The Velo Bleu are publicly available bikes for anyone to use in Nice. They cost just 1 euro per day and can be found across the city. To use them for the first time you’ll need to get registered which is really simple.
Here is what you need to do….
To use a Velo Bleu for the first time you’ll need to a payment card and a mobile ‘phone. After that you will only need your ‘phone.
On your first ride you will need to set up an account. You do this by calling the number shown on each bike rack. There is a number for Brits to call which takes you through the steps in English. The whole process is automated so you won’t need to speak any French!
On registration, your payment card is associated with your mobile ‘phone number allowing you to unlock bikes with just your mobile on future journeys.
When are ready to take another Velo, you simply text the number displayed on the bike rack. The system will then recognise your mobile number and return you with a code to enter on the keypad. YOU can choose which of the bikes to take at this point. Once your code has been entered the bike will unlock and it’s all yours.
With each Velo Bleu bike there is a lock, the code for which is displayed on the terminal when you select the bike. Make sure you watch for this and take note of it as I missed it on my first rental.
Each bike has a small pannier at the front which can hold a small bag. There is a stretchy rope thing that can hold in place. This is ideal for your beach bag but I’m not sure I’d place anything more valuable in there.
Once you have finished with your bike you can deposit it back into any rack of your choosing. Do note that sometimes the rack will be full which means you either have to wait around for a space or find another rack. In some cases, like on the promenade there are plenty of options, in others this may be a little harder.
The official site is here at http://www.velobleu.org and you can download the PDF map of all locations here.
See also: Postcards from Nice