Crossing Paris by bike

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JamesE
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Crossing Paris by bike

Postby JamesE » 15 Aug 2018, 6:35pm

Anyone got any tips/a route for getting a loaded touring bike from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon and back? I'm pretty fit and confident - and I've commuted in London for years - but I'm worrying, possibly needlessly, about riding on the other side of the road in an unfamiliar city. I'm not in a rush, can walk it if need be...

geocycle
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Re: Crossing Paris by bike

Postby geocycle » 15 Aug 2018, 7:39pm

JamesE wrote:Anyone got any tips/a route for getting a loaded touring bike from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon and back? I'm pretty fit and confident - and I've commuted in London for years - but I'm worrying, possibly needlessly, about riding on the other side of the road in an unfamiliar city. I'm not in a rush, can walk it if need be...

I just used a route from cycle.travel and it worked fine. Definitely better than London! Most of the route was on big boulevards with a cycle lane. It didn’t seem to be very far at all. I recall that there were some one way streets so out and back might be different.

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mjr
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Re: Crossing Paris by bike

Postby mjr » 15 Aug 2018, 7:41pm

I looked at this in detail a while ago but ended up not doing it: there are cycleways along or alongside Boulevards de Magenta, Voltaire and (fork right soon after the Bataclan!) Richard Lenoir which take you most of the way, then go straight over the gnarly Bastille junction (the main obstacle of the route) to go alongside the Canal St Martin, turn left at the end onto the Quai de la Rapee cycleway which I think is two-way and then left once you get to Rue Van Gogh and you're at the corner of the Gare de Lyon. Not the absolute most direct but it seemed easiest to me. The return is different mainly in that you're on the other side of the canal.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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ubert767
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Re: Crossing Paris by bike

Postby ubert767 » 15 Aug 2018, 8:25pm

I've cycled across Paris a couple of times using this route planner which you can tailor to suit your needs.
http://www.geovelo.fr/paris/itinerary/s ... RADITIONAL

Rob

brynpoeth
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Re: Crossing Paris by bike

Postby brynpoeth » 15 Aug 2018, 8:31pm

Cycling on the wrong side is not so hard, one just has to think a bit more
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott

ANTONISH
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Re: Crossing Paris by bike

Postby ANTONISH » 16 Aug 2018, 8:42am

I did this about four years ago.
There is a comprehensive cycle path network. Some of it has the cycle path painted along the middle of the pavement.
It was rush hour and obviously pedestrians had to cross the cycle path. I was trying to keep to a safe speed under the circumstances which upset a couple of cyclists who wanted to go faster. I saw some cyclists out of the saddle sprinting along this quite narrow path in the middle of a quite congested pavement - I wonder what the accident rate is ?
Other than that it's easy enough.

ubert767
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Re: Crossing Paris by bike

Postby ubert767 » 16 Aug 2018, 9:22am

One of our rides across Paris was on a weekday when it was teeming down, so had to be mindful of being "car doored" and of pedestrians with umbrellas stepping into the road/cycle lane. The other occasion was on a sunny Sunday when Paris took on a relaxed feel, lots of street and flea markets and far less traffic, very enjoyable.

Jon Lucas
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Re: Crossing Paris by bike

Postby Jon Lucas » 16 Aug 2018, 9:31am

We catch the Eurostar every year to Gare du Nord and then cycle across Paris to either Gare du Lyon, Austerlitz or Montparnasse, depending on where we are heading to. I really enjoy cycling in Paris. The main boulevards mostly have narrow separated cyclepaths on each side, and most of the side streets are one-way but allow cyclists to use them in both directions (and are marked as such). The route from Nord to Lyon is fairly simple, straight along Magenta and keep heading towards Place du Bastille, though there is a small gap in the cyclepaths at one point where you either have to use the road or push along the pavement. The very large junctions like Bastille will have numerous crossings to take you through them, but they are so large that you need to ensure you end up on the right road. The back street routes though can be great fun, usually not that busy but will have many scooters to dodge around, and take you past all of Paris' street life, which is far more exhilarating than London's.

JamesE
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Re: Crossing Paris by bike

Postby JamesE » 16 Aug 2018, 11:17am

Thanks all - that's very helpful. I'll stop worrying.

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Audax67
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Re: Crossing Paris by bike

Postby Audax67 » 16 Aug 2018, 1:56pm

Nice thing about crossing Paris in August is the comparative lack of traffic. Not to mention the bus/taxi/bike lanes up the middle of some of the boulevards. We did it, knackered after a 1100 km Audax-style trot, and me with a dose of Shermer's Neck - couldn't hold my head up for more that 10 seconds at a time - and it was still fun.
Have we got time for another cuppa?

JamesE
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Re: Crossing Paris by bike

Postby JamesE » 24 Aug 2018, 9:15am

Just to to add: I've now done this with no problems at all. Cycle lanes varied in quality from decent to excellent - and crucially the routes are obvious at all times and the bike lanes don't just shrug and disappear when things get difficult, as they do in London.

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mjr
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Re: Crossing Paris by bike

Postby mjr » 24 Aug 2018, 9:25am

Any pictures would be great, especially of how they do junctions to make it obvious. Some other cities (Lille IIRC) have chevrons alternating with cycle symbols on coloured stripes to show cyclists where to ride through junctions.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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iandriver
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Re: Crossing Paris by bike

Postby iandriver » 24 Aug 2018, 9:36am

JamesE wrote:but I'm worrying, possibly needlessly, about riding on the other side of the road in an unfamiliar city. I'm not in a rush, can walk it if need be...


A little tip that works for some is the old screwdriver adage: righty tighty, lefty loosey.

If you're turning right, keep the turn tight (don't go to the far side of the road you are entering).
If you are turning left, go loose (go to the far side of the road you are entering).
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

JamesE
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Re: Crossing Paris by bike

Postby JamesE » 31 Aug 2018, 9:33pm

mjr wrote:Any pictures would be great, especially of how they do junctions to make it obvious. Some other cities (Lille IIRC) have chevrons alternating with cycle symbols on coloured stripes to show cyclists where to ride through junctions.

I didn’t think to take pics but it was something like this, yes. Cycle symbols every 5-10 metres all along the track, then much more frequently at junctions and IIRC combined with chevrons.