Often cycle tourists avoid the cities. 

Try to imagine navigating your way into a sprawling city, searching for a route that doesn't involve a freeway, preferably with a wide road shoulder and not too much speeding traffic.

And you're trying to find you way through this city on a bike that weighs up to 40kg with all the gear.

Then the task of finding somewhere to stay where your bike and gear are kept safe. Carrying the bike up flights of stairs, suggestions you should just leave it chained on the street...

Cities were not made for cycle tourists!

But some of our most incredible and memorable experiences have been cycling the world's great cities- where bikes are gaining popularity and they're trying to build bike lane networks to keep up with demand.

Paris is one of those cities. In just a couple of days we were able to explore not only the major tourist sites, but also the side streets and outer suburbs, with the city's free bike hire scheme. 

We kept our bikes safely locked away and used the public bikes to experience Parisian life. 

It's pretty easy to find bikes for hire in any major city, or take part in an organised bike tour if you're less confident. Plus, when you're cycling all day, it's easy to justify an extra visit to the patisserie!

Give it a try! Because some cities really are made for cycle tourists!

Exploring Paris by bike

This journal entry about cycling around the incredible city of Paris has been featured as part of the Lonely Planet Blogsherpa Travel Carnival. 

Every couple of weeks, one of Lonely Planet's favourite bloggers hosts a series of posts centred on the same theme. 

From 8 November 2010 the theme is 'Magical, memorable cities' and is hosted by Travel with Den DenVisit the site for more magical tales from the city!

The theme got us thinking about some of our other memorable experiences in cities...

Such as camping in a demolition zone in Istanbul; camping inside a bridge in the middle of Potenza, Italy; the Hub on Wheels bike ride in Boston; New York, the most amazing city we've visited; the Mafia in Palermo, Italy; the Edinburgh Festival; having money stolen in Dubrovnik, Croatia; and being stuck in Pireus, Greece while Sam had the measles... 
Gary Mac
11/3/2010 08:13:03 pm

Enjoyed the Youtube clip and interested in your thoughts of other interesting situations you have been faced with.

You continue to amaze me on your ability to get on that bike each day and deal with the weather, traffic, people and the changing environment.

Keep it safe as you head into the final stages of your fantastic journey.

11/8/2010 09:34:25 pm

Nice movie and it's good to know from experienced cyclists that Paris is a city that can be travelled around in by bicycle. I have seen the parked bikes in the free scheme - next I am there I shall give one a try!

How did you make the movie and the transitions? It looks lovely.

11/9/2010 07:56:54 am

Nice post and great video. I especially like the Jack Johnson music. I haven't done Paris on bike and I'd like to try.

11/11/2010 03:42:20 pm

Next week, I'm supposed to teach a class on 'Cycles and related infrastructure' as part of a course on 'Revitalisation of city cores'. I'm glad I visited your blog. Its really good to know from experienced cyclists what it is like to be in different cities around the world! Also enjoyed reading your post 'Circling the Big Apple'. Indian cities are only now becoming aware of planning for cyclists. We can only dream...of good things to come!

11/13/2010 07:12:17 am

congrats on your article in Den Den's etc. stay safe.. both of you.

1/5/2011 11:20:29 am

! Also enjoyed reading your post 'Circling the Big Apple'. Indian cities are only now becoming aware of planning for cyclists. We can only dream...of good things to come!


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