Woodtourer's next Euro Tour

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Woodtourer
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Woodtourer's next Euro Tour

Postby Woodtourer » 15 Feb 2020, 2:45pm

So we arrive at Heathrow at the beginning of May and I just booked our bus to Portsmouth!
Also booked our ferry to Cherbourg.
The excitement is building!!!

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horizon
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Re: National Express booked!!!

Postby horizon » 15 Feb 2020, 4:53pm

And the bike?
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

Woodtourer
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Re: National Express booked!!!

Postby Woodtourer » 15 Feb 2020, 7:27pm

Paid for extra baggage. This worked last time 2 years ago.
The hardest part was the trek through the airport to the bus area! Fortunately we will have plenty of time.

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matt2matt2002
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Re: National Express booked!!!

Postby matt2matt2002 » 15 Feb 2020, 8:15pm

How does the bike travel? Wrapped/ box/ broken down or in one piece?
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Woodtourer
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Re: National Express booked!!!

Postby Woodtourer » 15 Feb 2020, 10:12pm

Last time we bagged them and it worked well. But this time we will box them as we are returning to Portsmouth and we have an Airbnb that we stayed at before storing the boxes.

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Neil Wheadon
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Re: National Express booked!!!

Postby Neil Wheadon » 16 Feb 2020, 1:05am

Just be careful.
The rules were changed so that bikes are at the drivers discretion. In other words they can be refused.
I was on a bus to Heathrow last year and a student with a bike started to argue with the driver about his bike. He raised his voice and started to swear. The driver was quite within his rights and called his manager to effectively block travel. Whilst on the phone, I intervened and told the student to calm down, apologize to the driver and ask politely and that worked.
I'm not sure how many bikes you are trying to get on the bus, but forewarned is forearmed, note the phrasing in the terms and conditions.

(b) Excess or Outsized Luggage: We shall have no obligation to carry Luggage in excess of the permitted amount or size or which doesn’t fit into a standard luggage shape (including for example only, sports equipment such as surfboards, skis and fold-up bikes, tents and musical instruments) but we may, at our entire discretion, agree to carry additional pieces of hold Luggage, or ‘outsized’ items, subject always to space being available and on payment of a charge for each extra or ‘outsized’ piece.

I hope you get on, but with a ferry in place, be polite or have a plan B
Neil
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Woodtourer
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Re: National Express booked!!!

Postby Woodtourer » 16 Feb 2020, 1:45am

Suggestion for a Plan B?

mnichols
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Re: National Express booked!!!

Postby mnichols » 16 Feb 2020, 8:26am

I have looked into and decided on not using National Express for getting to an airport because they won't guarantee taking a bike or bike box

I might take a chance if I wasn't flying but if the driver says no that's the end of the trip before it even started

I spoke to National Express and they said the driver will take it if there is room

So bikes are the lowest priority. They will put everyone else's cases on the bus and if there is room they will take the bike

I decided I couldn't take the risk as if I couldn't get on the bus then I would miss the plane and that was the end of the holiday

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mjr
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Re: National Express booked!!!

Postby mjr » 16 Feb 2020, 9:51am

Woodtourer wrote:Suggestion for a Plan B?

Plan B is probably wait for next bus if there's time.

Plan C (for contingency) for me would be build the bikes, free-but-ticketed shuttle train to T5 if needed, ride 15mins around southern perimeter road, Oaks Road and Town Lane to Ashford rail station, train to Woking, train to Portsmouth. Bikes need neither tickets nor booking on those trains, but some peak trains do not accept them. See https://www.southwesternrailway.com/tra ... ith-a-bike

Plan E (for emergency) is take a minibus (MPV) taxi. Portsmouth is a cruise port so there's plenty like http://www.expressairporttransport.co.u ... ow-Airport online and £108 compares well to the £72 rail fare for 2 people and it cuts out building the bike and riding, but I expect most are more expensive at short notice.

Edited to change train station used after checking maps and Street views
Last edited by mjr on 20 Feb 2020, 3:14pm, edited 1 time in total.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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mercalia
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Re: National Express booked!!!

Postby mercalia » 16 Feb 2020, 11:20am

hmm some thing I have never done. it goes in the big locker at the side of the bus near the bottom?

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Neil Wheadon
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Re: National Express booked!!!

Postby Neil Wheadon » 16 Feb 2020, 11:24am

it goes in the big locker at the side of the bus near the bottom?

Yes

I can't see how to work the quote :D
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simonhill
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Re: National Express booked!!!

Postby simonhill » 16 Feb 2020, 12:09pm

mjr, are you sure you can take a (built) bike on the tube at Heathrow? I thought they are classed as deep stations.

Some years ago, I was denied access when my bike was pedals off handlebars turned, but not wrapped apart from a little bit of bubblewrap here and there.

Ludicrously, another time they let me take a boxed bike (no restrictions) from Heathrow right across London in the morning rush period.

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mjr
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Re: National Express booked!!!

Postby mjr » 16 Feb 2020, 4:59pm

simonhill wrote:mjr, are you sure you can take a (built) bike on the tube at Heathrow? I thought they are classed as deep stations.

Not the tube. The train. See https://www.heathrow.com/at-the-airport ... -terminals for instructions, including using the machines to get a free inter-terminal ticket. Thank you for reminding me to make that clear. See also https://www.heathrow.com/transport-and- ... by-bicycle

You could take a bike boxed on the tube and build it at T4 but that seems more annoying as luggage trollies aren't allowed on the tube.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

reohn2
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Re: National Express booked!!!

Postby reohn2 » 16 Feb 2020, 5:33pm

If all else fails a £20 note can work wonders :wink:
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mercalia
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Re: National Express booked!!!

Postby mercalia » 16 Feb 2020, 5:57pm

Neil Wheadon wrote:it goes in the big locker at the side of the bus near the bottom?

Yes

I can't see how to work the quote :D



where they throw all the suitcases :?