The Velo Bleu are publicly available bikes for anyone to use in Nice. Simply hire them out for the day, pedal around Nice, and drop them off at any Velo Bleu hub/bike rack.
The huge flat promenade gave me an opportunity to take the bike for a long ride. But first I had to work out how to rent my first Velo Bleu. I thought it may be useful to know how to rent one, ahead of time, so you are prepared. This little guide should help you rent and pedal with ease!
Getting Started With Velo Bleu
Bike rental cost just 1 euro per day, making them extremely effective and cost-effective. Plus, the bikes can be found dotted all over across the city.
All that is required to use them is for you to undergo a simple registration, and you’re free to start cycling around Nice. Here is what you need to do….
Using Velo Bleu For The First Time
If you read this before you go, then skip to the website and sign up there.
To use a Velo Bleu for the very first time you will need some form of payment card and a mobile or smartphone. Once completing the simple registration process, you will only need your phone to access the bicycles.
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 you are ready to take another velo, you simply text the number displayed on the bike rack. The system will then recognize 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.
Where to Find a Bleu?
The bike racks are dotted across the city. You will see them all along the promenade, across from the major hotels including the Negresco. There are racks at the airport, the main Railway station (Nice Ville) and the hospital. You can find a PDF map of all locations here.
What Else Do You Need To Know?
Not a lot really. 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.
See also: Postcards from Nice