I’ve been in Paris about two weeks, and spent most of my time (besides teaching) as a flaneur. Walking, wandering, riding – sometimes lonely, always engaged, constantly observing. When I first arrived, I assembled the bicycle and rode everywhere. But last week, I gave into walking – something this city begs for. Its been delicious, especially in the rain.
On my first free day since I arrived, I followed a route out of Paris and along the Marne River. The routes featured on the website seem aimed at the recreational rider, but I’m having a hard time finding other routes out of town. This ride along the Marne was flat, not terribly exciting, but full of lovely scenery. Plenty of dirt sections popped up along and beside the route. I tripped over the directions in the beginning, as they were more detailed than I expected. I tend to be obsessive about directions, and often get lost in their minutia. Once I began to trust myself, the ride became enjoyable.
The river path was a deep green and provided peaceful surrounds for meditative riding – mostly bike path with very few cars. After several miles, the path turned to gravel, and I took that for a while. With an evening appointment looming, I turned around and made my way back into Paris without looking at the directions. Next time, I’d like to venture further. And maybe find some climbing.