel workers that not all Americans are like this but the reputation is already cemented in place because of idiots like this.

    Before we went to France, we made an effort to take some basic French classes and also learn the customs of the French culture. We also made sure to wear clothing that did not make us look like pathetic tourists... we would make an effort to blend in. It is amazing how easy it is to get people to treat you nicely when you make a genuine effort to enjoy their country/culture. People forget that they are a guest in other contries and the citizens of that country will respect you if you respect their culture.

    If it were the other way around and people were visiting the US, didn't speak a drop of English and didn't try to learn and were demanding things in their native tounge, Americans would be pissed off and rude too!

    Taht being said, my wife had an awesome time in France and don't let anyone dissuade you from visiting. The food was absolutely AMAZING even in the smallest of rat hole places. Even the food at the gas stations on the side of the highway was incredible!
    I was neither proud, entitled, or arrogant when I was in France. My experience was a bit different (this was back in 1989. In the French Riviera I think they know who butters their bread (all tourists) and I was treated wonderfully by all French there. Paris - mixed bag, some people treaded us great and others not so well. Numerous very small towns and villages is where I think they would have slung poop at us if they had some on hand. Just terrible treatment from the people in these very small places.

    Back to the bike thing - I do think this sort of general idea about renting the bikes is awesome. But there seems to be some fundamental flaws in how it is handled and with regard to the cost of the bikes being rented. Would be great if Tempe or Phoenix could get a similar program in for a test run.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECEGatorTuro
    My wife and I were in France about a year ago and these bikes were great. When you spend the entire day walking and you're feet are throbbing, it's nice to just find one of these stands and drop a euro and rent a bike almost instantaneously. All you had to do was fine another stand to return it to and check it back in. We loved them!
    Or when it is after midnight and the subway has closed for the night. The hardest part was knowing where you can pickup/drop off.

    I tend to doubt the $3500 number. Maybe they have an agenda, like quoting $300 toilet seats and $800 hammers for defense contractors.

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