Some Cycle Islington pals accompanied Simon from Islington to Amsterdam from 7 to 9 June to cheer him off on his epic cycle-ride to highlight the changes which global temperatures have made to what was a pretty cold part of the world. He’s due back in Islington in August and has agreed to do a special talk on his adventures later in the year, probably in October. Once he has acclimatised to not having wolves howling outside his tent, or reindeer running away from his bamboo bike, we’ll find a date and venue. So keep a look out for what will be an inspiring talk on long-distance cycling, the climate emergency and how he coped mentally and physically on his 3-month trip. His Twitter feed will give you a taster
Simon has decided to go on a 3 month cycle trip to the northern most point in Europe, cycling through Scandanavia to Nordkapp in Norway. His intention is to raise awareness of climate breakdown and the sixth mass species extinction currently underway.
This is an invite to anyone who would like to join him on his first leg of the trip to Amsterdam. This will be the first step of his journey, so he would welcome company for the first few days and then wave him off. The dates for the trip are Friday 7 June to Sunday 9 June and below are the details:
The plan is to leave London on Friday morning and arrive in Amsterdam on Sunday evening. This is a self-organising trip in terms of accommodation and travel; you will need to move fast to ensure your place. Simon has a tried and tested route and will be your guide; for food we will stop at cafes, pubs, and bring packed lunches for some bits – more on this later. Estimated cost is £200 not including travel back to London.
Friday 7th June 10am Meet at Highbury Fields
Friday 7th June Overnight stay at Maldon
Saturday 8th June 11 pm Overnight ferry Harwich to Hook of Holland
Sunday 9th June Arrive in Amsterdam
If you would like to join him, please follow the steps below:
Book accommodation on Friday 7th June in Maldon. Simon will be camping at Osea Leisure Park near Heybridge. You are welcome to join him, however it does mean taking a tent. There are places available in Maldon on Air Bnb, but you do need to book soon
Book ferry from Harwich to Hook of Holland on Saturday 8th June with a bicycle as your mode of transport. – Please check availability first as it looks like the ferry is nearly full.
Book accommodation at Amsterdam. Simon will be staying at Conscious Hotels, Vondelpark. You do not need to stay at this hotel if you do not wish to, but it would be lovely to hang out together on the last night
Book transport back from Amsterdam to London. There are two options available.
Option 1 – Amsterdam to Hook via train, ferry from Hook to Harwich, train from Harwich to Liverpool Street.
Step 1: Go to www.stenaline.co.uk and book the ferry from Hoek van Holland to Hook with a comfortable cabin and bike space reserved.
Step 2: Book a train from Amsterdam to Hook of Holland. You can take bikes on any Dutch domestic train if you buy a bike ticket for around €6, except during peak hours when bikes are banned. Bikes can be taken on all trains except in peak hours (06:30-09:00 & 16:00-18:30 Monday-Friday, no restriction on national holidays or in July & August). You need to buy a one-day bike ticket for around €6. For information on taking bikes on trains in the Netherlands, see www.ns.nl.
Step 3: You can take bikes on trains between Harwich & London free of charge, except on trains arriving in London between 07:45 & 09:45 on Mondays-Fridays. No reservation is necessary for your bike if it’s a direct local train to London, but a bike reservation is necessary if you use one of the limited-stop London-Norwich inter-city services Manningtree to London, you have to reserve your bike on these trains by calling Greater Anglia (www.abelliogreateranglia.co.uk). If you arrive at Harwich on the overnight ferry from Hoek on a weekday, you’ll have to wait an hour or so and catch a later train to London than you would have done as a foot passenger, so you arrive in London after 09:45. You can check the arrangements for bikes on any British train company atwww.atob.org.uk/bike-rail.
Option 2 – Amsterdam to Brussels via the Intercity train, Eurostar to London.
Book the hourly intercity trains that take 3h20, and you can buy special cheap tickets from €59 which combine these IC trains with the high-speed Eurostar to London. You can buy this at www.nsinternational.nl, also worth checking www.b-europe.com.
Important: You will not be able to travel on the Thalys train with a bicycle unless you are able to put it in a bike bag. It is unlikely that you will have a bike bag suitable to travel so Simon strongly advises that you do not use the Thalys train and follow the instructions above.
Or, of course there is the option of making your own way home over a few days, taking in some more of the Netherland’s great cycling routes.
If you have any questions, please contact Simon on 07766 073545. It would be good to know how many people are planning to come, just to give him an idea. Once you have made your bookings, please text him to confirm and he can continue planning.
Simon is really excited about this trip for many reasons and to be cheered on his way by some cycling friends would be a great beginning.