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Updated: 1 hour 30 min ago

Re: Shipping the bike by plane

2 hours 55 min ago
here my bike ready to be shipped. What do you think?


Re: Train options for the Loire

5 hours 12 min ago
On most days there seem to be two Intercités and one TER train, direct from Caen to Tours. They all accept bikes free of charge.

You can check times on http://www.voyages-sncf.com (use the French version as otherwise you don't get the bike symbols showing whether or not bikes are allowed).

Or use http://www.bahn.de/i/view/GBR/en/index.shtml - Further search options - Only show connections that allow carriage of bicycles

Re: Shipping the bike by plane

5 hours 56 min ago
serbring wrote:I was thinking to connect the two rear panniers with cable ties and wrap them together at the airport. Is it a good idea?
I've zip-tied a pair of Ortlieb back-rollers together, back to back, a few times with no problems and no extra wrapping.

Mine (fairly old, pre-dating hook inserts) have a suitable hole in each end of the reinforcement along the bottom, and it's possible to thread a tie in through the end of the hook slot and out between hook rail and pannier. I used 4 ties, probably 8 or 10 inches long, put the shoulder straps inside, and clipped the rolled ends together over the top and snugged down with the over-the-top strap. It makes quite a handy package as the two lifting loops can just be grabbed in one hand.
Make sure you've an adequate supply of zip ties for the return journey, and something to cut them with at the other end packed at the top where you can find it easily.
When I've also taken front panniers, I've repacked so that one empty front pannier goes into one of the rears, and the other is used as hand luggage. I generally take either 2 front panniers or a bar bag, not both.

Re: Burgundy, Holland or Germany?

6 hours 1 min ago
How about fly to Frankfurt then follow the Main to Wertheim then along the Taubertal to Rothenburg. You can then get the bus back to Frankfurt Hbf and local s bahn to the airport. If you fancy downhill all the way do this in reverse - it really is downhill for the full distance!

I shall be doing some of this myself in a few weeks, a reprise of some previous travels. There are some great towns to see, stuff to do and loads of accomodation options!

Re: Train options for the Loire

6 hours 27 min ago
As a way of getting about, why not hire a van from Avis in Dieppe and drop it off in Blois. I did this in reverse some years ago and it's a pretty cheap way to move several people and bikes. I would imagine othe ports are equally well served.

Re: Burgundy, Holland or Germany?

6 hours 31 min ago
I'm a big fan of cycling in Germany, they have an excellent network of cycle paths and the major routes are generally well served with good hotels, B&Bs and hostels. The Romantische Strasse is beautiful, I hiked it many years ago and more recently have cycled parts of it. It can be a bit undulating in parts. I would recommend pre-booking accommodation if you go in peak season as parts of it, particularly Rothenburg-o-d-Tauber is both beautiful and popular. There is a very good cycle route - the Main-Tauber-Altmuhl, which follows part of it and is very pleasant bu again, undulating.

The Netherlands is also well worth a visit. The North Sea Coastal route is pleasant and there's lots of quiet rural, if not dramatic, countryside to be enjoyed.

Burgundy, Holland or Germany?

6 hours 46 min ago
Each year from my Birmingham base I try to fit in a one week (or longer, SWMBO permitting) overseas tour based on the various ferry crossings from the UK e.g. Portsmouth/Caen to Cherbourg, St Malo round trip, Fishguard/Rosslare round trip, Harwich - Esbjerg with train back from Copenhagen and last year the Donald Hirsch route from Dieppe to Paris with train back to Dieppe. This autumn, inspired by Edward Enfield's book "Downhill all the Way" I thought I might try the Burgundy part of his route taking Eurostar to Paris, then a local train to somewhere south of Paris say Fontainebleau, and then cycling to Dijon. From there I would return by train to Paris and then Eurostar to London. Being a decade older than Edward when he wrote the book I take things rather leisurely doing about 40 miles a day and staying B&B/small hotels.
Does anyone have experience of this area which I understand takes in part of the Burgundy canal? Although I take the title of the book with a pinch of salt, I'm assuming that it it is not particularly hilly (well, at least mountainous) but hopefully fairly scenic with the usual charming French towns and villages.
I've also considered round trips based on Hoek of Holland or Amsterdam but am rather put off by some of the long straight (albeit flat and perhaps windy) Dutch roads - however I'm sure that some areas are very scenic.
Another thought was the Romantische Strasse flying Lufthansa from Birmingham to Frankfurt then train to Wurtzburg - a fairly straightforward journey If I could just convince myself that my bike would survive the flights! Lufthansa claim the bike needs no packing/dismantling - just wheel it up to the check-in although they do charge €50 each way for the bike.
So any thoughts or advice on these, or indeed, any other options would be much appreciated.

Re: Shipping the bike by plane

6 hours 51 min ago
Many airports have a service where they will wrap stuff in plastic for you. You could consider something like that?

Re: Shipping the bike by plane

6 hours 52 min ago
BeeKeeper wrote:serbring wrote:I was thinking to connect the two rear panniers with cable ties and wrap them together at the airport. Is it a good idea?

I considered doing that but felt the result was likely to be damaged as it went through the baggage handling system. You could tape up loose straps I suppose but it would be better to wrap it in something, thick polythene or a Bergan liner in my case.

you're on right. I'll try in this way and I connect the handles together with a cable tie.

Re: SNCF RER trains, has anyone ever been kicked off?

9 hours 28 min ago
The Seat61 site has some useful info: http://www.seat61.com/bike-by-train.htm#.U9YXUTfwuCo Look about a third of the way down this page where it says;

Bikes go free on suburban, local & regional TER trains: Bikes are carried free of charge in the luggage van on most local, suburban & regional (TER) trains. There are Monday-Friday peak hour restrictions on Paris commuter routes & a handful of regional TER routes, see http://www.bikes.sncf.com for full details.

The SNCF link will get you here if you drill down: http://www.bikes.sncf.com/your-bike-on- ... ng-trains/

Which says the same thing - bikes on TER are not a problem, which has also been my experience.

Re: SNCF RER trains, has anyone ever been kicked off?

9 hours 38 min ago
There is extensive information about French rail services on www.bonjourlafrance.com including tgv and ter.
You can find timetables between stations by entering start and destination and it gives a bike symbol where appropriate.
I used this site to research travel with my bike between Calais and Hendaye and returning from Perpignan to Calais.
The information may not be 100% -for instance the site suggested I could travel directly from Calais to Paris Austerlitz whereas I had to go to Paris Nord and ride to Austerlitz. Apart from that the timetable was o.k - I still had to use SNCF/Rail-Europe for the booking but it was useful to have the information when I made the booking.
It occurs to me that you could train your children to burst into tears as appropriate

Re: Shipping the bike by plane

9 hours 41 min ago
serbring wrote:I was thinking to connect the two rear panniers with cable ties and wrap them together at the airport. Is it a good idea?

I considered doing that but felt the result was likely to be damaged as it went through the baggage handling system. You could tape up loose straps I suppose but it would be better to wrap it in something, thick polythene or a Bergan liner in my case.

Re: Shipping the bike by plane

10 hours 15 min ago
simonhill wrote:It obviously depends on airline baggage rules, ie how many pieces, but I reckon that it is best to keep the bike 'package' as light as possible. The more bags you attach or pack in box, the heavier it gets and the harder it is for the baggage handlers to manhandle it carefully.

I usually fly Emirates which is as many pieces within 30kgs. So it is bike in box and panniers as check in.

With Virgin. It was bike plus one piece, so I bundled panniers in a bit of tough polythene.

With AirAsia I pay for bike and pay for baggage (ie panniers).

Sometimes it seems to me that people are desperate to save a few pounds, but putting their bikes at risk of damage by cramming everything into the box. You pays your money (or not) and takes your choice.

There are no prescription on Norwegians airlines about the bike package, only the maximum allowed weight (25kg).
I was thinking to connect the two rear panniers with cable ties and wrap them together at the airport. Is it a good idea?

Re: Shipping the bike by plane

11 hours 45 min ago
It obviously depends on airline baggage rules, ie how many pieces, but I reckon that it is best to keep the bike 'package' as light as possible. The more bags you attach or pack in box, the heavier it gets and the harder it is for the baggage handlers to manhandle it carefully.

I usually fly Emirates which is as many pieces within 30kgs. So it is bike in box and panniers as check in.

With Virgin. It was bike plus one piece, so I bundled panniers in a bit of tough polythene.

With AirAsia I pay for bike and pay for baggage (ie panniers).

Sometimes it seems to me that people are desperate to save a few pounds, but putting their bikes at risk of damage by cramming everything into the box. You pays your money (or not) and takes your choice.

Re: Looking for inspiration/ideas for a tour in Germany.

27 July 2014 - 8:49pm
slowpeddler wrote:I'm off tomorrow to cycle camp the new route, the Roman-Lippe route from Detmold to Xanten. It only opened in 2013 and looks a cracker.



That should be quite er level! Xanten AP is well worth a visit and the modern town has some nice bar/restaurants. Useful railhead to get you back to civilisation and you aren't too far from Rose Bikeworld in Bocholt - well worth a squint if you have time.

Re: Norway from the South to Trondheim

27 July 2014 - 6:50pm
I was recently given a fairly detailed route for Trondheim to Kristiansand, it avoids the E6 completely and sticks mainly to smaller roads. This shows the route most of the way to Oslo and the details can be found here although they run from Trondheim south.

http://andrewwaterfield.blogspot.co.uk/ ... dvice.html

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/63.3437 ... 0?hl=en-GB

Re: Shipping the bike by plane

27 July 2014 - 6:25pm
serbring wrote:BeeKeeper wrote:This was my bike earlier this year before sliding it into the CTC bag. The blue stuff was a stiff foam which was used to protect the edges of a worktop which we had had delivered. I guess you might be able to blag some off a builders merchant or buy the foam insulation you get for wrapping round pipes. It is not essential, stiff cardboard does equally as good a job of protecting the vulnerable bits. The only bits I removed apart from one pedal (the other was reversed, see picture) were the bottle racks which fit on the front forks. These were stowed in the frame bag. My panniers travelled in an 80 litre Bergan liner with a webbing luggage strap around them. The Bergan liner is very light and folds up small for stowing in the bottom of a pannier. It is useful as the airline charged per item of luggage so the two panniers in a bag only counted as one. My bar bag was my carry on luggage. Note tyres were deflated as per the airline's rules although no one checked them at Bristol when I checked it in.

I only needed the CTC bag for a one way flight as we came back by ferry but if you need a bag for the return journey I would recommend buying a second one and leave it unopened. It will take up a lot less room on your bike than if you try and fold up the bag used on the outward journey.

Was it robust enought that protection of the light? I'm afraid that the bracket might bend.

It was OK, but to be honest I don't worry about something like that getting bent. The main thing was to protect the brake discs, brake levers, etc. The main thing is the bike is able to be ridden when it comes off the 'plane.

Re: Shipping the bike by plane

27 July 2014 - 6:02pm
Serbring, we use frame bags, handlebar harnesses, seat pack harnesses and fuel tank bag and carry only hand luggage for trips up to 1 week long. Longer than that and we check in one bag.

We pack the heavy stuff like tools and liquids into the frame bag and fuel tank (still attached to the bike), everything else we carry. Wide necked drinks bottles can be filled with toiletries or other small items in a ziplock bag.

Re: Getting home (Plymouth) from Genoa or the Alps (Geneva)

27 July 2014 - 5:01pm
Great info/ideas, thanks. loved hills ever since NZ. Became content to go slow and enjoy the surroundings. Like the dozen passes idea (with bailout options). Could drive some of them with the lads and cycle others.

Ferry home is flexible. As you say -- possibilities endless -- sometimes you need a goal or someone to visit to give a tour a bit more structure.

Train options for the Loire

27 July 2014 - 4:57pm
I am considering a late summer / early autumn Loire tour and, if possible (easy) would like to take the bikes to and from the area by train from my home in Surrey. I can get to Calais, Newhaven and Porstmouth from home easily but given the Loire's location, Portsmouth seems the natural crossing point - my preference being to Ouistreham to catch the train from nearby Caen.

Does anybody have any experience / advice of such a route, obviously the less changes the better? An initial look suggests a non stop train to Tours might be a possibility. Can you take bikes on these trains / what are the arrangements? Any other thoughts most welcome.

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