Bikes at GIverney

Old Jul 9th, 2015, 07:01 PM
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Bikes at GIverney

We are considering renting bikes to travel from the train station to Giverney.

Have any of you done that. I have a few questions:

1. Is the route easy to follow?
2. Is the route flat or hilly? (My friend rides bikes more than I do and I think just biking 4 flat miles will be as much as I can do.)
3. Also is there a way to secure the bikes at Giverney so that they are not stolen

Thanks
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Old Jul 9th, 2015, 07:53 PM
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in 2013 we took the train from Paris to Vernon and rented bikes from a cafe across from the train station. Here's a little info I came across:

<You can also rent a bike at Café du Chemin de Fer opposite the train station (€13), and follow a paved bike path (piste cyclable) that runs from near Vernon along an abandoned railroad right-of-way (figure about 30 min to Giverny). On a lovely spring, summer or fall day, I personally think renting a bike is the best way to go. The country-side is beautiful and the ride leisurely. The country-side is beautiful and the ride leisurely and flat.>

Here's the website

http://www.parislogue.com/planning-a...o-giverny.html

Two suggestions, there are a few restaurants with nice outdoor seating or it's fun to stop in town to pick up picnic supplies and stop by the river and have lunch. The bikes we rented had a basket and also locks. We left them at the parking area near the gardens in bike racks.

Enjoy your visit.
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Old Jul 10th, 2015, 12:07 AM
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It's not too far to walk. I did it about ten years ago, and I was still hobbling a bit from a bad back. Took about 45 minutes each way.

Finding the path from Vernon was slightly counterintuitive, though maybe it's better signposted now: straight down the main street and over the river and the roundabout, turn right through what looks as though it might be someone's backyard near a car repair shop. Once you're on the path you can't go wrong.
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Old Jul 10th, 2015, 05:56 AM
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Thanks for the replies.

Is it flat? I live in a flat part of the United States,so get a little more winded on hills than I might if I were more used to them.
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Old Jul 10th, 2015, 06:02 AM
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I went on a Fat Tire Bike tour to Giverney a few years back so I can't offer anything on bike rental in Vernon since Fat Tire provided the bikes.

The only hilly part is approaching and going over the bridge. This is the way to get to the path to Giverney. We bought picnic provisions at the outdoor market in Vernon and ate in a grassy park area by the river just on the other side of the bridge. As wunderbar2 notes, there are bike racks at Giverney.

The path is as the other posters describe. Flat and doable.
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Old Jul 10th, 2015, 08:01 AM
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I apologize. I just reread the answers and you do say that it is flat wunderbar.
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Old Jul 10th, 2015, 08:03 AM
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Thanks powhatangal.

Did Fat Tire take you from Paris? We are thinking of taking a Segway tour through them.

It does sound doable.
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Old Jul 10th, 2015, 08:18 AM
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Yes, I met the Fat Tire tour in Paris and we rode the train to Vernon which is where the bikes were kept. Not sure if they still do the Giverney tour though.

I have taken Fat Tire's Segway tour and it is a lot of fun and a great way to see the sights. You learn how to use the Segway before heading out and it's very easy.
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Old Jul 10th, 2015, 08:19 AM
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There is a café across the street from the train station that rents bikes but they are pretty poor quality bikes and aren't well maintained, however, they are sufficient to get you to Giverny. It is 5km from the train station to Monet's gardens. Follow the bike trail from the train station, briefly through downtown Vernon and then across the bridge over the Seine where after a minute or two you'll be on the bike trail on the old rail line. They will give you locks for the bikes at the café. Check to make sure the brakes work, the gears shift and that the tires are properly inflated before leaving. When you approach Monet's house just across the street is a parking lot with metal rails that where you can lock the bikes.

I believe there is another café that also rents bikes just to the left of the place across the street from the train station. I've never seen their bikes so you may want to check that out too.
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Old Jul 10th, 2015, 08:20 AM
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Forgot to mention that the terrain on the ride is very flat and there are no hills.
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Old Jul 10th, 2015, 10:00 AM
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It's all flat basically except that small rise in the bridge - I did not find the entry to the old rail line bike path easier to find - starts behind some tall flats but hopefully signage is better now - but a sweet sweet ride with the Seine down on your right and the busy road following the rail line - the rail line bikeway comes into Giverny by the cemetery where Monet is buried - 1st stop or last stop and then into the lovely village to the gardens - you see a nice part of the village and not just get dumped off at the gardens.

I walked the route like Patrick and was a snap - that abandoned rail line was the way Monet took trains constantly to Rouen to exceute his cathedral facade paintings.

Vernon itself is unremarkable but like any regional town full of stores and restaurants and an outdoor market some days - stock up on picnic supplies and putz down the sun where Monet painted so many Impressionists paintings - Monet's painting "Impression xxxxx something like sunrise" gave the name to the movement I discovered when researching an article I once wrote about Giverney. check out the American Impressionists Museum too - a fairly new addition a few decades ago about the American artists who followed Monet here.

When researching the article I asked the director what was the busiest days and she said weekends and Wednesday afternoon -'because many French schoolkids have that afternoon off and grand parents can take them here.
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Old Jul 10th, 2015, 06:21 PM
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I take the train to Vernon and bike with people to Monet's gardens several times a year and I'm quite familiar with not only the bike path but the town of Vernon. When you depart from the train station there is a painted trail on the side of the road that you'll follow through the center of town and once you arrive in the center of town it is on the sidewalk and leads you over the bridge. When you get to the other side of the bridge you keep following the painted bike lane to the right after crossing the bridge and then after a few meters you take a left across the street and go straight ahead for about 100 meters or so and you'll see the sign on your right to follow the old rail line to Giverny. Once the bike trail ends (after about 2km to 3km) you'll be at the the entrance to the' village and you take a left onto the main road into town.

For those who are interested, after you cross the bridge look to your left and you'll see the old mill that Monet painted and adjacent to that is the old Tourelles Castle, both of which I'm sure most people miss:

http://vernon-visite.org/rgb2/vernon4.shtml

The downtown of Vernon itself is interesting for a brief visit and if you spend some time browsing the above website there is plenty of info about Vernon, including info about WWII when the British had to cross the river here and the sacrifices they made in the face of deadly German gunfire. There is also Richard the Lionheart history associated with the town. It's worth checking out more about the history of Vernon and its environs.

If you want to buy some nice food for a picnic lunch then when you enter the center of Vernon go to the boulangerie on your left as you enter the center of town. Can't remember the name but it's right after the first roundabout you'll pass through and then look to your left (if following the bike trail on the sidewalk). It's the best boulangerie in town with the widest assortment of food to choose from. They're closed on Mondays in which case I'd go right after the roundabout (follow the one way road) and go to the first boulangerie you'll see on your right. The lady who owns the places is delightful. Three Mondays in a row she's given me a bottle of nice Normandy cider each time I visit for being a good customer.
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Old Jul 10th, 2015, 09:16 PM
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I would not believe all the helpful and complete information that I obtain here if I had not had this experience so many times. People on Fodors are the best.
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