Since 1998

My favourite Parisian ride

"La Route de l’Orge", a detailed cycling route in Greater Paris (aerobic training mode cycling).
Download the corresponding GoogleEarth data for this route at the bottom of this article.

The 120 km "La route de l’Orge" circuit Medium difficulty Medium difficulty

download Download the Google Earth milestones for this route.

  • - a) Boulevard Voltaire - Place de la Nation
    Go east onto l’avenue du Trône then Cours de Vincennes.
  • - b) Turn right onto Boulevard de Soult then follow on until the bridge ’Pont National’.
  • - c) After the bridge, turn left at the lights onto rue Bruneseau, towards Leroy Merlin and the Cinemas.
  • - d) Turn right at the corner of Leroy Merlin onto ’avenue Jean-Jacques Rousseau’.
  • - e) Turn right onto ’rue Victor Hugo’.
  • - f) Fork left onto rue Molière before the bridge.
  • - g) Turn left onto the bridge.
  • - h) At the lights, turn left and ride up.
  • - i) Use your momentum to ride up ’Avenue du Général Leclerc’, the first on the left.
  • - j) Of course you’ll get the lights, but turn left onto rue Marcel Hartmann, flat for a change.
  • - k) At the roundabout, take the first exit on the right and follow on to Boulevard de Stalingrad.
  • - l) Go south on the boulevard.
  • - m) Although I don’t this, as it may be a traffic offence, I must admit I couldn’t resist riding on the central bus lane as it was safer and more fluid.  Clearly some other guys had the same idea.
    From there, follow the Boulevard south.
  • Ile de France sud
  • - n) There you go, you’re already in Orly (Airport).   Before they fly away, metallic birds welcome you.
  • - o) So far so easy : straight away.  It’ll get more complicated later . . .
  • - p) First hurdle : this hill can be suffocating in summer because of the exhaust fumes.  For this reason, I advise you to plan your trip so that you get to that point during the French lunch break (easy: fixed time, 12 to 2, guaranteed).
  • - q) The plane-spotter carpark, lined up with the runways.
  • - r) A carwash and a phone booth are available here, to make to bike shine and announce it to everyone, while you’re having a little break . . .
  • - s) The second challenge of the day is . . .   a crazy hill! The "rue du Maréchal Koenig" at Athis-Mons.  It’s already quite risky to ride it down, but riding it up will kill you.
    The rule of the game is quite easy, you ride it down to the T-intersection, turn right and follow the main street down to the Athis-Mons RER station, merry go round and backtrack up.
    All right, you didn’t really need to have a T-intersection there, given the steep slope, but the good news is, it’s a one way street that you’ll turn onto, so if the right side is clear you may keep a bit of momentum and avoid a complete stop.
    From the main road, remember where to turn to this steep hill (notice the square pattern of the intersection), as you’ll have a one-in-a-lifetime occasion to take it again on the way back from Etampes.  That’s called a anaerobic capacity max test . . .

    Personnally, I use 42-27T to ride it up, can’t get any better, and it’s already enough to max my HR.

  • - t) Go on to avenue“Henri Dunant”.
  • - u) Take the opposite exit (3rd).
  • - v) There you are, on François Mitterand avenue.  Remember that on your way back you’ll have to turn right when you see the Excess Café at the corner. You’ll notice a bike shop on that avenue, Athis cycling, where the stadium is.  The guys there were really helpful once when I had a flat tyre.
  • - w) Turn right onto rue Francoeur, then follow straight away until further notice.
    You can remember that rurn in two ways: it’s right in front of the Viry Châtillon RER station, or, it’s about 350 m after you see the Hôtel Première Classe on the left.
  • - x) Take the opposite exit and follow Victor Schoelcher avenue, towards Fleury-Mérogis.
  • - y) Take the first exit on the left, towards Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois.
  • - z) Glucose break.
    Try the Boulangerie du Donjon.  Those guys have good and cheap products, at a reasonable price.
    Personnally I like their _Flan pâtissier_ and their meringue.  Proteins and simple sugars.  Perfect.
    You may walk in a boulangerie-pâtisserie with your push bike in France.  Otherwise you may not see your bike again on your way out . . .
  • Then, go back to the busy roundabout and go west onto l’avenue du régiment Normandie-Niémen.

  • - aa) Try to remember which exit you’ll take on your way back.
  • - ab) This is an alternative to the Boulangerie du Donjon, in case one or the other is closed.  This one is the boulangerie J.P.  Cheneviève (1 Route Ste Geneviève, 91240 Saint-Michel-sur-Orge).  They have a broad range.  Their meringues are really good, as well as their bread.  A ficelle for example, will bring you a good stock of carbs to safely go on.  Think of it in winter, when your calory loss is higher.
  • - ac) Take the 9 o’clock exit (2nd).
  • Countryside
  • - ad) Take the second exit on the roundabout.  You’ll notice the Décathlon behind you.  You can use their toilets, their water, or buy spare inner tubes in case you got a flat.
  • - ae) Turn right at the T.
    On your way back, you’ll remark the house about 50 m East, with its vegetation on.  It’s then time to turn left.
  • - af) Souvenez-vous de ce rond-point, il vous servira au retour.
  • - ag) At this point I found this detour via the railway station to avoid the numerous humps down Avenue Salvador Allende.  The guys who planned this clearly didn’t think of letting a passage for bikes.  It will make your ride extremely uneasy if you still want to go straight.
  • - ah) Turn left then first to the right between the carparks.
  • - ai) First on the right and under the bridge.
  • - aj) There’s the trick to ride around the station . . .
  • - ak) Take this Chemin de la Garenne, a refreshing path along the forest.
  • - al) Turn right on Saint-Denis St.  You should see this damn pâtisserie ALWAYS closed as you cross the village . . .
  • - am) Straight still, and there you go, that was the big detour.  Finally you find yourself onto route de la Ferté-Allais, the original plan . . .
  • - an) Turn left, non before preparing your small ring.
    There’s a bike path on the left, mais I don’t like it.  I use the road.
  • - ao) Then follow the main road.
  • - ap) Entering Lardy Cochet, go along the Renault automotive centre.
  • - aq) Follow Etampes on route de Lardy.
  • - ar) Follow la route de Bouray.
  • - as) Follow Etampes (follow the signs), follow the main road until further notice.
  • - at) This is it, Etampes.  Do a U-turn here, at 60 km, so that you sum up 120 when you’re back to Nation.
    By the way, you can get fresh water at the graveyard that you just passed.  Convenient in summer.
  • Return hints
    Refer to Google Earth to see the exact location where these hints apply.
  • - au) On your way back, because of the one-ways, go down rue Robespierre.
  • - av) Because of the one-ways, go straight there, then turn left onto rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau prolongée.
  • - aw) Follow on straight.
  • - ax) Turn left towards the ambankment.  After the bridge move left so that you can ride up the paved road onto the National bridge, you one you came through at the beginning.
  • - ay) This is the paved road from discussed at ax).  Turn right onto the bridge Pont National, then ride all along the boulevard until Nation.

    Good luck! Because you’ll need some.  You’ll burn around 3,500 kcal in winter if you keep the pressure.

    I remember a spin I had in November, in 4 degrees.  I had to stop at Décathlon to buy overshoes, as my feet were starting to freeze after 3 hours.   On the other hand, my fitted Décathlon windproof jacket turned out to be perfect, when doubled with my ADIDAS ’FFC’ windproof light jacket.
    AS far as diet goes: I got a massive brekky about 3 hours prior to riding.  One of these brunches with a whole baguette, oats, fruit, etc . . .

    On the road, I always take with me the same thing: 3 cans of Pepsi or Coke, a tube of condensed milk, and a few euros to buy stuff at bakeries on the road, since they’re everywhere in France.
    Back home, better then streching (mostly useless in my opinion), I release my calves and quads and mobilise my leg and arm nerves.  Ask your physio to show you how.  You will avoid the classic 48 h post riding soreness.

    download Download the Google Earth milestones for this route.

    created 26 October 2012
    revised 16 July 2017 by
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