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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm guessing it differs from each train company, but I bought an EU Global pass and was wondering if it will be a big deal to bring my bike on or not?

And while I am at it, where in FR, CH, and IT should I be riding for single track/awesome views/fire roads. I am thinking about cycling throughout IT, or through most of it, then a train to Sicily, then using my bike to get around Sicily. Haven't decided yet.

Thanks : )
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
crisillo said:
usually it is not an issue on regional or commuter trains, but on the fast ones like the ICE, it can be a problem (no bike wagon)
If I go to each of the train timetables, will it tell me if they will allow it? What's the usual extra charge to bring bikes?

So TGV is out, too?

I need to use the direct train (not sure if it's "fast" or not) from Venice to Zurich. That'll be on the way back with my bike. If they don't allow bikes, what can I do?
 

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yeah..you can ask at the station.... well you could "pack it in a box or bag"

I once brought my bike in a box from Amsterdam to Saarbrücken...and while it was a problem to find a place big enough for it on the train, nobody complained, since it was "a box"

you could get a box at a LBS before getting on the train..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
crisillo said:
yeah..you can ask at the station.... well you could "pack it in a box or bag"

I once brought my bike in a box from Amsterdam to Saarbrücken...and while it was a problem to find a place big enough for it on the train, nobody complained, since it was "a box"

you could get a box at a LBS before getting on the train..
Trains don't mind that big of a piece of luggage? I can get a box, and have it dismantled, but that won't work when I need to take a train from say, Venice to Rome. Do I have other options? I'm really only going to be in IT and CH - with a bit of FR added in for good mix (I want to see Versailles and shop in Paris).
 

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BohemianChris said:
Trains don't mind that big of a piece of luggage? I can get a box, and have it dismantled, but that won't work when I need to take a train from say, Venice to Rome. Do I have other options? I'm really only going to be in IT and CH - with a bit of FR added in for good mix (I want to see Versailles and shop in Paris).
I didn't have a problem, but I did walk a bit inside the train to look for a spot where the box wouldn't be in the way.....

If you have the time go and ask at the train station before hand, so that you know where you can and can't exactly... that's the safest bet...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
crisillo said:
I didn't have a problem, but I did walk a bit inside the train to look for a spot where the box wouldn't be in the way.....

If you have the time go and ask at the train station before hand, so that you know where you can and can't exactly... that's the safest bet...
Yeah, I don't want to get stranded. Do I have to ask the train station, or would the websites (in English) have that information? Once I head from Venice to Zurich, I won't be riding anymore, so I don't mind it being boxed up. But other times, I'll be back peddling.

Sigh. I just hope they aren't as bad as airline luggage restrictions. Do the train operators mind if you put the bike standing up next to you, if there is an empty seat? I'm guessing that would only work on trains that you don't have to reserve a seat for.

When you said bag, did you just mean a huge garbage type bag? I'd be more comfortable with that considering it's an expensive bike and I don't want it stolen.

I'm sorry of my ignorance towards this subject - I really have no damn clue of what I'm doing.

And would you happen to know a nice shirt that does the best job wicking away the sweat (it'll need to be able 10-15 pounds if I have a tent, less without) so when my backpack is on, my back won't feel horrible.

Isn't there luggage cars on all the trains where you can throw your luggage in? Wouldn't it be as simple as paying a higher price for an oversize item?

Have you ever done any biking through Europe before? Any tips? Like I said, I want to do as much as Italy and CH as possible. In CH I have a friend's house to stay at, so that trip will have a lighter backpack, but in IT I have to stock up on both regular clothes and dress clothes, along with a tie (just in case). And a swimsuit, of course. : )

Thanks a lot. This dream is becoming reality. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Are you familiar with bike bags? I read the Trenitalia site and it reads

"Within the limits of the places available, you can take your bicycle with you on the Suburban, Regional, Direct and Inter-regional trains, marked in the Timetable by the appropriate pictogram, and paying a supplement of 3.50 euro valid 24 hours or, as an alternative to the supplement ticket, a ticket at the full second class fare having the same characteristics of the ticket held by the traveller.
On some Intercity, EuroCity and EuroNight, Express Night services - these too marked in the Timetable by an appropriate pictogram, the transport of bicycles on international routes is done by paying a full-price ticket including the 10 euro for travelling with your bicycle.
Also, on all the Italy-only ('national') services, free bicycle transport is allowed in the appropriate bags, except for in the Eurostar Italia, TBiz and TrenOk services, where they can only be carried if left in the spaces in the carriage vestibules. If there are no places available, the bicycles can be placed elsewhere provided they do not block the way or cause problems to other passengers or the on-board personnel.
In any case, the bags travel at customers' risk. The insurance policy for luggage left in the vestibules, couchettes and WLs, covers up to a maximum of € 260 for cases of theft.
It is also possible to deposit, free of charge, the empty sack at the stations that provide this service, for 24 hours starting from ticket stamping. "

I've never heard of these bike bags. A friend of mine in CH sent me to a site where they wanted 250USD for one. That can't be right.

Maybe this will help more, I'll come into Italia through the direct train from Zurich to Milan with my bike. I will then bike a bit and take a train to Venice. Then bike a bit more southwest and take a bike to Florence. Then a train to Rome, then a train to Naples. (I was told don't go south of Naples with my bike or it'll be stolen, which is a pity, I wanted to enjoy the beaches of Sicily but I guess there's the Amafali Coast). Then Naples to Zurich (as direct and quickly as possible) I don't mind the extra charge, but I want to make sure my bike is safe, and I won't have any problems because I can't dismantle and DHL it everywhere - not only will it get expensive, but it's a waste of time.

Thanks for your help. Where do you live, by the way?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
crisillo said:
yeah..that's the kind of "bag" I was referring to.....you might want to check this one out
http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=15325

CRC ships cheaply within Europe so you might be able to ship it where you arrive.
That's an extra 6.2kg on my back - not gonna work.

Are they actually not going to let me board if I don't have a bag (I bought an Eu Rail global pass)? I'd put it in a box that I could find locally, but carrying an extra 6.2kg on my back is unreasonable and will hurt my back considering I'm looking at 60-100km a day.

What is CRC?
 

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BohemianChris said:
That's an extra 6.2kg on my back - not gonna work.

Are they actually not going to let me board if I don't have a bag (I bought an Eu Rail global pass)? I'd put it in a box that I could find locally, but carrying an extra 6.2kg on my back is unreasonable and will hurt my back considering I'm looking at 60-100km a day.

What is CRC?
yeah good point (CRC is chain reaction cycles, the store in the link)

well...the regulations on trains vary from country to country...you already have the italian ones...just check theother ones if possible..and adjust acordingly.....

as it said in the text you found, it can be the case that they restrict your options for going with the bike, so be prepared to be flexible in that regard...
 

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BohemianChris said:
Thanks. Do all trains allow you at least one piece of luggage? And where do you store it? Next/above you, or in a luggage car?
luggage is not "limited" AFAIK in trains.... usually you can put your luggage above you or at one of the ends of the wagon you travel on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sounds great. Now I just have to decide where to ride in CH, IT, and maybe FR...

I still have my ticket d'treize so I can get around Provence for 1e, but I don't think they allow bikes. Pitty - I could go from Cannes, then to Marseille, and bike to Aix and Avignon.
 

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BohemianChris said:
Thanks. Do all trains allow you at least one piece of luggage? And where do you store it? Next/above you, or in a luggage car?
Its pretty much unlimited luggage. If it fits you can keep it next to you, but the bike will probably need to go in the luggage area or bike area depending on the trains. All the long distance trains will have areas for luggage or bikes.

I can highly recommend the riding in Switzerland. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
ir12daveor said:
Its pretty much unlimited luggage. If it fits you can keep it next to you, but the bike will probably need to go in the luggage area or bike area depending on the trains. All the long distance trains will have areas for luggage or bikes.

I can highly recommend the riding in Switzerland. :thumbsup:
Where in CH do you recommend going? My "base camp", if you will is 20km north of Zurich at a friend's house. Thought about taking the train to Zermatt and spend a few days there, then coming back. Basel, Lucerne, and Geneva are on my list. Not sure where else to go.
 

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BohemianChris said:
Where in CH do you recommend going? My "base camp", if you will is 20km north of Zurich at a friend's house. Thought about taking the train to Zermatt and spend a few days there, then coming back. Basel, Lucerne, and Geneva are on my list. Not sure where else to go.
That depends on what you are looking for. My favourite area is right by St. Moritz in the Engadine valley, there are so many trails with unreal views up there. Its well worth a few days trip.

There are also some nice routes that I know of in Jura (Creux de Van) is one I have done myself which was really cool.

Ticino down south has some pretty good trails, and if its raining on the north side of the alps there is a good chance it is dry and sunny down there.

There are also some trails worth checking out in and around Zurich. Uetliberg is a municipal trail that drops about 400m in altitude, The climb is on fireroad and then you get a great view over the city and lake before hitting the trail. Its good fun. The other side of the city has Zuriberg which has more cross country type loops which can be fun too.

There are loads of resources online for biking in Switzerland, most in German, but here's one in English. It's not go that much on it yet, but hopefully more people will start to add routes with time. The same site has loads of information for English speakers in Switzerland.
 

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ir12daveor said:
That depends on what you are looking for. My favourite area is right by St. Moritz in the Engadine valley, there are so many trails with unreal views up there. Its well worth a few days trip.

There are also some nice routes that I know of in Jura (Creux de Van) is one I have done myself which was really cool.

Ticino down south has some pretty good trails, and if its raining on the north side of the alps there is a good chance it is dry and sunny down there.

There are also some trails worth checking out in and around Zurich. Uetliberg is a municipal trail that drops about 400m in altitude, The climb is on fireroad and then you get a great view over the city and lake before hitting the trail. Its good fun. The other side of the city has Zuriberg which has more cross country type loops which can be fun too.

There are loads of resources online for biking in Switzerland, most in German, but here's one in English. It's not go that much on it yet, but hopefully more people will start to add routes with time. The same site has loads of information for English speakers in Switzerland.
Guess I should get off my backside and add some rides.
http://www.englishforum.ch/sports-fitness/14194-mountain-bike-mtb-tours-trails-switzerland.html

Come along to one of our Zurich Tuesday night rides. Plenty of Irish, English, Americans, Australians and even Swiss on them.
 

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