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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
*Apologies admin, dunno where to stick this thread so I'm gonna start here and if it's not appropriate pls move to a section that is. Thank you!

Hi Guys,

I'm going to Paris for a commercial shoot in mid March and I will be there for 10days +/-... It's a rare opportunity for me to visit France and I'm taking my bike to the home of TDF. At first I was thinking of picking up a map from Strava and just go with it but I'll most likely end up coming back into town in a cab. To avoid that I'm hoping to tag along a ride from local bike shop, anyone have any experience with that? Are Parisian riders friendly? Is anyone in this forum from Paris or are working/studying there? I'm hoping to ride an intermediate route, something within 100KM, moderate pace (35-40kmh)... best if could ride outside of city center. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Cheers,
Eric.
 

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I'd suggest just forgetting the idea of cycling in/out of Paris and look into taking your bike on the train somewhere. North to Amiens or South to Blois are a couple options. Or take the opportunity to do something other than ride your bike and see Paris.
Despite the mythology regarding Paris and cycling it's really a horrible place to cycle and doesn't have much of a cycling culture outside of hipsters (kind of like NYC) especially by European standards.
If you insist on cycling from Paris I'd suggest doing it early on a Sunday morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Jay for your feedback... I'm surprised that the home of TDF doesn't have much of a cycling culture... but I still wanna give it a try, or at the very least have some pictures taken with my bike in Paris! :D
 

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I get where you're coming from here....but really, I'd strongly suggest putting your cycling desire on hold for a week and use the time to see Paris and it's great attractions. Unless you can go there anytime like no big deal it would be a shame to pass on what Paris has to offer in favor of what would be a frustrating bike ride.

The home of the TDF has loads of cycling culture. The finish line, however, doesn't.
 

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If it's anything like Rome, you definitely do NOT want to ride in the city. Rome was very crowded with cars and scooters, which apparently, the rules of the road don't apply to. Heck, I would have been too afraid to drive there even haha.
The suggestion for taking a train to the countryside to ride is a wise idea.
 

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what the others have said

but then, they have one of the most amazing subway systems in the world - are bike allowed on it? Might be a cheap easy way to get to the environs for a ride.

I have ridden my bike in Paris, just to get around around the time of the TDF when traffic is light .. because the city empties as folks leave the city on summer vacation. Otherwise, it is busy and congested. and watch out for the trolley tracks

still it is the best rated country in the world for cycling, for good reason. except for in Paris
 

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what the others have said

but then, they have one of the most amazing subway systems in the world - are bike allowed on it? Might be a cheap easy way to get to the environs for a ride.
I don't know about the subway but most of the trains definitely do. And there's a ton of great options within an easy train ride (that goes for non-cycling reasons too, with 10 days I'd definitely take the opportunity to see a part of France other that Paris)
 

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I don't know about the subway but most of the trains definitely do. And there's a ton of great options within an easy train ride (that goes for non-cycling reasons too, with 10 days I'd definitely take the opportunity to see a part of France other that Paris)
Yup,
Even Grenoble can be reached in three hours with TGV. So from PAris to Chamrousse in 4.5 hours is not bad :)
Only catch is that for many TGVs the bike has to be fully covered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you everyone for your reply, definitely something to think about. ;)

There's one thing I need to clarify though... although I'll be there for about 10 days but I don't have full 10 days to sight-see. The commercial shoot including pre and post works will take up 6-7 days minimum... all I have technically for riding is only 3 days at most. Best if I could ride out from Paris to a nearby route that doesn't require 3 hours train ride to and fro. I can't stay overnight in another French town as well because I have to be on standby...
 

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Thank you everyone for your reply, definitely something to think about. ;)

There's one thing I need to clarify though... although I'll be there for about 10 days but I don't have full 10 days to sight-see. The commercial shoot including pre and post works will take up 6-7 days minimum... all I have technically for riding is only 3 days at most. Best if I could ride out from Paris to a nearby route that doesn't require 3 hours train ride to and fro. I can't stay overnight in another French town as well because I have to be on standby...
well it's a region with 12mill people so a bit crowded. Your best bet is almost certainly the south-west region (Orsay/Gif-sur-Yvette). I know there's a weekend ride, or at least used to be, from there but I don't know it any more specific than that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thx Den for the suggestion. Possible to get to Orsay/Gif-sur-Yvette in the day and back to Paris in time for dinner?
 

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why not ride some of the paris roubaix route?
You could, but you'd need lots of time if you want to experience the uniqueness of it. The first cobble section doesn't come until about 60 miles into the race, near Cambrai. I suppose you could take a train to Cambrai and ride some cobbles.
 

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Try contacting some of the Parisian cycling clubs. Just google that last term and you'll come up with contact information. I believe that there is even an english speaking club for cyclists.
 

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I lived and cycled in Paris from 2001 to 2007. We still have an apartment there and I usually spend part of the summer there. When I'm there I ride a fair amount.

Paris is crowded and the rules of the French road can be unfamiliar to North Americans (in particular, priorite a droite). Another thing that Americans are often unfamiliar with is that in the entire country there aren't two streets that intersect at right angles, so navigating is a pain. Signs only help if you already know the way, i.e., they're more for affirmation than information. A better way to get around for novices is GPS.

There are nice rides out to the Chateau de Versailles (via the Bois de Boulogne, the Parc St. Cloud, and Marne La Coquette) and you can loop back via the Foret Meudon and Issy les Moulineaux.

If you want to stay in Paris and you only have a couple of hours on a Sunday morning, replicate Claude Lelouch's "C'etait un Rendezvous" from Porte Dauphine to the top of Montmartre (you should avoid going the wrong way up the one way street as Lelouch did near the Galeries Lafayette).

In the afternoons on days when there are no horse races, the hippodrome circuit at the Bois de Boulogne is the place to be. On most days, if you're on the east side of the city there's a corresponding circuit in the Bois de Vincennes, and it's slightly less cut-throat.

Also if you're on the east side of the city, you can do a loop of the Marne, either around St. Maur de Fosses, or upstream and then crossover near Torcy to the Canal de l'Ourcq and return to Paris.

On Friday nights at around 9pm there's a bike ride at a leisurely pace that is escorted by the police (they stopper the cross streets).

You can get out to the Vallee Chevreuse for some nice riding. If you want, you can take the RER one way (either there, or back).

If you bring your own bike, make sure you also bring a good lock.

[Edited to add:] Two more things: most food stores close at 1pm on Sundays, and there aren't 7-11s at every intersection. Stick an energy bar in your pocket.
 

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I don't know about the subway but most of the trains definitely do. And there's a ton of great options within an easy train ride (that goes for non-cycling reasons too, with 10 days I'd definitely take the opportunity to see a part of France other that Paris)
just watch it when you get on the TGV. You got only a few seconds to get your duffel bag, and your bike in bag in before those doors close - like Subway doors kind of brief time. And the conductors don't want yo stinking mess either, LOL. gave us some sht over it
 

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Just returned from a year in Paris last Tuesday and I would second some of rchung's comments. I lived right near the Canal d'Ourcq and there is a bike path that would take you right up north and east out of town. There are many bike paths segregated off of the streets in town but in reality unless you know what the traffic patterns are like it would be like a criterium in a Walmart parking lot during a major sale. However I've seen bikes on the Metro so if you can master the map, go to Jean Jaures on the Line 5, Direction Bobigny-Pablo Picasso. Just around the corner is where the Basin d'Ourcq begins, just ride away from the Rotonde building and you could ride all the way out to Meaux which is one of the birthplaces of Brie cheese and all along the way there is a mix of buildings, industrial sites, and the odd canal side brasserie/café until you get out of the metroplex. After that it's basically open countryside all the way to Meaux with little suburbs along the way. Get a map of the Ile de France with a high degree detail like 1cm-250m (like a topographic map) and plot a route along the Canal d'Ourcq. The nice thing about it is you can do an out and back and not worry about getting lost, or you can get of the hubbub and explore. Hope that gives you another option worth considering.
 
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