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Yank asking Brits about French cycling clubs.

fast4fortyfast4forty Posts: 6
edited September 2009 in Road beginners
Hello all,

I'm new to Paris (and this forum), and am interested if any of you know of any English speaking cycling clubs or training rides, British or otherwise, in the Paris area.

Really looking forward to suffering in some great rides like the 257km Amstel Gold "Tourist Version" next spring and the Marmotte in July.

Thanks and Merci!

Posts

  • davieseedaviesee Posts: 6,386
    Hi,

    Having worked in a French orientated society I would recommend becoming fluent in French and immersing yourself in the culture. You will have a much more satisfying time than remaining Anglaise.
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    ACCB - Athletic Club de Bologne Billancourt - are a popular club and have a long history of hosting Anglophone riders - including Robert Millar, Allan Peiper, Phil Anderson and Paul Sherwen amongst others. I know someone who is a member and they are very accommodating. They are in fact a municipal sports club with a cycling section. There train around the Bois de Bologne, a very popular cycling area in the Paris suburbs.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Thank you for the information, Monty! I will certainly look into this club.

    And yes, Daviese, I have every intention of immersing myself in French Culture, as I live and work in the center of Paris. It's just nice to have an outlet where I don't have to struggle to communicate.

    Thanks to you both.
  • davieseedaviesee Posts: 6,386
    Sounds like you are in for a good time. Jealous :wink:
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
  • inseineinseine Posts: 5,786
    There is a group of expats (verious nationalities) who ride under the banner of the 'Banbidos' around Paris. I've never actually joined because I'm in a French club but I've lots of mates in the club and I ride with them when I can.
    Some of us rode the Paris Honfleur event last weekend (208kms) which is always a great fun event.
    Sound advice daviesee, but unfortunately easier said than done.
  • Thanks for the tip about the Banditos, Iseine. I'll look into them. I am not opposed to riding with a French club at all (in fact, it's probably the best way to learn the language), but it would be nice for a few in the crew to understand a bit of English. So if anyone knows of any accepting French clubs, I'd love to hear about them.

    Speaking of "accepting" clubs, I took Monty's advice and attempted to reach out, via email, to a few in the ACBB cycling club, including their president, explaining my recent move and disire to meet up for one of their rides. So far, no response. I mean, they've had some famous English-speakers in their club in the past, right? So I researched David Millar, and this is what he had to say:

    "'You never mixed with the French guys, you went to ACBB for a reason - to do the best for yourself,' Millar said of his attitude in France.

    Guess I'll keep looking!
  • AggieboyAggieboy Posts: 3,996
    fast4forty wrote:
    Thanks for the tip about the Banditos, Iseine. I'll look into them. I am not opposed to riding with a French club at all (in fact, it's probably the best way to learn the language), but it would be nice for a few in the crew to understand a bit of English. So if anyone knows of any accepting French clubs, I'd love to hear about them.

    Speaking of "accepting" clubs, I took Monty's advice and attempted to reach out, via email, to a few in the ACBB cycling club, including their president, explaining my recent move and disire to meet up for one of their rides. So far, no response. I mean, they've had some famous English-speakers in their club in the past, right? So I researched David Millar, and this is what he had to say:

    "'You never mixed with the French guys, you went to ACBB for a reason - to do the best for yourself,' Millar said of his attitude in France.

    Guess I'll keep looking!

    I think you'll find that was Robert Millar. 8)
    "There's a shortage of perfect breasts in this world, t'would be a pity to damage yours."
  • f4f,
    given the Parisian habit of disappearing over summer, there's usually a big backlog come la rentrée - the delay getting a reply from ACBB might be down to this. But I admit their site does look a little neglected at the moment.

    I did notice though that the club is looking for new ''cyclosport'' riders for UFOLEP events, and as I didn't have the slightest idea what UFOLEP was, I had a look-see - it's a sort of national multisport federation. It might be possible to find an event via this address - http://www.activites-cyclistes-ufolep.info - and turn up and speak to a few people there. It could open up a few ways in.

    As for language, the cycling vocabulary is pretty small and you'll get the essentials under your belt very quickly - in fact, it will really help you settle into the language and develop confidence. The next step is to find yourself une dictionnaire - that's something that will help with the language, but unlike un dictionnaire, might also give you a soothing post-ride massage! Bonne chance!


    BTW, I have a diploma in French to English translation - if you get stuck, I'd be happy to try and help.
  • Dept -

    Thank you for the time you spent looking into ACBB on my behalf. It's genuinely appreciated.

    As it turns out, I did receive a reply from one of the ACBB officers this evening, and they do indeed sound like a very friendly and accommodating club. Guess they even have another guy from Chicago there...

    Thanks again!
  • inseineinseine Posts: 5,786
    In France everyone normally joins clubs at the 'forum des association' which are events that take part all over the country in early September. Even the smallest village has them and it's there that you sign up at the cycling, stamp collecting, tennis or whatever club. Since you've missed that you could try your local bike shop or, since you're in Paris, you could just go to the hippodrome at Longchamp where there are cyclists riding round the 4km circuit pretty much all the time. Decide what you're after in terms of riding. Clubs that are affiliated to UFOLEP do racing in catagories like in the UK or US, whereas those that ride FFC do events which are much harder. FFCT is for touring and randenees. If you check out their site (ffct.org) you'll find events all around Paris every weekend where you could ride with a few different
    BTW you don't need to be in a club to ride a randenee.
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