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cycling in the alps

GR72GR72 Posts: 2
2 of us are planning on spending a week in the alps just after la marmotte weekend. not sure whether to drive and take our own bikes or fly and take our own. we're starting from the NE of england. any opinions?


  • I've been to the Alps a couple of times recently and have flown with easyjet and taken the bikes. Although I've heard of a couple of horror stories, I've had no problems at all (just have a look at the website so that you know the charges that will apply.) I've hired a hard case bike box both times from a local bike shop and my bike has survived the trip in one piece. Depending on where you are staying there are usually shops that will hire road bikes for a reasonable price, so you may consider this option as well.

    Enjoy your trip.
  • We always recommend that people bring their own bikes as even a slight change in position on a rental bike can cause little niggles if you are doing a big week of riding. That being said we do have rental bikes and have spare stems etc to try and ensure as good a fit as possible - if you go down that route then make sure the place you get them from does the same (and check that you wont be renting a BSO).

    If you decide to take your own bikes then it is worth investing in or renting a hard shell bike box as we have seen several bikes damaged after being packed in a softer box or bike bag! Bike Box Alan are very good as are Polaris in our experience - there are lots of places that rent both these types out.

    You'll have a great time in the Alps at that time of year.

    Le Domestique Tours cycling and multisport training holidays in the Alps, Pyrenees and beyond

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  • AndyRubioAndyRubio Posts: 880
    Drive, always drive. French motorways are bliss.
  • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
    Depends if you stay in one place or want to move around. I've flown with the bike a lot and never had any problems apart from the case getting banged about, which is why I have it.
  • brucey72brucey72 Posts: 1,086
    I have driven from Newcastle to the Alps to do the Marmotte the last three years, incorporating the event into a two week cycling holiday. Its a long journey from the NE setting off at 5.30am for a 2.30pm ferry from Dover then a further drive on the first day to Troyes and a night in a motel formulae one. The following day, I set off at about 8am from Troyes and arrive in Bourg D'Oisans at about 1pm which gives you the afternoon to do some cycling.

    By far the worst part of the journey is Newcastle to Dover because the driving in France is a real pleasure by comparison with quiet roads if you use the payeage (toll roads).

    There were three of us travelling last year with the bikes on the roof and camping gear in the back and the car gives you the freedom to travel and cycle different areas which may be difficult if you flew and didnt hire a car. Last year we had a few days in each of Bourg D'Oisans, Pont en Royans, Bourg St Maurice and Tannines. The cost of this split between three was much less than the cost for three of us to fly and then hire a car and it also meant we could carry as much stuff as we could fit in the car.

    I'll be doing the same trip again next July so any questions just ask. The following website is an invaluable resource for cycling in the Alps:
  • holmeboyholmeboy Posts: 674
    Ah the French Alps, I dream of returning there one Day.
  • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
    What about NE > Hull and across to Belgium and down that way?
  • brucey72brucey72 Posts: 1,086
    mrushton wrote:
    What about NE > Hull and across to Belgium and down that way?

    I looked at this option last year to avoid the drive down to Dover but the cost was the deciding factor; Hull - Zeebrugge return was around £200 per person whereas we got a Dover - Calais ferry for £40 per person!!!
  • hammeritehammerite Posts: 3,408
    Defo drive, I love driving in France it's a good part of the holiday. I always pick out a different random town to stop at on the way down and have a wander around.

    Bourg en Bresse there and Beaune (which is really nice) on the way back last trip.

    Also nice to go out for a ride on the way down to the Alps.
  • gsk82gsk82 Posts: 2,770
    the hull to belgium/ holland ferries are a waste of a night in my opinion and very expensive. three of use went dover to dunkirk in a car for 45quid return a couple of years ago.
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
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