Cycling Directly from Orly Airport
Biking from Orly Airport to Notre Dame Catheral in the center of Paris is almost a piece of cake (there is only one small section with traffic).
In April, 2002, the author rode from central Paris to both terminals at Orly, and then back to Paris. Although he saw no other bicycle riders at at Orly, he did encounter a few pedestrians on the ubiquitous sidewalks. It seems that Orly was built in "olden times", when planners still expected some people to walk or cycle (unlike De Gaulle airport where everything is designed around motor vehicles).
The suggested route from Orly Airport is roughly 13 miles (22 kilometers) long, and quite rapid. Traffic on the non-bikepath part of the route, when the author rode it was generally "light" to "very light", the exception being a 1.6 kilometers (1.0 mile) stretch fairly near the airport, where the traffic<link to author's traffic rating system>was "light to medium" on the way to the airport, and "medium" on the way back (lunch time). In this heavier traffic area, sidewalks are available, should you prefer to use them.
Below I have included some screen shots from Orly Airport as far as the Seine bicycle path. If you wish to trace the route yourself on a Google map, you can do so by opening the following url (opens a new window) and printing the maps you find necessary : http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Paris-Orly+Airport,+France&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=55.849851,77.519531&ie=UTF8&ll=48.744616,2.380428&spn=0.023007,0.037851&t=h&z=15
Note: Due to security concerns, after removing your bike tear the carton into pieces and dispose of it in containers or with the airport cleaning staff.
Directions from Orly Airport:
If you arrive at Orly West (Orly Ouest) on the bottom left of the aerial photo, follow the lower level sidewalk or the car drop-off lane to the south end of the building, where it turns east. Now walk your bike on the sidewalk, because part of the road is restricted to taxis and police; the distance is not long.
Just as the sidewalk reaches Orly South (Orly Sud), walk your bike across the taxi drop-off road to the automobile drop-off road, and ride east the length of the terminal (traffic was "light plus") (or you can walk your bike along the sidewalk in front of the terminal). Distances quoted in the following paragraphs start from the east end of the Orly South terminal. Of course, if you arrive at Orly South, at the bottom of the aerial photo, just walk or ride your bike to the east end of the terminal (right as you face the road from the terminal).
Looking east from Orly South
Stay to the right, where an overhead sign says "P4, P5,P7 Fret" (see photo). The road curves left, north (light traffic - or walk your bike on the sidewalk if you wish).
Soon a bike path starts alongside rail tracks. After about 400 meters this runs into a bike lane along Avenue de lurope which becomes Rue du Maréchal Devaux.
In another 600 meters you exit the airport complex by turning right at Route D64 (Route Charles Tillon - traffic light).
Turn right (light to moderate traffic, became moderate during return at lunch hour). Soon you will be riding downhill. At 1.3 km (0.8 mi) or 3.3 kilometers (2 mi) from the terminal, after D64 bears right, in another 300 meters you must make a left turn to stay on D64 (now called Avenue de la Victoire.
Just after passing under the rail bridge (after 1.4 km, 5 km (3 mi) from the terminal, turn left. Then take the first turn right into Rue du Noyer Grenot (traffic was light or very light from now on). When this appears to end, continue straight in the narrow lane behind the barrier. The lane bears right (eastward) and becomes Rue du Four. At the end of this, turn left onto Rue Albert I, and immediately bear right onto Rue Leon Blum, which immediately turns back left again (north)
Take the second right (after 240 m) , eastward (Avenue Rondu, becomes Avenue Guyemer at the railroad overpass), and follow to the end (570 m, about 6.7 km (4 miles) from the end of the airport terminal). Turn left on the road along the Seine River, the Quai de Choisy. In two long blocks on your right, you will see the beginning of the bicycle path.
This path, which is partly on sidewalk and partly on seperate lanes, leads to Central Paris. You are at the U turn mentioned in the 7th paragraph of the detailed directions in Route 4, for Biking South from Paris. If you don't enter the bicycle path, but rather ride up the road and cross the bridge, as explained in the Route 4 itinerary, you will be heading in the direction of Fontainebleau, and from there you can continue east, south or west in countryside.
From now on it will be hard to go wrong. When the bicycle path temporarily stops at a road bridge on your right, jog left and cross the road leading onto the bridge by walking your bike at the lights. Ride on the sidewalk. The bike path starts up again on your right a short distnce ahead.
After 6 km (3.6 mi), 13.1 km (8 mi) from Orly Sud, the bike path curves left and ends just before a pipeline-pedestrian bridge over the Seine, just after the confluence with the Marne at the Chinagora restaurant (see the photos in the Route 4 itinerary). Carefully ride up the ramp, cross the bridge to the North Bank of the Seine, turn left, and follow the bike path on the other side into Paris.
In Paris assuming that you are going to Notre Dame Cathedral or beyond, turn left onto the separated bike lanes of the Charles DeGaulle Bridge (the next bridge after crossing beneath the very long white overhead building, the Ministry of Financesee photo). At the south bankof the Seine (the "left bank"the side on your left when you look downstream), turn immediately right along the Seine and follow the bike path down to the lower level. Cross under the Austerlitz bridge. The path becomes a smooth, paved esplanade and winds through plantings and sculptures. Give priority to pedestrians.
Before the next bridge and where the pavement ends, exit left uphill to the street. Walk your bike in the same direction,crossing the street that leads onto the bridge. In a short distance, a bike lane on the Quai (road along the Seine) begins. In four blocks, about 6 km (3.6 mi) from the pedestrian bridge, you reach Notre Dame. For other destinations, see the information on this site for biking in Paris .
To bike from Paris to Orly Airport:
Follow Route 4 as far as the U turn in the 7th paragraph, which you do not take. Rather, continue straight on the road (ignore the dead end sign). Take the second right. After the railway overpass take the second left. After this turns right and ends, turn left. Take the next right on Rue du Four, follow in the same direction into a lane, which bears left. Continue on the extention after the auto barrier, Rue du Noyer Grenot. At the Y you continue one block, before turning right on the main road D64 (Avenue de la Victoirelight to moderate or moderate traffic). At the intersection with Route Charles Tillon in about 1.2 km (.7 mi), turn right still on D64.
In approximately another 1.2 kilometers, the street curves left, just before the main airport highway. Turn left here into the airport. The road you are on turns left . The road turns right. You cross a traffic circle and intersections, continuing for about 1 km (.6 mi). Opposite a bus stop on the right, cross the road in the cross walk on foot and get on the left sidewalk (sign pedestrian way to Orly Sud). (If you were to follow the road signs for Orly Sud and Orly Ouest, you would have to ride through tunnels on the main airport roadways). Against the sense of traffic, on the sidewalk walk or ride your bike for about 600 m (0.4 mi) to the Orly South Terminal, and if going to Orly Ouest, (West) continue to walk it past the far end of the South Terminal on the sidewalk, which, in about 10 minutes, will take you there.
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