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  1. #1
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    Best biking cities in France

    Hi all
    I'm applying for a teaching job in France, and I have the option of choosing where to teach. I am trying to make my choices based on bike commutability and culture (I would love to live in Paris but it's hard to get a position there) Does anyone have recommendations of bike-friendly cities in France (I assume a lot of them are)? Know anything about Corsica (my ultimate destination) bike-wise? I also MTB and road/tour; any recommendations for a centrally located hub? And I love my fixie! Any thoughts about fixies in FR? What about hauling a bike over there? Is it worth it? France, of course, I would expect to have lots of goregeous velos, but price-wise?
    thanks!
    Last edited by Pasdetout; 11-13-08 at 10:35 PM.

  2. #2
    Je pose, donc je suis.
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    Chambery.

  3. #3
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    I think price-wise USA is cheaper.
    Good towns: all towns in the Loire-Indre-Cher area

  4. #4
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Cities over countryside. Countryside wins every time.. I'd stay away from the Cote de Azur in the summer time . Too crowded... Pretty much all of France is cycling friendly..Marseille looks a bit crazy in terms of traffic volume.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living









    ^ Since June 16, 2011

  5. #5
    Studs Terkel Johnny_Monkey's Avatar
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    Lyon. I would live there. Central and on the TGV line. Lots of bikes and a nice place as well. Food capital of France as well.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Surferbruce's Avatar
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    I'd vote for Toulouse as a cool city, but I've yet to visit Bordeaux. Centrally located to so much, younger, slightly more laid back than Paris, beautiful countryside and villages just outside of the city- that's where i'd probably pick.

  7. #7
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Which ever city I'd choose , it'd be because of its proximity to adjacent country rides... Think I'd second Toulouse... From Toulouse you can head east on the Canal Midi, or head west towards great rides in Armagnac, Cognac, and Bordeaux wine regions.. For more challenging rides head to the Dordogne, or Pau for some Pyrenees climbing.. I consider most French cities bike friendly, so why think one might be 'the best.'..
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living









    ^ Since June 16, 2011

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Stay away from Strasbourg; a cycling friend who lives there was telling me about groups of young men knocking over people on bikes for fun. This was a few years ago, so maybe the fad has ended.

  9. #9
    Studs Terkel Johnny_Monkey's Avatar
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    Toulouse is the worst city I've ever seen for dog ***** I've ever seen. Apart from that it was ok.

  10. #10
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    In France, dogs are so popular , you're lucky if you don't see dog sheetz in the supermarkets and dog's humping in your favorite restaurant...
    ps.. a weird story ... We were up in Belgium a couple weeks back.. ../ Those Beer hall Belgian folks seem to like their dogs too. In a beer hall, At some country town near Spa.. Everyone seemed to be on about their 10 beer for the evening. My wife freaked out when some woman tolerated some dog getting his sexual pleasures on her leg. Did not brush away her poodle as he was swaying to the music..She must have liked it or too drunk to know better.
    Last edited by cyclezealot; 11-25-08 at 08:41 AM.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living









    ^ Since June 16, 2011

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by arie View Post
    I think price-wise USA is cheaper.
    Meaning it might be worth my while to pay to ship a bike to France with me?

  12. #12
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    I ended up choosing Corsica as my first choice (I figured I'd be more likely to get it because no one (except me!) wants to be isolated on an island, plus wine, cheese, corsu, hiking, mediterranean climate/culture, proximity to Greece and Italy), Grenoble as my second (very close to Chambery and Alps), and Clermont-Ferrand as my third (I don't really want to go there, but it was the best option of the "undesirables")...These aren't representative of my actual most desired places to live in France but of the best options that were available. Does anyone know what it's like to try to buy a used roadbike in France? And how to go about it?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Surferbruce's Avatar
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    I was just shopping for a used winter bike (i ended up by a new Giant cross bike) but most shops i visited had used bikes for sale (velos d'occasion). It's mainly a matter of just visiting as many shops as you can and taking time to look around. I found a shop in Rodez (Cycles Boutonnet) that is an amazing treasure trove of stuff, with an entire room stuffed with all kinds of used bikes. You can also check out EbayFrance. Another possibility is to ask the local cycling clubs if any members have bikes for sale.
    We brought bikes with us, on United, who amazingly (at least as of two months ago) still allow a bike to count as a piece of checked luggage for no extra fee.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pasdetout View Post
    Does anyone know what it's like to try to buy a used roadbike in France? And how to go about it?
    You can check out this web site to have an idea of what you can find:

    http://www.leboncoin.fr/li?q=velo&ca...&zz=ex%3A75001

  15. #15
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    Even though you've already submitted your choices, I'll still chime in with my favorite cycling spots in France. Cyclezealot is right--proximity to the countryside is key if you are a road rider. For that, I adore Brittany, but the weather is not great in the winter (for cycling, but it's great for hiking and calvados). Nantes is pretty bike friendly. Last time I was in Rennes, they were building bike lanes, but that was a long time ago and I don't know how they turned out. Rennes is a big city that can be difficult to get out of on a bike.

    La Rochelle is a great bike town, with easy access to the countryside of La Charente-Maritime. Good weather, too. Lyon is good for cycling, but it gets really cold in the winter.

    I've never been to Corsica, but I have been to Sicily and Crete and the roads there are great for cycling, if rather hilly. And of course the weather and the food is delicious. It's just the language that I might have trouble with in Corsica.

  16. #16
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Careful what bike group you choose.. One group I choose, we stopped every city possible. They had a pastry addiction.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living









    ^ Since June 16, 2011

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