We want to encourage people to travel to and from the Biketour in the most sustainable ways possible.
The Biketour is starting in Pamplona on the 29th of June this year. You can check the day-by-day plan on this page: Route
To get in contact with us once we are on the road, the best way is to call or message the communal phone: +49 1578 4844802 or for 2018 also +34 672 54 00 78
There are different ways to get around Europe taking your bike with you.
- Hitchbike (take your bike with you while hitchhiking). It usually takes much longer, but is generally possible. People have also hitchbiked on boats.
- Take a bus. Some buses officially take bikes. Usually you have to take the luggage off, sometimes you have to take off the wheels and pedals and wrap the bike in a plastic bag. Sometimes, the bike is stored in the luggage compartment of the bus, sometimes there is a special bike rack in the end. If a bus company officially takes bikes, it is usually written in the section about luggage on their website. Usually it costs around 10 € per bike. One website where you can search for buses across Europe is Busradar, although it doesn’t know about all the lines. Rome2Rio can also be good to get an overview over the available connections.
In the past, a lot of participants were travelling with their bike across europe. We had different expieriences, it is often somehow possible to take the bike, even if they say beforehand that its not. As long as the bus is not completely filled up. Although, this might include some stressful discussions with busdrivers… But it also happens that people get rejected. If you search for the bus company and ‘taking bikes’, there are always many stories from people about how to do it.We made a table with bus-companys and how they are with bikes: https://calc.rankenste.in/jzc11eny1aFlixbus has a special offer to explore Europe called “InterFlix“. For 99 € you get 5 codes with which you can choose 5 direct different routes regardless of how far you go (so 1 code costs about 20 €). The codes get activated after 2 days from purchase and are valid for 3 months (so can be used to get to the biketour and to go back afterwards). Just keep in mind that “a direct return trip along the same route is not possible” and you can’t transfer the tickets to other person (doesn’t say if codes can’t be transferred neither).
- Take a train. The regulations are different in every country. On the website of Deutsche Bahn, you can search for connections that take bikes across Europe. For international journeys, you need an international bike ticket, which costs 10 €. Usually, if you take your bike apart and wrap it up, it counts as regular luggage and you can take it on any train without paying for it. For train journeys that cross country borders, it always makes sense to check the railway companies of all countries, as prices might differ greatly. Sometimes, it is even cheaper to book a ticket from a country where you don’t even want to go (a ticket from Berlin to Cologne might cost 89 € with German railways, but a ticket from Prague to Cologne via Berlin might cost only 45 € with Czech Railways, and you can still use it to travel from Berlin to Cologne). Bikes in train in Spanish territory and Bikes in train in Portugal
- Find a rideshare. The most known website is BlaBlaCar, although it is commercial and evil. Some German alternatives (that also have international journeys) are BesserMitfahren and Fahrgemeinschaft. Most rides cannot take a bike, but some go with a van and have space. French alternative: LaRoueVerte
- Take a ferry.
- Take a plane. Please note that we discourage taking planes due to their disproportionally large environmental impact, but we acknowledge that some people might need to fly due to work/study/whatever-related time restrictions or because they live really far away.
Some months before the start of the Biketour, we will put online a registration form where you can sign up to join. That will put you on a participants mailing list where you can contact other people who are also planning to join the tour, for example to organise travel groups.
Country-specific travel advice
- FacilMap with public transportation layer
- Busradar (bus connections across Europe)
- Deutsche Bahn (quite good at finding international train connections, does not work so well on the Iberian peninsula)
In Spain the main company offering long-distance routes is Alsa. Their prices are generally better than using trains. You can take your bike for a fee of “€5 on short trips or €10 on longer journeys”. You can read the conditions for transporting a bike here.
Flixbus also has a direct line from Paris to Porto (stopping in Bordeaux, Bayonne, San Sebastian, Bilbao, Santander, Santiago, Vigo and Pontevedra). You can’t buy a bike ticket for this line but you might be able to take it as an extra luggage. You must call the company 48 hours before a ride to reserve a space for it and then check with the driver if they let you take it. Check their policy here.
Also keep in mind that if you are using InterFlix codes to get to Spain or Portugal from Paris, you won’t be able to use those codes to go back by the same line.
Connections can be found on Renfe. There are different types of trains (info on Renfe, in a blog):
- Long-distance trains (LD, AVE, Avant, Alaris, Altaria, Alvia, Arco, Euromed, Talgo, Star, Trenhotel): Bikes have to be folded or packed (pedals removed, handlebar turned)
- Regional (medium-distance) trains (MD, Intercity, Regional Express, Regional Cadence, Regional Delta, Regional Lynx, TRD, TRD, R-598, Series 499, Series 599, Celta): Bikes can be taken if there is space, can be reserved, 3 € if more than 100 km.
- Local trains (Cercanía): Bikes can be taken for free.
Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to search for connections using only regional trains. This map of medium-distance trains might be useful. Here you can find the map split up into region but bigger (overview of the regions). Find out where you will have to change and then find the individual trains using Renfe. Usually medium-distance trains have a fixed price and tickets can be bought on the train (not sure if always).
It seems like Intercity trains go further distances, accept bikes, have flexible prices but are not on the map.
There are 3 main bus-companies in France, according to this page wich is talking about taking bikes on busses:
- Flixbus/Megabus: you can officially take bikes on some lines, for example paris-strasbourg. You always pack your bike and book a big piece of luggage for 9€
- isilines/Eurolines: on the compare page it says, when they asked the company, the answer was they would take a bike when it can be taken apart and not more than 5. On their own website they say they don’t take bikes…
- Ouibus/Starshipper: would have to be packed in a box where lenght+height+width<200cm. Which is normally to small for a bicycle.
In France you can take regional trains without paying extra for your bike. In the others, like TGV you need to reserve wich costs 10€. If you pack it, it can go for free as well.
There is this page for cheap second-hand train-tickets: http://www.trocdestrains.com/
For getting to Bure, they have a rideshare-page https://covoit.vmc.camp/index.php
Most busses from Flixbus take bikes for 9€ extra.
(Almost?) all regional trains take bikes. Of the higher-speed trains, only some IC/EC take bikes. On bahn.de, there is a checkbox to search for connections that officially accept bikes all across Europe. For regional trains, you have to buy a Fahrradtageskarte Nahverkehr (5.50 €) for your bicycle (on some connections, you can take a bike for free, but the regulations are complicated and in German). For higher-speed trains, the bicycle ticket costs 9 € and has to be reserved in advance. Because the train companies still live in the past, when you want to take a bike across a national border, you suddenly have to pay 10 €. Tickets can be bought online, and every German train station has a ticket machine where you can buy them.
For the passenger ticket, there is the possibility to buy a day ticket for all regional trains across Germany for 44 € for the first person and 8 € for each of up to 4 additional people (Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket, on Saturday and Sunday Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket for 40+4×4 €). This makes it particularly cheap to travel in groups, for example for 5 people the price is 15.20 € per person (11.20 € on Sat/Sun) for all across Germany. Individual regions have a separate regional ticket, for example Baden-Württemberg for 23+4×5 €. Everything plus the ticket for the bike(s).
There is a private train company that runs really cheap trains from Berlin to Stuttgart called Locomore.
If you have any hints or tips you would like to share with us like special offers, good train routes, or which bus companies are bike friendly, you can leave us a comment below or write us an email at 2017 at ecotopiabiketour dot net!