velo francais

i’m about to venture into the land of elegant women, chocolate croissants and the tour de france… i was just wondering if anyone had any good bike related shops or sights to go to in either paris or grenoble (which is near the alps).

and does anyone know the deal about bringing frames or bikes back, how much would it cost, because you never know what you might be able to pick up on your travels…

Bike shops seem to be NON EXISTANT in France. I’ve riden extensively throughout Europe and they are hard to find, let alone a good one. The culture is fairly different over there and nobody rides high end road bikes and you’ll only find a scattering of fixies in the major cities.

If you’re travelling by bike for any distance, be self sufficient. Most IC and Regional trains are good and have hanging hooks. Don’t count of being able to take a bike at any time on a TGV.

Bringing a bike back on the plane is easy. Just pack it in a cardboard bike box from a bike shop if you can find one, as long as it’s under your weight limit with the rest of your luggage most airlines won’t charge excess fees. When packing just make sure you have the fork insert and you zip tie your front wheel tight to your frame and tape the f$%* out of the box. No problem.

I hope this helps. PM me if you want any more info.

Rando Cycles in Paris is an excellent shop, though fixed wheels are thin on the ground in France. High end road bikes are common if you ride a cyclo-sportive. i suggest you ride a sportive if you are in France in their Spring and Summer, it will be a memorable experience.

The Col du Galibier is not far from Grenoble (a long day ride) and there is an impressive memorial to Henri Desgrange near the summit. HD created both Audax and the Tour de France. I think the memorial was put there by Audax riders.

If you dig around on the net, you can find a lot of memorials to famous racers located in various parts of the Alps.

Go to Festival des Pizzas in Grenoble. It’s on the street that runs next to the river, on the opposite side of the river to the old part of the city, below where the Telepherique goes up to the bastille. They have the best gnocchi gratinee ever.

And make sure you take the ride in the Telepherique too.