Author Topic: Organising our bicycling trip from France  (Read 2304 times)

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Offline Soizick

Organising our bicycling trip from France
« on: February 07, 2010, 03:40:03 pm »
Hi,
We (=me, Soizick - "pronounced Swazeek"- and my friend Pierre) are planning a 10-day bicycling trip in the US. Our plan is to reach Reston, VA (suburb oh Washington, DC), where we have friends. We're thinking about starting from CT and riding all the way down to Reston, VA. We're planning this trip from France.
Here is my question : Should we take our bikes in the plane, or rent them from our starting point ? We don't have very good bikes here in France, so we don't mind not taking them for this trip.

Thanks for your help !

Soizick

Offline tonythomson

Re: Organising our bicycling trip from France
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2010, 01:59:26 pm »
Bon jour - Where is CT? I regularly bring my bike from England to USA with no problems on the plane, costs around 70 Euro's each way.
If the distance isn't too far you could always buy a cheapo from Walmarts ( I know this is the worst possible option ) put some decent tyres on them and hope for the best.  They will last 10 days just about and then abandon them at the end ! Just as along as you bring some tools with you for running maintenance.   Well just a thought.

Or maybe your fiends could get a couple in a garage sale?  Have fun  ;D
Tony
 
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline Tourista829

Re: Organising our bicycling trip from France
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2010, 04:55:29 pm »
I would check with your airline of choice, on how much it would cost, to take your bikes from France. Delta Airlines charges $200.00 U.S. each way per bike. If you could get a lower shipping cost, it may be less trouble to take your bikes and gear. Renting a bike might be possible, but could be difficult. When I travel, in the U.S. and want to rent a bicycle, very few bicycle shops will rent. Rental costs are high, selection not great. Are you going to fly into the same airport as you plan to depart? If so, you could take an Am Track Train back. If not, and you are departing from a different airport, it will be impossible to rent a bike. If you care not to bring your bikes, purchasing a bicycle here, may be your only option. With all due respect, to the previous post, Walmart or Target may not be the place to purchase a bicycle to tour. They will be heavier, component selection may not be reliable, and it may be difficult to find one where you could attach racks. I think you and your friend will have a great trip, but I would do your research and plan carefully :)

Offline John Nelson

Re: Organising our bicycling trip from France
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2010, 10:19:29 pm »
There are, of course, many, many different possible scenarios. I agree with others that it will be better to bring your bikes if the costs are reasonable and your bikes fit you well and are suitable for the type of touring you wish to do. If you do decide to rent, it will be important to make the arrangements well in advance of your trip to ensure you will get something reasonable. Are you going to be camping or staying in accommodations? How far do you plan to average per day?

BTW, CT is the abbreviation for the state of Connecticut.

BTW, BTW is the acronym for "By the Way".

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Organising our bicycling trip from France
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2010, 02:43:15 pm »
You can do it the way you choose. As for myself, I would never ask such a question seriously on a forum. I would simply choose my way and go. France has many excellent bicycles. If it costs too much to ship on airlines, buy here or rent. Google bicycle rentals for towns near were you intend to start your tour, and farther afield. Some department store bikes would suit your needs.

Offline Soizick

Re: Organising our bicycling trip from France
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2010, 03:51:05 pm »
Ok, thanks for your help !
We have checked, it would cost us ~$ 200 to take our bikes from France. I asked this question to see how other people do it.
We'll probably find bikes once we've arrived in the US, since our bikes in France don't have anything special...
Anyway, your answers did help us, thanks again !

Maybe you can give us your opinion on that : we plan to ordrer the ACA maps (Atlantic Coast Route Suymmary, maps n° 2 & 3), have them sent to us in France and use them for our trip. We plan to be camping (is it necessary to make reservation well in advance ? Are there enough camping sites along the way ?). At last we plan to average 50 km/day.

Soizick

Offline tonythomson

Re: Organising our bicycling trip from France
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2010, 06:30:16 am »
Hi try Googling "camping " for the States you will be travelling in.  Try to avoid KOA as you might just as well book into a cheap motel for the money they sometimes want.

In small towns ask if you can put your tent up ( don't say camping if telephoning as might think it's a huge camper/RV you have) in the park or next to a church - always found people very helpful. 

If your trip is 10 days then might be easier to plan and book ahead.  I tend to see where I am at the end of the day and then look for somewhere to stay never had any problems  - but my travelling tends to be more meandering without any time limits as such.

Good luck - bon voyage
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline Tourista829

Re: Organising our bicycling trip from France
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2010, 01:12:12 am »
I think 10 days, you should be able to ride from Connecticut to Reston Va. some 450-600 km depending on where you are starting in Connecticut. If you are going to do this in July or August, motels and campgrounds tend to fill up, so you may need to plan ahead. It may be obvious to most, as you get closer, to large cities, like NYC, Wilmington, Baltimore, or Washington you may want to book a motel ahead of time and guarantee it, with a credit card. As stated previously, KOA is a good campground and can easily be Googled. American Automobile Association also has campground and motel books by state and region. I would also try Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist and Presbyterian Churches. Sometimes they will let you camp inside, in their gym or Fellowship Halls. Youth Hostels or Bicycling Hostels may be good. The Adventure Cycling Yellow Pages would help there. Trailer Parks are good too, I like to negotiate with them. You shouldn't have to pay more than $20.00 US a night. Last, I am not aware of where to look or if Adventure Cycling has a list, there may be a list of families or households, that may be Francophiles and will host you. What I might warn against is to camp on private property without permission. If you do, try to be very stealth. If a police officer should investigate, and you are from France, one never knows how they will react. However, I think you should be fine. I hope this help  Bon Chance :)   

Offline Tourista829

Re: Organising our bicycling trip from France
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2010, 10:33:12 pm »
Zoisick, Bonjour, I have a change of mind regarding purchasing a bike at Walmart. I was in Walmart today (Our local giant discount store) and they had a new racing/touring bike by GMC called the Denali. Cost $158.  I looked it over and I must say, it actually looked good for the price. Sometimes, if they have one with a cosmetic defect, they may take 10% off the price. This may be your answer to finding a bike, once  10 day tour bike and it comes in yellow and black. It had a triple crank 28/38/48 and a 7 speed rear. Drop handle bars and brakes, in the same position as on a race/touring bike. The shifters were interesting. They put grip shifters on the cross bars. If you keep you hands on the brake hoods or drops you should be ok. The stem is adjustable for a more upright riding positon. The rear frame geometry is more like a touring bike. The heal clearance between the rear 700c wheel and the seat tube, will allow you to fit most bags. I saw eyelets for fenders but you may need some hardware for the racks. The only thing I didn't like was the straight front fork, but for a short tour, I think it would work. I know I will hear it on this one, keep the receipt. Since it is Walmart, if you are not "completely" satisfied, with your bike, you could always return it, at the end of the tour, there are Walmarts everywhere. Seriously, you could try to sell it or donate it to a charity:o

Offline tonythomson

Re: Organising our bicycling trip from France
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2010, 04:46:10 am »
I agree even Walmarts bikes should last for 10 days or buy another half way  ;D still works out cheaper. 

i don't know if Virgin are flying from France but there web site is saying that they will fly your bike FREE. 

Good luck and I would be interested to hear how you got on if you did buy from Walmart.

Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline indyfabz

Re: Organising our bicycling trip from France
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2010, 11:47:51 am »
Doing this from memory and from knowledge of certain areas:

There is a huge state park and campground just north of Hyde Park, NY which makes a great base for visiting the Vanderbilt Mansion or Roosevelt's place.  There is also camping somewhat south of New Paltz and a little north of Pt. Jervis, NY.  South of Pt. Jervis, you can camp at Worthington State Forest across from Delaware Water Gap, PA.  About 6 Kms south of there there is an RV park which I understand is expensive (close to $40) and right next to the road.  Next there is Bull's Island.  Don't know the exact mileage, but it's a mostly flat ride from Worthington State Forest.  If you come in the height of the summer you should definitely make reservations for Bull's Island.  It's always crowded, at least during the weekends.  Try to avoid weekends as they require you to reserve for two nights.  While I have never stayed there, Worthington is probably the same way--very crowded--as there are a lot of popular hikes in that area and it's not that big of a place.

South of Bull's Island you won't find a place to camp on route to Norristown, PA, which is where my knowledge ends.  But since I live in the area I can say that I doubt you will find camping for a ways south of Norristown.