New Trike cyclist is looking for information about triking in the UK

Mara_HH

New Member
Location
Hamburg
Hi there,

I just came across this chat and maybe someone could help me. I am looking for information about triking in the UK (Experience, information, recommendation about trips/routes. Does someone has used the ferries with a trike - experience, what about taking a trike on the train - with a normal bike, I know it is possible, but with a trike?

I have got a Njunis myself :angry: and just started to ride mine in Germany, but plan to do a trip to the UK.

I lived for 4 years in the UK and would like to get back for some time, especially in summer and exploring this time southerly areas of England maybe up to the Midlands. Any ideas for good tours or areas not suitable for trikes?

Thanks in advance
- a fellow triker -
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
Welcome! Or Wilkommen...

Ferries - no problem. I've travelled to and from France a few times with a trike - you check in, you generally get sent to the front of the queue and you ride on with (or ahead of) the cars. You'll need to secure the trike to a wall rail, to stop it moving about during the voyage. Crew may do this for you - supervise if you want to be sure they do it well and don't damage the trike - or give you a rope to do it yourself.

Once here, triking is good. British drivers are not used to recumbents and generally give you far more space than they do an ordinary cyclist. You'll probably get a fair bit of attention - kids will usually shout 'cool bike!' and so on. You get the odd idiot, but by and large you get more respect - I think some people assume you're disabled and terribly brave.

One thing though - cycle routes are often barred by narrow gates designed to let a cyclist through and little more. Be prepared to find your way blocked from time to time if you choose an off road route. You may have to lift or tilt your trike to get through. I stick to the roads when I can. Avoid A roads when you can, they are the busiest. B roads can be ok, but the C and other roads are best (on an Ordnance Survey map, they are yellow or white)

Trains - I think 'forget it' is about the best I can offer, I'm afraid. I've never actually tried on the other hand, but most train companies rules are worded so that they can turn down anything that isn't a bike. You may get lucky, but I would be wary of relying on anything without explicit confirmation. Others may be able to offer you more constructive advice on this.

With regard to routes there are National Cycle Network routes (NCN) which follow off road or quiet road routes - get hold of a Sustrans map to see them. Otherwise, OS Landranger maps (mentioned above) are a good scale for cyclists. The southern half of England has all sorts of landscapes, hilly, flat, whatever you fancy.

http://www.sustrans.org.uk/resources/publications/free-cycle-maps
 
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Mara_HH

New Member
Location
Hamburg
Hi,

thanks for the quick reply. With the trike, you could have the same problem here in Germany. Thats the reason why I have choosen a "foldable" trike. The backwheel bends nicely towards the 2 front wheels and if you cover it up - maybe it would be seen as an "oversized traveling pack" :ohmy:. I haven't tried it in Germany yet, but I know that other cyclists have used that approach for taking the bike onto the Intercity Express (normal bikes just wraped into a type of bag or something similar - I have read this in a cycle forum.

Mara
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
I do know of people getting stuff on trains folded up - just cover it well, so that it doesn't look bikey at all.
 

Auntie Helen

Ich bin Powerfrau!
I disagree with some of the previous posters about trikes on trains here. I've taken mine regularly on a service from London to Norwich (which has a huge guard's van) and also on some other more local trains. It helps to look confident and as if you know you're allowed to take the trike on.

And my experiences of trikes on trains in Germany has been fine - I've always been allowed on and only once had to disassemble the trike (take the seat off so it could lay on its side). And I've done a lot of travelling by train with trike in Germany.

Mara, my main comment would be that you won't find any particularly good cycle paths and so will need to make your own routes via roads. There are some national cycle network routes (NCN) but they are extremely variable - some are good, some not. There's one near here where I live (not too far from Harwich) which is very good but most of the rest locally aren't worth using.
 

CopperBrompton

Bicycle: a means of transport between cake-stops
Location
London
I second Helen's comments on trains. There are some where it's a tight fit, and you'll get the occasional jobsworth, but I've taken my trike on loads of trains.

The fact that many people wonder whether a trike is some kind of disabled vehicle comes in handy and makes rail workers less likely to challenge you for fear of embarrassment.
 
I'm +2,000 miles into a camping trip from home around scotland and I'm still traveling back towards home in Northampton.

I've travelled on ~16 ferries between the isles in Scotland and the trike+trailer has traveled free on every one.

I second the fact that the trike is so different that most cars will give you more room.
On Scotish single track roads, I was having a lot more joy with car drivers pulling into passing places and waiting for me to pass than riders of upwrongs where.

Luck ........... ;)
 

trickletreat

Veteran
Location
solihull
Tigerbiten said:
I'm +2,000 miles into a camping trip from home around scotland and I'm still traveling back towards home in Northampton.

I've travelled on ~16 ferries between the isles in Scotland and the trike+trailer has traveled free on every one.

I second the fact that the trike is so different that most cars will give you more room.
On Scotish single track roads, I was having a lot more joy with car drivers pulling into passing places and waiting for me to pass than riders of upwrongs where.

Luck ........... ;)
Nice one chap, we were thinking about you and where you were. Look forward to some pics/stories
Nigel
 

Fiona N

Veteran
I'll also second Helen's and Catrike's comments about trains - I've taken my Windcheetah on many and it's only been a problem in a few cases: in Scotland it seems that many trains are small and the single bike space is dual-use with disabled/wheelchair users being given priority, so worth bearing in mind if you're travelling north. There are also a few cross country train services (e.g. Lancaster-Leeds) where the trains have an old-fashioned seating arrangement which means narrow aisles and limited luggage space and a trike may not fit, although if you can fold it and disguise it, you may not have problems but my Windcheetah is too long to be stowed anywhere, including upright. There are usually alternatives on more modern trains in this case.

Otherwise I find triking here at least as good as other countries where I've toured with it - Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, US - because of the novelty factor.

On the Hispeed ferry from Dover to Calais, at the time of the foot and mouth outbreak (livestock disease) a few years ago, there was a disinfectant trough for the cars to drive through on exiting the ferry but the French official realised my trike was too low and waved me around the side whereupon a man came and washed the trike wheels by hand - what service :sad: But it's pretty typical of people's more considerate reaction to trikes and trike riders.


Happy riding xx(


[blush] That should have been Ben L's comments not Catrike's who hadn't posted at this point in time. It was confusion caused by the similarity of silhouetted trike avatars [/blush]
 
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Mara_HH

New Member
Location
Hamburg
Thanks for all your replies. I am not sure when to go, but at least I know what to expect.

Maybee seeing you one day

Mara
 
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