HELP NEEDED - North Coast 500

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    I'm doing the North Coast 500 at the beginning of June with 3 friends and getting up there is proving a mighty challenge.
    Trains seem to be the best option but the direct route from London only has x4 bike spaces on the whole train. We were thinking of bagging up our bikes and taking as luggage (in this or similar)

    Does anyone have any experience doing this?
    Does anyone have any similar bike bags to the above that they are looking to shift?
    Do you think it would be possible in to take the bikes, wheels etc in a standard bike box and some idea blue bags?
    Any suggestions on storage of said bags/boxes (and assembly tools) in Inverness to collect for the return train back to London?

    I know lots to ask for and we may have bitten off more than we can chew but we are committed now! Any help really greatly appreciated. Available for a phone call if anyone cant be asked to type.

    Also if there are any threads that are v useful to scour for this type of thing a nod in that direction would fantastic too

    Thanks in advance


  • There is an NC500 thread, search for that. I’m riding it in mid May.
    I also have a very large bike hard case you could borrow and leave at a left luggage point if that’s of any help.

  • Taking bikes as luggage on a busy train with many stops has the potential to be be a miserable experience.

  • Can't you just book a train where all of you reserve all 4 bike spaces?

  • I took the coach up when I did it - you have to have your bike in a bag (but any cheap old thing will do). The coach is far less comfortable, but may be an option if you're stuck

  • The storage unit they have those bikes is not the biggest and usually they have few other stuff in there. If you can package down the bike into the box, you can get away I think. I was lucky and got it booked way in advance. An other option maybe would be to courier it to Inverness?

  • Sorry to miss all these replies and thanks for coming back to me everyone. Fo some reason didnt get any notification that people had come back!
    @GoatandTricycle thanks for linking me the tread, lots of helpful info there. How was your ride? We are setting off in 2 weeks but taking things a bit easeier and not camping as we are a mixed bunch

    @Squaredisk and @jakemcree - so we ended up biting the bullet on the trains. on the way up we could only reserve 1 space (on the way back we have all 4). We couldnt do different dates due to everyone taking time off work etc

    for the other 3 bikes we still dont have a clean soluition. We also dont currently own any bike bags so using a courier is also dificult some options below, any opinion or advice greatly appreciated. (if it is any use we are going on the LNER service from london to inverness) (link for context­perience/travel-tips/luggage/)

    • Wing it! take 3 bikes on the train (as full bikes) even though we dont have a reserved space. Trains are running at half capacity to suit social distancing measures so there may be space.
    • Take them on the train in parts. either in bike boxes (though these are pretty big to be taken as luggage), wrapped up in heay plastic wrap, or in a combination of bike bags.
    • Send them, courier or otherwise. Get boxes from our LBS and send with a courier. I couldnt easily find a service that just holds your bike in inverness as we have no contacts up there and no registered address, all suggestions welcome! This is probably the mose elegant solution put perhaps the most costly too, we are 4 young and keen cyclists but also on a budget!

    Thaks again

  • Pack them on a pallet, get them sent to nearest depot to train station? Nationwide palletised transport is cheap, will be easier if you know someone who has an account with a company.

  • Years ago 3 of us got the sleeper to Aviemore for a 3 day mtb-ing loop. 2 of us reserved the only bike spaces left. My mate (the 3rd of us) was super paranoid he wouldn't get on the train with his bike so dismantled it as small as he could and put it in a small frame box and wrapped it up in wrapping paper like a gift. When we got to the train in london the conductor just put the box in the luggage carriage and all was good.

    I didn't get a photo of the box but this was the bike when he unpacked it...

    1 Attachment

    • 270163_10150325681436405_2757705_n.jpg
  • Thanks for the suggestions and coming back
    I had an extended conversation with a supervisor at LNER. She said exactly as above. Box it up and they will put it in the separate luggage car.
    Will have to do a bit of jenga to get the bike, wheels and bags in to the boxes but fingers crossed it all works out!
    Thanks for the help again

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HELP NEEDED - North Coast 500

Posted by Avatar for St_Ockwell @St_Ockwell