12 July, 2019

Navigating Paris by Bike

by Igor

Riding through a new city can be a test in itself of a rider's navigation skills, awareness of their surroundings, and general understanding of vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle flow. You want to look and feel like a local, even if you're absolutely terrified of getting lost. Throw in not having practiced the language since high school, and it can be an interesting experience to say the least. Bonjour France!

After visiting our French distributor Mohawk Cycles on the outskirts of the city, we made our way into downtown Paris (of course during rush hour - yikes!). We got to our hotel room, unloaded, and ate a dinner of local grocery store finds. One thing we noticed the first night is that the sun sets quite a bit later than here in Maryland, so that means that there's plenty of time to explore the city before nighttime really takes holds - so I grabbed the Neutrino and headed out to do some reconnaissance of bike lanes and infrastructure for our morning ride, as well as take some photos around the bustling and iconic city center.

Nighttime riding really does sharpen your senses. Automobiles, passionate yelling about something or other, and street crossings stand out so much more, while you blend in. At night, people can't see my touristy bum bag, the cartoonish map sticking out of my back pocket, or my bewildered look as to where the heck the turn I was looking for disappeared to.

The Neutrino performed perfectly. It's nimble geometry made negotiating tight French traffic easy and fat 2.3 tires absorbed construction road chatter, ancient cobbles, and errant potholes effortlessly. It's the perfect city exploration machine, make no bones about it.

Having now more or less put to memory routes, construction, and bike lanes, the three of us set off for a nice morning tour around the city to take in the big sites, sounds, and lots of coffee (ancient jet lag remedy).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great photographs. Looks like you're enjoying yourselves.