Fat Tire Bike Tour

Jun 3rd, 2004, 05:09 AM
  #1  
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Fat Tire Bike Tour

We just returned from our trip and the night bike ride around Paris was one of the highlights. Bicycling "home" at the base of the Eiffel Tower at midnight was awesome. We were glad we brought windbreakers for the boat ride on the Seine - it was chilly! We took them up on their website offer to check email from their office - the only time on a 10 day trip. Wanted to go out to Giverny with them - next trip, definitely! If you want a unique way to see the lights of Paris, this easy bike ride is the way to do it. It was surreal to ride around the courtyards of the Louvre at dusk, cirling the fountains and feeling like a kid again. Great guide - great tour - wonderful experience!
gracieb is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2004, 05:45 AM
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How good a cyclist do you have to be for these tours? Are most of the people in pretty good shape?
sherry1 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2004, 05:48 AM
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No, we had not ridden a bike in years and I am not in the best of shape. I may have been the oldest in the group, but was pleased to find I wasn't bringing up the rear of the group. It was all flat terrain - and delightful. There is limited travel on the streets of Paris.
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Jun 3rd, 2004, 07:33 AM
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gracieb, glad to hear you had so much fun! That bike tour was the highlight of my Paris visit last year!

Fat Tire is the new name of Mike's Bike Tours?

Keith
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Jun 3rd, 2004, 09:02 AM
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Does this mean Paris has bike trails? paths? You ride on pedestrian walks through parks?
hopingtotravel is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2004, 09:35 AM
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Yes, Fat Tire is the new name for Mike's Bike Tours.

You can read all about it at:

http://www.fattirebiketoursparis.com

I have never heard any negative reviews of the rides. People of all sizes and shapes and ages join in the fun.
Hershey is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2004, 01:18 PM
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We did the night tour of Paris last summer and it was so much fun. Hadn't been on a bike in years. You stop every few minutes to admire the sights. We even stopped for ice cream! The guide took us mostly on smaller side streets . It was a great experience and I highly recommend the night tour.
europe03 is offline  
Jun 4th, 2004, 03:57 PM
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Gracieb, How did you choose between the day and night tour? Did the night tour take 4 hours?

Has anyone done both tours?
Grasshopper is offline  
Jun 5th, 2004, 06:39 AM
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Grasshopper, I know you had directed your question to gracieb, but I thought maybe I could answer them as well. I had friends who did the day tour last summer and thought it was simply too hot to be out and about on a bike for 4 hours. That is one of the reasons why we chose the night tour. Plus, the night tour includes a cruise down the Seine. Floating by the Eiffel Tower at night was breathtaking! The night tour is about an hour and a half longer than the day tour. Hope this helps!
europe03 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2004, 08:30 AM
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Thanks, Europe.
Grasshopper is offline  
Jun 5th, 2004, 09:45 AM
  #11  
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Europe3,
We took the night tour because we ran out of time and that's what we had a block of time for. We planned to do the day tour, but lunch was too long (and good) on the first day in Paris. We "saw the sights" on the open-air bus - hop on and off for two days. Ran out of time to take full advantage of that even! We missed the train to Vernon for Giverny (saw the train pull out of the station!) so we still had 1/2 of our pre-paid Bike trip to Monet's Gardens. We used that toward the night bike tour and were very glad we did.
Time - we met at the south leg of the Eiffel tower around 7, but they waited a long while for others to join us. Then the group walks (short walk) to the shop to get the bikes. We didn't start biking until 8 or so. We were returning to the Eiffel Tower at almost midnight. We were a really large group (they considered splitting us in two groups and decided not to) and one of the tour group members slowed us down at the first. So, it was a long tour, but very enjoyable. I would do it all over again (and will) just to have the courtyards of the Louvre to bike around it all my ourselves (it seemed) and to experience Tour Eiffel at night on bikes in the silence. Fabulous!
Heat wasn't a factor for us, so I'd do the day tour too. We'd planned to do the segway tour in Nice if we had time...but of course, we didn't. So much to see and do! Have a great trip - it was the best one ever for us!
gracieb is offline  
Jun 5th, 2004, 11:41 AM
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Thank you Gracieb. This sounds like the perfect thing! I'm taking my niece to Paris and London for her Graduation gift. Do you have any lunch recommendations?

We are also going to a fashion show at Lafayette Galleries. She can't wait.
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Jun 5th, 2004, 11:47 AM
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Do you need to make reservations in advance? If so, how long in advance? Do they use mountain bikes or racing bikes or something in between?
Surfergirl is offline  
Jun 5th, 2004, 11:58 AM
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surfgirl, did you see the website?

www.fattirebikes.com Answers all those questions. The bikes sort of look like inbetween bikes. No reservation required. It really sounds like fun.
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Jun 5th, 2004, 09:00 PM
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Thanks Grasshopper. I can't wait to finally see Giverny -- thought it would be a great way to do it!
Surfergirl is offline  
Jun 7th, 2004, 10:22 AM
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Funny you ask about a lunch recommendations. We had planned to do the Fat Tire Bike Tour after lunch on Monday, but we were too stuffed to think about a biking afternoon.
The special occasion lunch was at Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower. If you are looking for something memorable to celebrate your niece's graduation, I strongly recommend lunch at Jules Verne. Dinner reservations are required months in advance, but I booked the lunch the week before our departure. I'm not sure we would have done it, but a chef friend highly recommended it and we are very glad we celebrated a special occasion this way. It will be pricey, but the menu option is the way to go. Our friends spent 200 Euro last August. Our bill was about 150 Euro with 2 glasses of champagne. The menu option is around 50 Euro per person.
I tried ALL the menu items I wouldn't ordinarily order and was surprised at how much I enjoyed them. My much-more-cautious friend was a bit more conservative (but actually tried the tuna and crayfish tartare with red pepper jelly!) THE DESSERTS WERE WORTH THE ENTIRE COST! I cannot describe how fabulous the desserts were. We visited with other Americans at nearby tables, many of whom were return visitors, and all were quite happy with their "splurge" meal in Paris. After dinner, during dessert, they brought a little silver box of truffles as one of the "extras". (The tartare starter was an gratis extra too).
One great thing about lunch at Tour Eiffel on a busy day is that you skip the lines - there's a direct elevator to JV at the south leg and from there you can walk down some stairs to the public observation deck.
Another something we learned from a fellow guest - the bar has a beautiful view of the city and is just about empty. We moved there after lunch for coffee and relaxed ...and when we asked for the l'addition we were nicely told it was complimentary.
Another "find" - the extra day we gained by missing the train to Giverney was lunch on the rooftop of Printemps department store. I laugh at our photo on the meal - roasted chicken with couscous, guacomole dip with tortilla chips, the best french fries in Paris along with the Kronenberg 1664 and Coca-Cola! The most "American" meal we ate and the food was inexpensive and wonderful. AND some of the best photos of us were made on the rooftop with panaromic views of all the landmarks in Paris. It was also fun being there with mostly Parisiens rather than mostly tourists! We enjoyed a quick walk-through of the cosmetic and home floors of the department store building that houses the restaurant. You and your niece may as well.
gracieb is offline  
Jun 7th, 2004, 10:36 AM
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Gracie, Thank you.. My daughter and I had lunch at Jules Verne a couple of years ago. I agree, it was WONDERFUL. I think we were there for three hours and the food just kept coming. When we thought we would burst, those little chocolate truffles put us over the top.

We're going to see one of the fashion shows at the Lafayette Galleries. My niece is ecstatic about that. I am thinking we'll do the night tour because it seems to fit our short schedule best. If we love it we can always catch the day trip the next day. Although looking at the Giverny trip photos I'm anxious to get back and do that too. I have to save something for next time!
Grasshopper is offline  
Jun 7th, 2004, 12:18 PM
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Your niece will thoroughly enjoy it! It was the only time I checked email on the trip - I took them up on their offer to use the office to access the internet.
I too will have to do Giverney on the next trip. I'm sorry we missed the train and missed the FTBT experience there, but it is a definite "will do" on the next trip! I am so happy we had the additional day in Paris before heading south.
Friends said we had to visit the Opera. I doubt if we would have without the recommendation. I enjoyed it, but was entranced by some of the sculptures on the front of the building. I took several "artsy-fartsy" close-up shots of my favorite. Imagine my surprise when I saw the original at the Musee d'Orsay later that day and heard on the audiophones the story about the sculpture and the scandal it caused when it debuted! I highly recommend the Musee d'Orsay. I can't imagine our trip without the events of that last, unexpected day in Paris..Printemps, Opera, Musee d'Orsay, and the night bike tour! Reminds me of the country song "Thank God for unanswered prayers". Giverney was my #1 must do on this trip, and now I'm glad I missed it!
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