Amsterdam to Paris - advice please

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BobTheCyclist
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Amsterdam to Paris - advice please

Postby BobTheCyclist » 8 Feb 2013, 9:22pm

Hello,

I’m new to this site, so apologies if this subject has been covered before...

Myself and two friends of mine are thinking of cycling from Amsterdam to Paris sometime over the spring.
We are all fit lads, and aren’t put off by the distances, but we do seem to be having a problem planning a route. I’ve done a Google search and was expecting some detailed routes to come up, but instead I've found nothing really helpful.

Is this journey a common touring ride? Have many others done it? Is it do able in 3-4 days? And how dangerous is Paris to cycle?!

If any one could help in suggesting a good route, we'd be very grateful!


Cheers

Bob

willem jongman
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Re: Amsterdam to Paris - advice please

Postby willem jongman » 12 Feb 2013, 2:43pm

This one is from EIndhoven: http://www.cyclingeurope.nl/routes/parijs/index.php Getting from Amsterdam to EIndhoven is easy using Dutch Long Distance bike routes.
Or the St Jacobs fietsroute that takes you from Haarlem to Tours, with an alternative through Paris: http://www.fiswebshop.nl/?knoopid=124
Both are available as GPS tracks I believe.
Willem

tatanab
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Re: Amsterdam to Paris - advice please

Postby tatanab » 12 Feb 2013, 4:16pm

Google immediately found this one http://www.bikemap.net/route/264848#lat ... ts_terrain

I know that there are route books available in Holland for some of these point to point rides, including one right to the Med. I came across some Dutch cycletourists following one a few years ago. The book also gave information on accommodation and sight seeing along the way.

Personally I'd say spread some maps on the floor and make up your own idea of where you want to go, maybe tempered with some advice from here.

Ron
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Re: Amsterdam to Paris - advice please

Postby Ron » 12 Feb 2013, 6:26pm

BobTheCyclist wrote:Is this journey a common touring ride? Have many others done it? Is it do able in 3-4 days? And how dangerous is Paris to cycle?!

I wouldn't think it is a common touring route for Brits! It's a few years since I have cycled in Paris, once was enough. I had difficulty navigating in and out, not the easiest city in Europe to cycle in. :(

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smith4188
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Re: Amsterdam to Paris - advice please

Postby smith4188 » 15 Feb 2013, 1:29am

I have to disagree with Ron. Navigating in Paris in 2011 wasn't a problem but it's best to use the river as a guide. Head for it and then stick as close as you can to it. You can't really get lost then. It's a busy city but I had no problems cycling around it.
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pq
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Re: Amsterdam to Paris - advice please

Postby pq » 15 Feb 2013, 6:33pm

Generally speaking bike tours involving cities aren't a good plan because cities aren't great places to ride. Of course all Dutch cities are an exception to that rule - riding in them is something I think all cyclists should do at least once.

As for Paris, I ride there from time to time, and of course it can be done, and there are more and more bike routes, especially in the centre. But if I was planning a tour from scratch it wouldn't involve Paris simply because there are much nicer places than that to ride. Paris works better on foot in my view.

On a bike tour, the destination isn't what's important - it's the ride. I decide what sort of riding I want to do, and then look to see where I can find it. If I was going to start a tour in Amsterdam, I'd think about heading towards the Ardennes, perhaps via Maastricht and finish in Luxembourg.

Good luck.
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Mattie
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Re: Amsterdam to Paris - advice please

Postby Mattie » 15 Feb 2013, 10:35pm

I have done this, but the other way round, actually started in St Malo. Cycled through Paris from Versailles, followed the river and exited at the Bois de Vincennes.

Then from Paris - Chalons en Champagne - Charleville Mezieres - followed the River Meuse round to Dinant - Namur - Liege - Maastrict - Eindhoven - Breda - Utrecht - Amsterdam.

You will probably find that you can cover ground in Holland very quickly. Maastrict was beautiful, but a bit of a bottleneck. Liege, some hills and dual carriageways ! The Meuse from Namur to Charleville Mezieres area was superb.

The long road from Charleville Mezieres to Chalons en Champagne is not as flat as it looks on the map ! not hilly, just rolling up and down but open, and the wind direction can either make or break your day !

I stayed on campsites, rode my Dutch Koga Miyata World Traveller bike, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Have a great trip.

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smith4188
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Re: Amsterdam to Paris - advice please

Postby smith4188 » 15 Feb 2013, 10:46pm

pq wrote:Generally speaking bike tours involving cities aren't a good plan because cities aren't great places to ride. Of course all Dutch cities are an exception to that rule - riding in them is something I think all cyclists should do at least once.


Ah, git away with yer. Cities are fantastic. You won't find more exhilarating cycling than in, say, Rome or Istanbul. Paris is tame by comparison. Granted you have to cycle a bit more aggressively in the busier places but a lot of cities are joyous. Some though are vicious, such as parts of Belgrade (but only parts), but cities are where the cultcha is. Bizarrely, after the serenity of cycling in the Netherlands, Amsterdam wasn't pleasant the day I arrived. It was a bank holiday and so maybe that explains it but the cycle lanes were over full, too many bikes and legally loaded as they are with mopeds and mobility carts, and it was the one city where I saw a cyclist run over an old bloke. Don't avoid cities unless you're feeling particularly timid. You get the countryside and greenery between the big towns but the cities, especially the capitals, give you something that is unique in that country. Enjoy Paris!
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pq
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Re: Amsterdam to Paris - advice please

Postby pq » 19 Feb 2013, 12:38pm

What an odd argument. Cities are often fantastic, but that doesn't make them great for bike rides.

I've ridden in a wide variety of cities all over the world, but I find sharing the roads with lots of aggressive, fume belching vehicles pretty unpleasant. And then there's the endless dull suburbs which surround the interesting bits in the middle. It's not a question of being timid, just that when I'm on holiday I like to have a pleasant ride. Anyway, I live in a city and so the "joys" of city riding are not something I need more of.

I also think it's a big mistake to try to cover everything in one trip. Yes, cities are an important part of what makes the culture of a country, but I'd sooner do the cities another time when I don't have my bike with me. If I really feel the need to visit a city on a bike tour, I find somewhere to stash the bike and take a train in for the day.

Exhilarating riding? Mountains do a better job of that in my experience.
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IanCh
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Re: Amsterdam to Paris - advice please

Postby IanCh » 19 Feb 2013, 7:27pm

I led a London to Paris bike tour in 2011. We arrived in Paris at 2.00 pm and did all the sights by pannier-laden bikes starting at the Eiffel tower and finishing at the Bastille at 5.00 including cycling up and down the Champs Elisee. The good thing about being on a bike is that you can use narrow lanes where cars are prohibited and stop in front of all the famous sights. I planned the tour using a Paris cycle map and then "cycling" along my planned route using google street view. I gave printed route instructions to all participants. At no time did we feel scared. I think you have to be positive with your signalling and road positioning.

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bigjim
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Re: Amsterdam to Paris - advice please

Postby bigjim » 20 Feb 2013, 3:21pm

I rode through Paris a few months ago. You have to ride just like the Parisions, they just seem to glide along and more or less ignore traffic. People do give way or drive around you and you do not meet the aggression that you find in the UK. it's not scary just chaotic and not very pleasant, plus the road surface is pretty bad especially the Champs. lots of local cyclist in Paris. Unusual in France.
I would not especially choose to ride there. Good advice to stay with the river. Though we did not take that advice and moved away through the suburbs. big mistake. Got fed up with it and jumped a train to escape. Easy and cheap to do in France.
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There is a nice canal ride into the centre from the CDG side though to avoid most of the suburbs.
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