...Continued from page 1

Ludovic explained some complicated business about the gearing of the vehicle, which I understood to mean that the rear-seat passenger only had to look as if he or she was peddling too - or, at the very least, the taxi bike driver has to pedal harder.

The outfit, which is called Tandem Services, has about 100 bikes he told me. Fares, starting at seven francs, vary according to the type of trip, but are geared for either pleasure trips or serious commuting - and even shopping trips.

When the subject of the closed speedway was raised, Ludovic praised the idea highly because it is a route which bikes are allowed to use, even if they are tandems and even if they are taxis.

The official word is that bike drivers are now allowed to use the bus lanes, and the next step will be to make the bus lanes slightly wider so the two types of vehicles can co-exist.

When signing up, new club members occasionally write answers to a few of the questions posed by the club'sphoto: tandem taxi bike unofficial questionnaire. The almost routine answer to the question, 'What have you liked least about Paris?' has changed recently from what it was, to 'pollution.'

Ludovic Communier, sort of leaning on the steering wheel of his tandem vélo taxi.

To be true, some people mistake what Paris smells like - it smells like 'Paris' - with pollution, I think a lot of people use the word 'pollution' as a synonym for traffic - cars, buses, motorcycles and trucks.

Having the political will to close the speedways, as well as seeing services like the tandem taxis pop up, are signs that things in the future are not just going to be like past - despite the desire of some idle lawyers to be allowed to continue being 'kings of the road.'

Sports News

Lance Armstrong was the overall winner of this year's Tour de France, which had its climax on the Champs-Elysées - known locally as the world's most famous street - even if it is an 'avenue.' This happened yesterday and even though this news is tardy - it is worth mentioning that it was Mr. Armstrong's third win and Texas is quite pleased about it.

Internet Life

Your Paris Web URLs

If you have any favorite Paris Web sites you think other readers should know about, please send them in. If they haven't been featured before and they don't crash my browser, you'll get a modest 'thankYou' here.

I have not overlooked the URLs I've received as recently as several weeks ago, and I have even checked some of them out. The 'thankYous' are being readied.

However the server-lady Linda Thalman thinks you might be interested in a new apartment-rental service called 'Rendez-Vous à Paris' which she intended to tell me about at last Thursday's club meeting, because new member Alban was there and has something to do with it.

Actually, if Alban had not have been at the club he wouldn't have become a member, and his life would be less full than it is today - even though becoming a club member seemed to be a great surprise to him.

Generally, 'Internet Life' is not discussed at club meetings for the very good reason that it is tiresome and boring, so what needs to be mentioned about it gets its airing here, for what it's worth.

Forecast for August

Here it is, at the end of July and the first of August's 'grands départs' has departed, while all of July's 'departed' have tried to return at once - on account of disgust with July's weather - only to find Paris is hotter that any three July days in Brittany added together.

However, the weather is a ficklephoto: sunday free music, la villette beast these days on account of - ah - was it not always so? It is a handy thing to blame because it doesn't pay taxes and doesn't vote, but the fat lady hasn't sung yet.

On Sunday, out at La Villette's 'music kiosk,' for the very loud and absolutely free concert.

It isn't over until its over, yodelwise, so you will still be interested in Météo-France's short-range forecasts - which finally did end up predicting better weather for northern France because you stayed tuned in long enough.

Météo-France has also begun its 'Vigilance-Météo' service, which consists of putting out special alerts concerning hurricane-speed winds, torrential downpours, heavy storms, tornados, blizzards and/or avalanches within the next few hours in Paris and throughout France.

These 'alerts' are already getting tiresome, because the media are repeating them. By this coming Tuesday evening, France Météo is liable to say you should keep under cover and stay on your second floor, if you have one, because of fierce tropical storms in eastern Alsace.

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