Convergence (Critical Mass) and graffiti hunting

This Sunday took place an important event in the bike community in and around Paris.
It’s called « Convergence ». Groups of cyclists are leaving their suburb towns and ride to the center of Paris. In each city crossed new cyclists are joining the groups and it ends up with a critical mass in the main streets of Paris.

I rode from East so the first important meeting was at the castle of Vincennes. Some said we were 250 cyclists there.

But not only cyclists, also 4 unicycles were part of our group (in the foreground).

Then we used only the main streets, straight to the center of Paris. Avenue du Trône where the columns are slightly undressing their scaffolding clothes. I used to compare them with the Argonath, which is what they are actually, the pillars of the kings (with Philippe Auguste and Saint Louis at their tops).

Nation - Giraffe bike

Rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine

Rue Saint Antoine

Rue de Rivoli, next to the city hall

We met all groups from South, West and North at Louvre-Rivoli. I think we were around 2000 there.

Meeting at Louvre-Rivoli

After gathering we head to the Opera. A great street with the Louvre at one end and the Opera Garnier at the other end, usually not very bicycle-friendly.

To the Opera

The opera as seen from the pilot's seat

(Opera as seen from the pilot’s seat, with my special demonstration horn)

The Opera

vélomobile

A very special bike, like a small car, I have unfortunately no other picture of it.

musical tandem

These 2 people were great, the woman driving and her husband playing trumpet at the rear !

Place de la Concorde

We filled the whole Concorde square ! That’s also a square meant only for cars. Then the last few hundred meters lead to the Invalides Dome.

Invalides

And finally a well deserved picnic next to the Eiffel Tower.

Picnic at Eiffel Tower

The weather was ok. It only rained before the start. That may explain why we were not many more than last year.

After the picnic I left the cyclists for an other kind of activity.

Graffiti hunting

I was supposed to meet a group of couchsurfers at 2pm at Belleville, on the other side of Paris. I arrived there at 3:30pm. and started following the planned route expecting they didn’t finished already. Rue Dénoyez was very busy, there was a kind of street party. And it’s full of graffiti.

Rue Dénoyez

Riding up to the Belleville garden, one of my favorite point of view, and one of the less crowded in Paris, because outside of the tourists tracks.

From Belleville garden

I found the group in a steep street of the neighborhood, admiring each paint stain on walls ! Well not really but some of the street art they were looking for were difficult to locate and had sometimes disappear.

Steep street

I suppose this building was a fountain (Fons in Latin). The hill used to provide a lot of clear water to Paris.

Fountain

Then we found some really nice painted animals on a school wall.

School wall

School wallSchool wall

School wall

School wall

Of course we also found some occurrence of this man in black signed Nemo. This was what we were looking for.

Nemo with umbrella

Bike, group and graffiti

(I swear this is the only pictures featuring the bike)

Letter boxes

It says « mail for nowhere » and « gone without giving an address »

White man with Lemur

These white men where also everywhere in the neighborhood.

Ménilmontant

(I don’t remember the name of the original painting)

Nemo with bike

Nemo with baloons and dragonflies

After a drink I came back to Saint-Michel with 2 friends in Vélib’. It was the sunniest part of the day so I stopped to take pictures of Notre-Dame with this beautiful light.

Notre-Dame

Ile Saint-Louis and Notre-Dame

I can end this with a map of the day.

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