Dover/Calais ferry crossing by bike

ednino
ednino Posts: 684
edited March 2014 in Road general
Its a mere £13 for a man & his bike to get the ferry over.

I can't pass that up for a day of international cycling. Has anyone done it before?
My concern is where you put your bike when your on the ferry.. and will it be safe. Or will someone try & put it in the boot of their car? :(

Comments

  • smoggysteve
    smoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    Try and enter the Paris to London H4H ride next year.

    BTW, once you disembarked, you are not allowed down to the car deck so no chance of it being nicked. Thrown over the edge by a jack c@nt on the other hand.....
  • rodgers73
    rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    ednino wrote:
    Its a mere £13 for a man & his bike to get the ferry over.

    I can't pass that up for a day of international cycling. Has anyone done it before?
    My concern is where you put your bike when your on the ferry.. and will it be safe. Or will someone try & put it in the boot of their car? :(


    Been on cross channel ferry twice with the bike. They have a good bike rack for all cyclists to use. The car decks are locked up during the voyage for security and they have CCTV in them ever since the Zeebrugge disaster in the 80s. I locked mine up with just a cafe lock and it was fine.
  • shuttle_cock
    shuttle_cock Posts: 115
    Did this few weeks ago as a club run, it's good to get on the ferry first, and some great riding when you get there.
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  • tlw1
    tlw1 Posts: 21,863
    Did it years ago when the current wife was a student in saint Omer - easy and lots of fun
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,388
    Did it a few years ago from Plymouth to Roscoff. All the British Staff look like you insane and then a frenchman sees you and knows exactly what to do. Mine went in a little room just off to the side of the car deck.

    Gutted I wasnt allowed to ride on/off though :(
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • ednino
    ednino Posts: 684
    Thanks guys, I can't wait to try it now.

    The main roads looks to have proper wide cycle paths in Calais & the South coast road looks like my kind of thing :D
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,388
    France is a great place to cycle - you don't need a cycle path (although they re starting to realise what tourist draws they can be). YOu ll wonder how you ever put up with the bullsh*t when you get back...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Plymouth roscoff here and costing a lot more than £13! Great experience. Basically you roll it on and off, get let off first and on the Amorique its tied to a pipe with a bit of string... Being the wet bit of a couple of European cycle routes, its extremely popular here (shared with 40 bikes last time) its well worth it to get on some lovely quiet properly tarmacced road and courteous and friendly road users...
  • goonz
    goonz Posts: 3,106
    Did it during the L2P ride. We didnt even lock the bikes up and they were just left resting up against the wall on the car level. About 12 bikes in total but no issues thankfully. If you have a lock may be worth it but dont think you will have any trouble.
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  • wakou
    wakou Posts: 165
    ednino wrote:
    Its a mere £13 for a man & his bike to get the ferry over.

    I can't pass that up for a day of international cycling. Has anyone done it before?
    My concern is where you put your bike when your on the ferry.. and will it be safe. Or will someone try & put it in the boot of their car? :(
    Could you post a link to the £13.00 fare please? I agree with you for that £££ a little tootle around Nord-pas-de-Calais is nice bargain! Even if only to cycle up to De Panne to stock up on cheap snout. (wonder how much I can get in the panniers)
    "I had righteous got my wheel backmost from a fettlin' at the LBS and was hunt transport to equitation it. As it was Refrigerated in the AM......"
  • ednino
    ednino Posts: 684
    wakou wrote:
    ednino wrote:
    Its a mere £13 for a man & his bike to get the ferry over.

    I can't pass that up for a day of international cycling. Has anyone done it before?
    My concern is where you put your bike when your on the ferry.. and will it be safe. Or will someone try & put it in the boot of their car? :(
    Could you post a link to the £13.00 fare please? I agree with you for that £££ a little tootle around Nord-pas-de-Calais is nice bargain! Even if only to cycle up to De Panne to stock up on cheap snout. (wonder how much I can get in the panniers)

    http://www.poferries.com/tourist/option_inbound.html

    Not sure if the link will work. Just selected Dover-Calais return for 1 adult + 1 bicycle = £13 :D
  • ednino
    ednino Posts: 684
    I will put a post up when I go (probably next weekend) to see if anyone wants to come along to do 40-50 miles on French tarmac
  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221
    I did it to go and see the tour go through Boulogne-sur-Mer last year. Bikes are safe but I'm not sure if arrangements were different as there were hundreds of cyclists going over - bikes were against every wall and railing.

    It's a nice ride along the coast west out of Calais to Boulogne-sur-Mer via the D940, with some unexpected climbs and descents for a coast road.
  • Me an 7 others went by bike Dover-Calais a few months ago. Let on the ferry first [nice to cycle up the ramp!] - but don't cycle on the ship itself - there's no grip at all/metal surface! Then let off first too. Cycled to Ghent. But Diksmuide makes a nearer great Flanders destination via Mont Cassel and the infamous Kemmelberg.

    The bikes were just roped to the side of the ship at the front of the car deck. For peace of mind, we removed all nickable bits like computers and lights while we had a beer up top.
  • rodgers73
    rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    Yep, rode on and off both times on my trips. Crew seemed happy with that.
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,388
    rodgers73 wrote:
    Yep, rode on and off both times on my trips. Crew seemed happy with that.

    JEALOUS!! :evil:

    :wink:
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • Chrissz
    Chrissz Posts: 727
    We (Ashford Wheelers) did a trip last Sunday!

    Cracking day out - £12 return (MyFerries.com), no worries at all (although a couple of the lads got blocked in by artic trucs on the way back :( ). Down the canal to Saint Omer, over to Bologne and back along the (hilly) coast road to Calais.

    Bloody hot but fun. Take plenty of water as roadside garages/shops are few and far between (particularly on a Sunday)!
  • topcattim
    topcattim Posts: 766
    rodgers73 wrote:
    Yep, rode on and off both times on my trips. Crew seemed happy with that.
    I had the misfortune of buckling my front wheel beyond repair when pootling up the ramp to a ferry - I discovered that tyres fit perfectly in the gap betwen the two sections of the ramp. I'll never make that mistake again. :(
  • I'm doing the Dover/ Dunkirk sailing with my bike this summer as part of a cycling trip to Flanders. I'm sailing with DFDS Ferries. Does anyone know how long it takes you to get off the ferry and out the port after landing? Are bikes always let off first? My ferry is supposed to get in at 5pm and I need to then get a train to London. Would booking the 18:45 train be all right?

    Thanks,
    Kathryn
  • marcusjb
    marcusjb Posts: 2,412
    ^I've not experienced that exact ferry, but plenty of trips on ferries with bikes.

    Do bikes always get let off first? No - depends! Depends which end the bike room/rack is when the boat docks. Depends on how the crew are feeling it seems! Sometimes you're off first, sometimes last, sometimes in the middle.

    I know that's not a lot of help - but, I think you will be safe with 1:45 hours to disembark and get to the station.
  • pdstsp
    pdstsp Posts: 1,264
    edited March 2014
    topcattim wrote:
    rodgers73 wrote:
    Yep, rode on and off both times on my trips. Crew seemed happy with that.
    I had the misfortune of buckling my front wheel beyond repair when pootling up the ramp to a ferry - I discovered that tyres fit perfectly in the gap betwen the two sections of the ramp. I'll never make that mistake again. :(

    I crossed Dover Dunkirk last summer to start an end to end of France and was told in no uncertain terms by the guy doing the loading at Dover that I had to dismount to go over the ramp for this very reason. I remember wondering whether this had ever happened!

    It also made me laugh that there was such concern about my welfare after being sent riding across the port in the midst of all the lorries and caravans.
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Got my front wheel stuck in the slot between deck plates at the weekend. Fortunately I was pushing so all that was dented was my pride...

    Personally speaking I would prefer to be let off last so as to avoid all the idiot Brits who are more concerned about getting away fast and driving on the right than they are for any cyclists they might meet on the way