2017 Traversee Paris
(the photos use a slide show type of presentation, just click any photo to start there.)

On Sunday January 8th, we attended the 2017 Traversee Paris event organised by VINCENNES EN ANCIENNES. This is the largest multi-brand club in France and this event is held twice a year in Paris in January and July. It is a statement by the club that old vehicles still have the right to traverse the streets of Paris. We stayed the night at a nearby hotel with secure parking. Incidentally Paris is very security conscious at the moment with the streets being patrolled by armed Police and the Military on foot.

Our French motorcycling friends arranged the entry for us, and January was perhaps not the best time of year weather wise, but July was not an option, as we are committed to so many other events then, and anyway the Paris traffic would be in full swing. Not that it was very easy in January. The event starts from the very impressive Chateau de Vincennes, which is situated in an extensive green area with lots of parking and open space and is limited to 700 vehicles of all types. TRUCKS, VANS, BUSES, CARS, MOTORCYCLES, MOPEDS AND SOME VERY BRAVE CYCLISTS!

Many participants were in period dress. Commencing at 8.00 am, when it was still very dark, the traffic was very heavy with lots of sightseers and photographers, but no Police control, and no parking restrictions. Although we were given a very comprehensive route/ itinerary sheet it was not a lot of good on a motorcycle, so the order of the day seems to be “Just go with the flow”. The route included many well-known sights with indicated stops along the way: -

Place de la Republique
Louvre, Moulin Rouge,
Monmartre, Sacre Coeur,
Madeleine, Place de la Concorde
Invalides, Place de la Bastille.

There was no designated parking, but there was great camaraderie—no problems if you double-parked or blocked anyone. This is the “Spirit of Anciennes” we were told.
The event ended at the Hippodrome de Vincennes (a large sports/athletics) stadium, where a meal was served in a restaurant overlooking the facilities where the vehicles were parked in a static display.

I rode my SS80 along the route and my friend Jerome rode his S7 Sunbeam. Kate joined our friend’s parents in a vintage Parisian bus that followed the complete route.

It was a fantastic experience and I enjoyed it immensely—but I cannot say the same for the Brough clutch! The SS80 gearing is on the high side, so traffic lights at the end of every street and crowded slow moving traffic meant a number of stops to cool off and a few cable adjustments—but we got there in the end.

The weather was dry and warm, but at this time of the year, it could have been a disaster, had the predicted forecast of frost and snow been correct.

Ken Baxter