Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Things that have changed in 35 years
Mobylettes. They're almost all gone. You see the classic version every now and then, and you see some Vespa-like scooters, but the old 20-inch bike with a weed whacker engine mounted on the front wheel has gone the way of the 5¢ stamp. And all the scooters and bicycles combined are nothing like the fleets of two-wheelers that clogged the streets of Montpellier in the afternoon when university and lycée classes let out. You don't see people on bikes getting a free ride by holding onto the shoulder of a powered friend. You don't see gaggles of high school girls or gangs of teenaged tough guy wannabes on them. You don't see old ladies going shopping or old guys going to the pétanque game on them. You pretty much don't see anybody, in fact, because they wear helmets now. And most of them are in cars. No wonder we got global warming.