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Travel Transportation Airs, Trains, Buses, and Boats, what should I do ? What´s a Eurail Pass? How to rent a car abroad ? Is it safe to take the bus?

Raileurope.com: See Europe by train
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Old 05-24-2005, 05:08 AM   #1
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So I just read that some airlines will actually ship your bike for free, as it's considered one of your checked items. Is it worth it? I'm fairly mechanical and bike savvy and would love to bike as much as possible through Europe. Here are my questions...

If I ship my bike can I bring it on the trains? Will they charge extra?

Do they(all of Europe?) have multiple day rentals for bikes?

If you've done any biking I would love all your thoughts and tips.
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Old 05-24-2005, 05:46 AM   #2
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*F.Y.I *

United WILL check your bike for free! Just called.
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Old 05-24-2005, 10:35 AM   #3
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All of Europe? Probably not. Much of Europe? Probably. Some cities and countries are a lot more bike friendly than others, in terms of terrain and climate, and also other drivers! Obviously you'll have no problems in the Netherlands and Denmark and other places where the bike rules the road, but if you're heading east, you may encounter some difficulties - roads where drivers aren't accustomed to cyclists, and maybe don't accommodate them generously (with no shoulders to escape maniacal passers) and a lack of spare parts come immediately to mind...

But for the most part I doubt you'd have many problems, especially if you're inventive about repairs if your parts aren't available! (A friend of ours just got his bike shipped over from the states to Lithuania, and had to buy new pedals because his shoes only fit a certain make and they don't have them here. And can't get them here... just an example.)

Just glancing quickly at my Lonely Planet Western Europe, they highly recommend cycling as a way of getting around, and it looks like you can take slow trains for a slight surcharge (a couple of bucks, which is more than offset by your reduced transport costs) but a more expensive charge on the faster (ie. Intercity, Express etc.) trains. It also mentions that some hostels rent bikes, but if you can get yours here for free, why bother? And rentals of more than a week don't look too common, but a couple of days in each city should certainly be possible.
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Old 05-24-2005, 11:10 AM   #4
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If I remember correctly, most of the trains charge a pretty penny to transport bikes, they have to be in the box, etc. (Sure, you'll bring it over in a box, but are you going to carry it with you?)

If you're really dedicated to the biking idea, you can actually bike through much of Europe (something my roommates would DEFINITELY do) - and use it as your main means of transport. There are some excellent bike paths. Like Tumblez said, the Netherlands is VERY bike friendly (you can easily bike across the country without breaking a sweat) and places like Spain have paths like the scenic Bicí Carril, which lets you bike from the mountains to the Costa Brava and down...

You might want to go to the library and take a look at some books about cycling europe - I'm sure they'll also have plenty of tips for transporting your bike by train, etc.
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Old 05-25-2005, 04:30 AM   #5
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Thanks Omi and Tumble. I still have some time to debate the bike issue before I go. I think it would be awesome to do but logisticly, if I want to hit several countries, I don't know about assembling and disassembling every time I hop on a train.
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Old 05-26-2005, 04:10 AM   #6
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When I was in Europe I saw on a couple of occasions people with fold up bikes that they boarded the train with. Really cool!

ev
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