Bikevibe is a Norwegian based journal documenting cycling culture in cities all over the world. Upcoming issue Bikevibe Helsinki releasing August 2020.

Cycles Tosi

Paris

What is the heart of a cycle store? Is it a story built on a legend and name in competitive sport? Is it a family business? A friendly workshop that keeps the wheels of the neighbourhood rolling? Cycles Tosi, a bike shop in the back streets of one of Paris’ more historic neighbourhoods, has a history that combines it all, converging stories across generations and oceans.

A collector is a person who collects things of a certain type. Word on the streets are that La Bicyclette is the best mechanics in town and that the family business is founded on collecting vintage bikes for the last 30 years. We had to pay them a visit.

Everybody has had that job: mind-numbing repetition, where you sit and daydream about the things you could be doing, coming up with elaborate plans with your workmates of the business you would start if you didn’t have to turn up at this office day in, day out.

La Chouette

Paris

Hidden away on a backstreet tucked behind Place de la République is La Chouette, a small but perfectly formed bicycle repair shop and café modeled after the bike cafés in London. Immediately walking in, it radiates skate shop vibes with the repair station in front and rock music playing in the background.

Louis Legon

Paris

Louis Legon, now 23 years old, was racing as a fixed gear cyclist until June 2017 when he was involved in a fatal car accident that took the life of Nico Oury, his best friend and former cyclist, and sent himself into a coma.

In a small nook outside of Paris, Bikevibe met up with Paris Bike Polo in Pantin, located next to the Ourcq canal where runners went by and bikers took advantage of the beautiful skies. Pantin, a commune in the northeastern suburbs of Paris, is an up and coming neighborhood that’s filled with diversity and young people. Paris Bike Polo’s practices are held on a court here, and many of the players live here, as well.

France is home to one of the most well-known sporting events in the world: Tour de France. The annual bike race has been taking place in France for well over a century now. However, women still cannot participate in the event. Chiara, one of the founders of Paris’ all-female biking group, Girls on Wheels (GOW) declares, “It’s important to me for every girl to ride.”

As fixed gear bikes grew in popularity in Paris in 2010, a loose group of friends and acquaintances decided to start having social rides on Wednesday nights: a good excuse to drink beers, chat about bikes and cruise through the city. As urban cycling gained popularity as people wanted to simply ride bikes for fun rather than race, the Wednesday night rides got bigger and bigger and Paris Chill Racing was born.

Longchamp

Paris

Longchamp is the place to be if you want to do laps in Paris and don’t have time to go too far outside of the city. The loop is approximately 4 kilometers long surrounding the fabulous horse track – Hippodrome de Longchamp.

Growing up in Wales before studying graphic design at Falmouth University, William Holtam followed his heart with a move to Paris in 2015. Coffee and Longchamp laps followed Instagram introductions with a job offer from a fellow rider cementing William’s move to his new home.

Finding his passion for cycling after the age of 40, François Paoletti makes the history of the professional cycling world accessible for anyone interested.

Coming from very different backgrounds, Henri Desgrange and Géo Lefévre played a very important part of the creation and evolution of French cycling history. With their help whilst in a desperate position to save their jobs, Desgrange and Lefévre established an event that over a hundred years later still is the worlds greatest sporting event. Tour de France has successfully placed the country of love on the map in the cycling world.

Covering his 30th Tour de France next year, American photographer James Startt continues to admire the beauty of cycling. We met up with him in his apartment in Paris, talking about the importance of storytelling and how he ended up shooting Lance Armstrong’s cancer shots for his biography.

For the last couple of years a new exciting race has been featuring in the Paris cycling calendar. La Petite Course is a criterium race for fixed gear riders, in the mould of races like the London Nocturne and the Red Hook Series, arguably the biggest crit/urban racing in the world.

Le Coq Sportif is a brand synonymous with French sporting excellence, clothing rugby and tennis grand slam winners, and soccer world cup successes, but it is with cycling and cycling’s biggest race that they seem to hold the strongest link.

Paris is the ultimate end goal for cyclists starting the Tour de France. Since 1903, the Parc des Princes, the Vélodrome de la Cipale, and the Champ-Élysées have time after time been the place of extraordinary emotional moments for the Tour and its participants. Over the decades the French capital has continued to maintain its place as the crowning glory of the greatest legends of cycling.

There are few sites in cycling history holier than La Cipale. Constructed from iron and cement, in a similar style to the Eiffel Tower, this hallowed nineteenth-century masterpiece in Paris’ Bois de Vincennes has played host to some of the most spectacular moments in track cycling. For more than a century, this oval ribbon of concrete has soaked up both the tears of joy and despair shed by some of cycling’s greatest champions - and the blood of many more, who have fallen foul of the open-air track’s rough and unforgiving riding surface.

VĂ©lib

Paris

Paris is undeniably a city with history. The buildings and streets that have weathered wars, fires, the peak of an empire and billion tourists could tell a million stories. So could the bicycles of the world’s first truly successful bike sharing service – Vélib’ – inaugurated the day after Bastille Day in 2007.

In 2014, Anne Hidalgo was elected the first female Mayor of Paris on an ambitious platform to drastically lower the city’s carbon footprint and air pollution. She vowed to restrict car access to the city centre, improve public transport links and double the amount of bike lanes in the city from 700 to 1400 kilometres. Progress has sometimes been slow and has often been met with fierce opposition from pro-car advocates, but Hidalgo remains undeterred in her goal to transform Paris into a truly post-car city.

It was my first day of work at my first real job. I asked my new colleague Sarah, who would become one of my closest friends, what her favorite colour was. Without hesitation she responded, “I don’t have one. All of the colours offer something different, so I couldn’t possibly choose just one.” Yellow is the colour that was imprinted in memory. “Yellow is the colour of the ego and self worth,” she explained, “If you see someone making a presentation and they’re wearing yellow... get ready.”

Known as the Queen of the Classics, the Hell of the North and a Sunday in Hell, the Paris-Roubaix is arguably the toughest one-day race in the world. First held in 1896, the gruelling course takes riders more than 250 kilometres north of the French capital through narrow cobblestoned farm tracks that are notoriously painful and exhausting.

The Couriier

Paris

There were was a time when you would be sure to find Fabrice ‘Fuego’ Levannier at one of Paris’ bike messenger hangout spots. Roll up to La Caravanne or a shitty pingpong bar in the 11th arrondissement and he’d be there late into the night, shooting the shit with other couriers while knocking back the beers and lighting spliffs. But today, he’s got too many early starts and responsibilities on his plate to be boozing and chilling until the early hours.

Let us introduce you to Marion Borras, a 20 year old track racer dreaming of competing in the Olympic Games for the French team. Originally hailing from Grenoble, Marion is now living in a city a bit outside of Paris. She is studying to be a physiotherapist in addition to pursuing her track racing career.

Home has proved a moveable feast for chef and culinary director Chloe Lasseron. Born in France before leaving for California at the age of 5; subsequent moves to New York and Berlin have since been followed by a return to her homeland with a job in Paris heading up R&D and innovation for a French chain of coffee shops.

The storefront of Alex Singer Cycles is an institution on rue Victor Hugo in Levallois-Perret in north-west Paris. The same building has borne the name for 80 years but you get the feeling that, on this busy street, backing onto to a major railway hub and surrounded by huge building projects growing into the sky, it is the only piece of continuity, a link to the past.

Meet Vincent, a 22 year old hotel management student from an established family in Neuilly Sur Seine in Paris.

“There is always the same question after a ride,” says Marc Schmitt, “Where do we meet?” We are sitting in Steel Cyclewear & Coffeeshop in Paris’s 11th Arrondisement which, since it opened in 2015, has been aiming to answer this age-old question of the social cyclist.