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Traveling to France with or without bikes?????(3 posts)

Traveling to France with or without bikes?????grannygear
Sep 6, 2002 6:11 AM
We're planning a self-guided tour in the Provence region and would like to bring our bikes but are concerned with TGV (train) transport form Paris to Avignon. Has anyone had experience with traveling the TGV with boxed bikes? Alternatively, has anyone had experience renting expectable, good quality road bike in the Provence area? I don't hesitate to travel within the US with a boxed bike but I'm a neophyte when it comes to the French transport system...

Thanks,
Steve
Most likely yes. . .js5280
Sep 6, 2002 9:42 AM
I'm pretty sure you can. Here's a link: http://www.voyages-sncf.com/info_resa/passenger_guide/available_services/baggage/home.htm?LG=FR&Rubrique=Available+Services&Theme=Baggage

The link above is in the navigation menu for the TGV ( http://www.voyages-sncf.com/info_resa/passenger_guide/rail_travel_guide/during_journey/boarding/home.htm?LG=FR&Rubrique=Rail+Travel+Guide&Theme=During+Journey&Sujet=Boarding )so I assume that's the TGV policy as well.

I'd follow it up with email, phone call, or verification from their train schedule just to make sure.
Wouldn't recommend a LA edition Trek bike/box ;-)

In Italy these guys had no problems hopping on the train with their bikes(I'm taking the picture from the train and they are getting on the train.) It's the Italian Riveria, so right across the border from Provence. . .


Here's what Rail Europe has to say:
http://www.raileurope.com/us/faq/trains.htm#bike

I suggest looking at the train schedule for the specific train you're going to take. I think Italian schedules had a little bike symbol if it was okay to bring aboard. For what I've heard though, the Italian trains are much more relaxed that other EU rail service.
re: Traveling to France with or without bikes?????VVS
Sep 6, 2002 10:01 AM
France is a nation of bicyclists and the SNCF generally accommodates bikes well. As another reply said for Italy, the detailed schedules have a bike symbol indicating the train will take an ASSEMBLED bike; not all trains offer this service. Bikes are hung from a row of ceiling hooks by the front wheel; probably not what you want for your dream bike but quite good if yours is already less than cosmetically perfect. A bike in a box is probably luggage, possibly oversized luggage. SNCF has a website and US office(s). You should be able to confirm the info you need and make reservations when the time is right.

I've biked a week in Provence and a week in the Dordogne. They are among my best vacations.

Suggestions: (1) if you stay in the same hotel the first and last nights, it will generally keep your bike box for your return. (2) an overnight train (not TGV) avoids a hotel bill at a small sacrifice in comfort and privacy; get a couchette, basically one of 4 bunks which fold down in 6 seat compartments, reservations required.

Lots of other useful info on http://www.ktc.com/~blodwen/