Saturday, June 16, 2012

A stroll through Paris. Monday 11 June.

A couple of days in Paris with a flexible agenda, a stout pair of walking boots, and my trusty point-and-shoot camera. 

The 1.9km cobbled surface of Avenue des Champs-Élysées takes a ‘slight’ gradient just before the half-way point between the Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe. Think of that when the final circuit of the Tour de France finishes here on the 22nd of July.


Place du Tertre, Montmartre.


Sacré-Cœur Basilica.

Cimetière de Montmartre.

Cimetière de Montmartre.

Cimetière de Montmartre.

Moulin Rouge.

Musée du Louvre.

The French stop for lunch. In Paris only children and tourists snack or eat whilst on the go.

Notre Dame Cathedral.

Notre Dame Cathedral.

A street in Paris.

Centre Georges Pompidou.

Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Roue de bicyclette’ is part of the permanent collection at the Pompidou Centre.

Creative Multiversities (3 May - 6 Aug), Centre Georges Pompidou.

Gerhard Richter, Panorama (6 June - 24 Sept), Centre Georges Pompidou.

A stroll through Paris. Tuesday 12 June.

Today it rained a little more than was necessary.

La Tour Eiffel.

53 rue Victor Hugo, Levallois-Perret, Paris.

Window shopping.

Olivier’s race bike with DA 7900. None of the Singer bicycles on display are for sale: this is a custom shop.

Quill stem with English-threaded BB is what you get. Stems are not for sale separately. 

Better view from the inside of the shop. Not usually open on a Tuesday morning but Victor (finishing some racks out the back) lets me in rather than mop up the mucous accumulating on the shop window.

Victor has been working here for 3 years and brazes the racks, assembles the bikes and helps run the shop. A race bike takes half a day to assemble. A randonneur can take a couple of weeks. Olivier Csuka builds/ brazes the framesets.

Hallowed ground indeed.

Spare parts. Old and predominantly French. Box on the side contains a complete bicycle ready to be shipped to a Japanese client with a number of Alex Singer’s already in his collection. Of the 20 or so bicycles made each year half go to Japan with the remainder staying in France or sent off to the US.

The door remains closed but people can see activity inside and so they come in. Victor attends to a customer.

Wiring for the front light passes within the rack but has to jump around the corners where the tubing has been brazed. 

The wire then passes from the rack into the frame then on to the generator on the rear stay. It’s the little details that take so much time.

Singer’s get used. This one has a tough life.

It’s been raining in Paris for the past few days but (tut-tut) this is the dirtiest chain and cassette I have seen for a while.

This one is for Ernest’s wife. 
Full chrome randonneur, Mafac brakes, Maxi-car hubs, TA Specialites chainset, Huret derailleurs, Berthoud fenders, Ideale saddle with aluminium rails.

This one is for Ernest Csuka.
Classic French constructeur includes Singer's own (expander) seatpost and (lever/caged) front derailleur. 
Possibly the world's smallest frame with a derailleur hanger sits just behind Ernest's bike.

A small shop on an otherwise unremarkable street.

Musée d'Orsay on the left bank of the Seine.

Now this is what I call a line.

Ballet, dit aussi l'Etoile par Edgar Degas sits in a small room just outside the main collection of impressionist works.

Musée d'Orsay.

Playing boules in the Tuileries Gardens.

Bedtime story before heading home.