10 Nov 2012

Fat Bike Tour Through Paris

Web Site: www.fattirebiketours.com/Paris
Cost: 28E per person

One activity a friend suggested to do while in Paris was a bike tour during the city. There are a few bike tours in Paris and we opted for the Fat Bike Tour company just based on their tour availability and our itinerary. A lot of tours do get booked out quickly in Paris so I do suggest to think ahead regarding what you want to do and book in advance … more on Paris tips later.

How they operate is you rock up to the office of the bike company. You check in, fit you out with a helmet, a very flattering (not!!) night reflecting vest (since we were doing a night tour) and try on the various bikes they have available for size. With this tour company there was more than one group so we were split into three groups of about 20. I noticed they split the crowd roughly by age group. I appreciate reasons why this may be the case: skill level, group dynamics and allow tour operator to harness his interaction with the group based on their age market.

The bikes themselves are really easy and comfortable to ride .. but still expect to have a sore bum the following day (like we did) unless you’re a regular bike rider. After the tour Ian and I were contemplating on purchasing the same bikes as we realized how easy they are to ride and get around in and a great form of exercise.

The tour took us all over Paris via the normal traffic roads. At first it was a bit daunting but 3 minutes into it and knowing there are 19 other people riding with you, your confidence just builds up and you really start to enjoy the experience. I recall smiling and laughing throughout the whole time. I must’ve looked like an idiot but it was that much fun I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.

We rode through St Germain, Notre Dame, gelato stop around St Louis, lock bridge, The Louvre to watch the sun set .. and other key monuments I can’t recall anymore.

 Gelato pit stop

The tour also included a River Sine Cruise. So we rode our bikes to the wharfs, combined them all together and locked them up with a long piece or rope … no seriously. Obviously bikes need to be secured to avoid being stolen but there aren’t adequate bike racks around the wharfs. Plus there are also other bike tours doing the same thing. Tour operator served us some wine during the cruise which kept us warm as it had gotten cooler as the sun had set. Avoid drinking too much wine cause you still have to ride after the cruise. 

After the cruise we rode parallel to the river and stopped at a good vantage point to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle at 11pm.

I recommend doing a bike tour as it allows you to see a lot of Paris in a different way. The tour goes for about four hours but you seriously the time flies.  It also exposes you to a bike and may give you the confidence to be like the locals and take advantage of the Velib bike hire service available through out the city.

Actually I’ve been a decision if a bike tour is available in the cities we travel to in the future, we’re doing it. It would be so fun especially once they kids (heheee) know how to ride bikes. 
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