Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Veturilo - waiting for the snow to go

This time last week, the snow was falling thick and fast; the only people out and about on two wheels were couriers riding fixies (below - for the ultimate in control of one's bike - no brakes to get clogged up with wet snow, just the chain connecting the rider's legs to a fixed rear hub).

Below: Warsaw's Veturilo public bicycle sharing system was meant to have re-started on 1 March. And here we are - Wednesday 3 April and the racks are still standing empty. Too much snow! This is Pl. Unii Lubelskiej, the cycle hire station being less than 100m from my office. Will come in handy once the snow's finally disappeared!

Left: Friday 5 April, and the Veturilo (the Esperanto word for 'vehicle')  bikes begin to appear. Here they are outside Stokłosy Metro station. Although the pavement on this stretch of Al. KEN is clear of snow, there's still enough of the white stuff on the ground to dissuade all but the hardiest of cyclists from mounting their bikes.

Below: Sunday 7 April, 11 am, outside the Marriott Hotel, Al. Jerozolimskie. Snow still predominates in city centre ground cover. Not a single bike taken out for a spin. In my experience, cycling while there's thick snow around is a recipe for a nasty tumble.

Below: the same bike station, looking towards ul. Emilii Plater. Snow as far as the eye can see.

It's now Tuesday evening as I write; the past three days have seen daytime highs of 6C to 8C; the snow is retreating because of the warmth of the sun rather than being washed away by rain. This is good. Soon it will be OK to get back on two wheels. And high time to test Warsaw's answer to the Boris Bike.

This time last year:
Progress on the S2/S79 (12 months later, neither road is finished)

This time two years ago:
Literary flavours of the PRL - Janusz Głowacki's Z głowy

This time three years ago:
Television - the Drug of the Nation

This time four years ago:
Needs and wants and economics

This time five years ago:
On the Road from Łódź

This time six years ago:
Aerial views of the ground

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