Getting around Paris by bicycle

Getting around Paris by bicycle

Getting around Paris by bicycle

Renting a bike is a very good alternative over driving or using public transport. Riding a bike anywhere in the city is far safer for the moderately experienced cyclists than almost any town or city in the United States. The French are very cognizant of cyclists, almost to a point of reverence. A few years ago Paris wasn’t the easiest place to get around by bike. That however has changed dramatically in recent years, starting perhaps with a lengthy bus and traffic jam. The city government has taken a number of steps in strong support of improving the safety and efficiency of the urban cyclist as well, in establishing some separated bike lanes, but even more important a policy of allowing cyclists to share the ample bus lanes on most major boulevards. Paris also has many riversides which are perfect for cycling. The Paris bike network now counts over 150 km of either unique or shared lanes for the cyclist. In addition, the narrower, medieval side streets of the central arrondissements make for rather scenic and leisurely cycling, especially during off hours of the day when traffic is lighter. Do remember to bring a good map, since there is no grid plan to speak of and almost all of the smaller streets are one way.

Note that, while the streets of Paris are generally fairly easy on novice cyclists, there are some streets in the city that should be avoided by those who do not have sufficient urban cycling experience. ‘Rue de Rivoli’, ‘Place de la Bastille’, and ‘Place de la Nation’ are particularly hairy, especially during weekdays and the Saturday evening rush, and should not be navigated by anyone not confident in their ability to cycle in heavy traffic. ‘Avenue des Champs Elysees’, ‘Place de l’Etoile’, and ‘Voie Georges Pompidou’ (the lower level express lanes along the banks of the Seine) should be avoided at all times.

You can find an excellent map of the bike network called Plan des Itineraires cyclables at the information center in the Hotel de Ville.

There are two different bike rental programs in Paris:

  • Velib, ☎ +33 1 30 79 79 30, [26]. In July 2007 the municipality of Paris introduced the Velib program (velo Liberte or Freedom Bikes) by which it is possible to rent a bike for a very modest price. Numerous stations are to be found around the city (at major landmarks and metro stations, basically every 300m). With a cr card with a “puce” smart chip (that means that American Visa and Mastercard cards do not work, however American Express cards should work even though they don’t have a chip), you can subscribe for 1 day (€1) or 7 days (€5) after paying a security on the bicycle (to pay for it if it isn’t returned) & then get a bike; the first 30 min are free, following 30 min costs €1, following 30 min cost €2, etc. to avoid long rentals… so the game is to get to another station in 25 min and get another bicycle. This rental system has been designed to allow you to “pick & drop” a bike, not rent the same one all day long. Try it ! If your card works in the machines it’s a great way to get around! The bicycles are wonderful cruiser bikes, with a front basket to put a purse or bag. If the saddle is turned around, it most probably means the bike is out of order (it’s a convention among Velib users, so do the same if you notice your Velib has problems). €1 per day. In addition to operating a number of bike rental buses, the RATP has some permanent locations, including:
  • Roue Libre, Les Halles, 1 passage Mondetour (facing 120 rue Rambuteau, Metro: Les Halles), ☎ +33 1 04 41 53 49. Bikes can be rented for one weekend (€25), M F (€20), a working day (€9), or one day on the weekend (€14). Roue Libre also has a location at the Bastille which is open during the summer months

Another possibility for renting a bicycle is Bike About Tours or Fat Tire bike tours. Also, Paris Velos Sympa offers bikes for €20/day. (Text Source: Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia)

You may also wish to see ;

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply