Rental bicycles take over Paris

If you're in Paris and you need a bike, you're in luck like never before. The city has unveiled its Velibre bike rental program, making 10,000 bikes available at 750 locations. Just swipe your credit card, and you'll have a pearl-grey, built-like-a-tank bike all your own. For a few hours anyway.

The program, unprecedented in size, is the brainchild of socialist mayor Bertrand Delanoe. It's all part of Delanoe's plan to reduce the number of cars vying for space on Paris streets. Said Delanoe:

"Reducing air pollution has to be put at the centre of our development plans. We are simply offering here a little more air, a little more innovation and, as you can see in the name, a little more freedom."

In related news, Paris' beret and baguette rental program has received a tepid response. Surprisingly, the Jacques Chirac loaner initiative remains staggeringly popular.