Getting bikes back from Paris

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purrrks
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Getting bikes back from Paris

Postby purrrks » 19 Feb 2018, 2:59pm

Hi

I'm trying to organise a charity London to Paris cycle this spring... There will likely be 10-20 riders and we have been put off going with a company that organises such events due to the high minimum sponsorship requirements. One thing I am struggling to organise is getting the bikes back from Paris; we would be coming back on the Eurostar but it seems there are only a few bikes allowed on each train and I think some of those have to be in bike boxes which would not work for us..

Has anyone managed to overcome this issue before?

Thanks!

Bradley

bohrsatom
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Re: Getting bikes back from Paris

Postby bohrsatom » 19 Feb 2018, 7:47pm

Talk to Eurostar, there are definitely limits on the number of bikes per train, but they might be able to carry them for you across a few different services

tatanab
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Re: Getting bikes back from Paris

Postby tatanab » 19 Feb 2018, 8:21pm

Not entirely silly - how about riding back? Many people go one way, but to claim kudos and extra sponsorship why not ride both ways?

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Getting bikes back from Paris

Postby Cyril Haearn » 19 Feb 2018, 8:29pm

Or ride to Amiens and back, the home town of Emanuel Macron
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robgul
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Re: Getting bikes back from Paris

Postby robgul » 19 Feb 2018, 8:49pm

Paris - Calais by SNCF TGV (most take about 6 bikes) - then ride to the ferry or the Eurotunnel Bike Service (the latter is best value and if you speak to them their contractor can take up to 20 people + bikes and fare is less than the ferry) - then train to London from Dover - minimal bike issues outside rush hours.

That said if you have the time to let Eurostar take a few unboxed bikes on each train during the day then that's the simplest.

Rob

GideonReade
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Re: Getting bikes back from Paris

Postby GideonReade » 21 Feb 2018, 1:02am

We (just a couple) cycled the Route Verte, London-Paris a in spring 2015. We took the ordinary SNCF train back from Paris to Dieppe, then the ferry to Newhaven.

We didn't prebook the trains (there was one change). I can't fully remember all the details, one train had about two hanging spaces every 2nd carriage. So it'd struggle with 10 riders, I'd guess, or tandems or trikes. Staff were helpful, even with my almost nonexistent French.

On another trip, in UK, to get back from Inverness to Worthing, we hired a van (Trafic size, 3 seats), on an open jaw rental from Enterprise. It was cheaper than any UK train for three, and avoided changing in London. Perhaps you could do that, I guess that size van takes maybe a dozen bikes, some padding appreciated.

GideonReade
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Re: Getting bikes back from Paris

Postby GideonReade » 21 Feb 2018, 1:04am

I should add that the Newhaven - Dieppe ferry also has bike limits, depending on which vessel.

captain offensive
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Re: Getting bikes back from Paris

Postby captain offensive » 21 Feb 2018, 6:41am

Anything involving that many bikes would require them being carried over several trains.



Maybe one person can hire a van in Paris that you can take to calais and drop the van there. Then put them on a ferry, and hire another van in dover?



Should be easy enough to find van hire that will allow different collection and drop off points

simonhill
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Re: Getting bikes back from Paris

Postby simonhill » 21 Feb 2018, 8:00am

I would consider getting (hiring) a van to take all bikes. This will make it much easier for your (possibly) tired riders. Far less hassle than some on this train, others on that train, etc, etc.

Do you have someone who is not riding willing to drive hire van?
Could the charity help with driver?
You could try The Lions or Rotary. These organisations often help out on charity events.

Paying for van, fuel, ferry and overnight in Paris for driver wouldn't be much between 20 people. You can then all sit together on the same train, have a beer and celebrate.

Richard Fairhurst
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Re: Getting bikes back from Paris

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 21 Feb 2018, 2:18pm

Not tried it, but in theory: Transilien commuter train from St Lazare to Gisors; change for the reopened line to Serqueux, near Forges-les-Eaux (two morning trains, two evening trains); and from there, cycle back along the 32-mile railway path to Dieppe, and get the ferry to Newhaven. Local trains are much more forgiving than TGVs for bike carriage.
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mjr
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Re: Getting bikes back from Paris

Postby mjr » 21 Feb 2018, 5:22pm

https://www.seat61.com/bike-by-train.ht ... 20Eurostar spells out the main options.

[Edit]Of the train-ferry options,[/Edit]
Intercité to Boulogne then TER to Calais looks fastest, €10 for the bike on the IC, but I'm not sure how many spaces. To do it all by TER local trains (no bike booking), the fastest route looks like change maybe at Creil and definitely Amiens and Lille, but it's still 2h slower than via Boulogne.

Depending on how long you're wanting to spend in Paris, the Le Havre-Portsmouth overnight might be interesting if it's operating on the right date.
Last edited by mjr on 22 Feb 2018, 12:10pm, edited 1 time in total.
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simonhill
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Re: Getting bikes back from Paris

Postby simonhill » 22 Feb 2018, 12:04pm

Now you've had a few suggestions, why not put it to the riders.

They may fancy the challenge of wrestling with SNCF, or maybe prefer a simpler solution.

Let the people speak.

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mjr
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Re: Getting bikes back from Paris

Postby mjr » 22 Feb 2018, 12:11pm

simonhill wrote:They may fancy the challenge of wrestling with SNCF, or maybe prefer a simpler solution.

Just put the bikes on the trains. Don't wrestle with the trains. That probably won't end well!
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purrrks
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Re: Getting bikes back from Paris

Postby purrrks » 26 Feb 2018, 8:10pm

Hi All

Thank you very much for your responses, very helpful. I have spoken to Eurostar and it sounds fairly straightforward, just ring up, book a bike space and drop it off at the train station in Paris before departure; the bikes go on the next available train so may take a couple of days to get back to Kings X if there are quite a few cyclists together, but apparently no limit on the amount you can book. £30 so not super cheap but pretty convenient so we'll probs go for that

GideonReade thanks for the tip on the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry, we are planning to go that way so will check that out too.

Thanks!

simonhill
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Re: Getting bikes back from Paris

Postby simonhill » 27 Feb 2018, 12:53am

Do they need to be boxed or anything?

A big pile of 20 bikes sitting in their baggage hall doesn't sound very appealing if you value your paintwork.