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  • Have you taken the train to Europe for a biking holiday?
  • Premier Icon CliveA
    Full Member

    Hi All.

    I’m working on an article about taking trains to European countries for biking holidays.

    I’m basing most of the article on a fantastic trip I took to Verbier a couple of years ago, via Eurostar to Paris.

    Have you done something similar? Cought a train to Spain/France/Italy/elsewhere for a decent bike holiday?

    Grateful for any tips, ideas or experiences.

    Thanks all,

    Clive

    Premier Icon Mackem
    Free Member

    Doug of Basquemtb did a little guide to using the train…

    Travel: Taking the Train to the Basque Country

    Premier Icon duncan
    Full Member

    I’ve done a few touring trips in France over the last few years with various combinations of trains (including Eurostar, TGV, and night trains) and ferries. Mostly done with the bikes as they are rather than bagged or boxed (riding between stations across Paris was ace fun). Some journeys booked in advance, some not. Plenty of experiences but too many to list… What tips I’d give would depend what kind of holiday was planned at the other end. I’d say the biggest decision to be made (once you’ve decided to take the train) is to bag or not to bag (or use one of those cover things). For touring I prefer the freedom of taking the bike as it is, but for a resort based mtb holiday bagging up would have more advantages.

    Premier Icon clubber
    Free Member

    Some of my mates went to Finale 24 in Italy by train. Seemed to go ok. Bike need to be bagged though so plan for that. Iirc they made some ultralight ‘bags’ to meet the requirement.

    Premier Icon doug_basqueMTB.com
    Full Member

    Cheers Mackem, I wrote that after taking the train to/from North of Scotland to the Basque Country. It´s the only way to travel, but I´m not a good flyer… like BA. Just bag the bike but you don´t really need to pad it or anything. I took over 60kg back with me, you just need to be able to lift it and manage a few steps. In Paris random people helped me on the Metro and up every set of steps, it was incredible.

    Clive A, if you´re interested I can put various people who visited me by train in touch with you? Mail me if you want because I don´t check the forum as often as I´d like.

    Hope that makes sense, I¨ve had a few pintxo´s and tintos.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Full Member

    As Clubber says we took the sleeper from Paris to Milan to do the 24h Finale last year. Actually we didn’t sleep very much, it was noisy and very very warm. We’re doing it again this year though, so it can’t have been too bad.

    Bike bags, or housses, are compulsory on Italian trains (and I think they save you paying extra on the Eurostar). Instructions for making one here:

    http://www.mayq.com/Best_european_trips/Housse.htm

    Premier Icon CliveA
    Full Member

    Thanks for ideas, everyone. You’ve given me some useful info there, and some directions for a bit more research,

    Ta.

    Clive

    Premier Icon mrcamel
    Free Member

    if you havent already come across it try “seat61.com” as well. Used that site a lot for trips in Europe mostly.

    Premier Icon stevomcd
    Full Member

    We had some guys last summer who got their bikes booked-in so that they could take them fully-assembled all the way from London to Bourg Saint Maurice. They even rode across Paris to do the transfer!

    Took a bit of talking with the French railways to get it all sorted and it costs a little bit to do it that way (taking the bike bagged is free) but a cool way to travel all the same.

    Premier Icon nasher
    Free Member

    I wpould love to travel from San Remo to london by train instead of taking the plane…. BUT

    WHY WHY WHY do you have to tavel across Paris… on the metro etc.. It just makes an otherwise great journy a right PITA

    Premier Icon stevomcd
    Full Member

    WHY WHY WHY do you have to tavel across Paris… on the metro etc.. It just makes an otherwise great journy a right PITA

    Definitely!

    The direct snowtrain from London to Bourg in the winter is cool though, and shows how great the summer journey could be. Probably not enough demand though.

    Premier Icon CliveA
    Full Member

    Hi everyone.

    Thanks again for your help with this. I wrote the article and it was published in CTC Cycle magazine.

    There’s a link to it here:
    http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=5482#AM

    Cheers,

    Clive

    Premier Icon freeridenick
    Free Member

    If you go to Lille its just a platform change and then on to Bourg. Not sure if possible in summer though?

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