I've just found out I've got a work trip to Paris next month, for two lots of three-day meetings. Being three day meetings they're either side of a weekend and while that means most of the other attendees (who are mainly from Europe and the east coast of the US) will be going home, I won't.

So I have a weekend in Paris. Apart from catching up with some old friends and spending a day touring touristy stuff with them (after 20 years working for a French company this is my first trip to Paris) I'd like to try and do a long ride on the other day.

Apart from the fact I'm going to be there on what is historically the coldest day of the year, does anyone have any suggestions on where to ride? I'm staying "La Défense" (what looks like the East Berlin of Paris - just to the west of the central city) so the plan would be to get out of the city as much as possible.

It looks like there's a national park ("Haute Vallée de Chevreuse Natural Regional Park") just south west of Versailles, which could be an option.

Any other suggestions? Looking for a ride up to about 100km or so.

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Do you have your copy of Lonely Planet's "Cycling France" handy?

What's that, you say? No??

Appalling.

It details several rides in, and within cooée of, the centre de Paris.

If you take a train first, you could ride from Compiègne, northeast of Paris, to Roubaix following the route of that obscure ride over the cobbles. Or, if less ambitious, do the 34km circuit ride to the Forêt de Compiègne and back to the train.

Southeast of Paris, also accessed by bicycle-carrying train, I understand, is Fontainebleau, a fabulous Renaissance chateau and a forest of the same name. There is lots of easy cycling along its routes forestières and you can do a side trip to the charming village of Milly-la-Forêt and the nearby bizarre sculpture called Le Cyclop

It seems to be possible to download a PDF of the (inferior IMO) 2nd edition of the book here:  http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5ozpcz

I'm sure you'll find somewhere good to ride wherever you go.

Can't say I've ever had a need before, although I have ridden in France (once) before. But that was Lyon, and according to Strava, I got a top-10 in Parc de la Tête d'or (or as the locals don't say, Park of the Golden Head) only to discover a friend from Sydney was further up the top-10 than I was. So of course it only stayed like that for one more day... On your previous advice (I think) I also had a nice journey up in to the massif somewhere.

So thanks for the options, I'll have a look in to them.

I was doing some research on this a couple of years ago and this guy had some useful suggestions.  la Defense is in the west isn't it, so routes 5,6,7 might be most relevant.

http://www.mayq.com/Cycling_out_of_paris/Best_bycling_routes_from_P...

He also has a detailed route for riding to and from the airport.

Thanks Bob, that's useful information. Will have to peruse and see if I can convert to a .tcx file for the Garmin. Fortunately Emirates have on-board wifi (although it's a reminder of dial-up days) and I'll have about 24 hours to work on it...

Dang, forgot my snow tyres:

Wimpy Europeans, fair weather cyclists, not as tough as us, they just need the right fuel

http://www.sydneycyclist.com/video/miller-high-life-alternative-fuels

p

(for Peter)

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