The numbers of cyclists using Eurostar trains to take them and their bikes on holiday looks set to increase this year, according to Eurostar.Â Eurostar connects UK to Europe using the channel tunnel and each train can carry 16 bikesÂ for a fee of â‚¬20 each, although if you partially dismantle your bike and fit it into a bag you can take it for free. Last year the company carried 3,471 bikes, however this year the numbers for May and June are up by 200 compared to 2009. That brings the total to 1,777 bike carried in the first six months of 2010.Â
This increase could be due to the budget airlines increasing prices and tightening weight restrictions for bikes. For example, RyanAir currently limits the weight of a bike to 20kg, meaning it is very difficult to take a downhill bike with you on one of their planes without paying hefty charges. On Eurostar there is no weight limits.
I run a bike holiday company at the end of the TGV train line in Biarritz and currently around 20% of our customers take the train to us. A further 20% choose to take the ferry, meaning around 60% of our customers choose to fly. As airlines continue to increase their baggage charges and tighten their limits it will be interesting to see how those numbers change.