Author Topic: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye  (Read 3942 times)

Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« on: June 19, 2018, 10:15:14 pm »
Like others I found this tough but the route was brilliant and well done to the whole team that put this together (even though I might have 'hated' them at points about the hills). The BBQ at the end was great and I was just gutted that I wasn't feeling well enough to tuck in.

I chatted to one guy at Stow about PBP and mentioned that I'd got the coach over in 2015 and was planning to again in 2019. Then on Monday I got an email from Baxters Cycling trips about 2019 so if anyone prefers getting someone else to organise the travel, accommodation and to travel with other PBPers then have a look a this link:

http://www.baxterscyclingtrips.com/Paris-Brest-Paris-2019.html

thing1

  • aka Joth
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Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2018, 09:15:01 am »
Good tip about Baxter's opening bookings. You might want to put that in the pbp board
https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?board=83.0

Rich XAB

  • Dulwich on the outside, Peckham on the inside!
Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2018, 09:30:56 am »
Like others I found this tough but the route was brilliant and well done to the whole team that put this together (even though I might have 'hated' them at points about the hills). The BBQ at the end was great and I was just gutted that I wasn't feeling well enough to tuck in.

I chatted to one guy at Stow about PBP and mentioned that I'd got the coach over in 2015 and was planning to again in 2019. Then on Monday I got an email from Baxters Cycling trips about 2019 so if anyone prefers getting someone else to organise the travel, accommodation and to travel with other PBPers then have a look a this link:

http://www.baxterscyclingtrips.com/Paris-Brest-Paris-2019.html

What was your 2015 experience of Baxters re bag drops, hotels, organisation etc?

Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2018, 03:17:00 pm »
Best way to get to Paris, IMO, is to ride there. There are usually groups meeting at Newhaven and Portsmouth for overnight ferries. A great way to start the event. Last time we rode back too.

Phil W

Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2018, 05:03:17 pm »
Agree best way is to ride to PBP and ride back via oodles of cidre. There was a quiz at the meeting pub in Newhaven last time.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2018, 05:33:59 pm »
Agree best way is to ride to PBP and ride back via oodles of cidre. There was a quiz at the meeting pub in Newhaven last time.

Anyone planning on riding there from Amsterdam or anywhere on route from Amsterdam?

Tho the idea of doing 540km, to the start to then ride another 1200 seems... optimistic...

J
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http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2018, 05:55:39 pm »
I got the Baxter's email too.  It's irrelevant as I always ride there and back. 

Having a motor-vehicle tagging along would rather spoil it for me.

Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2018, 07:00:52 pm »
If I do it again, and if I have time, I'd look to ride to/fro.

But for a first timer PBP is a massively daunting thing that the prospect of adding to all of the uncertainties with extra riding before/after was enough to put me off (and PBP wasn't going to be my longest ride to date as I'd done LEL 2 years prior).

With a Baxter's tour lots of things that are a worry get taken out of your hands and dealt with and you can free up time to deal with other worries/concerns, I can see why they are popular for many first timers.

I guess it comes down to experience. If you find Audax in a year before PBP and just sneak in the qualification rides then riding to/from PBP might be a bit much for many (not all of course). If you find Audax in PBP year (too late to qualify and ride it) or the subsequent year you might be ECE-ing to/from 600km Audaxes by the time it comes to PBP and wouldn't think twice about riding to/from PBP.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

mattc

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Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2018, 07:05:20 pm »
Agree best way is to ride to PBP and ride back via oodles of cidre. There was a quiz at the meeting pub in Newhaven last time.

Anyone planning on riding there from Amsterdam or anywhere on route from Amsterdam?

Tho the idea of doing 540km, to the start to then ride another 1200 seems... optimistic...

J
Bear in mind that when most Brits say "just ride there!" what they mean is ride from one of the French ferry ports [probably 100-200km from the start].

So I suspect this is mainly a British tradition - and one that I thoroughly recommend. Can you get to Portsmouth easily QG??
Has never ridden RAAM
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citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2018, 07:17:22 pm »
Anyone planning on riding there from Amsterdam or anywhere on route from Amsterdam?

IF I do PBP, and IF I ride to the start, I will most likely go via Dover-Calais or Dover-Dunkerque, so could potentially meet up with you en route depending on which way you were going.

At this stage, though, those are two pretty big IFs.

ETA: just checked the routing, and although Dover is closer to home than Newhaven, the overall cycling distance to St Q via Dover is longer than via Newhaven-Dieppe, it's just the Channel crossing that's shorter. That puts a different complexion on things.

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2018, 10:02:20 pm »
My ride to PBP and back was the best part of PBP.

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fboab

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Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2018, 10:15:12 pm »
'Just ride there and back' sounds great. So straightforward, and FUN!

558km to Newhaven. And then Dieppe to not-really-Paris

In 2011 after I finished, the ride to our hotel in Versailles was torture- I was very close to crying the whole way and couldn't rest my (ample) posterior on the saddle.
(click to show/hide)

In 2015 I slept for about 30 hours, only waking to eat, afterwards.

I guess if I'd had to ride home I would have done abandoned the bike in a hedge and caught a train.

We'll be driving down. And may well have motorised support.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2018, 10:15:50 pm »
Bear in mind that when most Brits say "just ride there!" what they mean is ride from one of the French ferry ports [probably 100-200km from the start].

So I suspect this is mainly a British tradition - and one that I thoroughly recommend. Can you get to Portsmouth easily QG??

I can, but it's very much going the long way round. Cycle to Dunkirk, ferry to dover, then NCR 2... Don't think this is any shorter you know...

If I got a train to the nearest Belgian station to France (simplifies taking the bike on the train) - Kortrijk, then it's about 266km. If I take the S&S bike, maybe it'll be easier just to take the Thalys direct from outside my door...

J
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http://b.42q.eu/

αdαmsκι

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Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2018, 06:46:12 am »
In 2015 I got the Eurostar from St Pancras to Paris, cycled across central Paris to Gare Montparnasse and took the train from there to Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (or rather Trappes that's a few km further along the line).

Since 2015 there's been various reports about changes to how Eurostar deals with bicycles. I've not used Eurostar since PBP and therefore am not sure how easy this option will be in 2019.
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Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2018, 07:08:53 am »
Over the years my time has become more constrained.   I used to ride to/from via Newhaven-Dieppe which made for a pleasant couple of days of riding.

Last time I drove to Dover about 4am Saturday and caught an early boat, checked into my hotel about 2pm and then rode to the bike check.   I drove home on the Friday, home for about 6pm.

The pro’s are that you are away from home less.   The con’s are that the Saturday is a bit of a rush and I don’t recommend it if you haven’t been before, but also you don’t really experience the atmosphere.

Phil W

Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2018, 01:11:11 pm »
It is 180-190km to the start from Dieppe  via the shortest nice ways, depending on your route choice.  The overnight ferry releases you around 5-6am depending on tides.  So Thursday overnight, ride Friday, bike check Sat, ride PBP starting Sun, return following Sat works well.

Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2018, 02:30:39 pm »
I was very time poor in 2011. I flew out on the Saturday morning, cross Paris to the bike check and to hotel, start Sunday evening, finished Thursday lunchtime, flight home first thing Friday morning. (I wasn't confident enough to book the flight home on Thursday evening as I was worried about finishing late and missing it.)

I was only in France for 142 hours, 88 of which was PBP itself.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2018, 02:38:40 pm »
I was very time poor in 2011. I flew out on the Saturday morning, cross Paris to the bike check and to hotel, start Sunday evening, finished Thursday lunchtime, flight home first thing Friday morning. (I wasn't confident enough to book the flight home on Thursday evening as I was worried about finishing late and missing it.)

I was only in France for 142 hours, 88 of which was PBP itself.

Similarly I drove down on the Friday to northern France and registered/stayed Saturday at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, started Sunday afternoon with the vedettes finishing Wednesday lunchtime. By the Wednesday evening I was in northern France, home in Yorkshire Thursday evening.

I think I missed a lot by keeping it so brief. Next time I'll be slower as I'm planning to ride a Raleigh Twenty and I'll take my time.

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2018, 05:08:24 pm »
Returning to the OP, a few observations on the Baxters offer.

It's not clear to me whether this is coming from Sporting Tours, which was Graham Baxter's old company, sold in about 2010, or a new venture in which Graham is personally involved (presumably because his non-compete restriction will have expired).  It makes a difference.

In 2003 I went to PBP as one of a large group of AUKs with Sporting Tours.  Chris Crossland, now our esteemed Chair, secured us a group discount and handled all the bookings. Most of it went well. Graham was on the trip to deal with any problems and took a bunch of us out for a familiarisation ride on the Saturday morning. The hotel was good, and not far from the start, with decent meals, wine included.  During the ride there were coaches at Fougeres, Carhaix and Mortagne (return leg) for those who wanted to use drop bags.  As Greenbank says, for a first-timer it took away a lot of the hassle, particularly as the administration in those far-off days was somewhat less slick than it is today, and it was good to be in the company of more experienced riders who knew the ropes.

I went again with Sporting Tours in 2011. The hotel was much further from the start (20 mins by bike if you could find the way) and the food was abysmal. Wine was extra and very expensive.  There was no one from the company on hand to deal with our concerns and it was only because I got in touch with the head office on the day before the ride to register our collective annoyance that we got some decent food and a glass of wine on our return.  To give them their  due, they responded quickly and we were also offered a small refund, which I imagine most accepted.  However, absent any recommendations from later customers, I'd be wary of trying them again.

In 2015 I made all my own arrangements and rode with everything I needed in a saddlebag.  Worked fine, but it helped that I was happy to book a cheap hotel for the whole week and leave everything I didn't need on the road behind.  For 2019 I've reserved an apartment near the start, and may ride there and back, but I would consider using the Baxters option again if reassured about the service.
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Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2018, 09:41:29 pm »
Agree best way is to ride to PBP and ride back via oodles of cidre. There was a quiz at the meeting pub in Newhaven last time.

Anyone planning on riding there from Amsterdam or anywhere on route from Amsterdam?

Tho the idea of doing 540km, to the start to then ride another 1200 seems... optimistic...

J

If I ride PBP then the idea of doing Sheffield --> Hull --> Rotterdam --> Paris  is vaguely tempting, we could meet up....

Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2018, 08:16:16 am »
Bear in mind that when most Brits say "just ride there!" what they mean is ride from one of the French ferry ports [probably 100-200km from the start].

So I suspect this is mainly a British tradition - and one that I thoroughly recommend. Can you get to Portsmouth easily QG??

I can, but it's very much going the long way round. Cycle to Dunkirk, ferry to dover, then NCR 2... Don't think this is any shorter you know...

If I got a train to the nearest Belgian station to France (simplifies taking the bike on the train) - Kortrijk, then it's about 266km. If I take the S&S bike, maybe it'll be easier just to take the Thalys direct from outside my door...

J

Belgian Railways announced a new crossborder train starting in december 2018, from Mons to Maubeuge and Aulnoye. There's a direct Intercity train from Maubeuge to Paris a few times per day, no reservation needed, 35 Euro and free bike transport. It's my favourite route to Paris, up till now it involved a 22k bikeride between Mons and Maubeuge.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2018, 07:05:37 pm »

Belgian Railways announced a new crossborder train starting in december 2018, from Mons to Maubeuge and Aulnoye. There's a direct Intercity train from Maubeuge to Paris a few times per day, no reservation needed, 35 Euro and free bike transport. It's my favourite route to Paris, up till now it involved a 22k bikeride between Mons and Maubeuge.

Ooh, that's good to know. I had to do that 21k bit to Mons a couple of weeks back after scratching BPB. Was amazed how poor cross border options were. Glad they are bringing in a new service.

Thanks for the heads up.

J
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http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2018, 02:37:56 pm »

It's not clear to me whether this is coming from Sporting Tours, which was Graham Baxter's old company, sold in about 2010, or a new venture in which Graham is personally involved (presumably because his non-compete restriction will have expired).  It makes a difference.

Looking a the record at Companies House, https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/03241482, Graham Baxter Sporting Tours Limited is a dormant company.  Graham Baxter and Elizabeth Baxter both resigned as directors in 2007.  Their address is given as 21 Manor Gardens, LS21 1NB, which is the same address given on the website as the contact address for Baxter's Cycling Trips.

On this basis, I suspect it is the second of Redlight's possibilities; a new venture in which Graham Baxter is personally involved (or at least his letter box is!).

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2018, 11:49:17 am »
Best way to get to Paris, IMO, is to ride there. There are usually groups meeting at Newhaven and Portsmouth for overnight ferries. A great way to start the event. Last time we rode back too.

Was looking last night, noticed that the Saturday night ferry from Caen (no Le Havre that night) back to Portsmouth is showing seats only.
Seems an excuse to spend the Saturday and Sunday exploring northern France before sailing back at night on their nice new ferry due for delivery in June (so probably late and get some old tub instead).

But not sure if Portsmouth is the most sensible route to take as I'll need to travel up to London first (probably on the sleeper though they're wanting 205 quid for a bed on the 14th august next year so maybe not...).


Re: Travel to PBP; was Re: Wander Wye
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2018, 04:22:45 pm »
Best way to get to Paris, IMO, is to ride there. There are usually groups meeting at Newhaven and Portsmouth for overnight ferries. A great way to start the event. Last time we rode back too.

Was looking last night, noticed that the Saturday night ferry from Caen (no Le Havre that night) back to Portsmouth is showing seats only.
Seems an excuse to spend the Saturday and Sunday exploring northern France before sailing back at night on their nice new ferry due for delivery in June (so probably late and get some old tub instead).

But not sure if Portsmouth is the most sensible route to take as I'll need to travel up to London first (probably on the sleeper though they're wanting 205 quid for a bed on the 14th august next year so maybe not...).

I have been looking at that too. If I leave on the Sunday, I can get a cabin but only a seat on the Saturday. So an extra day in France. Overnight there and back seems the sensible option to me.