Get a Fat Tire in Paris
If there was one iconic image I had of Paris, it was cycling through the streets on a cruiser bike. The image would be made perfect by a flouncy midi skirt, Breton striped boat-necked shirt, and an effortless chignon. Of course there’d be a baguette sticking out of the wicker basket. While the outrageous stereotypes of this dream sequence didn’t happen – I wore printed ankle pants with a grey v-neck and there was no basket or baguette – Fat Tire Bike Tours did make the rest happen for me.
I signed up for their afternoon bike tour in Paris which met up at the Dupleix metro stop in the 15th arrondissement. Once our merry pack of peddlers were assembled we were off for a short walk to the Fat Tire office to pick up our steeds and meet our guide. The bikes were all cruiser style with, yes, fat tires, at least compared to my tricross bike back home.
There’s something about a cruiser bike that makes me feel a little bit like a kid again. Something about the upright posture and big padded seat. There’s also a simple joy I get from propelling myself smoothly from one place to another on two wheels. Whee! Of course, it really helps that the area of Paris we explored is flat, so no need to worry about huffing and puffing up hills and getting sweaty. Vive le terrain plat!
All in all we cycled almost 11k but you’d hardly know it because we broke up the ride with lots of, what I call, knowledge stops. These are some of my favourite things about tours when I travel. I get to learn new things that I wouldn’t pick up just by wandering on my own. Do you know what the shrubs in front of Les Invalides are shaped like? How about which body part Louis XIV loved most on himself?
After maybe 2 hours into it, we stopped for a coffee break in the Tuileries Gardens. Honestly, I could’ve done without the stop. It was nice to chat with the other people on the tour (I found that one Australian girl had read this site before. Hi Lucy!) but there was a subtle pressure to order something and I would’ve loved to take that time instead to explore even more of the city, even if it was only riding up and down side streets. I couldn’t get enough of that.
We got to see a lot of sites like the Louvre, Les Invalides, and the beautiful Pont Alexandre III. We even took a selfie with the Eiffel Tower, but the highlight for me was just getting to live out that dream of cycling through the streets of Paris.
Have you ever dreamed of cycling through Paris?
Note: I was a guest of Fat Tire Bike Tours while in Paris. All opinions are my own. They didn’t ask that I write a favourable review or that I channel my inner Audrey ala Sabrina.