In recent years, concerted efforts have been made to make Paris a more cyclist-friendly city. To date, more than 700 kilometers of cycle paths and routes have been installed, and many more stretch out into the suburbs. The Vélib’ rental scheme will celebrate its tenth birthday in 2017, and it now has roughly 1,200 stations, 20,000 bikes, and 90,000 daily users. We’ve planned out six routes to help you make the most of a day on the pedals, and one extra course for the super intrepid amongst you!
While the city center’s roads and cycle paths might be no big thing for Parisians and practiced cyclist, if you’re not used to the hustle and flow, it can be a little overwhelming on a busy weekday. Thankfully, the Paris Respire car-free scheme has come to the rescue. On Sundays and public holidays, large parts of the city are closed to vehicles between 9:00am and 5:00pm. Some of the top spots for a worry-free cycle are along the banks of the Seine (where plans are afoot for permanent pedestrianization), the Marais, and parts of Montmartre. Check out the town hall’s dedicated web page for information on participating areas near you and the latest on dates and times.
You certainly won’t be doing this in an afternoon, but perhaps after completing all of the above routes, and building up some serious thigh power, you might consider this trans-Channel challenge. The Avenue Verte is an international cycle route that takes you between Paris and London by way of the Dieppe to Newhaven ferry. Opened on June 23, 2012, it has rapidly become a favorite of passionate cyclists and a feature on ambitious Parisians’ to-do lists. Give it a go, if you think you’re hard enough!
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