european bike express

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
beeb
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Joined: 13 Aug 2014, 6:39pm

european bike express

Postby beeb » 16 Aug 2015, 6:29pm

How reliable is this service? Sound like a great idea but a friend told me that they recently ended up with a really old bus to get home on as the other one had broken down. Are the buses quite new- as I can't afford to be stuck on the continent. Sound like a great service which we may use next summer. Is it?

bikepacker
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Re: european bike express

Postby bikepacker » 16 Aug 2015, 8:49pm

I think both of their buses are a few years old but they seemed to be maintained okay. Obviously there are many reasons for delays some totally unforeseen but the drivers and couriers do their upmost to keep the service running to near schedule. While not being the most comfortable way to travel I find them very convenient and hassle free when travelling with a bike.
There is your way. There is my way. But there is no "the way".

John-D
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Re: european bike express

Postby John-D » 16 Aug 2015, 9:48pm

I've used it 13 or 14 times and have never had a significant problem. There have one or two minor delays but they were outside the control of the company.

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DaveP
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Re: european bike express

Postby DaveP » 16 Aug 2015, 10:02pm

Used them twice now, the second time being last month. On the way back they had an alternator problem which resulted in not enough power to run the air conditioner properly but they were able to keep going and even managed to improve things slightly by getting the pliers out during a scheduled stop. Expect its fixed properly by now - they do seem to be committed to delivering the service they promise.
External factors can have more impact. We travelled out on a Saturday - and the French strike was only lifted Thursday evening.
We returned on a Monday - later that week migrant activity started to cause severe problems...
Lucky this time!
Trying to retain enough fitness to grow old disgracefully...

robing
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Re: european bike express

Postby robing » 16 Aug 2015, 10:55pm

I've used them 4 times now and have found them very convenient and reliable. And very good value considering they pick up at various points in the UK and includes the ferry. I don't know if they've had many delays since all the problems at Calais. Don't think much of the on board and cuisine though.

beeb
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Re: european bike express

Postby beeb » 17 Aug 2015, 5:37am

Thanks all

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robgul
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Re: european bike express

Postby robgul » 17 Aug 2015, 8:56am

I've used the service - convenient, sort of comfortable, very efficient (dead on time at the pick up at Montpellier) - I would imagine that they have a contingency plan (possibly insurance based?) should there be a breakdown that stops the bus.

Rob

eileithyia
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Re: european bike express

Postby eileithyia » 17 Aug 2015, 10:49am

Used it a few times, no complaints. They do their utmost to keep on time. One return journey we got snarled up in traffic around London and the drivers were running out of 'driver hours' so relief drivers were brought further south from the point where they were due to meet us to a more southern motorway services. I think one of the buses had had an issue once but the staff worked very hard to catch back up on schedule.
They do not just operate as a solo operative but they clearly have links and resources to sort out problems.

Food; remember they have limited resources, storage and cooking facilities on the coach so it tends to be microwaveable stuff such jacket tatties with beans, cheese, chilli etc., but if they still do it their Apricot flapjack is to die for......
We always went and got a proper meal on the ferry and just relied on the coach for snacks....
Hint, keep a small wash bag amongst personal affects on the coach, you will feel much better for a wash n brush up and teeth clean after the overnight on the coach...
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

PH
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Re: european bike express

Postby PH » 17 Aug 2015, 11:23am

I've used them once and will again, as comfortable as 20+ hours on a coach will ever be and good friendly service. The convenience of being collected/dropped of 8 miles from home and knowing the bike is secure far outweighs any other consideration.

robgul wrote: I would imagine that they have a contingency plan (possibly insurance based?) should there be a breakdown that stops the bus.
Rob


The back up plan according to their website is to keep a spare bus and trailer at the depot in case of a breakdown that stops the bus, though they say this has never been used.
Item 12
http://www.bike-express.co.uk/Booking_Conditions

Bogawski
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Re: european bike express

Postby Bogawski » 17 Aug 2015, 5:40pm

Beeb, your mate might have been picked up by "The Yorkshire Bikeliner". Now that is a crate!

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robgul
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Re: european bike express

Postby robgul » 17 Aug 2015, 8:18pm

Bogawski wrote:Beeb, your mate might have been picked up by "The Yorkshire Bikeliner". Now that is a crate!


Hmm - we used Simon's BikeLiner to get from Calais to the Loire Valley in 2013 - 13 of us .... it did look a bit past its prime, but no problem at all (all PSV/HGV vehicles have to undergo stringent tests and whilst the bodywork may not be brilliant the mechanicals should be OK)

Rob

BruceJ
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Joined: 30 Jul 2008, 7:38pm

Re: european bike express

Postby BruceJ » 18 Aug 2015, 7:52pm

We've been using the EBE each year since 2009 and found the service excellent. There's even vegetarian options on the menu.

Tangled Metal
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Re: european bike express

Postby Tangled Metal » 18 Aug 2015, 8:52pm

Anyone take a young child on it? FAQs say you need your own child car seat. Just wondered what are you expected to do with it at your destination and how to get it back for your return journey assuming you're doing a linear trip.

keepontriking
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Re: european bike express

Postby keepontriking » 18 Aug 2015, 9:40pm

Its many years back now, but we took four children one of whom was just a few months old.
She went in a car seat which on arrival in southern France was strapped into the Burley trailer and pulled behind one of the tandems.

Both tandems had kiddiecranks and one was a tandem trike.