Touring - Traveling with bike to Europa
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04-22-08, 01:07 PM
Hello. I've been on this forum for years, yet this is my first post. I'm shooting off to europe this summer and am not sure if I should bring my bike. I want to land in Barcelona, take a train to Prague and then bike to the Alps with my friend. She's been trying to get a bike for me out there but they are super expensive (900 euros) and she's not sure what would be a good pick. I can use her dad's bike, but last time I did I was going down the backside of a MT. when the handlebars slipped 90 degrees, that was crazy.
So, is it expensive to travel on a plane and train?
Is it safe to bring bike, can I get insurance?
Is my friend just inept, and I can find a used bike real easy, use it, then sell it on my way out?
My bike is tour friendly, I just rode it from LA to the Bay Area, it's a bianchi cylocrass with a rear rack. IT's pretty cool, but not ass sexy as my three speed or fixie or otras bicicletas.
Thanks a lot for the advice. B
€900 will get you a decent bike, and for touring you need a decent bike.
You could bring your bike with you, It's usually possible to take bike on European trains, but you have rules that change from area to area, country to country, rail company to rail company and time to time.
One option could be to buy either a new or 2nd hand touring bike from St John Street cycles in the UK, they ship worldwide.
Get the bike sent to your starting point, ride the bike and then either sell it, or if you have got a decent Thorn or similar take it back to the USA where it will have appreciated in value, and you could probably sell it for as much as you paid for it, weather new or 2nd hand
They have some very nice 2nd hand Thorn bikes here (£1=$2 !) and if you give them a call and say what you are looking for and when there is a good chance they will keep they eyes open for the right thing
Potentially you could do the same thing from e-bay if you can find the right bike and get it shipped to the starting point.
Either way, a top of the range 2nd hand European touring bike is likely to appreciate value when shipped back to the USA in a suitcase, so you could get your money back plus a buck
Take your own bike. The trains out of Spain won't let you roll your bike on, so it has to be in a bag (housse). Could also use the housse for holding the bike on the plane.
If her dad's bike fits you and is suitable for the riding you want to do - just get her to take it to a bike shop the week before you get there for a tune up and a safety check.
Replace anything that needs some love [tires, chain, cables, etc..] that will be your easiest option and her dad will be happy to get freshly tuned bike back when you are done with it.
04-23-08, 05:46 PM
Bike theft (and other crimes) in Barcelona is near epidemic. The city's own tourist website recommends the use of second-hand bikes and using at least two locks. Even then that's not enough at night or in certain parts of town, and anything not locked (saddle/seatpost, etc.) will be lifted. Almost makes you long for the Guardia Civil and their ever-present submachine guns. I certainly wouldn't bring my bike to that city if I had to leave it out of my sight - for any length of time.
If her dad's bike fits you and is suitable for the riding you want to do - just get her to take it to a bike shop the week before you get there for a tune up and a safety check. Replace anything that needs some love [tires, chain, cables, etc..] that will be your easiest option and her dad will be happy to get freshly tuned bike back when you are done with it.
Vik's idea is much better than mine. :)
I would take your bike along. That way you know what you have.
I just posted my experience of a trans-atlantic flight and bike ride in europe:
I invested in Bike Friday bike for taking to Europe. The airlines charge between $100 and $200 extra for a bike each way. With a Bike Friday, it packs into a suitcase and there is no extra charge. Also, it can be brought on trains without any hassle, in it's case. It's not cheap, but I go to Europe alot and I like to have my bike with me.
If you only had to put your bike on a plane, I'd take it.
If you only had to put your bike on a train, I'd take it.
But taking a boxed or bagged bike to the airport, from the airport, to the train station, and then changing trains several times would be way too much of a hassle. Use your friend's dad's bike, or ask her to ask another friend with a suitable bike if you could borrow or rent it for a couple of weeks. Someone must have an extra bike.
04-28-08, 10:18 PM
cool...thanks for the info. I think i'm gonna either rent a bike, buy one on e-bay and send it to the czech or use her pops. We'll see how things work out.
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