Empty bike bag transfer in france..!!

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greenskies
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Empty bike bag transfer in france..!!

Postby greenskies » 23 Jan 2017, 5:17pm

Hi,

I'm planning on doing the Raid Pyreenean this July. Starting on the Atlantic coast and finishing by the Med.

I will be flying into Bairritz with my bike in an Evoc bike bag. So i need to transfer an empty bike bag from Bairritz/Hendaye to Perpignan/Cerbere
where i will be finishing my ride.

Has anyone done this before? I have started looking into it and seems lots of companies won't do it. DHL for example, only allow baggage from UK to France which is no good for me. Maybe the French post office will do it but don't know how to go about that.

Any advice welcome

Thanks

Chris

simonhill
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Re: Empty bike bag transfer in france..!!

Postby simonhill » 23 Jan 2017, 6:24pm

Presumably their post Office works much as ours. Pack it up and post it. You'll need an end address, but they may do poste restante.

I note that there are lots of companies that run these tours. Another option would be to contact them for advice.

Finally, I'm sure courier companies would do it, but presumably you have to sort it out in France.

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foxyrider
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Re: Empty bike bag transfer in france..!!

Postby foxyrider » 23 Jan 2017, 6:38pm

Leave it at the airport? Presuming of course you are using the same one for both directions.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

greenskies
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Re: Empty bike bag transfer in france..!!

Postby greenskies » 23 Jan 2017, 11:37pm

Wish i could, but Flying into Bairritz then riding over the Pyreenees to Perpignan so need the bag to be sent to my final destination.

whoof
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Re: Empty bike bag transfer in france..!!

Postby whoof » 24 Jan 2017, 9:24am

There are two bike shops within a couple of hundred metres from Perpignan airport; Lana on Rue Charles Cros and Bike Break on Rue Aristide Berge. You could contact them and see if they would have a cardboard bike box for your return journey.

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Goosey
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Re: Empty bike bag transfer in france..!!

Postby Goosey » 25 Jan 2017, 12:39pm

Surely you'd be better off taking the bike in a box, dumping it at Biarritz, then getting another box in Perpignan?

Davidwd
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Re: Empty bike bag transfer in france..!!

Postby Davidwd » 25 Jan 2017, 3:31pm

or use a ctc bike bag and carry it with you?

greenskies
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Re: Empty bike bag transfer in france..!!

Postby greenskies » 26 Jan 2017, 7:06pm

Thanks for all the replies.I am reluctant to take cardboard box or plastic bag as I've heard of some horror stories. Last thing I want is to arrive at Bairritz and bike is damaged and trip is over before its started! Ive used the evoc bike bags before and think atleast with a good bike bag there is more of a chance that your bike will be protected.

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bigjim
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Re: Empty bike bag transfer in france..!!

Postby bigjim » 26 Jan 2017, 7:25pm

Biarritz is where my bike was refused in the CTC bag. I usually box the bike on the way out. It is better protected IMO with loads of bubblewrap in the box. I've never had a bike damaged in a cardboard bike box and they are always accepted. Dump the box on arrival. I think the CTC bag is quite heavy to drag around on tour. It's about 1kg I think. I bring a £5 bag I buy on ebay. It's covered with pictures of bikes and it is always accepted. Weighs 300g. Crap protection, but I tape cardboard around the frame. The bag is usually torn somewhere on arrival back in Manchester, so I usually throw it. Though one did survive a few journeys.
Last edited by bigjim on 27 Jan 2017, 11:08am, edited 1 time in total.

simonhill
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Re: Empty bike bag transfer in france..!!

Postby simonhill » 27 Jan 2017, 10:26am

Horror stories.

Percentage wise far more bikes arrive completely undamaged than damaged. The very nature of people is to relate their horror stories rather than their trouble free trips.

OK it was Asia, but my last trip was long haul via Dubai. Then budget airline internal. Then budget international connecting to budget internal. Then budget internal due to train track flooding. Then long haul to UK via Dubai. All cardboard bike box. Bike completely undamaged.

I didn't post about this so the 7 legs of 'no damage' went unreported.

whoof
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Re: Empty bike bag transfer in france..!!

Postby whoof » 27 Jan 2017, 2:01pm

On a similar vein to the above post for the past 14 years every summer myself and Mrs Whoof have been putting our bikes into cardboard boxes and flying to Europe. For the return journey we wrap them in a tarpaulin or plastic sheeting, last year it was the stuff decorator use to cover the carpet and cost 4 euros. The only damage we have ever had have been a brake lever knocked a bit our of skew and an bar end plug that had come out. Before airlines stated they had to be bagged or boxed I used to just put pipe lagging on the tubes and bungie/tape the wheels either side of the bike (plus bars turned, pedals off). Again many flights no issues.

However you pack your bag there is always the possibility when flying that your hold luggage won't turn up for a couple of days. An alternative could be the Bike Express.
http://www.bike-express.co.uk/

ANTONISH
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Re: Empty bike bag transfer in france..!!

Postby ANTONISH » 28 Jan 2017, 9:37am

I've done this trip three times.
Once I travelled both ways by Bike Express. Out to Bayonne and return from Perpignan. If you don't mind a night on a coach this is probably the simplest way. You can just book a return journey so you could fly to Biarritz with your bike in a box and dump the box ( in a recycling bin ).
You could get a train back from Perpignan - I think there is some limited space on the TGV - the last time I used the overnight train which had a dedicated bike section but I think this has been discontinued - I'm not sure what options are available now - my preferred method is to use trains within France and then ferry to UK.
I have also on occasion used a home made bike bag. It's quite small and light so in the grand scheme of things the extra weight isn't excessive.
( I am assuming you are doing this ride unsupported and carrying baggage? ). You would need to dismantle the bike somewhat to use it.
When you get to Perpignan you would need to purchase some padding material - I use pipe lagging and bubblewrap.
This method has enabled me to use a TGV without having to get a bike space.
If you intend to fly back the bag could have somewhat larger dimensions - which would require less dismantling.
I used a standard bike bag when I flew to Austria in September. I was doing the Danube cycle path which is pretty well flat all the way so I wasn't bothered about the extra 3kg.
July is probably a good month to do this ride - I've found passes closed in June.

greenskies
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Re: Empty bike bag transfer in france..!!

Postby greenskies » 28 Jan 2017, 2:05pm

My flight back from Perpignan has already been booked. I'm flying with ryanair which i'm not too happy about (as they don't have the best reputation with treatment of bikes, but didn't have any alternative for the date i wanted. Also, part of the problem is that i finish the ride late in the day then have a very early flight the next morning, so may not have time to go to a bike shop to pick up cardboad box!!

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bigjim
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Re: Empty bike bag transfer in france..!!

Postby bigjim » 28 Jan 2017, 5:44pm

Ryanair have nothing to do with the treatment of your bike. It's Airport staff that handle your bike. The same staff deal with all airlines. I've always found Ryanair service very good when checking a bike in. It's their carriage charge for the bike that bugs me.

ANTONISH
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Re: Empty bike bag transfer in france..!!

Postby ANTONISH » 29 Jan 2017, 10:07am

greenskies wrote:My flight back from Perpignan has already been booked. I'm flying with ryanair which i'm not too happy about (as they don't have the best reputation with treatment of bikes, but didn't have any alternative for the date i wanted. Also, part of the problem is that i finish the ride late in the day then have a very early flight the next morning, so may not have time to go to a bike shop to pick up cardboad box!!

Well I think the answer is to do as I have already suggested and make or obtain a lightweight bag that you can carry on your bike. There are some fairly minimal types available and you would need to sort out some padding in pretty short order.
BTW the local train service from Cerbere allowed carriage of bikes about three years ago so I assume that is still so. You would be able to get to Perpignan fairly quickly. There are a number of "bricolage" outlets or even supermarkets where you could obtain bubble wrap etc.
As Bigjim says it's the airport luggage handlers that are responsible for the ultimate fate of your bike.
I did notice in Vienna in September that there was some sort of baggage wrapping service going on. I'm not a fan of flying so I'm not sure if anything like that is the norm.