‘Spiderman’ to scale Paris’s tallest building

A climber dubbed the French Spiderman is attempting to scale the tallest skyscraper in Paris tomorrow.

'Spiderman' to scale Paris's tallest building

Alain Robert, 49, from the Bourgogne region, will be scaling the 231 metre First building in the capital’s business area, La Défense, without safety ropes.

But he had better have his spidey senses about him – weather reports predict thunder and lightning tomorrow.

Famed for climbing buildings without permission, this stunt is an officially-sanctioned challenge with the aim of raising awareness of good heart health.

But the French Spiderman, who learnt to climb as a child in the boy scouts, has suffered for his adventures.

He was in a coma for five days after one 15 meter fall in 1982, and has fractured and broken several bones. He also suffered from vertigo.

The French government have assessed him as 66% disabled.

Poor health hasn’t stopped Roberts from climbing. In March last year he climber the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubaï, which is 828 metres tall.

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Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

READ ALSO 6 ways to get around Paris without the Metro