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to the Loire Valley

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by pinkkaz, 23 Jun 2008.

  1. pinkkaz

    pinkkaz Senior Member

    Location:
    London
    Hi everyone, my husband and I are taking our bikes abroad for the first time and we're high-speed train-ing down to the Loire Valley. It's not a tour as such (we're staying at one campsite and taking our bikes out on day trips), although if I'd started reading this forum before organising everything I think we would be touring!

    Anyway, having never taking our bikes on the train before this is the only thing we are worried about so I just wanted to check how easy it was. Here's the plan...

    -Cycle to St. Pancras
    -Dismantle bikes (never done before:blush: so must do a trial run) and wrap in CTC plastic bike bags
    -Board the train with no problems checking in(!)
    -Put bikes back together at Gare de Nord, cycle to other train station and dismantle bikes again for tgv (or do you think we should just take our bikes on the Metro in their dismantled state - how easy is it to carry a bike which is in a bike bag?)
    -Alight Tours station and cycle to camp site

    Thanks for helping! I may have more questions.

    I really want to do a proper bike tour now I've been reading crazyguyonabike etc etc...
     
  2. yello

    yello Guru

    Personally, for the Gare du Nord to Montparnasse (I'm assuming it's Montparnasse for Tours, or is it Austerlitz??) leg, I'd go by metro. It's the one line (4) and around a 20 minute journey, add another 20 for getting to/from platforms and waiting etc. It really isn't worth the pfaffing around with assembling/disassembling bikes for that journey. Besides, do you really want to cycle across Paris?!
     
  3. redfox

    redfox New Member

    Location:
    Bourne End, UK
    Sounds like a good trip and touring is whatever you want it to be. It doesn't have to involve long distances, if you are carrying your own stuff by bike then you will be touring.

    I think you might be pleasantly surprised regarding taking your bikes on a train in France, I have never had to dismantle one to go on a train (never tried taking a bike on the TGV though). Many trains will feature cycle racks to transport your bike safely.
     
  4. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    What Yello said!

    I have in the past got 2 bikes in bags in the back of a taxi (just an estate) to get to Bologna airport from the campsite witout a problem. It also saved me from driving on main roads and consequent lorries etc and also dismantling the bike in inconvenient places.
    Bikes can be heavy to lug more than a short distance especially if your not strong in the upper body and bear in mind that you will also be carrying luggage.
     
  5. pinkkaz

    pinkkaz Senior Member

    Location:
    London
    Yes, it's Montparnasse. Hmm if it's just one line I think I might do the Metro - maybe I'll see how our trial dismantling goes and base it on that. Although the other thing is, we'll have a couple of hours between trains and we could use that time to get some lunch!

    redfox, the second leg is on a tgv train - I phoned them up and they don't have any space for bikes. I think if we were using local trains it would be ok - something to remember for next time!
     
  6. pinkkaz

    pinkkaz Senior Member

    Location:
    London
    Thanks rich! We're planning on travelling extremely light (one set of panniers on my bike and a rucksack each) but we might get a taxi across Paris if it all gets a bit too much.
     
  7. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    What are you going to do about the tgv?
     
  8. pinkkaz

    pinkkaz Senior Member

    Location:
    London
    Oh, I meant that we can't take our bikes on fully set up. It's fine in the bike bag (I hope!)
     
  9. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant