Woodtourer's next Euro Tour

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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mjr
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Re: Taxi recommendation??

Postby mjr » 20 Feb 2020, 4:37pm

Woodtourer wrote:Is Addison Lee the company name?
Thanks!

I'm sorry to say that I think someone is trying to play another joke on you. Addison Lee are notoriously awful about cycling. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-17792851 https://road.cc/content/news/56999-addi ... ist-deaths https://lcc.org.uk/tags/1238
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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hamster
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Re: Taxi recommendation??

Postby hamster » 20 Feb 2020, 5:09pm

mjr wrote:
hamster wrote:I agree, too many tales of gloom and doom about National Express. I use them regularly and find them faultless with drivers very helpful. Note that the doomsayers have never had a problem personally.

Be fair! One of what you call "doomsayers" had tried to use it and chickened out, one has been on the bus when there were problems for another cyclist and the other is Woodtourer posting the actual NatEx policy that says unfolded bikes aren't allowed! Compared to that, you posted that you'd never seen problems on some local bus service. Hardly a glowing reassurance, was it?

Have you actually taken your bike on Nat Ex then? That might have been useful info to post!

Most posters there had no recent experience of bikes on Nat Ex (they only have two buses a day near me, I think: one to Yarmouth and one to Aberystwyth - not much use to me) and offered only possible fallback plans in case they are as bad as they look.


I recounted my experiences upthread: I have taken bikes in flight bags several times, no trouble. That's the same size as a typical bike box: wheels and bars removed. I also use the south coast routes regularly, the buses are rarely full and there is plenty of empty space.
That's all there is to say, that dull and reliable.

The bit in the policy is clear: unpacked full sized bikes are not permitted. I quote directly from the website: not permitted 'Bicycles which aren't folded, dismantled or wrapped'. Pack and wrap, plus book an extra luggage slot and it's fine. As his bikes are in a flight box, they will comply.
Turn up with a fully assembled bike and be rude to the staff and you get what's coming.

Vitara
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Re: Taxi recommendation??

Postby Vitara » 20 Feb 2020, 5:18pm

There are several dedicated Airport Taxi firms operating from Portsmouth, I think you will find all of them reliable, they would soon be out of business otherwise.

I've previously used Sunny Airport Cars & were happy with their service. They have a minibus with a large luggage section in the back which would easily carry two bikes (this is what we went in as the driver was collecting a large group for the return journey). I expect you would pay a premium for the minibus.

https://www.sunnyairportcars.co.uk/

Or cycle, its 100Km so a comfortable days ride

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mjr
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Re: Taxi recommendation??

Postby mjr » 20 Feb 2020, 5:36pm

Vitara wrote:Or cycle, its 100Km so a comfortable days ride

Please show a route or it's 112km ;) https://cycle.travel/map?from=Heathrow+ ... Portsmouth
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Vitara
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Re: Taxi recommendation??

Postby Vitara » 20 Feb 2020, 7:43pm

mjr wrote:
Vitara wrote:Or cycle, its 100Km so a comfortable days ride

Please show a route or it's 112km ;) https://cycle.travel/map?from=Heathrow+ ... Portsmouth


100Km versus 112Km? I wouldn't regard that as a huge difference for a days bike ride. Never the less it's quite possible to plot a route close to 100Km

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31973308

If I was doing the ride, or the OP planned to do so, it would need some tidying & route notes to avoid busier roads. For example the plotted route from Liss down to Horndean uses the A3, which is a busy dual carriageway, but can in fact be done using cycle tracks and quieter roads which for some reason RWGPS won't plot and which also need local knowledge tips of where to look for the entry points.

Of course this is all a bit academic if the OP plans to get a Taxi, which is probably a sensible choice for getting him to the Ferry & Cherbourg.

PH
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Re: Taxi recommendation??

Postby PH » 20 Feb 2020, 11:47pm

mjr wrote:
hamster wrote:I agree, too many tales of gloom and doom about National Express. I use them regularly and find them faultless with drivers very helpful. Note that the doomsayers have never had a problem personally.

Be fair! One of what you call "doomsayers" had tried to use it and chickened out, one has been on the bus when there were problems for another cyclist and the other is Woodtourer posting the actual NatEx policy that says unfolded bikes aren't allowed! Compared to that, you posted that you'd never seen problems on some local bus service. Hardly a glowing reassurance, was it?

Have you actually taken your bike on Nat Ex then? That might have been useful info to post!

Most posters there had no recent experience of bikes on Nat Ex (they only have two buses a day near me, I think: one to Yarmouth and one to Aberystwyth - not much use to me) and offered only possible fallback plans in case they are as bad as they look.

I wouldn't have called anyone a doomsayer, I thought being aware of the potential for something to go wrong and knowing about alternative options was sensible planning. I just think that thread lacked a sense of proportion.
I've traveled by National Express 8 times in the last 14 months, with a bagged Airnimal folder, obviously smaller than a full sized bike, but still larger than permitted as standard luggage and requiring an oversize booking. It's been trouble free, I could probably have got away without booking it, I've met two others travelling with bagged full sized bikes and they hadn't had any issues either. The drivers main concern is that it goes in the right boot space for your stop. I've found the majority of passengers just have carry on luggage, so there's been plenty of space, though none of my trips have been to or from an airport.

willswitchengage
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Re: Taxi recommendation??

Postby willswitchengage » 22 Feb 2020, 5:20pm

Potentially easy way forward but won't a bike box fit in pretty much any DDA compliant taxi? Just ring around local private hire companies and negotiate a price. Probably a little pricier than a Mondeo but surely a vehicle that can fit a wheelchair can fit a bike box.

Woodtourer
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Re: Taxi recommendation??

Postby Woodtourer » 22 Feb 2020, 7:18pm

Unfortunately we need room for 2 bike boxes.

ubert767
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Re: Woodtourer's next Euro Tour

Postby ubert767 » 22 Feb 2020, 9:59pm

I'm in agreement with previous posts in that I prefer to not take any chances at the very start of a tour because so much depends upon it.
We've often used a pre-booked taxi to the airport, with two boxed bikes and four panniers.

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