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Updated: 1 hour 29 min ago

Re: New Eurostar Bike Policy

1 hour 47 min ago
This is absolutely dismal. A large proportion of people taking their bikes to the continent will be taking touring bikes with luggage, which are not going to fit in these boxes. If whole bikes are taking up too much space, why don't they just increase the cost a bit? A classic case of Eurostar going backwards while most government agencies, companies etc are at least trying to go forwards when it comes to provision for bicycles. I'll check out Lufthansa's whole bike carriage policy, otherwise it's back to good old ferries!

Re: Vrienden op de Fiets

2 hours 3 min ago
Used them eight times, lovely ideas and very friendly people.
Two tips: they all want you to take off your cycling shoes before entering the house so the cleats don't damage their floor. And when you arrive do ask where you can eat locally, they don't do evening meals.
Some do not have email so you can print or a letter and post it in an envelope, this arrives quickly, then telephone a few days later. And do ring either on the evening before or in the morning to let them know a rough time that you will arrive, they have proper lives and don't want to wait in for you.
Netherlands is wonderful cycling, very civilised people, good food, cheap. Easy to get to and thoroughly recommended.

Re: Vrienden op de Fiets

2 hours 20 min ago
Yes, very varied experiences! So far I've been offered two out of the three places I need to stay, have booked hostels for two other places. I feel confident that I'll get somewhere for the missing link, I've planned only shortish distances so I've got leeway.

Re: Andalucia and Pico Veleta

4 hours 14 min ago
Try August. I cycled up on the 28th August last year, it was a challenge I'd set myself to accomplish having had a bi-lateral hip replacement 9 months before. 40degrees in Granada but a very pleasant 28degrees on the summit and just a light breeze. I used an enigma, titanium road bike with 24mm tyres. Yes beyond the ski station is rough but I managed, only having to walk the very final short section. The view , experience and sense of achievement is well worth it.

Bikes on Megabus Europe

12 October 2015 - 11:19pm
I'm heading south for the winter. The plan is to head to Barcelona from England, then get the ferry to northern Morocco where I'll do some cycling and some relaxing. Then maybe pedal further south.

Megabus offer the trip down to Barcelona from London for around £25 - £35, depending on when you book, with a luggage allowance of 20kg. They'll take a standard bike in the hold, so long as it's bagged. I thought I'd take 2 panniers and tent, with one of the panniers as hand luggage, so stay within their luggage weight limit.

However, (after some email communication) they said that they can't guarantee that the bike will be allowed on if there's insufficient space in the hold. So, I've bought two tickets, which means that I can now take 40kgs of luggage and the bike will be allowed in the hold.

I'm posting this in case there are other cyclists on the forum looking for alternative options to flying and who are travelling on a budget. The trip from London to Tangier Med comes in at around £110 which is think is pretty decent for overland travel to north Africa. I realise flying may well be cheaper, but I prefer not to.

Re: Vrienden op de Fiets

12 October 2015 - 10:24pm
It always amuses me the various different experiences people have with things like this. Our first cycling holiday was in Holland about 4 or 5 years ago, mainly to persuade Mrs Z that she might enjoy cycle touring. We used Vrienden exclusively, met some very interesting people (several had cycled all over the world), in a wide variety of accommodation (but always good), and never with more than 2 days notice, (except for our first night after coming off the ferry at Ijmouden, which we were able to book in advance), since we couldn't be sure enough of our daily mileage to be able to do otherwise. We were never turned down once! This was in May.

Re: Andalucia and Pico Veleta

12 October 2015 - 9:47pm
Thanks for the tips but since I had already planned this Veleta circuit more than I would have liked, I decided to go in completely the opposite direction from Malaga (to Morocco via Ronda and Aljeciras). Had a great time. Maybe Veleta another time.

Re: New Eurostar Bike Policy

12 October 2015 - 8:04pm
I have it from the horse's mouth that the reason for the change is the introduction of new Eurostar rolling stock that does not have the "freight" compartments [Eurostar despatch also handles lots of parcels and even pallets of stuff. (Amazingly they transport a pallet, yes a pallet, of contact lenses to France every Sunday ... so I'm told!!)]

A friend of mine has a business refurbishing trains* and he will be taking the existing Eurostar rolling stock on a steady basis from about the Spring of next year - refurbishing/modifying and then they are going to another train operator - the new Eurostar stuff will be phased in over, I think, about 8 or 9 months)

* he's currently rebuilding ex London tube carriages to be re-used by one of the rail companies in the N of England.

A sad day for Eurostar as the complete bike carriage service was fantastic - we've used to/from Paris & Brussels with no problems. The box dimensions rule out almost anything in the way of a normal bike (my 25" frame Galaxy would be waaay oversize) ... and even folders other than Bromptons would be an issue (my 20" Dahon is about 8mm inside the limit, and that's with a "nylon shower cap" type of cover on it.

Upside is the Eurotunnel's service from Folkestone to Calais is excellent and painless - wheel the bike up, they load it on a bespoke trailer, you sit in a mini-bus that tows the trailer to le Shuttle and through you go ... simples - and TGV trains from Calais, or the locals to Lille, work well with bikes nowadays.


Re: Agadir to Fes over Christmass

12 October 2015 - 7:18pm
Which route are you taking? North along the coast and then inland at Casablanca/Rabat, or via Marrakech?

If it's the former, prevailing winds in Winter tend to come from the north and the coastline north of Essaouira is a bit pedestrian. On the upside, it's fairly flat.

If going via Marrakech, it would be a shame not to go over the High Atlas via Taroudant. This is a beautiful route and would take you over the Tizi n Test pass (2,200 metres), assuming the weather conditions are favourable.

Regarding food, there are small shops in most places where at very least you'll get bread and Laughing Cow cheese. In towns you can buy whatever food you want.

I'm going to be in Morocco from early November, but don't know if I'll still be there at Christmas. Feel free to pm me your email address and I'll keep you informed.

New Eurostar Bike Policy

12 October 2015 - 5:30pm
http://road.cc/content/news/167680-euro ... omplicated

Not sure if this has been posted already, it will certainly make the train less convenient.

Re: A19 Doncaster to Thirsk - safe?

12 October 2015 - 4:15pm
I live near the A19 at Selby. I wouldn't cycle on it.

Agadir to Fes over Christmass

12 October 2015 - 12:48pm
Hi there. I'm new to this forum...hopefully this is the right place to discuss upcoming tours.

Has anybody done this ride? At 470 miles Im hoping it shouldn't take more than 10 days. Does anybody have any tips (I've read food can be a bit scarce in places). Thinking about bivying for most of the time.

Does anybody fancy joining me?


Re: Russia in January advice

12 October 2015 - 9:09am
molzor wrote:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cycling-Home-From-Siberia-Lilwall/dp/0340979860 read this!

it wont give you much in terms of advice, but its a gooden.

Beat me to it, but i was going to reference that book also.... great read.

Re: Russia in January advice

12 October 2015 - 8:56am
The first time I landed in Almaty the temperature was -25C. I stayed there for 4 weeks and the temperature was rarely above freezing during the day, and was generally between -10 and -20 at night. But that was an unusually cold spell. The second time I went there in midwinter, for a rather shorter visit, the conditions were not materially different from London.

But if you are proceeding on to China via the Ili valley you will at first travel into colder areas when you first enter China, you have to go over a low pass which is, I forget exactly what, something like 1250m, and the mountains around bring some cold too. Further east, at fairly similar latitudes, in Mongolia, -40 is nothing unusual.

Re: Buen Camino!

12 October 2015 - 4:27am
Fun to stumble on this Camino post; thanks John! We biked Pamplona to Santiago also, though in September, 2008, and had a wonderful time. I believe there were fewer on the trail then, since it was well before the two Camino movies were released (here in the US, anyway, though I imagine you might have seen them in the UK also). We moved back and forth between road and path depending on conditions. Here's a link to our trip report: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/ourcamino.

Re: A19 Doncaster to Thirsk - safe?

12 October 2015 - 12:12am
Great idea. Thanks very much.

Re: Russia in January advice

12 October 2015 - 12:01am
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cycling-Home-Fr ... 0340979860 read this!

it wont give you much in terms of advice, but its a gooden.

Re: Russia in January advice

11 October 2015 - 11:11pm
nirakaro wrote:Helen Lloyd (calls herself takeonafrica), who toured Siberia in winter a while back.
Bivvying out in -50, daytime cycling -40

Re: In an heavy raining day

11 October 2015 - 10:24pm
andrew_s wrote:mjr wrote:Does anyone make cycling-friendly shoes with rain channels or a quick way to dry them off?
Skin's waterproof, and the sandal itself dries fairly quickly.
Contrary to what you might think, they aren't particularly cold, but if you want extra warmth sealskin socks, or ordinary socks with waterproof oversocks, works well, and socks are a lot easier to dry than shoes.
I use the (old model) Exustar SS502 SPD sandals

Exactly my setup, Spd sandals are great, I have weathered 10 hours of heavy rain and still had dry comfortable feet. Neoprene over shoes extend for cold weather and your covered.

Re: Russia in January advice

11 October 2015 - 9:37pm
Thanks for the advice guys. Yes I have studded tyres. I'll look up those winter touring posts too


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