Poll

How often do you use a train to get to the start / from the finish of an Audax event? (includes the night before / after and ECEs, but not unscheduled DNF)

Less than 6 times a year
21 (34.4%)
6 or more times a year
21 (34.4%)
Never and I do 6 events or more a year
12 (19.7%)
Never and I do less than 6 events a year
6 (9.8%)
You're having a laugh, I live on a line served by Southern / Thameslink!
1 (1.6%)

Total Members Voted: 61

Author Topic: Train to events  (Read 1274 times)

Martin

  • Give me bas relief
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Train to events
« on: August 06, 2019, 03:00:20 pm »
Splitting off from Ask Peeves, how many riders use trains to get to and from events and how often?

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Train to events
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2019, 03:03:10 pm »
On the day, or in total? I got the train to Bristol for wills full fat festive 500 last year but the evening before.

Have gotten the train to 2 brevets on the day so far this year.
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LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Train to events
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2019, 03:06:52 pm »
Took trains to/from from the Paris-Tourmalet 1000 UAF and the 2x200 UAF weekend near Paris this year.

With two of us riding a brevet, train tickets often cost considerably more than driving. Over half our UK brevets are by car. The rest are riding and/or trains.

I'll be driving the tandem to PBP though, as my stoker is meeting me in Rambouillet.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: Train to events
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2019, 03:09:21 pm »
I'll ride or ECE to the start if feasible* but otherwise, the train is vastly superior to driving to the event:
- Don't have to remove and attach the front wheel, which saves time
- Can have a beer at the Arrivée
- Being tired after the ride isn't a danger
- Can have a picnic / chat to other riders / watch the Strava likes roll in on the way home.
- For one-car households, doesn't tie up the vehicle all day

*Generally 'will I have to wake up before 0600'?
2017 - R500 ✅ | 2018 - R1000 ✅ | 2019 - ?

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Train to events
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2019, 03:11:40 pm »
I'm not riding now but have never owned a car.

I launched my Audax career by taking the train from London to Doncaster, a journey I would repeat for rides of 5 different lengths.

Car-free Audaxing generally means either riding to an event or taking a train. I've had a few lifts but really very few.

I think there are several car-free Audaxers here.

ETA I live less than 2 miles from a Thameslink station, which is irrelevant as I'm not riding...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Train to events
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2019, 03:13:30 pm »
I've taken a train to every one of the Audax calendar events I've done. I've also taken a ferry to get to one in Belgium. Apart from the rides that start in Amsterdam, every event requires a train to get there. Apart from the Zwolle, Maasland, or Overveen starts, I have to travel the night before. There's a ride I want to do in September, but can't travel the night before cos of an event. And the first train arrives 3-4km away from the start, 16 minutes before the start. I've pondered borrowing a car.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Train to events
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2019, 03:13:38 pm »
Haven't driven to an event for ages, but I have the advantage of living within cycling range of Bristol and Tewkesbury. For events starting further away I would normally take the train.

S2L

Re: Train to events
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2019, 03:16:24 pm »
YACF is a bit of a bubble though and it's not representative of what I see.
Besides, you won't find many people coming on here to say "I drive all over the country for Audax events".

My experience is that local riders (which are the majority for all BP and BR 200) tend to cycle or drive, depending how far they live

Re: Train to events
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2019, 03:31:12 pm »
Haven't done many Audaxes for a good few years but when I used to do them I used to pick events solely because I could get to them by train.

Not owning a car (at that time) would have meant renting one and, although that might have worked out as cheaper than train and extra hotels (I don't like the idea of driving straight after finishing, and would prefer to rest in a proper bed) in the end I don't agree with one more car on the road for something which isn't necessary.

Plus I'm based in London so it was quite easy to get by with trains for lots of rides.

I think I only did 5 Audaxes where I got to the start in a car (two were riding with friends and I couldn't convince them not to drive, another was a lift from a yacfer already driving, one was a lift from the organiser in return for helping set up, and the last was LEL'09 and that was more my wife wanting to wave me off).

Most of them just took planning in advance and required stays before/after, i.e.

Elenith: Train to Kiddiminster the night before, train back the day after the ride, 2 nights of Travelodge
   Trains were usually £20 each way advance fares, TL £40/night sometimes split with someone if I ended up sharing the room
BCM: Train to Bristol on the Friday, train home on Monday morning (and straight in to work!).
   Think I paid £25 in total for the trains (advance fares again) and £40/night for the Travelodge
MSG300: Train to Brum night before, hotel before/after, train home.

Knowing how to get the cheap advance train fares really helped keep the cost down.

Same for K&SW600, Snowdon & Coast 400, Border Raid 600, and a bunch of others I've long since forgotten.

More importantly, there are a bunch of rides I would have liked to have done but just didn't work logistically. They would have meant leaving work early on a Friday, or not being able to get back in time on Monday morning. Having to burn one or two days holiday for cycling would have dwarfed the entry/train/accommodation costs.

I'd only do hotels before/after for a 300 or longer. Just no point for a 200 as there are plenty local enough (or just a DIY or Perm).
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: Train to events
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2019, 03:37:34 pm »
Depends on who's rides I'm doing and whether I need to take the day off or not before/after.

Very few rides are located such that I can get to accommodation for check in the night before after work if I took the train... In fact the only one that worked out that way was the Auld Alliance, which started one station away from the end of the line.

From Dundee/Leuchars

On the day:
Forfar/Kirrie - no trains

Night Before:
Galashiels and Ponteland - no point taking day off, trains don't work out
Lake District - Car unless can easily get to start from Preston or Kendal (only 1 post work train suits for getting to Glasgow in time for the last 2 trains south)
Gourock - Can train this one, only 2 trains to Glasgow suitably timed after work...

Days off needed:
Anywhere else so depends on train suitability

S2L

Re: Train to events
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2019, 03:39:47 pm »

Knowing how to get the cheap advance train fares really helped keep the cost down.


Pity they only seem to exist for fares to and from London

Martin

  • Give me bas relief
    • WWW
Re: Train to events
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2019, 03:47:04 pm »

Knowing how to get the cheap advance train fares really helped keep the cost down.


Pity they only seem to exist for fares to and from London

not at all, Advance tickets are available anywhere (depends on the operator but Virgin do a lot)

I didn't tick the Southern option (and indeed their service has improved considerably unlike Thameslink) but I do live down there and have got the train to precisely one event on the day since I've lived there (in London fairly central start on a Saturday)

I cannot get the train to any local events (Kent / Sussex / Surrey / Hampshire) apart from my own in time for the start. I tend to stay in London / Relatives / Manotea's Audax Hilton  :thumbsup: the night before and get an early train on the day.

I generally don't like the idea of driving 200km or more just to ride 200 (from a green angle and also putting extra mileage on the car). As a result I find myself doing more solo perms which I can get to by train and DIYs from home. Not sure if anyone else thinks this way?

Re: Train to events
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2019, 03:49:20 pm »

Knowing how to get the cheap advance train fares really helped keep the cost down.


Pity they only seem to exist for fares to and from London

They exist for plenty of fares that don't involve London, but it does depend on the route and the operators.

For example, I just picked Bath and Sheffield at random and can see advance fares for trains on a Friday evening in late September.

£41.10 instead of the usual off-peak single price of £101.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: Train to events
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2019, 03:54:23 pm »
If you're looking for cheaper train tickets then www.railforums.co.uk has many people with good knowledge.
2017 - R500 ✅ | 2018 - R1000 ✅ | 2019 - ?

Re: Train to events
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2019, 04:14:49 pm »
Last year - 15 events inc DIY's, 4 with train one way, 1 with train both ways, all five of those included an overnight stop, 2 Travelodges and camping. The others starting from home, DIY, ECE and Summer Dart, only two of the calendar rides were local. 
I have the time so there's not a problem finding events to get to without a car, it does mean I can't do every one that appeals, but it's often possible to find trains and accommodation that are cheap enough if booked well in advance.  I live in Derby, so reasonably central and better train connections than some places.

S2L

Re: Train to events
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2019, 04:19:55 pm »
I have to say that discovering that I can ECE an event to the minimum BR distance by GPS as opposed to having to add a multiples of 100 every time is a game changer.

For instance there are quite a few 120 and 150 km BPs, which I can ECE to 200 adding not very much at all... previously I was put off by the idea of having to add another 100 km at the very minimum... often pointlessly as maybe I only live 20-30 km away

Re: Train to events
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2019, 04:20:25 pm »
I do fewer than 6 events per year, but get the train to/from those (there are very few within sensible riding distance, and I don't drive). The fact that I do fewer than 6 events per year may be related to the difficulty of getting to and from them by train...

S2L

Re: Train to events
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2019, 04:47:08 pm »
For a laugh, I checked how long/much it would be to train to Burnley to ride Tan Hill 200 on Sunday...

4 hours, 3 changes, 62 pounds and of course an extra night in hotel... so an extra 100 quid over petrol + 1 night hotel only

Martin

  • Give me bas relief
    • WWW
Re: Train to events
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2019, 04:51:48 pm »
I have to say that discovering that I can ECE an event to the minimum BR distance by GPS as opposed to having to add a multiples of 100 every time is a game changer.

For instance there are quite a few 120 and 150 km BPs, which I can ECE to 200 adding not very much at all... previously I was put off by the idea of having to add another 100 km at the very minimum... often pointlessly as maybe I only live 20-30 km away

You've always been able to ECE an extra 50 (or even 150) on top of a 150, it was the 80 on top of 120 that was recently allowed by mandatory route rules.

There may not be so many 150s next year; AIUI there was a ban on new 200s after a certain date because of PBP so they had to become non BRM

S2L

Re: Train to events
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2019, 04:54:37 pm »


There may not be so many 150s next year; AIUI there was a ban on new 200s after a certain date because of PBP so they had to become non BRM

Ha! I am organising a new one...  ;D

Re: Train to events
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2019, 05:12:38 pm »
I've taken a train to every one of the Audax calendar events I've done. I've also taken a ferry to get to one in Belgium. Apart from the rides that start in Amsterdam, every event requires a train to get there. Apart from the Zwolle, Maasland, or Overveen starts, I have to travel the night before. There's a ride I want to do in September, but can't travel the night before cos of an event. And the first train arrives 3-4km away from the start, 16 minutes before the start. I've pondered borrowing a car.

J

That's Merselo? Just do the 200 from Groningen instead :P First connection from Amsterdam (South station) arrives at 8:42. The start is 1km from the train station.

Re: Train to events
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2019, 05:14:38 pm »
Never taken the train to a calendar event but I don't do many of those. Often take the train for DIY to make my routes more varied. Helps relieve the boredom brought on by being over familiar with the route and can sometimes be used to take advantage of tailwind assistance.
Hear all, see all, say nowt

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: Train to events
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2019, 06:57:56 pm »
Same, I like to do one-way DIYs from home to get into new areas, with a train back.
2017 - R500 ✅ | 2018 - R1000 ✅ | 2019 - ?

Socks

  • FFCT rally, France 2012
Re: Train to events
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2019, 07:31:43 pm »
Given the difficulty in booking as the national booking system doesn't include cycle reservations, meaning additional phone call, with the possibility of no bike space; cost of tickets;  and limited options from my local station, without extra changes and therefore more booking complications ......

I have used a one way trip on the train a few times for a DIY, even then this means that I can't use the recumbent as it doesn't fit in the limited bike space.

So the easier, more reliable option is to use the van.  Obviously not environmentally friendly however our system doesn't seem to offer much of an alternative.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Train to events
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2019, 07:41:46 pm »
Less that 6 times a year, but I've probably used a train to travel to about 90% of the events I've done.  The rest I've ridden to from home, apart from that one time I hitched a lift to the Silly Suffolk with Chris S and fboab.

On the other hand, I have been driving to BHPC races (that aren't practically trainable).  Partly because I find it easier to justify the expense (I can, ultimately, get most of the lanterne rouge audax experience from home just by going for a bike ride), but also because criterium racing tends not to leave me in a state where I'm concerned about falling asleep at the wheel.

I think I've used a train to get to about 100% of FNRttCs, and I do far more of those than audaxes.  I note that the organisers strongly discourage driving home, and make an effort to plan train-compatible rides.
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