22 July, 2011

paris velo expo

yesterday i had the joyful opportunity to attend the historical velo expo in paris. i took so many photos but here is a few that i really like. sorry if they are a little bleary as it was difficult taking photos with really low light levels with screens surrounding bicycles. well, of a 150 years of cycling, i got to see every bicycle that was invented from 1818 to 2010 by the french. i loved what they called their first inventions, the hobby horse and the velocipede. the oldest bicycle they had there dated from the 1860's, it was pretty amazing, no pedals yet, you pushed with your legs, and it required a very tall man. although i could barely understand the french text in the expo, some were in english, the artifacts from bicycles, paintings, posters, news articles, photos, books (the size of the bible), tour guides, maps, to manuscripts, gave me a sense that the expo was celebrating the cycling culture that france birthed and the freedom that it represented. speaking of freedom, when you see anything related to velib in paris, it's always related to liberte and egalite. now this is something i won't go into as i'm still becoming acquainted with french politics, but when you see the photos, manuals, news clippings, and guides, you'll always see a woman cycling, fixing a bike, creating her own wear for comfort, and expressing her joy of freedom on bicycle, and the words in large print "LIBERTE". this is strongly celebrated during this expo and it makes me very excited to say, well, the french had it right from the start. in retrospect, the bicycle was a great egalitarian representation and tool for the women's liberation, so there's something to said of that. of course going through every piece in the expo was amazing, it was quite something to really think about and process. and while velib helps sponsor this expo, for many subscribers, you receive a huge discount at this expo just for having a velib subscription, 50% off your ticket entry. paris is not cheap, so i encourage people who are traveling to paris now till august 13th to get on this, just remember to subscribe!

well, i hope you enjoy your weekend and if this doesn't inspire you enough to get on your bike and fly, then just have fun imagining what it would have been like learning to ride that hobby horse!
bon weekend, bisous!
xoxo

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