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7 Great Biking Cities (and Which Trails to Ride)

  • May 23, 2022

Paris is a city transformed by bike lanes. Mayor Anne Hidalgo has already spent 150 million euros ($158 million) developing the first stage of the city’s bike plan, aimed at making the city “100 percent bikeable” by 2026, when it plans to have added 112 miles of protected cycling paths.

This 22-mile loop takes advantage of the new cycling infrastructure, mixing in many of the city’s main attractions and plenty of green spaces.

From Place de la République, follow Canal Saint-Martin north. Early in the morning, the bike lane is often deserted, save for a few joggers. A short ride leads to Bassin de la Villette, which has playgrounds and park benches with soft morning light. In the summer, the city transforms this section of the canal into an outdoor swimming area.

Turn around and ride south along the canal to Rue Amelot, in the 11th Arrondissement. The quiet side street leads to Place de la Bastille. This can be a tricky roundabout, but after hitting Boulevard Henri IV, it is a straight shot to Île Saint-Louis, where you will be rewarded with views of Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower.

After cycling along the Seine, the route cuts into the Left Bank for the longest climb of the day, which finishes at the Pantheon overlooking Luxembourg Gardens.

From here, the path rejoins the Seine, following the river to the Eiffel Tower. After crossing the Pont d’Iéna and a short but steep climb past Trocadéro, the route winds through classic Haussmannian architecture to Bois de Boulogne, a park two-and-a-half times the size of Central Park. The lake is a perfect picnic stop (you can swing by the nearby Desgranges to pick up your lunch, including their “Passy Passion” baguettes).

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