Thursday’s mail bag: American (bike geeks) in Paris; It’s only an ad!

Never on SundayDear VeloNews,This is to respond to Joe Semple's inquiry for bike shops in Paris(see “You'll always have Paris” in Wednesday'smail bag).During my recent honeymoon in Paris I discovered Cycles Laurent at 09,Boulevard Voltaire, in the 11th, near the Place de la Republique. One canget there on Metros 5 or 9 to Oberkampf, or via the No. 11 to Republique.They seemed a general purpose bicycle shop, with road and mountain racingbikes on display, as well as apparel and memorabilia.Just remember like most European businesses, they are closed on Sunday.John L. MillerBrooklyn, New YorkThe

Never on Sunday
Dear VeloNews,
This is to respond to Joe Semple’s inquiry for bike shops in Paris(see “You’ll always have Paris” in Wednesday’smail bag).During my recent honeymoon in Paris I discovered Cycles Laurent at 09,Boulevard Voltaire, in the 11th, near the Place de la Republique. One canget there on Metros 5 or 9 to Oberkampf, or via the No. 11 to Republique.They seemed a general purpose bicycle shop, with road and mountain racingbikes on display, as well as apparel and memorabilia.Just remember like most European businesses, they are closed on Sunday.
John L. Miller
Brooklyn, New YorkThe racing is good, but the shops kinda bite
Editors,
I’ve lived and worked in Paris and am always astounded at the paucityof quality bike shops there.Cycling is really not considered either an urbane or urban sport inFrance. So, Paris is really not a cycling Mecca. Most Parisians ride citytype bikes, so the shops there tend to be holes-in-the-wall and cater tothe utilitarian end of the spectrum.Don’t be surprised if the mechanics are smoking Gitanes. Also, pricesare ridiculously high. The places to find original Euro-swag (like jerseys)are going to be the discount stores like Go Sport and Décathlon.The most central locations are going to be Go Sport at Les Halles in the1st arrondissement, and a Décathlon at 23 Boulevard de la Madeleine(also in the 1st). I hear good things about the Maison du Velo (11 rueFénelon, near the Gare du Nord) but can’t vouch for them.In the winter they’ll sometimes have indoor track racing at the PalaisOmnisports de Bercy, so do take advantage of that opportunity if it presentsitself.
Rick AlembikWhen in Boston…
Dear VeloNews;
Glad to see I’m not the only one who puts visiting cool bike shopsin new towns right up there with museum visits.My wife always teases me when we visit her parents outside Boston thatat least I can make another trip to “Mecca” – which is Belmont Wheelworks,a great shop to check the latest in “unobtanium” stuff.
Thomas VillarsWhy are you watching TV, anyway?
Dear Editors,
In response to Don Hunter (see “But we thought they loved cyclists!”in Wednesday’smail bag): Wow, that’s some serious analysis Don. Its a commercial.Its on TV. Don, does it really mean Saturn hates cyclists? Or that cyclistsare inanimate objects? Somehow I doubt it. And as for “taking a jab atSubaru and Lance” wow, how do you make that correlation?My question is, how come you’re watching Saturn commercials and notreading VeloNews? I mean come on, its not like Saturn is using September11 images in its advertising campaign.It is good to hear you won’t be buying a Saturn though. There’s just something about them.
David Sullivan
Madison, WisconsinWhat hit what?
Dear Don Hunter,
Lighten up man.  I was busy pedaling squares on my trainer whenI saw the commercial and I took no offense.  As I recall, the carwas parked, and the cyclist ran into the car.Being cyclists doesn’t make us all saintly by default.  Assumingthat the commercial is real, the guy should have been watching where hewas going, and when he was flying over the hood, he looked pretty animatedto me.
Alan Simons
Denver, ColoradoLet Saturn and GM know it, too!
Dear Dogs,
Regarding the letter from Don Hunter, I agree that the Saturn commercial is utterly unacceptable. If you also find this advertisement to be reprehensible, please do as I did and phone Saturn to tell them so.
Marianne Werz OBrien
Falls Church, Virginia


It’s only an ad, It’s only an ad…
VeloNews,
Jeeezis! Did Mr. Hunter in Louisiana not take notice of the fact thatthe Saturn in the commercial is stationary? Anybody dumb enoughto hit a stopped vehicle deserves what they get.As for taking a dig at Lance/Subaru, that ad is just as preposterous.The guy doing the flying “W” into the spooge hole is only for effect. Theseare advertisements, fer Chrissakes!! They’re supposed tobe over the top!! Take ’em at face value and forget ’em!!
Scott “Skippy” Stewart
Dillsburg, PennsylvaniaAnd too summarize….
Editors,
Let me get this straight. Looking at your letters from yesterday Iam to conclude that:Bobby Good !
Banana Peels Bad !Okay, I got that.Now, as for Saturn we all must understand these are car dealers.If they thought it would sell cars, they would bang their dead grandmothersagainst the door.
Eddie Winkler


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