12 October 2010

out on a red bicycle

The weather was beautiful last Saturday.

I felt like a bike ride, so I rented a vélo'v. My destination: Île Barbe.

I crossed Presqu'île and a bridge, and up the quai I went. There wasn't much traffic once I went past Pont Massaryk. I pretended I was Audrey Hepburn riding the bike through the fallen leaves along La Saône.

Once I got to Île Barbe, I parked my bike, sat on a bench, and snacked on the baguette. A guy was playing a guitar nearby, a woman was taking a nap on another bench, and a father-and-a-daugher pair was playing on the playground equipment. It was a lovely, quiet moment on a lovely, quiet afternoon.

I wanted to explore further down in the residential area, but I chickened out. Technically, the area is off-limits to non-residents (althought I'm sure they get "visitors" all the time), plus I didn't know where to secure the bike. I wondered what it would be like to live on a little gem of an island like Île Barbe. I mean, I don't think there's garbage collection -- so do the residents haul their garbage off the island themselves? To the arrondissement dump?

Time flows a little bit more slowly at places like this, I think.

I rode the bike past the Île Barbe Pétanque Club and its two members (seriously, there must be a club -- the sign said "Île Barbe Pétanque" and the two gentlemen sitting in front of it looked very authentic, very professional-pétanque-player-like). I pushed the bike up to the bridge, back to the quai and biked for about a mile. I then returned the bike to a station and caught the bus back to town, because my legs gave up.

Here are two photos of Pont de Lîle Barbe (which show just how small the bridge is -- there's no way a gargabe truck can go over it), along with some of the other pretty bridges from Lyon. Ours is a lucky city, to have two beautiful rivers running through it, and such pretty bridges adorning them all along.

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