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through paris by bike

inaperfectworldinaperfectworld Posts: 219
edited November 2007 in Tour & expedition
i'm planning to buy a folder so that i can get into france often for short tours. this is likely to mean changing stations in paris. i would hope to cycle but i cycle little in cities but it would be a diferent matter in paris or elsewhere: at least you know how a driver in england is going to behave even if it's not very positively, but what might yiou expect from parisians? strangely i have seen cyclists going round the arc de triomphe, one of them a very chic ,middle aged lady pottering unflusteredly on a continental upright.
the mayor of paris is very probike , hence the velib' hire scheme and there is a map of bike routes ,but as one is round the arc de triomphe i don't have confidence in them being particularly safe


  • jibijibi Posts: 2,463
    Cycling around "L'Etoille" roundabout at the top of the Champs Elysee at the Arc De Triomphe is one a life's better moments. I enjoyed it so much I did it twice, trailer and all.
    One driver even tried to reverse into me. Brilliant.


  • pneumaticpneumatic Posts: 1,989
    Last time I rode in Paris was 1979. It was Sunday morning, about 6am, as I had just come off the night train (ah! those were the days!). It was a joy. 28 years on, at 6pm on a Friday, it might be a different story!

    good luck.

    Fast and Bulbous
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • jc4labjc4lab Posts: 1,055
    edited November 2007

    You can hire bike or go on a guided tour with these guys.dozens go on these and they must be making a bomb!One of their tours gives good first incite into what.Paris is like to cycle around.... easy peasy once you are confident with it and got past the first day of orienteering....
  • Don't worry about it.

    Ride as you would in any other city you aren't familiar with.

    a) plan where you are going as much as possible to reduce the amount of stops to consult map
    b) ride defensively and within the laws
    c) use the many cycle lanes in Paris which make cycling there an absolute joy
    d) stay away from the underpasses
    e) the arc de triomphe isn't so bad.

    I think cycling on the Euston Road is probably scarier than anywhere in Paris.

    It is a surprisingly long way from GdN to G de Lyon, for example.
    "There are holes in the sky,
    Where the rain gets in.
    But they're ever so small
    That's why rain is thin. " Spike Milligan
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Agree with the comments about cycling in Paris not being particularly scary. But if it's an issue and you have a folder, then take the Metro/RER.

    and pneumatic - I must admit my memories of the overnight Newhaven-Dieppe crossing are a bit less rosy than yours.
  • i plan to give it a go particularly as i am thinking of an airnimal, which with 2 panniers seems a lot of grief to negotiate stairs and crowded metro trains.
    rules??? round l'étoile seem in so far as seem to exist are to give way to entering traffic( which as the first roundabout in france set the pattern for the rest in france, although i think all have changed to our priority) and after that it is an interesting combination of negotiation, coutreous aggression and discourteous aggression .
    what's best for cyclists? just follow the outside and hope no cars exiting don't see you as they leave
  • pneumaticpneumatic Posts: 1,989
    andymiller wrote:
    and pneumatic - I must admit my memories of the overnight Newhaven-Dieppe crossing are a bit less rosy than yours.

    Twinge of irony in my comments! I remember sleeping (or at least trying to) in the luggage lockers on a Sealink ferry while all around me were puking through splayed fingers; I recall that bracing wash of freezing air when you had to disembark the ferry at 2am; and I can still see clearly the bloke opposite me on the train from Dover to London, so sound asleep that he was dribbling bungees of slime down his Arran sweater.

    Since there was no affordable alternative (no Tunnel, no cheap flights), it just had to be done. And the aroma of Paris at dawn always made it seem worthwhile.

    Fast and Bulbous
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

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