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Zander Willoughby

Planes, Trains, and Bicyclobiles

by Zander Willoughby | Mar 09, 2017

To get from the second floor of East to the second floor of ACEN, it takes, what, two minutes, three if you’re slow? To get to town, I either take the ten minute walk, or talk someone into driving me (and then you have to run all their errands with them too….). To go from campus to my parents’ house, it’s around two and a half hours (depending on how many buggies you get stuck behind in Elkhart County) by car. Getting around Strasbourg and travelling in Western Europe is a bit different.

So, let’s talk about getting around Strasbourg. The way I see it, there are 3.5 main options for getting around Strasbourg: The tram/bus system, your feet, bicycle, or (increasingly so) monocycle gyroscopique, aka, electric gyroscopic unicycle, (or by car, I guess, but that’s largely only people carrying a lot of things or people who live in the villages and drive into town to work). But that’s right, you heard me, electric gyroscopic unicycles.

Tram / Bus System
Strasbourg’s public transportation is well known for its ease and efficiency. We even had one student here last year studying the tram system for his master’s thesis! Between the trams and the buses, one can reach most anywhere in town and in the surrounding villages. They’re even close to linking Strasbourg and the German town across the Rhine, Kehl, by tram. An allé-simple ticket costs 1,70€ and an allé-rétour costs 3,30€. OR, you can get a fancy-pants Badgegéo for 25,60€/month and use the public transport unlimitedly (I broke down and got mine this week, it’s luxurious).

Honestly,  Strasbourg’s  not  that  big  of  a  city,  it’s  not  that  big  a  deal  to walk everywhere. I live on the west side of town, my fac (department / college / institute) is on the east side of town, the Parliament is in the north-west corner, and I teach English often in the north-east corner. To walk from the two furthest points from each other, it takes about 35 minutes (for one with long legs rocking out to foreign policy podcasts on the way).

Strasbourg is a very bike-friendly city. Granted, it’s situated in a bike-friendly country  on  a  bike-friendly  continent,  but  I’ve  heard  French  people  remark about Strasbourg’s bike-friendliness, so I feel comfortable making the claim. I’ve been saying for about six months that I’ll buy a bike, hasn’t happened yet. Point being, everyone rides bikes.


electric gyroscopic unicycles

Look at that thing! Is that not the coolest thing you’ve ever seen??? Granted, they are 400€ and I can easily outwalk them, BUT STILL! There’s just something about walking on a cobblestone street next to a 600 year old cathedral and having a guy in a suit zip past you like something out of a science fiction movie. The future was yesterday, people.

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