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Touring

Exploring Victoria's diverse countryside by bike and train. This group is for discussing ideas and challenges of bicycle touring

Members: 44
Latest Activity: Nov 28, 2015

Discussion Forum

East Gippsland rail trail

Started by trundlebug. Last reply by trundlebug Dec 28, 2013. 3 Replies

Single wheel Trailers

Started by bikinbruce. Last reply by Martin Turner Apr 17, 2012. 3 Replies

Riding to Otways

Started by Stephen. Last reply by Go Cycling Oct 17, 2011. 0 Replies

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Comment by Matthew Signorini on November 15, 2009 at 1:51pm
I notice a few of you are concerned about taking your bikes on V/Line trains, so here are a few suggestions:

If you have 6 or more people, ring Group Bookings ( ph. number in white pages, I believe) a week in advance, and tell them you have 12 (mention you have bikes!). You will recieve a group discount of 50% off (so equivalent of 6 tickets), and provided you catch a loco hauled train, they will attach a D van, or extra space for bikes, effectively ensuring that you will get on the train.

You can distinguish loco hauled services on the timetable, as these are marked as having first class & catering available.

When you book a D van, I would reccomend that you take an octopus strap with you to secure your bike; and they travel better strapped to the sides, not the back or front.

I know all this from my involvement with the Melbourne Bicycle Touring Club, who also often use the railways
Comment by andrew stretton on May 8, 2009 at 7:06pm
Ok Guys,

When are we going to see some of you up here in Central Vic? There's 10 acres, plenty of camping space, firewood for the outdoor cooking / heating and a workshop full of specialized bike tools (and many others) just in case you want to spend some time tweaking the treadly.

BYO Food and beer or pub within 7 Km's / licensed supermarket within 15 Km's. In a month or so we should also have a fair number of freshly grown veggies from the patch.

We're happy to meet you in Ballarat (off the train) for the last 50 Km of the ride!

cheers

Andy & Kris
Comment by andrew stretton on March 17, 2009 at 3:01pm
Hi Geoff,
We haven't had any prob's with V-line (rail) on the Ballarat line to date, in fact, the line from Ballarat to Maryborough is re-opening this year and we're hoping they will continue taking bikes because we are opening up short stay accommodation at our place, specifically for cyclists from Melbourne and surrounds. (www.mechanarchy.com.au)

I have had major issues with V-Line (bus / coach) though, if it's a busy day for them passenger wise, they'll refuse a passenger with a bike at the flick of a finger, absolute discrimination. I made a formal complaint to V-Line's complaint office, pointing out to them that places in Canada and the USA have racks on the front of their buses made to fit 2-3 bikes, this as well as under coach storage.

V-Line complaints whilst sympathetic (and worried when I kept mentioning discrimination) couldn't fix my issue, instead, they encouraged me to take up the fight with the local MP, which I laughed at.

I did a 3,000 Km tour last year (www.forblokessake.org) and caught a Greyhound bus all the way back to Melbourne, they were happy to fit the bike in the under coach storage. I did have to pay extra but it wasn't that much more expensive. I think V-Line coach drivers are just damn lazy.

Cheers
Andy
Comment by Geoff on January 20, 2009 at 3:13pm
Or versions thereof (obviously) : )
Comment by Geoff on January 20, 2009 at 3:11pm
I recently sent this to VLine, Department of Transport and BV.

>>

V-Line used to charge for the carrying of bikes, with the cost depending upon the distance. When V-Line gave cyclists a free ride on their trains a few years back, my initial reaction was positive. But since then I wonder if this has been a ruse. Was it the thin end of the wedge to exclude bicycles from V-Line trains altogether?

Several times since then I have tried to board a V-Line train with my bicycle and been flatly refused, with the reason being given as, "there is no room". I also recently tried to book a regional tour for eight friends and even after several phone calls and visits to Southern Cross Station, received no certainty that I would be able to run my tour. In my experience V-Line gives bicyclists the lowest priority, indeed some conductors seem to have an almost toxic attitude to bicycles.

With the interest in the use of bicycles for touring and for transport only increasing due to petrol prices and the expense of overseas holdiays, regional Victoria stands much to gain from the income generated by bicycle tourists, but not if V-Line won't let them get there. What is Bicycle Victoria's position on this issue? I for one would be more than happy to pay a reasonable amount to transport my bicycle on the regional rail provider, provided that I could be certain of actually getting onto the train.

From the V-Line website: http://www.vline.com.au/travellingwithvline/whatyoucantake/large_items.html
"We recommend that bicycles are boxed in cardboard to avoid damage. Please note: cardboard is not available at V/Line stations."
 

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