Pedalling Aroung Paris
The latest issue of Cycle, CTC’s bi-monthly award-winning magazine, had an article in which the ‘Fact File’ suggested that route details were available, but unfortunately it didn’t say where. Well, following a bit of investigative work, the answer is below. And here’s the link to the magazine archive containing the article itself: http://www.ctc.org.uk/resources/Magazine/201107034.pdf
I started near to the Bois de Vincennes, picking up my first bike at the docking station close to Porte Dorée Metro (if that’s empty, there’s one just inside the park and another quieter one by Rue Claude Decan/Avenue du General crossroads).
In many ways it’s probably best to ‘follow your nose’ in the Bois de Vincennes, as there are so many interconnected tracks through the park and woodland. But if it helps, I skirted south of Lac Daumesnil (Buddhist temple), crossed Avenue de Saint Maurice and then broadly aimed north-east on the forest tracks in order to get to Chateau de Vincennes. Then headed south and west in order to loop back to Lac Daumensil. Plenty of sign-boards scattered throughout the Bois means that it’s hard to get too lost.
After exploring the Bois, the directions are much clearer….
Leave Bois de Vincennes at the northern corner, close by Porte Dorée
Take Boulevard de la Guyane (parallel and below Peripherique)
As Boulevard de la Guyane slopes down to traffic junction at the bottom, turn L under the Peripherique and immediately R – a sloping path takes you quickly down onto the Promenade Plantée
Follow the Promenade Plantée – clearly marked with signs and cycle tracks, some crossings of side roads, bridges
You arrive at Jardin de Reuilly – at the end of Avenue Vivildi, by swimming pool. This section of the Promenade Plantée is pedestrian only. To explore on foot, use the docking station on Avenue Vivildi, otherwise, keep on your bike and head L to join Avenue Daumesnil.
Avenue Daumesnil runs in parallel with the Promenade Plantée. Follow it up to the Bastille (it becomes Rue de Lyon) or alternatively turn L beforehand (on Avenue Ledru Rollin, for example) to visit Porte de l’Arsenal (a marina with views towards the Seine and Bastille).
Cycle round the main Place de la Bastille roundabout (with care) and fork north on Boulevard Richard Lenoir. Plenty of cycle lanes, though they sometimes switches from one side of the road to the other.
Continue on the main road – it becomes Boulevard Jules Ferry and then the Canal St Martin. Plenty of opportunities for stops and diversions.
After the canal has veered north-east, the road (still running in
parallel) starts to slope upwards and you approach a busy junction, by Jaures Metro station.
Aim for the gravel square just behind the domed building at Place de Stalingrad. The Basin de la Villette extends beyond. You can cycle along either side of the basin, on wide gravel area, and each leads you to Rue de Crimée (with its drawbridge)
You’re then heading to Parc de la Villette. I took the northern side of the water, followed the water around to the L (along a short section of Canal St Denis) and took the first wide bridge over into the Cité des Sciences section of the Parc.
Once in the park, you can follow a path formed of ‘studded’ stone setts. This is the ‘garden route’ which snakes you through the park beside a number of different garden designs. Along the way, you need to cross the Canal de l’Ourcq on the bridge (lift available, though strictly speaking you should use your bike in it).
The studded path brings you to the front of Parc de la Villette, and there is a docking station next to Porte de Pantin Metro station.
So there you have it! Thanks, Graham Barker.