Channel to Med

Geoff Crowther

"... travel far, not fast", Ted Simon
Not been on here for couple of years. Been busy with backpacking in Arctic Sweden. Did LEJOG in 2015 and a couple of other shorter tours since. Contemplating Channel to Med, probably next June ish. Would be a camping tour. Fancy the bike bus, dropping off in Calais and picking it up again in Montpellier. I'm retired so can take as long as I like. Did LEJOG in a month allowing an average of around 35 miles per day. Never used bike bus before so I don't know frequency.

Any thoughts or advice would be gratefully received. Bike's a 26" wheeled Thorn Sherpa.
 

The Lone Rider

Active Member
Location
North Kent
I am not going to the Med but looking at St Malo to Santander 25th June and back two weeks later. I am going the Atlantic route, so coast all the way down! If you fancy that?
I would be camping too!
 
OP
Geoff Crowther

Geoff Crowther

"... travel far, not fast", Ted Simon
Thanks for that kind offer. Not sure I'd be the best of companions though. On LEJOG my target was 35 miles a day. In the end I averaged 39.

How far is that though? And how are you getting out and back? Guessing ferries.
 

jay clock

Massive member
Location
Hampshire UK

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
We did something similar, the long (and flat) way round, via Noirmoutier and Bordeaux. Link in my sig.
 
Location
Midlands
I think I’ve done it 9 times plus a couple in the other direction (10 if I count starting at Plymouth and going via Spain – the easy thing if you just want to “ride to the med” is to go down the west coast starting from St Malo – V1/V2 to Bordeaux and then through the Midi -– Alternatives are start further east say Caen – down to Loire then either through Auvergne or Loire/Rhone – more extreme is to go west coast and do Pyrenees or east and through the French Alps – further east via Germany or Switzerland are other alternatives – really just depends on how long you want to be away - mid-summer camping is easy - it depends on what you want to see and do – Bike Bus is a really good way of getting back – having recently experimented with ad-hoc trains back from the med it is relatively quick and stress free - downside to the bike bus is that capacity is relatively limited - so book early
 
OP
Geoff Crowther

Geoff Crowther

"... travel far, not fast", Ted Simon
OP
Geoff Crowther

Geoff Crowther

"... travel far, not fast", Ted Simon
I think I’ve done it 9 times plus a couple in the other direction (10 if I count starting at Plymouth and going via Spain – the easy thing if you just want to “ride to the med” is to go down the west coast starting from St Malo – V1/V2 to Bordeaux and then through the then Midi -– Alternatives are start further east say Caen – down to Loire then either through Auvergne or Loire/Rhone – more extreme is to go west coast and do Pyrenees or east and through the French Alps – further east via Germany or Switzerland are other alternatives – really just depends on how long you want to be away - mid-summer camping is easy - it depends on what you want to see and do – Bike Bus is a really good way of getting back – having recently experimented with ad-hoc trains back from the med it is relatively quick and stress free - downside to the bike bus is that capacity is relatively limited - so book early
Thanks for that. I fancy Calais as a start point, just because. I dunno, being north it feels a "purer" north to south route.
Starting to go off bike bus cos it seems return just won't fit with my relaxed pace. I'd want to allow at least three weeks, maybe a little more. They don't seem to have sufficient runs to allow that.
I also suddenly realised the bus goes straight through from Med to home. Can't get my head round overnight on a bus. Seems flying from Nice is actually a bit cheaper. Maybe bus to Calais then fly back?
I've never been abroad with a bike before so have discomfort with the plane on bike thing. Wonder if I bought a bike box could I fly to France then post bike box to destination hotel in Nice?
I don't even like bike on train. My little experience so far felt very stressful. Removing panniers then lifting bike onto a hook while being harangued by a guard who wants me to hurry and get on the train! I know...I'm easily spooked by these things.
 

Dave Davenport

Legendary Member
Location
Hampshire
IMO it's a lot less stressful flying home from a trip after riding there (as opposed to the other way round) as even if they do damage/lose your bike it's not going to ruin your holiday. Depending on the airline you don't always need to worry about a box (i.e Flybe or BA).When flying BA back from Zagreb last year we booked a b&b near the airport for the night before and sent a couple of CTC bags and some packing stuff there before leaving, this year we just took a couple of pound shop bike covers and bought a roll of duct tape for a Flybe flight from Alicante (they didn't even charge us the advertised 40 euro per bike).
 
U

User482

Guest
When I did my LEJOG, I agreed with my buddy that we would do one every ten years. That was 11 years ago... the so and so is currently living in Zambia which I suppose is a decent excuse.

Anyway, I proposed riding the Med to the Channel as an alternative: it's shorter, flatter, warmer, has quieter roads and better food. A rough plan is to fly to the south coast, say Beziers, and head north to Caen, then take the overnight ferry home. This would be credit card based touring, doing about 120km/ day, heading up Languedoc, Dordogne, Charentes, Loire, and Normandy.
 
OP
Geoff Crowther

Geoff Crowther

"... travel far, not fast", Ted Simon
IMO it's a lot less stressful flying home from a trip after riding there (as opposed to the other way round) as even if they do damage/lose your bike it's not going to ruin your holiday. Depending on the airline you don't always need to worry about a box (i.e Flybe or BA).When flying BA back from Zagreb last year we booked a b&b near the airport for the night before and sent a couple of CTC bags and some packing stuff there before leaving, this year we just took a couple of pound shop bike covers and bought a roll of duct tape for a Flybe flight from Alicante (they didn't even charge us the advertised 40 euro per bike).
Thanks Dave. That all makes sense. Discovered today that Jet2.com fly from Nice for a sensible price. Strangely though, they say bike just needs pedals off, bars turning and then packed in cardboard but give max dimensions as 6ft x 3ft. None of our bikes (we have 5) measures within 3ft without completely removing the bars and seat. Sounds quite ridiculous. No-one else seems to fly Nice to Manchester (we're oop north).
 

Dave Davenport

Legendary Member
Location
Hampshire
Thanks Dave. That all makes sense. Discovered today that Jet2.com fly from Nice for a sensible price. Strangely though, they say bike just needs pedals off, bars turning and then packed in cardboard but give max dimensions as 6ft x 3ft. None of our bikes (we have 5) measures within 3ft without completely removing the bars and seat. Sounds quite ridiculous. No-one else seems to fly Nice to Manchester (we're oop north).
Take the front wheel off and cable tie it to the frame, put the seat post right down? I doubt they actually measure it at the airport anyway.
 
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