Ahead of its third season of transporting motorbikes between the UK and Geneva, Bikeshuttle announced today (01/03/17) that it is additionally offering Toulouse as a destination this year. It’s the perfect city location for motorcyclists wanting to ride to the Pyrenees, southern France or Spain.
“We know from the amount of bikes that catch the ferry from Portsmouth to Santander or Bilbao that there is an appetite for touring Spain and southern France without having to ride over 800 miles to get there, so Toulouse was our next obvious destination,” offers Guy Buswell, co-founder of Bikeshuttle.
The new shuttle service will work in the same way as the Geneva run, in that riders will be responsible for booking their own flights to Toulouse airport. Bikeshuttle recommends an early evening Easyjet departure from Luton and can also arrange transfers to this airport. Accommodation at the hotel Inter in Toulouse where the bikes will be dropped off can also be booked through Bikeshuttle.
The new run starts 7 September, 2017 and will continue for five consecutive weeks with the last UK departure on 5 October. The Bikeshuttle transporter will leave its Northants depot on a Thursday, drive through France overnight and have the bikes ready for collection in Toulouse by Friday morning after breakfast. On the return leg, riders would need to deposit their bikes on the Friday back at the hotel Inter in Toulouse where they’d be loaded for transport back to the UK to arrive on the Saturday.
The cost for a return trip for a bike for Bikeshuttle’s new destination is £490, or £365 for a one way. “We’ve priced it very competitively and are just doing five runs this year to assess the level of interest with a view to offering it the whole season from 2018. It would be perfect for riders wanting to head to the MotoGP in Motorland Aragon on 24 September, or you’re just 120 miles from the Pyrenees,” says Guy.
“Riding over 1600 miles on largely French motorways can be tedious and tiring not to mention expensive in terms of wear and tear on your machine. Also, being on a ferry for 24 hours is not everyone’s cup of tea so this new route provides a real alternative for bikers serious about exploring southern France, Spain and even Portugal,” suggests Guy
More information and bookings can be made through the website at www.bikeshuttle.co.uk or by calling 01327 831552.
A friend recently drew our attention to a bike forum where a potential customer had asked if anyone had used our service and, more specifically, how it compared cost-wise to hightailing the whole way down to the Alpine region on two wheels.
There were some balanced replies about other options the guy could consider, and some input from former Bikeshuttle customers, plus the inevitable posts from naysayers (we’ll return to them later).
The fact is that the economics do stand up otherwise why would anyone want to use us? We had to be priced the same or better than riding there and we believe we’re at least £50 cheaper. Here’s how:
A basic return journey to Geneva with Bikeshuttle £435
Return Easyjet flights from Luton (Or less) £80
Riding to Geneva Costs:
Channel crossing (flexible return ferry ticket) £96
(flexible EuroTunnel return is £200!)
Fuel for 1500 miles (46mpg at £1.20/litre) £178
Motorway tolls £56
Nominal tyre wear (depends on bike/ride style/road) £75
Depreciation (based on 10p/mile) £150
And yes, we accept that tyre wear, fuel consumption, depreciation and servicing costs will all vary dependent on bike make and age, ride style, road conditions and weather but we’ve erred on the cautious in calculating our figures. We haven’t included hotel accommodation, and you’d need to book a room in Geneva on the outward journey and return with Bikeshuttle unless you have some Swiss friends! But if you ride all the way to Geneva you’re pretty hardcore if you do it in one fell swoop rather than one or two overnight stops so bear that in mind too.
We do charge for a transfer to Luton airport and back, but you could get a lift…and we surcharge for panniers and large bikes because of the extra room they take up on the lorry but our costs are very reasonable, and still don’t add up to enough to make us more expensive.
And now to return to those naysayers, it never ceases to amaze us how derogatory some of the posts on these forums are. There are many for whom our service will never appeal…especially those who see it as cheating not to ride the whole way. But some folk only get a week’s holiday and for those who are time-poor particularly, we offer a very competitive solution that enables them to ride beautiful Alpine roads pretty much straight away rather than schlepp a ball-aching 750 miles to do it. And the irony is that Bikeshuttle customers probably have the last laugh too as they not only save money but also feel less tired when they arrive in Geneva and enjoy the trip more.
We don’t mind how you choose to go on your riding holiday…..just enjoy the riding and keep safe.
Announcing our group discount; enjoy 10% off
Ahead of our third season of transporting bikes between the UK and Geneva, we announced today (17/1/17) that we are offering a ‘group booking’ discount from 2017.
If groups of 10 riders or more all book at the same time, we shall deduct 10% of the usual fare. This discount would make the return price for one bike just £391.50, a saving of £43.50 on list price.
We know there’s a lot of motorbike clubs out there that organise rideouts and trips further afield, some as far away as central Europe. What better way to start a continental jaunt than with an easy ride to our Northants depot to drop off the bikes, followed by a leisurely brunch before heading to the airport? By breakfast the next morning, your bikes will be outside your hotel in Geneva ready for you all to start your holiday on some great biking roads and passes.
Bookings for the past two years have tended to be small groups of riders and club members but this discount offers a real incentive to gather a bigger party together. Cost-wise it makes the proposition very attractive but more than that, it gives riders more time on roads they’ll enjoy as opposed to motorways.
And if you’re part of a vintage owners club or classic bike group then the attraction for you might be the prospect of not putting an unwanted 1500 miles of wear and tear on your machine. Certainly when the Vincent Owners Club staged its International rally in northern Italy, some of the UK members were very grateful to use Bikeshuttle rather than spend 2-3 days on the autobahn. Indeed, the then chairman, Tim Kirker of the Vincent H.R.D. Owners Club said of Bikeshuttle: “Across Europe, the various rail services seem to be cutting back, or stopping altogether, their car/bike services but the good news is that the new Bikeshuttle operation provides a much better and more convenient service. And from our calculations, the total cost, including airfares and hotels, is still significantly less than it would have been for a ferry crossing and a rail trip to Italy.
“And yes, we had some brilliant riding in the Alps and northern Italy, and a great rally with our Vincent friends from all over the world, made all the more enjoyable knowing that we did not have a 750 mile ride back north to get the ferry.”
As Tim alluded to, we are now the only weekly scheduled service transporting bikes to central Europe now that train operators like Autoslaap have disappeared so if your club or group has set its sights on touring southern Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, the south of France and other such destinations then why not give us a shout and take advantage of our group discount. June and September appear to be the most popular months to travel so if you want to go then, get your bookings in early. We need a 25% deposit up front, with the balance to be paid 8 weeks prior to departure.
Enquiries about group bookings for Bikeshuttle can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 01327 831552.
The first shuttle using the new site left yesterday…our plans for next year are progressing well with 2017  [/] [/]
dates due out by the end of September.. see our Facebook page