I have spent the end of November in Paris. Of 2 weeks of my visit I’ve been riding a bike for 10 days: to explore the city, to get where I was going, in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, in dry weather and under drizzling rain. So I’ve got a lot of cycling impressions in the French capital and I’d like to share them with you. Here we go!
First of all I can say that Paris is definetely a bicycle city. What does it mean? It means that cyclists, bikes and bicycle facilities are clearly visible on the streets. People bike to work, to shops and cafés, wearing normal everyday clothes. Almost all the bicycles are city bikes. Road bikes are also present while cross-country ones are almost completely absent. A significant part of bicycle traffic is represented by Velib’ cyclists (parisian bike-share system).
Paris has a fairly good system of bicycle routes, connecting major city neighborhoods and suburbs. The authorities of the French capital started taking cycling seriously only in the late 1990s, so Paris is a beginner cycling city, comparing to cities in the Netherlands and Denmark and that makes it an interesting example of bicycle facilities’ evolution since a whole range of them is present: from mere compromise to rather impressive ones.