France: 40 year Anniversary Of The Notorious Peripherique
Posted at 08:00:00 AM
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Author: Mike Werner
Anyone, and I mean anyone, who has ever ridden their motorcycle or driven their car in Paris will know about the famous and very notorious Boulevard Peripherique. The BP as is it abbreviated (but known as the "Perif") is the ringroad around Paris. It is a main artery for commuter traffic and it's always very busy, day and night.
This week it celebrated 40 years of existence. The BP sees 1.3 million vehicles everyday, travelling over its 30 kilometers in length (the Perif is 40 meters wide at its widest point). The Perif is also a hot debate point between political parties. On one side it represents a quick and efficient way to go from one side of Paris to another, but on the other hand, it generates a lot of noise and CO2 pollution. This has been one reason why the powers-to-be have reduced speed from 80 kph to 70 kph and are envisaging more reductions.
But no matter how busy the ringroad is, and believe me it is always busy, there are always people who speed. Often on Saturday night/Sunday early morning you have the kids in the GTI cars racing down the Perif, and of course motorcycles have it much better on this road since the cars usually leave enough space for bikes to pass.
But one biker is notorious for going round the Peripherique, and that is because he did the whole Perif on his Suzuki GSX-R in a record time of 11 minutes. That's 30 kilometers in 11 minutes, average speed of 192 kph while there was a lot of traffic. You can see the video below, which was taken a few years back (1989) when he made his successful attempt. His name: Prince Noire (=black prince).
Here is the video. The real action starts at the 1 minute 25 mark, and the voice over is French. But you can see the guy travelling at incredible high speeds in between cars. Crazy.
So we've now had 40 years of the Perif, and we'll see another 40, that's for sure. The place is not safe, many biker die on this road which will suddenly narrow. There are continuos plans to cover the ringroad so that there will be less noise and CO2 for people living directly next to it, but the way the economy is down the drain, it will take decades before that happens.
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