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Moshe Safdie
Montreal by Bixi bicycle
Montreal by Bixi bicycle

Call me a tightwad, but when I heard that Montreal had rental bikes you can pick up and drop off all over town for a mere $5 Canadian a day (about $4.85 U.S.), it was like angels singing. See the city, sample the local cuisine and work it off without paying usurious day rates at the gym. This I had to try. The bike system, called Bixi (think "bike" plus "taxi"), started last year in Montreal and proved so successful among both commuters and tourists that the technology has been exported to Minneapolis, London and Melbourne, Australia; Paris already has something similar. Boston and Washington, D.C., are to adopt Bixi systems this year. Bixi bikes are heavy and sturdy,...

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