Friday, 16 November 2007
Maman (et papa) à Vélib'
Président Sarkozy must be reading my blog. There was an abundance of Vélib's today. One little glitch...
Sean came up to me after a meeting at the American Cathedral. He announces "You gotta go with me to move my Vélib'. What? I was looking forward to talking to some of the women I've been slowly getting to know. "Allright, a fellow Vélib'er in a plight," I thought.
We go outside and Sean explains that all the Vélib' stations nearby are full of bikes. Nowhere to park his, so it was locked up on the street. What to do? He suggests that I check out a bike so that there is then a slot for his bike. Not so fast there buddy. Then I'll be stuck with a bike with nowhere to park it. Not only was I looking forward to talking to women, I was hoping to eat soon.
We hatch a plan to check a bike out for me, check his current bike in, and then he can check out another bike. We'll then ride toward home, stopping and eating where we find a station to check our bikes in. Sound like madness. Well, that's right.
We take off on Avenue George V., and head North to the Champs-Élysées. I had to drive between two cars, and it was pretty narrow. I slowed down, which made me less balanced, and I knocked someone's rear mirror back. Zut alors!
Thankfully, my comrade riding behind me set the woman's mirror back in place. She had begun yelling after I passed, and in such matters, I ride faster. Sean's kind action settled her down, so she didn't run us over on the road ahead.
We head right off the Champs-Elysées and see a rack with spaces available to check bikes in. We treat ourselves to lunch at a café.
We made some purchases down the street and then it was time to pick up the kids. On Fridays, I like to pick up the kids because sometimes there is homework confusion, and I can ask the teachers about it.
I noticed it was later than we thought, so at Place Wagram I unleash a Vélib' in order to get to the kids' school on time. (I'm fairly confident I can lock it up in front of the park near their school).
I ride the few blocks to their school and slow down in front. I am greeted by applause and shouts of "Maman à Vélib'!" from the teachers. Though I feel totally cool and love the attention, Quinn is bright red. I am always embarrassing that poor young man. However, he does have a big smile on his face as if to say, "Yeah, that's my mom, she's kind of goofy, but also kind of neat." Maggie was all smiles ready to go home.
The days often aren’t what I’ve planned, but they are packed with adventure.