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Old 03-16-06, 04:37 PM   #1
velomedieval
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Hi all,
I'll be embarking on my first tour (solo) on May 15. I'll be doing my Ph.D. dissertation research in the Poitou-Charentes region of France and have a couple different home bases set up so I can stash most of my gear and take my small set of panniers around to the towns I'll be studying. My big problem is getting the bike to Melle (which is about 40 miles south/southwest of Poitiers) where my first home base is located. I'll be flying into Paris (CDG), but I'll be darned if I can figure out what to do with my bike. The two options I have are as follows:

1. I fly in with my bike in the cargo hold of the plane. I've heard it's a game of chance getting onto a bus or train that will allow bikes in France (and I'm on a fairly tight schedule, so I can't wait for several trains or buses to come and go before one will take my bike). I suppose I could ride down from Paris, but what do I do with my bike box? I've been told there are not storage lockers anymore at the airports. Because I'm new to travel and touring and I'm absolutely in love with my bike, I'm not a "throw it in a cardboard box/put it in a plastic bag" person. Just...no. So, I claim my bike, drag it through customs and then...what? If I can just get it to Melle, I can store the box there.

2. I can ship it directly to my lodging in Melle via DHL (this would be so convenient), but am I correct in my calculations that shipping the bike from Indiana to Melle would be upwards of $500 each way?!?

The transport of the bike has been by far the most confounding part of this trip, but people must do this kind of thing all the time. Any advice (including "Calm down!") will be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much, touring gurus!
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Old 03-16-06, 05:17 PM   #2
ken cummings
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I have a friend who had dome the Paris-Brest_Paris Brevet twice. He tells me that there is a travel agent who is expert in getting cyclists and their bikes over to France and back. I suggest you contact the US and international Randonneuring organizations with your question. American Youth Hostels could have some ideas. As your activity is a scholastic one there may be some academic organizations that could help you.
Sorry, no more ideas.
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Old 03-16-06, 05:24 PM   #3
Tom Stormcrowe
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Now that's a great excuse for a bike tour! Research for your PhD Thesis! Cool!Unless you have a very high end bike, why don't you buy a bike there and take your pedals and saddle in your packed luggage. That way you have your regular saddle and pedals you are used to, and instead of spending $1,000.00 shipping, spend 500 buying and sell the frame when you are done with it! The Net loss in depreciation of the frame can be written off as a "cost of doing business" for Thesis research, so all in all, you will get a net wash AND get in a ride! Just a thought!
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Old 03-16-06, 06:43 PM   #4
velomedieval
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken cummings
I have a friend who had dome the Paris-Brest_Paris Brevet twice. He tells me that there is a travel agent who is expert in getting cyclists and their bikes over to France and back. I suggest you contact the US and international Randonneuring organizations with your question. American Youth Hostels could have some ideas. As your activity is a scholastic one there may be some academic organizations that could help you.
Sorry, no more ideas.
Ken,
Travel agent may be the way to go. I'm not getting much help from the bike shops around here either. Thanks for the suggestion.

Tom,
I'm paying for this-- my discipline doesn't have much funding. I've spent a year getting this bike ready for the trip. I don't have the time or the money to spend on another bike as I'm on a tight budget and schedule.
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