Bicycling the Path Along the Canal de l’Ourcq in Paris, France
Getting to the green part takes a little time but is well worth the effort, both because making an effort is why you’re on two wheels and because of the land traversed. A multiuse converted towpath along the Canal de l’Ourcq runs east from Parc de la Villette on the northeast fringe of Paris for about 12 miles to the village of Claye-Souilly. The once-workaday waterway, having pierced the city’s concentric rings of park green and industrial grey, is like a core sample of the Paris banlieue; a pedal along its length is a fascinating study of urban strata. You’re blissfully car-free past locks and pretty bridges, reclaimed warehouses, parkland, villages, and plenty of people out for a spin.