Cycling in Paris – Tips To Help You Enjoy The Experience More
If you want to explore the delights of Paris on a bike then there are numerous great opportunities for you to do so. There are now 270 miles of cycle lane dotted around Paris that include both bus lanes and wide cycle paths.
When reading guidebooks, a Paris cycle lane is known as the Cycliste et Piéton so this is what you need to look out for. There are also other routes around Paris that are simply known as Voies vertes.
There is a long – distance cycle path that is enjoyed by many tourists and which has become familiar under the name of EuroVelo 3. It is also known as the Pilgrim’s Route which runs from Santiago de Compostela in Spain to Norway but passes through Paris.
Paris – Piétons – Vélos – Rollers
Paris – Piétons – Vélos – Rollers is an important and popular itinerary that includes parts of the city that during Sundays and Bank Holiday are closed to cars and they are becoming more popular. A good idea is to get yourself a free Paris à Vélo map that will show you all of the available cycle lanes known as pistes cyclables. These include the rue de Rennes, av Daumesnil and the rue de Rivoli. If you do not use specified cycle routes then you can be fined €22 so it is best to check where and where you cannot cycle.
The Vélib System
The Vélib system is the bike lover’s dream. This is where 20,000 bikes can all be shared, all dotted round the city. The scheme was launched in 2007 and is the world’s largest bike share scheme. Both tourists and locals use the scheme.
So as to make the best of the cycle routes available to you, buy a weekly pass and remember to buy yourself a map of the city. Most bike routes will be marked so you will easily be able to find your way around the city.
Choose Your Bike Well
When cycling through Paris, you will also quickly learn that you need to use your bell a lot. This is mainly so that pedestrians might hear you approaching as many will not move out of your way unless they hear the bell.
It is also really important for you to know that when you choose your bike from a Vélib station, you must choose it well thus making sure that the bike is in good condition. You should also pay particular attention to its brakes and lights. If you notice a bike with the seat facing the wrong way then this is a code that the bike is not in good condition and should be left there.
Cycling through Paris
Finally, when cycling in Paris you need to be aware of what is going on around you and be hyper vigilant of both pedestrians and those on scooters and in cars. You also need to be highly aware of pickpockets. Don’t keep anything valuable in a saddle sack on your bike and anything of value should be kept in a secure place because you are extremely vulnerable when riding a bike.
Cycling around Paris is fun and a big adventure so enjoy it. The Vélib card itself states: “La ville est plus belle a velo”, meaning that the city is incredibly more beautiful when viewed on a bike.