Some say that France is the ideal place for cycling. The truth is, that a man or a woman riding a bicycle is one of the most common scenes you will see in a film about France. Whether it’s the romantic “Amelie” movie or the “Triplettes of Bellville” animated comedy, the bicycle is an important part of France’s culture. 

Whether you are moving to France or just visiting, you will be given an excellent opportunity to remember your childhood years. Most of us used to expect the summer holidays so we could take our bicycles and cycle around for hours. In France, this can be an everyday routine. 

Professional cyclists have said that France has the perfect landscape for their favourite sport. Gorges, mountain peaks and quiet D-roads provide an excellent backdrop for every cycling tour. Despite France being the place of the most famous cycling event in the world, the “Tour De France”, you don’t need to be a first-class athlete to enjoy a ride. The countryside offers a variety of challenges, suitable for beginners, but also for the more advanced cyclists. 

Riding a bicycle in beautiful Paris is a “must” for every traveler or resident. The city has an extensive infrastructure that accommodates all of cyclists’ needs. The citizens of Paris should thank the former Deputy Mayor of Transportation, Dennis Baupin. Baupin reduced the space occupied by cars and replaced it with special cycle lanes and wider bus lanes. Although this created tension between motorists and cyclists, finally the two sides managed to find a modus vivendi. While Paris can’t compete with Amsterdam or Copenhagen just yet, the bicycle attracts people from all walks of life, who seek an economic and ecological means of transport. 

Bicycle lovers suggest that it is better to go cycling on a Sunday morning. Paris and other densely populated French cities are suffering from air pollution, which might not be visible, but it still exists. Cycling on Sunday will save you from pollution, careless motorists and traffic jams. Taking those things away, cycling on a Sunday, especially during the spring and summer, can be an experience that you will want to repeat again and again. One of the best cycle trails in the area of the French capital is the Louvres-Versailles, where you can combine cycling with sightseeing. Another great cycle trail is right next to Seines river, that goes through Paris which can be accompanied by a nice picnic.

Cycling tours aren’t just limited to the Paris area. All over the country you can find beautiful routes to go cycling with your family or friends. Do you want to cycle in the greenest countryside that you have ever seen? Brittany is your answer. Do you want a ride next to the coastline under clear blue skies? The Cote d’Azur is there for you to conquer! During periods of warm weather, you don’t need to book a hotel for your stay. Camping can be a cheaper and more interesting option for someone that hasn’t been in such a place before. If you prefer a bed and breakfast for your stay, it won’t be difficult to find a hotel that is geared up to hosting cyclists, with bike storage and other useful facilities.

In case you are bored or you don’t have time to organise a cycling tour, you can always browse the internet to find bicycle tours all across France. It may cost a little bit more than you expect, but you will find that organisers use the experience that they have in touring France for your benefit.  Here are a couple of links to give you an idea.

An article talking about cycling in France should include always the Tour de France race. If you are not a fan of participating in sports, you can always spectate. The Tour de France is the biggest annual sports event in the country and is famous all around the world. Despite the Lance Armstrong doping scandal and the disappointment it created, the race hasn’t stopped being attractive to cyclists and enthusiasts. 

The 23-day race covers 3,500 kilometers and the average number of spectators is around 12.000.000. Our piece of advice is to grab the sun cream, which is a “must,” to protect you against the summer sunburns in July, and a small pack-lunch. Then you’ll be set to watch one of the greatest races in the world. Nothing beats the feeling of waiting in the French countryside for the Tour of France to roll by!