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Old November 19th, 2013, 12:15 AM   #1
Langeveldt
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Motorbiking from Holland to the UK - Annoyances and Problems?

I am attempting a world record of sorts in Exeter, UK and my girlfriend wants to bike down from her place in Drachten, Netherlands to support. This will be her first time overseas on the bike and although I have done the journey a few times, I haven't from a biker's perspective.

Could anyone more familiar with the journey and roads, or biking please let me know if we are in for any shocks? From what I can remember, Belgium's autoroutes may present an issue or two. While generally good I remember the sections near the French border and Jabbeke being in a real state of disrepair. Obviously an issue on a bike. And Ring Antwerpen was just a massive pain. Other than that I think it will be a really enjoyable journey.

In terms of A roads in England, is it easy to leave the port of Dover towards Folkestone and London? And is the A303 a decent road all the way?

Thanks for any advice
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Old November 19th, 2013, 02:20 AM   #2
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As you say that's all fine by car, so I suppose it is by bike too.
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Old November 19th, 2013, 03:21 AM   #3
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You mean, besides the antiquated measurement system, the obsolete currency and the driving on the wrong side of the road?

Seriously, good luck with the record. Are you going to tell us what it is, or would that be bad luck?
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Old November 19th, 2013, 10:29 AM   #4
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Well regarding the strange sport spread by the Anglo people, cricket. I am attempting to bat in a "practice cage" for the longest time by an individual. 26 hours is the current record, facing 15,701+ "pitches". Raising money for a mobile eye hospital
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Old November 19th, 2013, 03:00 PM   #5
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Some Anglo people managed to get away without cricket. :-) But in baseball, people spend time in "batting cages" to practice their swing and have automatic pitching machines to throw the ball. I wonder if there are any records of that sort in baseball.

Good luck.
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Old November 19th, 2013, 09:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Langeveldt View Post
I am attempting a world record of sorts in Exeter, UK and my girlfriend wants to bike down from her place in Drachten, Netherlands to support. This will be her first time overseas on the bike and although I have done the journey a few times, I haven't from a biker's perspective.
I know this route very well, however never experienced it as a biker.

Quote:
Could anyone more familiar with the journey and roads, or biking please let me know if we are in for any shocks? From what I can remember, Belgium's autoroutes may present an issue or two. While generally good I remember the sections near the French border and Jabbeke being in a real state of disrepair. Obviously an issue on a bike. And Ring Antwerpen was just a massive pain. Other than that I think it will be a really enjoyable journey.
Belgium on this section is just about perfect (it was in Semptember, so probably not much has changed since then). Actually, least comfortable would be French part of A40, which is pretty old and not too well maintained. Some ruts and uneven, bumpy surface might be an issue for a motorcyclist. There is also a massive amount of junctions there, one after another, mainly on very short stretch between Dunkirque and Calais, which requires to be fully concentrated.

Quote:
In terms of A roads in England, is it easy to leave the port of Dover towards Folkestone and London? And is the A303 a decent road all the way?
Thanks for any advice
Travelling from Car Ferry or Channel Tunnel to London Orbital is ok, apart from where M26 meets M25. There are road works there (actually, were about 3 weeks ago, not sure if still are)

A303 is really nice and scenic road to drive, however badly congested and often partially closed, beacause of plenty of accidents occuring there.
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Old November 21st, 2013, 04:02 PM   #7
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I would guess that weather aside (if she's gonna be riding now) where it will be wet, windy and the possibility of snow, that it will just be a matter of knowing which routes to take.

In terms of routing, would it not be easier to go from Drachten to Rotterdam then hop aboard a ferry to Felixtowe? From there, it would just be a matter of following the A120 from Felixtowe to the M 11, M 25 (counter clockwise), M5 and M5 to Exeter. That would be the way I would go if it was me.
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Old November 21st, 2013, 07:59 PM   #8
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As a biker myself, make sure you get the bike properly anchored if you take the ferry! Normally the guys about on the parking decks will have straps for the bikes, but hang about whilst they do it so you can make sure they do a decent job and don't break anything on the bike!

As for the UK, this time of year is a bit dodgy for the weather, especially in rural spots. Sticking to the main roads won't cause you any problems though unless we have heavy unexpected snow fall which is unlikely!

Coming from Dover you're best route would be M20, M26, M25 to the M3, then south to the A303 as you say, and then take that all the way down to the A30 and into Exeter. There's a lot to be said for getting off motorways on long bike journeys, having the nice views and more twists and turns in the roads helps to break up the monotony and the A303 will be ideal for that. It's nowhere near the best biking route in the UK, but it's miles better than the dreary M4 to the north!
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