Friday, 15 July 2011

"Paris Respire" taking a break from traffic

Working weekend nights has its disadvantages, one of which is not being able to get up early, many is the day where I have viewed and enjoyed the sunshine from the comfort of my bed. However it is not impossible, so following a series of missed weekend days I decided to get out of bed earlier than planned and do something with my day.

One thing I have been meaning to do on a Sunday afternoon is go for a cycle along the Seine, of course you can cycle at any time along the seine, but on a Sunday Paris implements a scheme called “paris respire” this scheme is actually very success full and popular and allows many family's to go out and enjoy a car free Paris. of course the scheme is not in operation in all of Paris, but it is in operation in some of the nicest areas.
I don't know all the locations but here are a few that I am familiar with
  • The Seine
  • Montmartre
  • Canal St Martin
  • The Marais.
The officialwebsite is difficult to navigate but it has an interactive map with the zones indicated as well as options on the left for close up maps of the individual areas such as Montmartre. However I personally find that the best thing to do is have a look at the signs posted in the areas, but since I'm nice ill post a few maps of my favourite cycling areas that I managed to track down.
the Canal

The Seine

Having arranged to meet any friends that were interested, I headed down to the Quai de la RapĂ©e. At the achievable hour of 3pm,  Being somewhat early had its benefits and while waiting a group of about 2000 roller bladers passed by, and left me wondering if there are any similar events for bicycles?
The Weather was fantastic and while it was great to be out enjoying it, we were not the only ones who had a similar idea, and the quays along the seine were chocker block with families walking, roller blading and lounging around.

We enjoyed cruising up and down the seine several times, worth a special mention is the segment of the scheme that runs through the tunnel, the experience of visiting the tunnel with out being in a car is quite surreal, also the best thing about the tunnel is that since its dark most of the pedestrians seem to stay out, which allows you to speed up and stretch your legs while cycling. 
This was a great experience for my friends who had not done much cycling in Paris and especially around main traffic, however a close brush with a zig zagging 5 year old left me thinking maybe traffic is not that bad.

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