La Neuville Garnier to Paris

We didn't know it at the time, but finishing at La Neuville Garnier yesterday was a good move. It turned out to be the highest elevation of the trip and meant there would be no serious uphill climbs today.

Although the route carried on North to South, the wind had shifted a little and was not so intense. Also a lot of the day was spent on lower, increasingly urbanised, ground and I only recall the wind being a problem along some of the bankside stretches along the Seine.

In fact, by the time we got to the outskirts of Paris, the sun was actually doing its best to shine.

I was relieved that the weather was improving as I had not exactly been looking forward to cycling through the city itself. This proved to be yet another unfounded fear.

The average French drivers respect for cyclists combined with the considerate road planning made this part of the journey the highlight of the trip!

When planning the journey the map made Paris look a lot like London, a mind boggling network of small roads that you imagine to be packed full of traffic. In fact, even though we were hitting Paris in the rush hour, it wasn't the nightmare I imagined.

There are cycle lanes just about everywhere; cars, buses and pedestrians all seem happy to give way to you and you don't feel like some lone madman on a bike in Paris, there are thousands of you, so there is a feeling of safety in numbers.

Obviously these are just my opinions and I am sure there are plenty of people with negative experiences of Paris and Parisians, but I am willing to bet there are far more who feel negative about London and Londoners.

Journey's End

Even though this was only a short tour, it was still immensely satisfying to reach Paris and the photo session in front of the Eiffel Tower. Perversely, I think the fact that yesterday had been so hard added to the overall sense of achievement.

This wasn't just the 4-day 400KM warm up I was expecting. The sense of achievement alone would have made the trip worthwhile, but with the myths about French hostility toward English tourists dispelled and concerns about cycling safety allayed, it was an experience I shall not easily forget.

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Day:4 of 4
Date:07 April 2005
From:La Neuville Garnier
Distance:79 KM
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