Introduction: Motorcycle taxis are more and more popular in the big cities. To have a first person view, I sent my intrepid reporter, my wife, to try one out. Here is her account.
It's morning. I'm in my office. Ohhh nooo! how am I going to make it, so many meetings, so many places to be and so little time in between...... I exclaimed in sheer frustration to my smiling assistant as I saw my day's schedule shining brightly back at me on her computer screen.
"Don't worry" she says," I have it all organized... I've booked you a motorcycle taxi to get you to and from your meetings, it will only take you 30 minutes instead of one and half hours using the usual metro and RER connections....." said she sounding extremely convinced.
Wow, I say, sounds good, not doubting her sincerity but still thinking to myself let's see if it's really true, as she does have a good natured tendency to exaggerate to pacify my concerns.
Later on, I leave the office building to find the motorcycle taxi waiting outside for me, perfectly on time. The driver is courteous and asks if it's my first time to which I reply sheepishly that I'm not at all worried as I ride motorbikes myself. He takes my coat and briefcase and packs them neatly away into the back luggage compartment and then seeks out his smallest helmet. He has 2 helmets tucked away in a side luggage box as well as a rather oversized heavy black jacket which he helped me into.
I began to be impressed when he handed me disposal white paper "protector gloves" to put on inside the black leather outer gloves and he placed a disposal white paper inside the helmet before he placed it on my head and tightened it up to ensure it was a snuck and safe fit for my rather small head.
Once we were done with all the clothing preparations, I hopped up onto the pillion seat of the gleaming silver Honda Gold Wing. He then placed a protective warm furry cover (apron) over my legs and front of my body to complete the sense of comfort.
Off we went and I immediately sensed he was a very careful and attentive driver, he did not jerk the bike around corners nor brake aggressively... it was a very smooth ride throughout the smaller back streets of Paris before we came onto the "peripherique" - the outer ring road surrounding Paris. To my delight it was a sunny March day, blue sky, no wind, and not much traffic. We sped along calmly with his speedometer needle never leaving the 100 kph marker. It was very smooth, I felt very comfortable sitting against the backrest, looking around at the wonderful sights of Paris, taking in the beautiful and timeless architecture of the soft yellow buildings.
Earlier in the ride and as we were crossing one of the bridges along the river Seine with the Eiffel Tower on my right, Trocadero fountains on my left and tourist cruise boats underneath, I thought 'this is it' ...there's no other way to travel around Paris, why had I never thought of this before...!!!!
We arrived at my destination within 30 minutes exactly, I was sad it was over so soon, I could have easily spent the day on the motorcycle taxi and would have been delighted to do so but duty called and I had to leave all this behind and head into a windowless office for yet another business meeting.
It was a wonderful interlude to my day.... and I look forward to my next opportunity to take a motorcycle taxi.