Getting to Germany with bikes

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Re: Getting to Germany with bikes

Postby LollyKat » Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:33 am

burroc wrote:Unless I missed it, there is another alternative that has not been mentioned: hire bikes in Germany.... And the cost? 39 Euros for 7 days. At that price, I'm glad I did not go to the effort of taking our own bikes.


That sounds a very good deal. Where in Austria did you hire them?
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Re: Getting to Germany with bikes

Postby quilkin » Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:15 pm

A timely thread; I am thinking of something very similar and live in Cornwall.
The Eurostar option sounds very complex (and costly); Ryanair to Hahn sounded good but it is only from Stansted (a long way from Cornwall) and then £50 extra for a bike each way.
My best option seems to be fly Bristol to Amsterdam (Easyjet, only £35 extra for bikes) and then investigate trains from there.
But I may try train to Dover, old-fashioned cross-channel to Calais, then take pot luck with local trains. Avoids the hassle of packing bikes for flying.
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Re: Getting to Germany with bikes

Postby tim_f » Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:01 pm

Re
But I may try train to Dover, old-fashioned cross-channel to Calais, then take pot luck with local trains. Avoids the hassle of packing bikes for flying.


If you are taking train to London then best to take train to Harwich and boat to Hook of Holand and then train on to Amsterdam and then Germany.

see http://www.seat61.com/index.html for advise.
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Re: Getting to Germany with bikes

Postby MrsHJ » Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:23 pm

quilkin wrote:A timely thread; I am thinking of something very similar and live in Cornwall.
The Eurostar option sounds very complex (and costly); Ryanair to Hahn sounded good but it is only from Stansted (a long way from Cornwall) and then £50 extra for a bike each way.
My best option seems to be fly Bristol to Amsterdam (Easyjet, only £35 extra for bikes) and then investigate trains from there.
But I may try train to Dover, old-fashioned cross-channel to Calais, then take pot luck with local trains. Avoids the hassle of packing bikes for flying.


I've flown exeter to Amsterdam before with flybe, they don't guarantee the bike though but we were fine despite a fair number of golfer with golfing bags who appeared to have priority. Tiny plane, could see our bikes in the hold as we got on by the rear door.
Last edited by MrsHJ on Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Getting to Germany with bikes

Postby quilkin » Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:20 pm

tim_f wrote:Re
But I may try train to Dover, old-fashioned cross-channel to Calais, then take pot luck with local trains. Avoids the hassle of packing bikes for flying.


If you are taking train to London then best to take train to Harwich and boat to Hook of Holand and then train on to Amsterdam and then Germany.

see http://www.seat61.com/index.html for advise.

Thanks, that was my original thought but it means a more expensive overnight ferry which also means paying for a cabin (or an overnight stay in Harwich), and then a longish train journey.
Current thought is train to Dover, ferry to Dunkirk, cycle to De Panne (10 miles, just inside Belgium), train to Welkenraedt (other end of Belgium) then a 60m ride (much of it through a national park) to Bonn which is where I was wanting to start from, for the Rhine cycle path. The Belgium train service website tells me it will cost 21 euro plus 5 or so for the bike, and take 4 hours. Although in writing this down I realise there'll still need to be an overnight somewhere, before getting to Bonn.

A bit off-topic, but I now need to decide to take a tent etc. or go lighter and stay in youth hostels (will be going late Aug / early Sep).
Chris F, Cornwall
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Re: Getting to Germany with bikes

Postby Fasgadh » Sun Aug 03, 2014 5:47 pm

In 2010 I crossed Belguim to De Panne by train and then onwards via camping in Dunkirque to the ferry. Very easy and inexpensive journey.
Trains were of the hook the front wheel variety.

There are some interesting rail trail routes in the Ardennes / Eifel to link the Leige area with the Mosel. Spotted from a car, not tried them. Lovely scenery.
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Re: Getting to Germany with bikes

Postby binka » Sun Aug 03, 2014 5:55 pm

I'm planning on doing this next year and after some consideration I'm going to take my car on the ferry and drive to Germany. Find somewhere to park the car for a fortnight and cycle a circular tour. I may possibly cycle a linear tour and train back to the car.

It means I'll be less stressed about having to meet up with a train/coach on a certain day.

I'm not helped by the fact I have a trike, albeit a folding one. I don't see how I can fold the trike with panniers and seat off and get it all on and off trains on my own. Yes it would be cheaper to cycle onto the ferry but I reckon the extra cost will be outweighed by the reduction in stress.
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Re: Getting to Germany with bikes

Postby F70100 » Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:13 pm

If you're still in the market for flying, KLM do Bristol to Cologne (just down the road from Bonn) connecting through Amsterdam. I doubt it would be the cheapest option but it may be the quickest.
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Re: Getting to Germany with bikes

Postby foxyrider » Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:54 am

F70100 wrote:If you're still in the market for flying, KLM do Bristol to Cologne (just down the road from Bonn) connecting through Amsterdam. I doubt it would be the cheapest option but it may be the quickest.

Cologne airport is actually the same place as Bonn airport! Flown into there a few times, its a very easy to use airport.
Convention? what's that then?
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Re: Getting to Germany with bikes

Postby quilkin » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:55 pm

Fasgadh wrote:In 2010 I crossed Belguim to De Panne by train and then onwards via camping in Dunkirque to the ferry. Very easy and inexpensive journey.
Trains were of the hook the front wheel variety. There are some interesting rail trail routes in the Ardennes / Eifel to link the Leige area with the Mosel. Spotted from a car, not tried them. Lovely scenery.

That info strengthens my plan for that route!
F70100 wrote:If you're still in the market for flying, KLM do Bristol to Cologne (just down the road from Bonn) connecting through Amsterdam. I doubt it would be the cheapest option but it may be the quickest.

Thanks for the suggestion; it's about £300 return which isn't too bad. But a change at Amsterdam means possibly twice the chance of a mishap with the bike!
Quickest isn't the most important factor; luckily I retired this year so have a few days to play with :D
Chris F, Cornwall
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Re: Getting to Germany with bikes

Postby ubert767 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:50 am

Mosel is indeed very enjoyable, we did it's entire length last year.
Flew Easyjet from Gatwick to Basel with our bikes, no problem, then train via Mulhouse to Kruth. Over the Col de Bussang on a quiet back road to the source of the Mosel, then it is down hill all the way to Koblenz :)
We caught the train from Koblenz to Luxembourg and flew home from there. All went very well and introduced us to how wonderful cycling in Germany can be.
We did the Via Claudia Augusta from Munich this year, brilliant!
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Re: Getting to Germany with bikes

Postby foxyrider » Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:20 pm

ubert767 wrote:We did the Via Claudia Augusta from Munich this year, brilliant!


How did you find that? I've done little bits on other trips but the VCA seems a little disjointed in places
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Re: Getting to Germany with bikes

Postby Ron » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:23 pm

If you want to go to Bonn anyway, would it not be possible to extend your holiday for a few days and cycle along the Rhine Radweg from the Hook to Bonn? It would be easy from there to catch a day train from Bonn to Koblenz for the start of your Mosel tour.
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Re: Getting to Germany with bikes

Postby ubert767 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:34 pm

Hello Foxyrider,
How did you find that? I've done little bits on other trips but the VCA seems a little disjointed in places.

We deviated from it, but our inspiration came from the Esterbauer Bikeline route guide to the VCA and the GPS files which are available from that guidebook.
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Re: Getting to Germany with bikes

Postby Johnsom » Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:39 pm

I have only just caught up with this topic.I live in Taunton and am doing a tour of Switzerland and Germany in about a fortnight's time.It so happens that I will be using the same airlines that I used last year when I flew from Bristol to Zurich with Helvetic and back from Milan with BMI International.This year I am flying to Zurich again and back with BMI from Frankfurt.It was very straightforward.I used the CTC polythene bag which was accepted by BMI without any problem.However the check in staff at Milan asked me to deflate the tyres despite the BMI website clearly indicating that it was not necessary.BMI only use small 50 seat planes and do not guarantee to carry the bike if it is full but on enquiry say this would be a very rare occurrence and the bike would be put on the next plane.The advantage of the small plane it is very quick to get on and off.I investigated using the train but decided that it looked complicated and expensive.I took advantage of a promotion offered by BMI to celebrate Germany winning the World Cup and paid all of 69 euros!Taking bikes on German trains is straightforward the timetable clearly indicates which carry bikes but you have to pay a small separate fare for them.I have used the CTC bag for several tours now without any damage being caused to the bike a Thorn with a Rohloff gear
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