Velib city bikes waiting for riders outside Bibliothèque François Mitterrand. Although they all look identical it’s worth giving a bike a quick look over before you swipe your card to unlock it.
Flat tyres and wobbly saddles are easy to detect. The bike that’s stuck in bottom (or top) gear doesn’t reveal itself until you’re on your way. A saddle that’s turned round backwards is a warning from the previous rider.
A note to readers interested in traffic planning: the concrete kerb divides two way bike traffic from two lanes of cars. It’s safe and convenient for cyclists but a little confusing for unwary pedestrians trying to cross the road without waiting for the lights.