So You Wanna Bike Paris?

The Parisian bike culture is emerging from the shadows and finally demanding a fair share of space on the road. Chistole!

If it’s been a little while since you last visited Paris, you’ll notice that there are a lot more bikers weaving through the streets. Between 2013 and 2014 the city has increased the number of bike paths by 8% and that percentage is only going up. From couriers to commuters to serious cyclists, Paris is experiencing a takeover that promises to continue. And for bike lovers like me, this new trend has been absolutely refreshing.

Paris is home to some of the best terrain for biking and is the ideal size: big and interesting but not unmanageable. The only thing is, proper infrastructure for safe biking is struggling to keep up. Paris is definitely a place where biking has been frowned upon by car drivers, even though the bike paths are hardly in their way. The transition from biker’s hell to biker’s paradise has been hard on everyone. The bikers complain that it’s not happening fast enough, while car drivers don’t understand that they now have to share the street with more and more bikes.

 

 

It doesn’t matter, while the city slowly increases its biking infrastructure, the cycling community grows along with it. Paris Chill Racing (PCR) is an up and coming community that has over 4,000 members on Facebook. PCR started getting big after organising events, races (see the video above) or massive bike rides, similar to the Critical Mass movement that began in San Francisco. With these popular events, anyone from the novice biker to the seasoned professional can take part.

What makes PCR such a successful and growing community is its famously welcoming atmosphere. It makes it so no one feels intimidated and that there is no discrimination about who can join. But to be sure, there are definitely some rules and slang that you should know if you wanna get the hang of things quickly. Here’s a complete list of all the slang, shops, coffeehouses and bars you’ll need to know to get the best out of your Parisian biking experience.

Slang: Rallying Cries of PCR

Chistole: This word originally was used to mean a bad hangover, (and still can) but for PCR it now means (more or less) ‘Strength and Honor.’

Fouzy: This comes from the french command ‘fous-y,’ which loosely translates to “fucking do it,” which has become a term of encouragement when a cyclist needs to speed up or keep grinding.

The bike culture doesn’t only take place on the streets. Over the past few years a group of bars, shops and coffeehouses have become the local hang out spots for Parisian bikers.

Cycles Tosi

Cycles Tosi, 20 Passage de Clichy, 75018 Paris, France

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La Bicyclette

La Bicyclette, 10 Rue Crozatier, 75012 Paris, France

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Fixie Warehouse

Fixie Warehouse, 2 bis Rue Bénard, 75014 Paris

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Kilomètre 0

Kilomètre 0, 20 Rue des Acacias, 75017 Paris, France

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Bicycle Store

Bicycle Store, 17 Boulevard du Temple, 75003 Paris, France

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En selle Marcel

En selle Marcel, 40 Rue Tiquetonne, 75002 Paris, France

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L'Hirondelle

L'Hirondelle - Bike Shop, 103 Rue Blomet, 75015 Paris, France

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La Chouette

La Chouette, 20 Rue du Château d'Eau, 75010 Paris, France

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Steel Cyclewear & Coffeeshop

Steel Cyclewear & Coffeeshop, 58 Rue de la Fontaine au Roi, 75011 Paris, France

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Le Penty

Le Penty, 11 Rue de Cotte, 75012 Paris, France

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Black Mad Crawler

Black Mad Crawler, 140 Boulevard Richard Lenoir, 75011 Paris, France

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Bike Shops

 

La Bicyclette

 

 

This store has some of the nicest and most well-informed workers in the city. It’s a top of the line shop that we highly recommend you go to with any questions about biking, whether you’re trying to buy a new ride or need a trustworthy tune-up.

La Bicyclette, 10 Rue Crozatier, 75012 Paris

 

L’Hirondelle

 

 

A store filled with passionate people where you’ll be sure to find someone to answer any questions you have or if you’re in need of trustworthy hands for a repair. The huge selection of bikes, frames, and equipment lets you know that the store is run by experts who know their stuff. You’ll be hard pressed to find fault with this store unless you do it on purpose.

L’Hirondelle, 103 Rue Blomet, 75015 Paris

 

Cycles Tosi

 

 

A small store ensconced in a courtyard in the 18th arrondissement that welcomes bike lovers. Pleasant and professional service and a modest decorum, what more could you want?

Cycles Tosi, 20 Passage de Clichy, 75018 Paris

 

Fixie Warehouse

 

 

As the name implies, this shop specialises in fixies and single speeds. The workers here really know their stuff and you won’t have the smallest worry leaving your baby in the hands of Raffy and Nico.

Fixie Warehouse, 2 bis Rue Bénard, 75014 Paris

 

Kilomètre 0

 

 

This is the place for the bikers that aren’t just going out for a nice spin past Notre Dame. This is the place for the bikers who want the top notch bikes, the most durable equipment, and employees who share their cycling obsession. Km0 truly comes at the biking world with a serious sports angle to satisfy the most intense bikers out there.

Kilomètre 0, 20 Rue des Acacias, 75017 Paris

 

Bicycle Store

 

 

Probably the most well-known bike store in Paris, conveniently located near Republique, which is one of the busiest places in town. Today, some people say Bicycle Store has become overpriced, but that’s just simple supply and demand. Their products are good, their selection wide, and their workers knowledgeable. It’s worth it just to poke your head in and see what all the fuss is about.

Bicycle Store, 17 Boulevard du Temple, 75003 Paris

 

En selle Marcel

 

 

En Selle Marcel has the bragging rights to Paris’ most luxurious bike shop. The ambiance of the store has the tendency to contrast with the welcoming atmosphere of parisian bikers.

En selle Marcel, 40 Rue Tiquetonne, 75002 Paris

Café-Vélo

 

La Chouette Paris

 

 

To have a cup of coffee while your bike is being repaired is now possible at La Chouette. Chris and Jacob will take excellent care of your bike while you try deciding between a Matcha Latte and a creamy hot chocolate.

La Chouette, 20 Rue du Château d’Eau, 75010 Paris

 

Steel Cyclewear & Coffeeshop

 

 

Steel first made its mark on the world as a magazine before opening up as a cycling coffee shop with a great selection of equipment. Steel is a landmark for all the bike lovers out there because it’s a reliable way to stay connected to the bustling bike community.

Steel Cyclewear & Coffeeshop, 58 Rue de la Fontaine au Roi, 75011 Paris

Bars

 

Penty

 

 

Penty is the headquarters of Paris Chill Racing. It is the place for a guaranteed successful night. You won’t be exactly sure how the night ends but you’ll be positive that your bike will be safe and making more friends than you while you’re busy trying to count the number of shots you’ve taken. (Not that it will matter in the end.) As they say, Chistole!

Le Penty, 11 Rue de Cotte, 75012 Paris

 

Black Mad Crawler

 

 

With a decidedly rock atmosphere and a great selection of beer, there’s not much more you need to step into this bar. It sure won’t be the interior design that’ll make you come here, instead, it’ll be the known fact of finding other PCR members do talk about your latest ride or the next upcoming event.

Black Mad Crawler, 140 Boulevard Richard Lenoir, 75011 Paris

Picture courtesy of C-Reel (Flickr Creative Commons)

Julien Lacheray Founder of HEREYOUARE, he loves dollar pizza, especially after a night spent on a rooftop or in a basement, always up for a bike race in the city before going back home.
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