Bike Tour Along the Marne River
Our first stop brings us to The Menier Factory, the worlds first automated chocolate bar production facility. Five generations of the Menier family oversaw the construction and operation of one of the worlds largest chocolate production facilities of the 19th century. The factory exemplifies the grand ideals of 19th century industrial era philanthropy whereby the factory was the source of enlightenment and liberation for the workers. Its grand architecture is one expression of this ideal but its defining legacy is the workers village constructed for its employees. The village was the Menier's attempt to improve the lives of their workers by providing them affordable but attractive homes with gardens, education, healthcare, decent wages, entertainment, retirement housing and everything needed for the basics of day to day living. Today it is a charming village of attractive brick town homes and buildings that leaves the visitor nostalgic for a time that once was.
Next, we will ride to the stately château of Champs-sur-Marne, where you'll have 20 minutes to stroll around its Le Nôtre-inspired gardens.
Moving along from the château we'll head for the Marne river and learn about guinguettes (famous drinking/dancing establishments), gangsters and some other interesting historical tidbits. Mostly we'll enjoy a beautiful ride along the banks of the river, lined with willows, flowers and 19th century villas.
Meeting Time: The Meeting Time for this tour is flexible and can be discussed
Starting the Day: The meeting point for this tour is at the RER A station Le Parc de Saint-Maur in the town of Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, on RER line A. Clients will be given directions from their accommodation in Paris to this station. We take the bikes on the RER train to Noisiel and start the ride from there and cycle back to Saint-Maur-des-Fossés.
Train time: I will provide you with the train time from your location in Paris to the RER A station Le Parc de Saint-Maur where we will meet. Once we board the RER A train with our bikes at Le Parc de Saint-Maur our arrival in Noisiel will take roughly 35-40 minutes (depending on the frequency of trains). We will make one transfer (switching RER A trains) on the way to Noisiel.
Touring Time: 4 to 4.5 hours from the time we arrive in Noisiel until we've finished cycling back to our starting point of Saint-Maur-des-Fossés. This tour must be completed within 4.5 hours of our RER A train arrival in Noisiel. After doing this tour for many years I can assure you this is more than ample time to complete the 25km cycling distance for this tour (most clients complete the tour in 4 hours or less, including the time to buy and eat their picnic lunch). There is a supplemental fee of €50 per hour (payable in increments of 15 minutes, meaning €12.50 per additional 15 minutes) if you can not complete the 25km cycling distance within 4.5 hours.
Total Tour Time: 4 hours 40 minutes to 5 hours 10 minutes, which is inclusive of the RER A train travel time from Saint-Maur-des-Fossées to Noisiel.
Touring Distance: 25km / 16 miles from RER A train arrival in Noisiel until we have cycled all the way back to Saint-Maur-des-Fossés.
Level of Difficulty: Easy. A mostly flat ride with only one not too steep hill in Noisiel. Much of the bike tour will be on a dedicated cycling path along the banks of the Marne river with the remainder on very quiet and minimally trafficked roads. This tour is good for families and novice bikers.
Additional per person costs: €12.95 RER A train (unless you have a transportation pass covering zones 1-5)
Bikes are included in the tour cost