Getting to your destination
Your bikes don't fly!
Perhaps uniquely, La Vie en Vélo offers to transport you and your bikes all the way from the UK to your destination and back again. This avoids the hassle and potential trauma of putting your precious bikes anywhere near an airport or train station! We can take up to 8 riders and bikes wherever they'd like to go. No baggage carousel roulette! No bike hire nerves! No bike boxes or bags!
Our custom-fitted trailer
In our custom-fitted box trailer your bikes are mounted on their front forks and their front wheels are neatly stored in padded wheel bags. The bikes do not touch each other at all. We can take 8 bikes in complete safety and have them on the road, racked and ready to ride in less than 20mins from arriving at a ride start point. None of the hassle associated with bike transport.
Taking care of the driving
For drives over 8hrs, such as to the Alps, Pyrenees or Mont Ventoux, then we would recommend that riders travel by air or train to a destination from where we can pick you up, e.g. Marseille for Mont Ventoux or Geneva for the Alps. We usually include this air travel in the package price and make all arrangements for you.
For shorter drives, then it is most cost-effective for you to jump in our 9-seater while your bikes are attached behind in our custom-fitted box trailer. Because a trailer load of bikes only takes a few minutes to put on the road, we can break the journey with a mid-journey ride maybe along a Tour de France stage route followed by a fantastic picnic (we have used a great route following the 2015 stage 7 route through beautiful rolling Normandy, stopping at a sensational viewpoint, which is perfect for this).
You fly and we take your bikes to meet you there
If time is tight for you and you'd rather not lose a day for travel at each end of your trip then we can take your bikes and main luggage down for you ahead of your trip and then pick you up at a local airport (Limoges is about 45-50mins away from our place in the Dordogne).
If you are arriving from another location outside the UK, then we can meet you at a UK or French airport and bring you to our place at La Bucherie or other destinations. We can also help with bike hire. In this situation the best course is to get in contact with us to discuss options.
For those coming from the UK to the Dordogne the options are:
By minibus and trailer to the Dordogne
For the UK - La Bucherie transfers, pick-ups are usually from a single location in or near Kent. Pick-ups from other locations are by arrangement and may incur a further cost.
The journey will involve a crossing around 9am via the Channel Tunnel. If clients prefer, a ride, an overnight stay and dinner can be arranged in Whitstable the preceding night (price on request). The crossing is followed by a 7 hr drive (excluding stops) from Calais to La Bucherie. A mid-transfer ride can easily be organised for somewhere south of the Loire, around Orleans or Le Mans perhaps, to get an early taste of riding on the wrong side of the road and to break up the journey. This could be followed by a picnic in a carefully selected location or a meal in a nice restaurant and would obviously mean a later arrival to La Bucherie. The other option depending on the daylight hours, weather, etc. is to ride the last kilometres to the house.
While we offer a minibus transfer from Kent, we also understand that time may be of the essence for many people, so if you would prefer to fly then Limoges is the best place to head for. La Vie en Vélo's base in the Dordogne is only 45 mins from Limoges airport and we can come and pick you up from the airport. When making bookings, be sure to factor in the cost of bringing your bike, unless we can bring it down for you when we come. To go on the plane it will need to packed away in a bike bag and goes in the hold (you can’t have it on your lap).
Flights to/from Limoges
* Please check the Airline as destinations and dates are subject to change and some are only seasonal
If you would prefer to let the train take the strain (French trains are almost always lovely, by the way), then to get to our place in the Dordogne your best options are to aim for either Angoulême which is on the TGV routes and takes around 6-7 hours from London, including a cross-Paris transfer; or local station Thiviers (via Limoges) which takes nearly an hour longer but is only 20mins from La Bucherie by minibus. Prices seem to start at around £80 depending, of course, on the time of year/day and when you book. More information about tickets can be found on the SNCF website. Bear in mind that you will need to pack your bike in a bike bag (no larger than 120x90cm) or you can pre-book specific spaces for your bike and these only cost 10 Euros. We can help you with bookings. We might also be able to bring your bike out or back in a separate trip.
For destinations other than the Dordogne, then we can help with bookings and meet your trains with your bikes ready to ride.
There is the marvellous European Bike Express (run by CTC) which will run you and your bike in a huge trailer from the north of England down the western side of France to Saintes (about 2hrs by minibus from La Bucherie) from where we can pick you up. This can be a lengthy process, and its not cheap, but have a look at their website for more details.
There is also the option for those coming by coach to use Megabus who travel between the UK and Limoges (45mins from La Bucherie) for as little as £20 each way. They don’t have the extra bike carrying trailer of the European Bike Express but they are much cheaper and their route gets you much nearer to us eventually. You would have to investigate how to get your bike on board (in a bike bag?) or maybe we could bring it down for you.
Of course, you might opt to make your own way down there. La Bucherie is usually about a 6 ½ drive from Calais. The cost of the return trip by Shuttle and car, including fuel, motorway tolls, and crossing fees is usually around £400 per car. This is payable by .