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Riding in Paris

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by ralph, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. On my way back from a trip in Europe.

    On the trip, My fiance booked us a day tour out of PARIS into the country and to King Henry's manor in Verseilles on a bike. We got to keep the bike for the following day if we wanted as part of the deal.

    Now I say bike, I should man up and say ok, well its a scooter (not sure if it classifies as a bike, other then it has 2 wheels), and to make it worse a vesper..... A massive change from my Triumph Thunderbird.

    The tour was good a laugh, and if you are in paris, would recommend it to people (I will link up when i get home and find the address). The tour leader was good fun to ride with, although we did do it at very very casual pace. Not that the vesper with 2 people on it, could handle much more then that. One of the highlights when the tiny tiny US-Asian girl wanted to ride the vesper and her boyfriend ride B*tch. The tour guide wasn't too sure and try to convince her maybe not a good idea - she wouldnt listen. He gave her his bike (a little bit more shit) to see if she could hold herself. She got about 15metres down the road, hit the gutter and dropped it while still grabbing the accellerator.. one of those had to be there moments but damn it was funny.

    I am normally ATGATT... but only got a helment, so i said a little prayer, and off we went. I was a little hesitant to keep the bike the next day. Navigating Paris and its motorists, riding on the other side of the road (I was soo pariniod about entering the roundabout the wrong way).... In the end I thought i'd give it a little go, and see how i go...

    Can I say... in the complete Chaos that is Paris... i had soo much fun.... it seems like organised chaos, even more so then when i was thailand. Half the roads dont have lane markings, so you have 2-3-4 cars/bikes wide down the roads... bikes all fliter... and boy do the cars get a bollocking if they dont leave room for them to filter (we saw a few riders hit the roof of cars that blocked them).... And cars delay their take off, so all the bikes go first .... In Paris, while it was complete chaos, it seemed that drivers were sooo much more aware of riders... I didnt really feel scared once I got out there.. i was pretty confident... and as is always the way... you make your move with confidence and people give you the room.

    So if you are in Paris - give it a go.... Once i get home and get some pics I will post them up....

    Anyone else ridden in Paris ? or other crazy cities ? did you enjoy or simply sh!te yourself the wholetime ? I'd totally do it again.
  2. Back in my army days were a group of us that would go to le mans bol`dor assen etc were about 8 of us was late 80s/early 90`s we had mainly cb 900`s/1100 r all tricked up.

    Had a memorable moments trying to ride round the Arc de Triomphe,takes a bit of getting used to that they have right of way onto a roundabout
  3. What you need to remember is that, given the much stronger motorcycling tradition in mainland Europe, most French drivers will have started out on 2 wheels and will almost certainly have friends and family who still ride. It makes a huge difference. They are also less inclined towards wowserish governments/public health bodies determined to save the dumb citizenry from themselves so, amazingly, people are more inclined to think for themselves.
  4. Great thread, well done ralph.

    I was in Paris last year as part of my (1st ever) Europe sojourn, and video'd the (enjoyable) trafiic mayhem on the Place de Charles de Gaulle (around the Arc de Triomphe) - it was hilarious! I did notice as PatB said, cars there do have much more respect for the bikes (including a few suicidal cyclists in the roundabout!!!) - they tended to give way to scooters screaming into the roundabout, which if the same was tried anyway here in Oz (especially Syd), the average driver (including my old self, prior to catching the riding bug 2 years ago) would take out the 2-wheeler in no time, whether the 2-wheeler had right of way or not.

    It's sad the car-culture so prevalent in Aust (I'm also a car enthusiast btw) has to shove 2-wheelers aside.

    Finally, an irony is while I find scooters a bit of a joke, I actually hope its continued increase in numbers forces govts and councils to cater more of the city to handle 2-wheelers, especially in terms of education.

    Bottomline though, I'd much rather ride my mbike in Paris, than here, but then again, I'd rather be in Paris, regardless of what I'm sitting on .... :)
  5. Great thread

    I had a similar experience in Rome, complete traffic chaos but driving in traffic where cagers actually are aware of you and actively make space for you is a truly fantastic experience. I loved Rome anyway but having ridden in the traffic and getting to all the tourist sites by scooter (vespA) made it even better.

    If only drivers here were half as good as those in the major euro cities.