Recommended Paris Swim/Bike/Run Resources and Places

ParisPhoto

(Updated July 2014)

I often get asked about places to swim, bike, or run in Paris.  I made such a resource a long while ago for Washington DC when I lived there, so I figured I’d do the same here.

Keeping in mind I’ve only lived here about a year, so my view is somewhat narrow on the full potential of swim/bike/run in the city.  That said, below are the places I routinely use  to get my workouts in across all three sports.

Additionally, I’ve added in locations for rental bikes (legit road bikes that you can get in real training time on) – that’s in the bike section.  I’ll add to this post over time as I find new places that I use repeatedly.  Of course, feel free to add in the comments section additional ones.  My only ask is that you include a link to some site that shows the actual route (i.e. Garmin Connect, Strava, MapMyRide, etc…) – as that helps out of town folks understand the exact route.  Otherwise, it’s sorta all French. :)  Finally I’ve tried to use the simplified terms for different areas, simply because that’s what most out of town folks are going to know them by.  For example, ‘Eiffel Tower Park’, instead of Champ de Mars.

Running:

Running is the easiest, there are plenty of places to run around Paris.  Before I talk routes, let’s talk general running hotspots for me. Here’s an overview of central Paris (click to zoom):

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Longchamp: This has a 2.2ish mile loop that’s aimed at cyclists (around the horse track – Hippodrome de Longchamp), but you can run inside of that.  It’s slightly rolling.  Outside of the actual loop within the Bois de Boulange, there’s the vast park itself, which has endless running options both paved and unpaved.  The loop is essentially closed to traffic, making it perfect.

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Bois de Vincennes: Hands down the best overall running location in Paris if you want to get away from the crowds.  Think Central Park in NYC, except literally about three times bigger.  I can do entire 2-3 hour long runs in there and not repeat myself.  Tons of both paved and well as offroad running.  Especially in the inner and northern edges (off-road).  There’s also a triangle loop that’s closed to traffic for runners and cyclists.  Your best option here is to just ‘get lost’ and enjoy wandering around.  There’s signs on all the trails with little arrows and distance to the next point.  Oh, and check out the Chateau (castle-like) at the northern edge.

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In the Parks: There’s a number of parks that are great for doing intervals or loops of.  These are each outlined below.  I personally love Bastille because it’s a paved dual pedestrian and bike path around it, awesome for almost perfectly 1-mile looped intervals, and it’s reasonably flat and very few crowds (has a free bathroom at North end).  In front of the Louvre at Tuileries is also great (paid bathroom on Northern side).  Jardin des Plantes is about 8/10ths of a mile around, but isn’t paved, so it’s a bit of a softer ride and is pancake flat (free bathroom on Western side).  Luxembourg is very scenic, but you’ll dodge a fair number of people there, just like at the Eiffel Tower (free bathrooms at Eastern most leg of tower, underground).  Invalides is awesome for intervals – almost perfectly a mile around, and without any crowds that get in your way.

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Along the river:  Finally, along the river.  I tend to run along the river for most of my long runs.  It’s really complex to say which side of the river is better, as it really depends on the season and weather.  If it’s rained a lot recently then it floods over some of the sections.  In general though, the Southern Bank is less crowded until you get to the islands.  At the islands, it’s actually best from a running standpoint to hop across the bridge to the islands and run on them (wide/empty streets).

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Running really long: For really long runs if you don’t want the park, you can follow a route out along the river for some 50 miles.  It’s pretty easy to follow too.  Just go along the river until you see a double-span pedestrian bridge that meets in the middle but has an upper and lower entrance at each side and then from there on, ensure you’re on the Northern Side of the river on a bike path.  Go forever.

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My favorite route:  As you can see, I run all over the place here in Paris.  Usually mixing and matching together the above areas – which are all connected via sidewalks, mostly via the river.  However, if you’re looking for a nice route that hits all the major sites, here’s my favorite.  It starts from Notre Dame – simply because that’s where I am, but you can ‘hop on’ anywhere.

As you can see, it starts from Notre Dame and then goes down to the end of the next island before heading back up the river, where you’ll dip through the Louvre (past the glass pyramid) and then across the gardens before heading up to the Arc and then back down again to Concorde (big pointy statue in the middle of a giant traffic intersection).  Then I head over to the river and run along the northern bank until the Eiffel tower. At which point I do a half-loop around the Eiffel Tower and then short-cut across to Invalides.  If you want a touch bit of extra distance, don’t shortcut over but instead run back to the river and then along the river until you get to Invalides (it’s obvious, it’s a gigantic green lawn with a gold domed building half a mile down it).

Once done at Invalides (you can add tons of time there), then I head back up along the river and back to Notre Dame.

Here’s the Garmin Connect profile.

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Ways to add extra distance: Once back at Notre Dame, continue down the river 8/10ths of a mile on the southern river bank, you’ll go through a nice park along the water. When the park ends at a bridge, go up onto the road and you’ll see the entrance to the Gardens (across street, gold gate), you can wander in there, each loop is about 8/10ths of a mile.  Alternatively, at the other end, do loops around either Eiffel Tower or Invalides (or both).  Each loop is 1-1.2 miles.  Same goes for the gardens in front of the Louvre.

Ways to decrease distance: Don’t go up/back to the Arc, instead, just leave the gardens near the Louvre and then head along the river.  Also, to save distance, don’t go down the park at Eiffel Tower or Invalides, just brush through them.

Cycling:

Given Paris is a city, your cycling options for legit training are somewhat limited.  I define legit training as training where you can cycle more or less continuously at an intense effort without many stops or concern.  There’s plenty of rides outside the city, but I’m going to cover the main ones inside the city.  These essentially boil down to Longchamp and Bois de Vincennes:

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Longchamp: The red area is where you want to be, the Hippodrome.  This is the cycling mecca on the weekends here, with hundreds and hundreds of people cycling around it.  Even a nice summer weekday will be packed.  It’s a 2+ lane road that’s largely closed down and cyclists all go in the same direction.  Think of it like a giant 1.2 mile roller rink for cyclist.  The larger park is good for casual cycling, but not intense riding.

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Bois de Vincennes: At the complete opposite end of the city is the Bois de Vincennes.  This is much quieter than Longchamp from a cycling standpoint.  The road quality is good, but not as perfect as Longchamp.  Inside of it is the triangle, which is completely closed to traffic (no cars anywhere near there).  And is split most of the way around between 1-2 full lanes for cyclists, and 1 lane for pedestrians (with hard barriers).  Beware of leaves on the ground in the fall on a wet day.

The second option is on the road around the horse track there.  I use this a fair bit as it has a nice hill in the middle of it, so it keeps things mixed up.  This isn’t closed to traffic, but if you keep with going clockwise, you’ll never have to stop, and the traffic here is fairly sparse.

Finally, along the southern side is a perimeter road that has some traffic at peak times, but is otherwise fairly quiet.  It’s about 1-2 miles, but has beautiful new pavement, so you can do back and forths there, and if you’re creative enough you can cut through the park and make a big loop out of it.

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Bikes and Trains/Subways: Note that you can take your bike on the RER trains, but cannot take them on the standard subway/metro.  Read this post here for all the details on where and when you can and cannot take them.

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Rentals: There’s two shops I’ve rented from before.  Both are good.  In fact, the bike you see above is actually a rental bike (with my wheelset on them).

Paris Bike Co.: This company is run by an American who’s moved over here.  Both his wife and him race triathlons and road races, and his bikes are awesome.  I rented the bike you see above from him for the Versailles Triathlon.  They also do pickup and drop-off.  I’ll definitely be renting from them again when I need a bike rental (i.e. friends/family in town).

Allo Velo: This is the first shop I used in Paris for bike rental.  It’s easy to get to and they have a lot of selection.  You can see some of the photos from the bikes both The Girl and I rented for a ride last spring in this post.

Day Bikes (Velib): Finally, there’s the Velib system.  It’s AWESOME.  As residents, we just pay $35 bucks a year to use it, and I can pickup my bike for 45 minutes at a time and drop it off on almost any street corner.  As of this past spring, they’ve updated almost all of the machines to take credit cards.  The day rate is about $1.70, and you get 30 minutes per ride (but unlimited rides in that 24 hour period).  Note that the machines are finicky for credit cards without chips.  So I’d recommend simply buying the pass online.  There’s no difference between the two, as all you get is an ID and PIN number to type in, so this will save you time standing in front of the machine frustrated.  Here’s a few posts on the Velib.

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Pools/Swimming:

Oh swimming, the bane of my existence in Paris.  First, you should understand that swimming in Paris is unlike anything I’ve seen elsewhere in the world.  Think of it more as an ‘experience’ than as real training.  I say this again, you won’t get in good training here.  The reason is the public pools all tend to have 15-20 people per lane at all times.  Yes, really, 15-20 – PER LANE.  While there is signage for fast/slow lanes at some pools, it’s generally ignored.  So you’ll have someone backstroking down the fast lane with a pull buoy and an upside-down snorkel.  Seriously, I’ve seen it.

Here’s the full listing of pools from the city.  And here’s the map making it easy to zoom in to where you are.  Note, ‘Piscine’ means pool.  Also, most all pools require swim caps.  Read my Paris Pool Post to understand the ‘rules’ of the pool (primarily on getting in).

That said, I really only swim in a handful of pools – simply because I don’t generally want to wander all the way across town for a swim.  Here’s the two I tend to use most often:

Piscine Pontoise: This is probably one of the more unique pools in Paris.  It’s the one I highlighted in the post above.  It’s got fairly wonky hours, but the late-night hours (till midnight) make it slightly more accessible.  The only challenge is just that it’s always so packed that timing your workouts to available lane time is pretty much near impossible.

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Piscine Baker: This pool is actually on a barge on the river, and the glass roof opens up during the summer.  It’s a bit out of the way for most, but they do have a Velib station out front – making it easy to combine cycling with running.

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Openwater Swimming:

Just to be clear, there are no legal openwater swimming locations in Paris.  Sorry!

Sports Stores:

In the event you need to pickup something, here’s the places I head to.  Note, most of these  stores are in French. If you’re trying to browse foreign language websites, I just use Chrome (browser) with automatic translation.  Works perfect.

Triathlon focused stores aren’t exactly plentiful here in Paris. Nonetheless, here are your options in a pinch:

Triathlon Store: This place just opened this winter, and is mostly focused on high-end items. They’re in the heart of Paris, and easily accessible. This would be my first stop for tri-specific needs.

La Boutique du Triathlon: These guys are southwest outside of the city, so not really in the city center. But they have a good selection of odds and ends that you might need. They also speak a little bit of English.

For cycling, there’s three shops that I’d use:

Bike in Paris: This is primarily where I go when I need to get my bike fixed or something ordered. Good folks, and they speak English quite well. Also Trek dealer in case you need something from them.

Bicycle Store: This is from the same guys as the ‘Triathlon Store’ above, prior to them opening the triathlon store. It’s also where we bought The Girl’s most recent bike from.

Giant Store: This is the Giant bicycle company operated store, but they speak English, and near to me (Notre Dame).  They sell almost only all Giant branded stuff, so it tends to be slightly more expensive, but they have a good variety of stuff.

For running there’s tons of options. I’ll keep adding to this section as I remember them all.

Boutique Marathon: Definitely a specialty running store. A bit higher end, but good selection and focused on running specifically.

Decathlon: This is a major chain store across Europe, and thus they carry running stuff (as well as some crossover into swimming and cycling). There’s a number of locations in Paris.

For everything else sports related, here’s another option:

Au Vieux Campeur: This is sorta like REI for France. In Paris the store is spread out over a number of city blocks, with tiny storefronts for different topics (i.e. one store for skis, one for running shoes, etc…).  If you lost a Garmin charger or need a GoPro mount – they’ll have it (and mounts/chargers for most other cameras/action cams).  In fact, they’ve got a surprising selection of accessories and items, and usually almost immediately at initial retail availability of a product.  Far better than your average REI or Best Buy in the US.  The specific store that has all the goods is at 28 Rue des Écoles, 75005.  All the other stores are within 2-4 blocks of it.

Decathlon: This is a large chain sporting good store across Europe, similar to a Dicks Sporting Goods in the US.  They have a ton of selection (and stores), though very rarely anything beyond what the average person might want fitness-wise.  So you won’t generally find higher end items here (though they do have a wide selection of sports technology stuff).  They also have a fairly good selection of gels/nutrition.  There are many stores around Paris/France/Europe to select from.

(Thanks to the Expatries Triathlon team for the Marathon and Triathlon Boutique ones)

Races in France/Paris:

Looking to try your hand at racing against the French? Here’s a few resources for finding races in France/Paris:

From reader HollyOak: http://www.crchsidf.org then “Affichage calendriers”/”Hors stade – Cross” and click on “Exécuter”.

From reader Julien: http://topchrono.biz/ & http://www.le-sportif.com/ (The first one wins for being easiest to use – the second for being the most complete)

If you’re looking to see what I’ve been racing, check out my race reports section.  In general most major races will easily accommodate non-French speakers and you can almost always find someone to help you translate.  Do note that virtually all races require a medical certificate.  This can be printed out from the race’s site and then taken to a doctor (or, someone pretending to be one) and then it’s best to ensure the office/etc have ink-stamped it.  Races here are very serious about no-go without a certificate, though they don’t much care what’s on them, as long as it says medical at the top.

Add your own suggestions!

I’m all for hearing about new places, routes or otherwise.  My ONLY REQUEST is that you please include a link to the route (again, it’s easy to create for free on Garmin Connect, MapMyRide or plenty of other apps).  Or, if it’s a facility (i.e. an awesome pool), then please include the link to the facility.

Also, I’ll try and clean things up as best as possible over time (i.e. duplicates/etc…) so that it’s easy to find items.

Thanks!

62 Comments

  1. Peter

    Great info! Glad to see that when I was in Paris in April '11 I was in one of the best running areas in the Bois de Vincennes. :)

    Reply
  2. James

    It's not the most scenic of parks, or terribly big, but I used to run laps around Parc Monceau. Ok fine - I only did it because it was next to my office, but the loops are almost exactly 1km each, and there were always tons of young people hanging out and providing a nice little vibe.

    link to goo.gl

    Reply
  3. Bert
    Reply
  4. Jason

    Thanks Ray! I'll upload some of the Garmin TCX course files prior to leaving DC. We're scheduled to be in Paris from 7/1-7/4. Very excited to do some running while I'm there.

    Reply
  5. Chmouel

    You forgot the buttes chaumont :) if you want to work your hills repeat for running it's a 2.33km loop (1.5miles) going up and down.

    Here's the link to the loop: link to app.strava.com

    Reply
  6. 20100

    You can find an open water pool at Puteaux just near the Longchamp place.
    Price is expensive, but it's 50m with sky ceiling !

    Reply
  7. Hey, great post Ray :)

    For the swimming, i usually go to Keller swimming pool (50 meters) on saturday or sunday at the opening: you can have 1 good hour of training since it's quite empty at this moment. Otherwise, I agree, it's a mess :/
    I swapped my swim training to monday and wednesday during my lunchtime and Neuilly aquatic center is kind of nice, not too overcrowded, clean, but expensive sadly. I might try Levallois aquatic center too. Pontoise is nice, but the 33 meters are a nightmare to count without swim watch lol.

    Reply
  8. kayla

    I used to work out by La Defence and can recommend Piscine Courbevoie as far as Parisian pools go (link to horaires-piscines.fr) is an olympic pool that while still having that french grandpa who backstrokes over you mauling you with hand paddles and fins... is not that packed (so I could usually swim with a work colleagues and not you know kill Papi)

    Reply
  9. Hi Ray,

    Great article :) As a Parisian I think you can add all the parks in your running places (Monceau, Buttes Chaumont...).
    Anyway, I'm commenting to tell you one of your Garmin link is KO : "Here’s the Garmin Connect profile" (favorite running route part of the article).

    BR

    Reply
  10. Luc

    Thanks for the info Ray! I'm going to Paris this week (june 20th) and i was looking for a fun and safe place to run with my 16 years old daughter. We will also going to pay a visit to the Girl's bakery!

    Reply
  11. Nina

    both Le Chesnay link to lechesnay.fr and Versailles link to vert-marine.com have olympic size pools which are not as crowded as those within Paris.

    Reply
  12. Robert Nash

    Hi Ray,

    Not really a route or related as such, but wasnt sure where to post this.

    I wondered if you had seen this blog regarding unusual/different locations (mainly) in Paris.
    May give you and the girl some ideas for exploring on Sunday afternoons?

    link to messynessychic.com

    best regards
    Robert.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I've been meaning to subscribe to that blog, but I did actually see that one article - interesting stuff!

      Reply
  13. janelle

    I will be in Paris for 2 weeks starting July 1. I'm a triathlete, and really appreciate the above info on all 3 sports! I am very concerned about not swimming for 2 weeks (despite your 'warnings'), and am wondering if Piscine de Pontoise is accessible to tourists? Google Maps says it is a 15min walk from the apartment we're renting, or 13min walk to Piscine Saint Merri (any experience with that pool?). Thanks :)

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It's absolutely open to anyone! Entry is 4.50.

      The hours are really wonky , but here's a photo of them (sorry, it's a cell phone photo at night): link to sites.google.com

      The first day in the week is Monday (Lundi), and goes down from there. On Monday and Friday they are open from 8:15PM to 11:45PM. Note, you cannot swim 'across' sessions. Meaning, from the session ending at 8PM till 8:15PM. They actually clear the pool and building. Strange, I know.

      But it's a 'fun' pool to check out, ignoring the others in the lane. In general, the 'best' time to swim is as close to the end of a session as possible. I often come in the last hour of the session.site.

      As far as Saint Merri, it's kinda not so great. ;)

      Reply
    • olivier replied

      Janelle, dont go to Pontoise as it is overcrowded, the best is to cross the park bois de boulogne with the bike and reach pont de Puteau where you have the aquatic center located on the island on the Seine. Very nice place with a 25m indoor pool, 50m outdoor pool, sauna, hammam and huge external solarium along the pool. here the link: link to guide-piscine.fr

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Any idea if they prohibit photos/cameras at that pool? I ask primarily as I'm often trying to get photos of watches (swim), and some of the pools here prohibit photography.

      Reply
  14. olivier

    Very good blog.
    If you want to swim properly i recommend to go just outside of Paris (you just cross the peripherique), then you have 2 good olympic swimming pool center. One is outside located on the Puteau island (25m indoor and 50m outdoor, the other one is a 50m and 25 m both inside at La Defense Charass Tower. Personnaly i prefer the Puteau s one as it is the most beautiful, and with good swimmers.

    Reply
  15. Roland

    Hi,
    For swimming I'd recommend the Piscine Guy Bey de Meudon Val Fleury, in Meudon:
    link to forest-hill.fr

    It has large opening hours, which is rare in Paris, has swimming lanes all the time, not crowded, and still allowshand paddles in one lane.
    In addition, it hostes one of the greatest triathlon clubs in the region.

    Reply
  16. you didn't mention parc montsouris, in the south of paris. Which is really good if you live in the neighbourhood, (14th and 13th arrondisments) and you can concatenate the tramway T3 and the quai in order to have a 20km run inside paris which is pretty nice
    here the tour i was saying: link to connect.garmin.com

    Reply
  17. Joren

    Hi,

    As I am going to spend the next 5 weeks in Paris because of my work, I found your post very useful. I am a cyclist, and just started preparing for the new season, so running and swimming is certainly on the menu. I was wondering, though, if the hippodrome longchamps is also suited for cycling in the evening/at night. Are there any lights alongside the road?

    Thanks,
    Joren

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hmm, that's a good question, I don't remember as I've only been over there once or twice at dusk. I do know that Bois Vincennes doesn't (I learned that lesson last fall), though you can still ride if you bring a light.

      Reply
  18. Fiona

    There are easily accessible trail runs all round Paris, just a short train journey away. Lots of forests for running/biking which have hills to make it more fun.

    If you want some running company in Paris, link to meetup.com organise twice weekly runs.

    Reply
  19. JeffTriParis

    you didn't mention parc des Buttes Chaumont (hilly) and canal de l'Ourcq, which to me are the best running spots in Paris where I've been living for 25 years.
    My favorite pools are : Hebert (25m) in the 18th district, Georges Hermant (50m) in 19th but closed these days and Les Halles (50m) 1st.
    link to piscine.equipement.paris.fr
    Regarding open water swimming, there are a few places outside of Paris such as Torcy (20 min away from Paris by train). You're supposed to pay an access fee : around 15€ / year afair but there is no control at the entrance.
    Last, there are plenty of great spots for cycling around Paris. Easiest is look for routes on openrunner.

    Reply
  20. Leticia Vega

    Apologies in advance for the slightly off topic follow up. I'm heading to Paris for the half marathon in a month and I haven't been to Paris in a decade. Do any of you any recommendations for a simple, inexpensive hotel? All I need is a comfy bed as I will be eating (yes Bertie's is a definite stop ;)) and running my way through the city :) thank you!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Eek, I'm actually not too sure there (since, I don't ever stay in a hotel in the city). However, in general for Europe I always use Booking.com and then use the ratings function and cross-check it with TripAdvisor. Generally speaking, they match. We've found Booking to be the cheapest for Europe. We've gotten pretty crazy rates even at the Olympics last year in London and at the TdF - all with 1-2 days notice. In fact, I'm booking a reservation here in a second with them for the Barcelona Half-Marathon in two weeks)

      (Note: I don't have any affiliation with them, other than that I like to save money. A coworker that was living here when I arrived gave me the tip).

      Reply
    • Leticia Vega replied

      Thanks so very much and good luck in Barcelona!

      Reply
  21. Pietu

    Came across with this: link to flowingdata.com

    Was wondering how much of Paris data was formed by you ;) link to flowingdata.com

    Reply
  22. Chris

    For the longer Sunday rides, you should head South towards st Remy les chevreuses. From Paris that will be a minimum 70 k and 600 m of uphills climbing.
    Paris bike co, is definitely a great place where to have your bike maintained or to get fitted to your bike...

    Reply
  23. This is really interesting! My daughter and I are both triathletes and we will be in Paris from end of April to early May. Is there a running event that you can suggest please? Thanks!

    Reply
  24. Paul

    I recently started working in Paris (La Defense) commuting back to UK at weekends. I use the Hippodrome as a training circuit after work now that the nights are lighter, I'd be keen to know if you know of any routes that have some 'hills' around Paris. I've been looking out past Versailles towards Chevreuse, on the map it looks like a decent route but I can't find any blogs about the terrain or roads etc. Any experience of this area?

    Reply
    • Yann replied

      The "Parc naturel regional du vexin français" link to pnr-vexin-francais.fr is a great area for cycling: very few cars, plain countryside and pretty hilly: altitude ranges between 25 and 200m . I go there every weekend, usually after a 70km my Garmin Edge shows around 700m ascension.
      A good starting place is the city of Meriel, which is 25mn car ride from la Defense.
      I hope you'll enjoy.

      Reply
  25. Jeff

    Hi Paul,

    we might have crossed paths in Longchamp: I try to go there in the evening at least once a week during week days: I ride a Cervelo P2 but I assume I'm not the only one ;-)
    you can find plenty of routes posted by other cyclists on openrunner.com including in Vallée de Chevreuse (which I feel is overrated: too many cars and cyclists).
    My personal favorite spot is in the north of Paris, in the area of Chantilly: it just takes 30 min by train from Gare du Nord (using RER D) to go to Louvres and then you can ride: mainly forests and countryside villages.
    This is my last ride:
    link to openrunner.com
    There are few hills but don't expect the Galibier or Alpe d'Huez. The hilliest area in this region is located in forêt de Carnelle.
    Vexin recommended by Yann is also a great spot but a bit too far for me since I live in Paris downtown.

    cheers,

    Jeff

    Reply
  26. Paul

    Thanks for the replies guys, I'll be sure to take a look and check them out. I intend on spending some weekends in Paris so that'll give me a good chance to put some miles in. I'm not looking for monster climbs, just something a little less flat, so the regions that you have suggested seem to fit the bill, cheers.
    Jeff, I have seen a few Cervelos around the Hippodrome but, as you say there are a few. I myself have bought my old Allez over from the UK as I wasn't sure how the air freight people would handle it. I have a Venge at home and might bring that over later in the year.

    many Thanks
    Paul

    Reply
  27. David

    Where is a Paris bike shop that would rent higher end road bikes?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Paris Bike Company per the above is definitely your best bet for higher end stuff.

      Reply
  28. Maciej

    You could try Paris Bike Company link to parisbikeco.com located just outside the peripherique, Sam running it specializes in renting out high end road bkes, and from my experience with him he's really helpful and great to deal with.

    Reply
  29. Claudio

    Hi Ray, I notice just now that you say that a Longchamp lap is 1.2 miles... actually it's about 3.5km, or 2.2mi.
    Also, as a running place for shortish runs (10km or less) I'd also mention Parc Monceau. It's in the 8th arrondissement (not far from the Arc de Triomphe), and has an outer loop which is almost perfectly 1 km long. The only problem is that when the weather is nice, it quickly gets crowded with strollers and small kids on bicycles...

    Reply
  30. EmKay

    We are planning to bring our bikes along on a trip to the Paris area, so I was interested in the post about taking bikes on trains. We've heard mixed things about how easy (or not) it is to get a bike on the trains. But your link above is dead. Could you re-post the posting, or offer some advice?

    Reply
    • Maciej replied

      You'll find all info on SNCF site: link to bikes.sncf.com (SNCF is a company operating trains in France)

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      ...and I just found the updated link. Looks like they changed one word in the URL. All good now!

      Reply
    • EmKay replied

      My thanks to you both. We typically take cycling vacations, but this trip to France we're planning a city'ish vacation with plans to mix sight seeing with cycling. This will help a lot!

      Reply
  31. Jeff

    Hi Ray,

    a friend of mine told me this morning that he saw you cycling in Longchamp yesterday evening (July 16). Was it really you?
    Jeff

    Reply
  32. Hi, do you also know any good running shop in London? Thanks.

    Reply
  33. Jaymi G

    My husband and I will traveling to Paris for the first time in September. He is currently training for the Chicago marathon. He is scheduled to run 20miles during our trip. Which route do you think would be best for him to run while I bike with him? Also, can you suggest someplace to rent a bike? Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I'd suggest going out along the river, using the route titled/shown in the section for "Really Long Run", that's because there's an easy bike path for you to bike alongside.

      For bike rentals, see the section titled 'Bike rentals'. Though, realistically you could probably just rent a Velib (bike share bike) and pay the overages and it'd be less hassle.

      Reply
    • Jaymi G replied

      Sounds perfect. Thanks so much for your help!

      Reply
  34. Jeff

    Hi,

    I think the best place for longs runs in Paris is along the canal de l'Ourcq : no cars, no traffic lights. You can run 200km non stop if you want.
    See an example of a on long run I did: link to connect.garmin.com
    Best is to start from "place Stalingrad" on the right side of the canal, then you cross the bridge in Pantin and run on the left side. Bikes are also welcome :-)

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      That's a nice one, though, a bit north for most tourists staying in the center of Paris. But for me - I'm definitely adding that to the list! :)

      Reply
    • Ross replied

      I really like that path for cycling out of the city. About 5mins after parc de la villette the surface is excellent and there are very few runners. Take the path to Claye-Souilly and go north on quiet country roads or go south and come back to vincennes on a good bike path along the river marne.

      On another note, I'm looking for some running races (road or xc) over the autumn. Where is the best place to find info, or can you recommend any? Also does the medical certificate have to come from a French Doctor or can I get my doctor at home to write any old note?

      Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      I added a 'Races' section above that might help a little bit.

      For the medical certificate, you can download just one generic one from any race and then re-use them for basically any race. So if you grab (for example), the Paris-Versailles medical certificate, get it signed/stamped/whatever'd by whomever, and then keep a bunch of originals to give out like candy to other races.

      Reply
    • Jeff replied

      Hi Ray,

      Please note that the medical certificate shouldn't be older than 12 months.

      Regarding races, I can suggest another link, which is very comprehensive:

      link to calendrier.dusportif.fr

      It's in French but it can be used by non French readers, I assume, with help of Google translate when needed.. You just need to select the month on top of the page, then you get a (long) list of races (mostly in France) sorted by dates. If you click on the title you get a description of the race, including a link to the race's official web site when available.
      If you want to know where the race is taking place, the name of the location is on the right and the number between brackets refers to the French department.

      Example: Paris = (75), Paris suburb = (91), (92), (93), (94), (95), (77) and (78) .
      For the whole French mapping, see the map here:
      link to fr.wikipedia.org
      (I know it's a bit complicated, but that's the way we are ;-)

      Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      Yup, good point on the medical - anything under than 12 months and you're good.

      Reply
  35. Ross

    Gents, merci bcp.

    Reply
  36. This is fantastic, thanks! My husband and I are both runners and will be in Paris next weekend, and I was hoping to find some good information on where to run, and about biking in the city. I can't wait to rent a velib and head over to Bois De Boulogne for some casual cycling, and get a 7-10 mile site seeing run in along the river!

    Reply
    • DC Rainmaker replied

      Enjoy the city! On the Velib pass, it's easiest if you buy the little code online - since the Velib machines at each station don't often take American credit cards (requires pin/chip). Plus, it'll be faster. :)

      Reply
  37. Valerio

    Hi there, thanks for your post.

    Have you tried running along the Canal St Martin (north-east Paris?) and then continuing on the Ourcq canal?
    Pretty nice sights (including Cite' de Sciences, to stick to the technology theme), plus it's closed to traffic on Saturdays.

    Give it a shot!

    Cheers and keep up the good work
    V.

    Reply

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