June 08, 2007

Answers #1

Good, some questions! As for tornadoes, yes, as a matter of fact France has more tornado activity than any other European country - although based on the size and the terrain, "US World and News Reports" indicated this country has about the same percentage of incidence of tornadoes, as New England does in USA. It seems the lack of wide open terrain (like Kansas), limits the growth and duration of tornadoes in France.

Also a question about drivers in France: Have not spent much time in Paris, where there are plenty of rowdy drivers, but in this region many of the roads are simple 2 lane roads, with minimal paved shoulders. When riding on bicycle you feel a lot more at ease here, than on similar roads in the US. The drivers will move away from the rider well in advance, with his right turn signal on; indicating to any other drivers behind to also swing wide. The are a few towns near here where bicycle lanes are separate from the main car lane and are clearly indicated on the roads.

Now for a math problem: Gas here is pretty expensive; figure 75 cents (US dollar) to every one Euro. ONE LITER of gas is 1.35 to 1.45 around here - multiplied by about 5 (for a gallon) = about $9.78 per gallon (US dollars). A lot of scooters and motorcycles around, and that is where the problem comes in... Many of the younger drivers (males 16-25 years old) prefer 2-wheeled transportation, and between the winding, skinny, two-lane roads, and the large stone walls and chateaus near the roads, and your occasional cow wandering into the road you have a high incidence of motorcycle fatalities.
So, overall? Yeah, the cars and trucks are fine - the motorcycles and scooters are scary.

Speaking of wheels, as for what I am up to for future plans when I return to good 'ol USA?, you'll have to wait until another blog.