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-   -   Urban cycling is Paris, zut alors! :) (http://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/622582-urban-cycling-paris-zut-alors.html)

electrik 02-16-10 07:19 PM

Urban cycling is Paris, zut alors! :)
 
Even if you can't read French the video is fairly self explanatory.

Oscuro 02-17-10 01:11 AM

Nope. Paris is DEFINITELY off my "to tour" list...

Metzinger 02-17-10 02:45 AM

It had a beat. I could dance to it.
But that's the most frightening cycling video I've ever seen.
At least Paris seems to be making an effort.
Things look better today than 15 years ago. Vélib + many new bike lanes.
Toronto? Not so much.

Machka 02-17-10 05:10 AM

Didn't bother watching the video, but ...

I love Paris ... what's not to like?? It's one of my favourite cities, and I also enjoy the rest of the country that I've seen so far. Can't wait to go back again. I'd actually like to live in France.

This part of Rowan's and my last trip to France in 2007 talks about Vélib with some photos of us posing with the bicycles. We had a good look at them, but didn't use them because we had our own bicycles:
http://www.machka.net/pbp2007/2007_Pre-PBP_3.htm

stapfam 02-17-10 02:26 PM

I have driven a truck in Paris and I never want to do it again. Arc de Triompe is a roundabout. When you have cars coming the wrong way round it and directly in front of you- it gets a bit scary.

But I dare say any City has it's own problems. London and I used to drive round it frequently. You could always tell the newcomer. In the wrong lane- going slow in the wrong places looking for directions or wrong way up a one way street. Problem is that all cyclists will be at risk when cars in great numbers are about. Last Septemebr I had to ride the bike in traffic for about 10 miles into the centre of London. I had no worries but other riders at the event were scared witless.

AND if you do want a bike friendly country- it is France. Did a ride with about 200 social riders- families and non regular riders- and it was only about 50 miles. One section up a hill through a wood and about 1/2 mile long. Rode past the others telling them to keep to the right as there was a car at the top waiting to come down. Got to the driver and told him it was safe to drive down and he said he would wait. "Why ruin the cyclists ride when I have time to wait" Most of France is like this and if you are on a bike- you get special treatment.

The Video is probably the worst incidents filmed over a long period. Just face it- if that was all happening on one ride- You would be putting yourself in danger by riding. Safer to catch a bus.

BlazingPedals 02-17-10 02:52 PM

What was with the bike lanes going against traffic on one-way streets? Was the traffic engineer drunk that day?

Metzinger 02-17-10 04:14 PM

^they're common here too, and work well

genec 02-17-10 04:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka (Post 10414437)
Didn't bother watching the video, but ...

I love Paris ... what's not to like?? It's one of my favourite cities, and I also enjoy the rest of the country that I've seen so far. Can't wait to go back again. I'd actually like to live in France.

This part of Rowan's and my last trip to France in 2007 talks about Vélib with some photos of us posing with the bicycles. We had a good look at them, but didn't use them because we had our own bicycles:
http://www.machka.net/pbp2007/2007_Pre-PBP_3.htm

OK you asked a loaded question... "what's not to like..." well how about the fact that Paris is a crowded city... and there are other fine less crowded cities in France. Personally I prefer the south of France to the crowds and traffic of the city. Give me the open road between villages vice the crowded Champs-Élysées any day.

Well you did ask...

GriddleCakes 02-17-10 04:59 PM

Wow, it took considerable effort to not try to reach out and slap a number of those cars right through the monitor. And I haven't slapped a real car in over a year!

calamarichris 02-18-10 11:22 AM

All large cities look intimidating to cyclists, especially when you jump from one short, jerky scene to another showing the hazards and vehicular transgressions typical in a big city.

I've driven in Paris, and they have a decidedly humanist way of looking at auto accidents. Both times I came into contact with another car, the other driver simply made eye contact, saw there was no arterial bleeding, then gave a nod and drove on as if nothing had happened.

The metro and the sidewalks are so great, I don't understand why anyone would take a bike or a car into Paris in the first place.

Machka 02-19-10 04:58 AM

Normally, I strongly dislike cycling in cities ... I much prefer the open road and country. But Paris was different. For one thing, there was a lot of stopping and starting to see stuff, and cycling was just a more convenient way to do that than trying to rent a car or walk. The only place where I had difficulty cycling was up the Champs-Élysées ... cobblestone combined with hoards of vehicular traffic and pedestrian traffic everywhere.

AdamDZ 02-19-10 05:51 AM

Yay, that actually looks worse than NYC :eek:

A.

iforgotmename 02-19-10 08:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GriddleCakes (Post 10417160)
Wow, it took considerable effort to not try to reach out and slap a number of those cars right through the monitor.

+1000

BlazingPedals 02-19-10 11:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Metzinger (Post 10416948)
^they're common here too, and work well

They don't appear to work well there.

nwmtnbkr 02-19-10 04:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by genec (Post 10417025)
OK you asked a loaded question... "what's not to like..." well how about the fact that Paris is a crowded city... and there are other fine less crowded cities in France. Personally I prefer the south of France to the crowds and traffic of the city. Give me the open road between villages vice the crowded Champs-Élysées any day.

Well you did ask...

I love Paris. It's my favorite city in the world. I would never try to drive or cycle there, though. I find that I get around just fine on foot and by Metro. I feel much safer in Paris than London. In London, I find it extremely frustrating that cars dart through alley ways to make time and don't necessarily stop before driving over sidewalks to merge onto the street. As a woman, I also felt safer walking around Paris at night and taking the Metro at night.

All cities around the world have the same problems. Too many of the human population are moving to them and they're becoming more and more unmanageable. Urban life is tending to validate a lot of the scientific studies on over population from the 60's and 70's. Aggression, especially in motor vehicles, seems the a common behavioral problem in most large cities. What frightens me is that some urban planners are calling for more densely developed cities. I think that will open up a whole new can of behavioral worms.

aMull 02-20-10 10:56 PM

Well i just spent three months riding in paris (i flew over there with my bike) and i was awesome. Yes it's crowded, yes there's lots of traffic, yes the mopeds are the worst (fast, noisy, lane splitting etc) but i still loved it. Was a great way to see the city, and i could corss it in less than half an hour. Some streets were very nice to bike on (le quai along the seine, or the big downhill on gambetta all the way down to voltair, if you lucked out on the traffic lights).

I really don'tknow why i liked it so much, and i actually expected to find more people cylcling there. And yes the metro is the best (after biking) for getting around, there are stops everywhere. What i didn't like were the cobble stone streets, the champs elysee especially since on top of that it had crazy traffic.

Esteban32696 02-21-10 06:25 AM

It hs been a long time since I was in Paris, & wish to go back. We saw all the bikes & saw several car wrecks with minimal damage. I decided that we would look for a car that did NOT have any body damage at all. We walked & walked til we finally spotted one. We must have looked at 1000 cars !! The countryside is beautiful !!

brianogilvie 02-21-10 10:31 AM

I enjoy cycling in Paris. It's true that you have to keep on your toes, and that the bike lanes are sometimes blocked by cars, clueless pedestrians, and scooters. It's also true that motorists are often not as aware of cyclists as they should be. That said, there are only two times I ever felt in danger in a couple months of cycling in the city: once when a bus passed me in a separated bus lane that was open to cyclists, and once when I was going around the place de la Concorde and a scooter nearly mowed me down. In general, as long as I asserted my right of way and behaved predictably, motorists gave me plenty of room.

I don't want to downplay the dangers that quatriememonde (the videographer) underlined, but the film does condense a year's worth of bad experiences into 8 minutes. Also, on most Parisian roads, the average speed of traffic is low, so it's not that hard to see trouble coming and avoid it.


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