Transporting bikes from Amsterdam to Dublin

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by ItFellOnDeafEars, 19 Feb 2018.

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  1. ItFellOnDeafEars

    ItFellOnDeafEars Regular

    Location:
    Ireland
    Hi,

    My wife & I are going touring with our aluminium road bikes with panniers from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam, Netherlands where we will then stay with our friends in an Airbnb house for the weekend.

    Our plan is to get bike boxes free from our local bike shop & bring the bikes on the plane with us over to Basel. It's €60 each to book a bike as oversized luggage.

    As for returning to Dublin, an option to us is to cycle to Amsterdam airport and pay €23 each for the bike box available at the airport plus another €60 each again to bring them back with us on the plane. That's a total of €166 for 2 bikes on one flight which is a bit steep so we're going to explore cheaper options of transport.

    I understand that the house we are staying in is located in Noorderweg, Wijdewormer which seems from Google Streeview to be a remote place and a good distance away from the city centre. Ideally I'd love to be able to arrange for a courier company to collect our bikes from the house the day or two before we are due to fly out but I do not know where we can get appropriate packaging given the location. I did think of going to a local bike shop for free bike boxes but Google map tells me the nearest one is in the city which makes bringing them back to the house on public transport awkward.

    Does anyone have any ideas or should we just grin & bear it and cycle to Amsterdam airport?
     
  2. mjr

    mjr Wanting to Keep My EU Citizenship

    You've got bikes with pannier racks that surely could carry empty boxes with some cam-buckle straps, maybe with one loosely around the rider to keep it near-upright.

    Well, it's an idea.
     
  3. mjr

    mjr Wanting to Keep My EU Citizenship

    Another idea, if you have the time: Amsterdam-Hook ride, overnight boat, train to London Liverpool Street, ride to Euston, train to Holyhead, ferry. Probably only need to book bikes on the train out of Euston.

    Even with the discount ferry+rail tickets, it's probably more expensive than flying, such is the freakonomics these days.
     
  4. Dave Davenport

    Dave Davenport Guru

    Location:
    Hampshire
    Depending on the airline you might not need boxes.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    ItFellOnDeafEars

    ItFellOnDeafEars Regular

    Location:
    Ireland
    I did stumble across the idea of putting them in CTC plastic bag after creating this thread... I dunno, wouldn't the bike be very vulnerable to mishandling that way?!

    But the way things are looking, it does seem that it is our cheapest/most convenient option.
     
  6. Dave Davenport

    Dave Davenport Guru

    Location:
    Hampshire
    We've always used plastic bags and never had a problem (so far!). It's six of one and half a dozen of the other, if it looks like a bike it's less likely to be mishandled but is less protected if it is, if it looks like a box it's more likely to get thrown around but is protected more, you take your choice.
    It's less of a worry on a return flight 'cos if it does get badly damaged it's not going to ruin your trip and you can claim of the airline, so an option would be lot's of box/cardboard protection on the way out and bags back. The CTC bags are fairly heavy/bulky (and not cheap), we've used 'bike covers' from the pound shop before (much lighter and I seem to recall they were only a quid).
     
    ItFellOnDeafEars likes this.
  7. Dave Davenport

    Dave Davenport Guru

    Location:
    Hampshire
    What airline?
     
  8. DP

    DP Chasse patate

    Location:
    Netherlands
    There seems to be a fair few bike shops in Zaandam.
     
    ItFellOnDeafEars likes this.
  9. OP
    OP
    ItFellOnDeafEars

    ItFellOnDeafEars Regular

    Location:
    Ireland
    Thanks for your post about the plastic bags from pound shop, I know exactly the ones you're talking about. Might just consider doing that as they would fold much more easier than the CTC bags and of course it helps that you have suggested them from your own experience of using them to transport on flights.

    We are flying back with Ryanair.
     
  10. Brains

    Brains Guru

    Location:
    Greenwich
    Correction:
    Depending on the "airport" ......

    We found Gatwick to Shannon = No box needed.
    Shannon to Gatwick = Box compulsory
    It is the ground baggage company that makes the rules, not the airline

    Back to the OP.
    For simplicity I'd cycle to the airport, box your bike (for your protection) and fly home.
    Otherwise the more interesting (if slower and probably more expensive) is to do the Hook/Harwich ferry and then the train
     
    classic33 likes this.
  11. Dave Davenport

    Dave Davenport Guru

    Location:
    Hampshire
    Not sure on your specific experience but all the airlines I've ever used have specific rules re. bikes regardless of which airport. If it was down to the airport each airline wouldn't be able to set it's own baggage rules, which they all do.
     
  12. Whenever I ship my bike I use bags which I have made of spinnaker cloth. It is very thin. I have never had any mishaps.

    The airlines often specify a "Bike Bag". But they never specify what a bike bag is. I have never had a problem/
     
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