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Tandem Adventures Part II: Paris

Posted Nov 09 2012 1:24am

In my previous post I described my tandem bicyling adventures in Bend, OR at the National Masters Cycling Championships . From the week in Bend we arrived home exhilirated and excited for our next trip – for only 11 days later we were leaving for France where my fiance, Chris,  was competing in the World Duathlon Championships in Nancy, a small city in the north-eastern part of France. During our 3 days in Nancy, we had the pleasure of interacting with world class athletes from a number of nations and enjoying the hospitality of the charming city. Then it was on to Paris for five days of fun, including some tandem riding in this not-so-bicycle friendly city. We rented a tandem on our second-to-last day in the city with the intention of riding the 50-mile round trip to Versailles. We had researched and found a route that not only had us touring some of the more picturesque parts of the outskirts of Paris, it would also allow us to visit the Palace of Versailles and some of the grounds that were harder to reach on foot.  Unfortunately, it rained the morning we rented the bike so we had to forgo our Versailles plans and instead ride around the city. Weather aside, had we known how treacherous bicycling in Paris would be, we might have abandoned the idea altogether. Mon Dieu! In four hours we pedaled on cobblestones along the Seine River; circled the Tuileries Garden located between the Louvre and the Place de Concorde only to find out bicycles weren’t permitted :( ; made it to the Arch de Triomphe just as a thundershower hit; and navigated the streets of Paris among cars, buses, taxis, trucks and the dreaded scooters!  Yes, among all of the vehicles on the road, the scooters were by far the most aggressive and obnoxious.  Well thanks to the excellent navigation skills of my tandem captain, Chris, we made it back to the rental shop without incident.  Exhausted (more from the tension than the exercise) but glad for our efforts we continued our Paris tour on two feet rather than two wheels!   Be Well,  Carolyn 

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