Beirut By Bike and The New Waterfront District.

After spending the better part of last Saturday and Sunday lazing around the house, I thought it best to get up and do something active.  Only this time, I skipped the gym in favor of an outdoor activity – biking.

One of my more active friends had been trying to get me to go biking along the New Waterfront District for a long time..he kept telling me how I have to see the “New Corniche”  how it was so much bigger and nicer than the “Old Corniche”,, so, I decided to finally take him up on the offer.  To read more about the New Waterfront District/New Corniche, click here.

We arrived at Beirut Souks at around 2:00pm, and walked down to the area where Beirut By Bike had its stall.

Beirut by bike

The Beirut By Bike stall in Beirut Souks, right across from The Met

From the moment we arrived, it was pretty obvious that we had gone to the “kiddie” bike section..  The children, maids, and mothers in high heels (Why do they do that?  Don’t they know they’re taking their kids biking?)  kind of gave it away..

Even though we showed up to the wrong place, it was nice seeing all of the families out and about, and kids doing something other than playing their PS3s and munching on Tarboush 🙂

Beirut by bike

Kids on their bicycles

We were directed to another Beirut By Bike location, closer to the BIEL, to find bikes that were more suitable for us.

Beirut by bike

Beirut By Bike..the location closer to the BIEL

Beirut by bike

Beirut By Bike

We walked up to the cashier and paid our LL5,000 for an hour rental, and went on our way to the New Waterfront District.

Beirut by bike

Pick one, any one! - the bikes at Beirut By Bike.. Make sure and choose one with a seating pad or you WILL have a sore bum the next day. I guarantee it!

After getting our bikes, we headed outside toward the Downtown area that is blocked off on Sundays, and then toward the New Waterfront District.  After only five minutes riding uphill, I was huffing and puffing and gasping for breath..as if I hadn’t exercised in years!  I still can’t believe that I’m really that out of shape!  Sheesh!  Just goes to show that just because you go to the gym, doesn’t mean you have any sort of endurance whatsoever.

Anyway..after climbing the hill, we turned right into the district.  It was, well…, surprisingly underwhelming..  By the way my friend had described it, I thought it was going to be something truly magnificent, and instead, it looked like a construction site.  I was hoping to see some greenery..some trees.. SOMETHING to look at.. (the “old Cornice” has WAY more personality) but instead you see rubble, rubble, and more rubble..Butttt, at least the roads are paved right?.. and you don’t have to worry about getting run over by a car while your biking!

I took a couple of photos for you to look at.  I almost fell about five times trying to take these shots, as I swerved from left to right, trying to balance the bike while holding the camera..but I managed to get some good shots nevertheless.  What do you think?  Have you been there yet?

The new Rouche

The New Waterfront District...if you look closely in the left hand corner you can see me taking the picture!

The new Rouche

The New Waterfront District

The new Raouche

The New Waterfront District

Aside from the fact that the district is underdeveloped, I am surprised that they even chose to include biking and jogging lanes in the first place.  That’s a great step in the right direction, don’t you think?  The lanes are clearly demarcated with different icons, and there even guards in place to make sure that no one is using the lanes for any other purpose than what they are meant for…Preeeettyy impressive I should think.

The new Raouche

Biking lane...

The new Raouche

Jogging lane..

And if you want to let go of your bikes for a while, you can take a walk down to the boardwalk for a look out onto the sea..

The new Raouche

The boardwalk

All in all, I was happy that I took part in an outdoor activity, but I look forward to the day that the New Waterfront District is a bit more developed and more appealing to look at!  Maybe then I’ll want to spend more time there..but for now (and maybe even after), the “Old Corniche,” is still a better choice. 🙂 What do you think?

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14 Comments

Filed under life in Lebanon

14 responses to “Beirut By Bike and The New Waterfront District.

  1. Old Corniche all the way!
    I used to bike all summer long when I USED to spend the summer at the mountains. With a perfect view of Beirut and sound of planes up and down the airport runways, it was amazing.

    Ok I need to get out of this office and on a bike…pronto! 😛

    • meinlebanon

      Ahhh,, don’t you wish those childhood days would come back? Just one last time? So we could remember what it feels like to have zero responsibility!

  2. Uhhh, I’d much rather go to the “old corniche”. This totally looks like a construction site!

    I wish I knew how to bike 😦 I can rollerskate but cannot ride a bike! My friends have tried in vain to teach me.

    • meinlebanon

      Riham! You don’t know how to ride a bike! That’s unacceptable, I’ll have to teach you! Let’s go one day..yalla habibi haha 😀 Yeah, and I totally agree with you, the old corniche is much better, at least for the time being.

  3. Alf

    I heard that in that area they are building a huge public garden. I donno how accurate are my news but let’s hope so!

  4. New Waterfront District is completely news for me, thanks for the introducing that new area of Beirut, haha. Should check that, at least once as you mentioned, till it becomes an actual place…

  5. i was thinking of giving it a try but seriously it looks deserted n too concrete-y. couldn’t they plant a single tree or make it more appealing as if we don’t have enough concrete in Leb. It looks depressing.

  6. Pingback: Lebanese blogosphere weekly link roundup (2010/12/05) | +961

  7. I was not aware of the existence of such a district! Interesting bit of urban planning for Beirut, glad to see the bike and jogger lanes are clearly marked, now we will see if people actually pay any attention! I would enjoy both the Old Corniche (for the charm and people watching) and this new one when I feel more reflective.

    • Mohammad Alti

      Beirut is the most amazing city of all time I was born, raised, & hope to die in this facinating city it need a bit more attention from it’s people but I believe that these people will overcome their differences & understand that “NO ONE WIN IN WAR NOT IN LEBANON” the only way to overcome our differences is by “FORGIVENESS” the key word in all Religions.

  8. Pingback: An Insider’s Experience of Exploring Beirut by Bike | Green Prophet

  9. Halim

    Beirut by bike offers u the worst bikes possible and then blames u for spoilin them or dirtyin them. Waterfront is full of dirt and beirut by bike takes it as an advantage to make u pay. The other day the chain of my bike spoiled, i went to ask for another one after trying to fix it and they blamed me for breaking it. The manager of the place made a huge fight with me disrespecting me my gf and my friend. Leading into a bigger problem. After i left i saw there was a fight with another person inside and everyone was fighting

  10. Alia Bader

    I had the absolutely worst experience today. I went to Beirut by bike to rent out a bike for my 4 year old. The cashier insisted for my ID so I ran to my car (5 minutes run) and fetched it. I gave it, paid the rental fee, and proceeded to choose the bike. There, the assistant was extremely rude and asked to see my child. I said she’s 4, he said how do I know! I could not believe what he was saying and repeated she’s 4 and is 102cm if that helps in selecting the bike. He was screaming and kept saying “how do I know”! I had to ask him if he actually knows how high is 102cm,as that’s the only way to choose the bike, he insisted (rudely) that he has to see the child. I asked why,do you rent out based on looks, he replied yes. If she’s ugly I won’t rent! I cannot believe that renting out a bike for a family outing is so complex! Horrible service and experience.

  11. ahmad

    I was shocked last week, when I rented a bike from BeirutByBike.
    After being a customer for more than 6 years, I realized how invaluable are customers to this company. We asked for bikes and we got dirty bikes full of dirt. But what was worse, is having the bike seat filled with water. All our cloths were wet and dirty.
    When we came back and asked for a refund and for explanation about the accident, the person in charge was careless about our accident.
    He did not apologies, did not offer to have some tissue to dry the water, totally unprofessional. Worse was the owner response, that we should understand the dirt coming from the construction site. Again no apologies instead he hung up.

    This is what happens when you car about money and not customers satisfaction.
    From now on gonna try the bike shop at gemayze 🙂

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