Highgate man buys bike in France to beat volcanic ash travel chaos
A Highgate businessman has told how he had to buy a bicycle in France to complete his epic 15-hour journey to beat the volcanic ash traffic chaos. Thom Noble s travel plans from Zurich were thrown into disarray when flights were cancelled and in an effort
A Highgate businessman has told how he had to buy a bicycle in France to complete his epic 15-hour journey to beat the volcanic ash traffic chaos.
Thom Noble's travel plans from Zurich were thrown into disarray when flights were cancelled and in an effort to make it back for his wife's birthday, he travelled by train, bus, taxi, bicycle and ferry to make it back to north London in time.
When he eventually made it to Dunkirk, Norfolk Lines ferry company told him there was no room for foot passengers. So he bought a bicycle for 50 euros and then had to cycle up a steep ferry ramp with his luggage, along with other cyclists.
'It was quite a difficult thing to do. Quite a few of us hadn't been on a bicycle for a long time,'' he said. 'But we did it, we made it.''
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He said it was absurd that car ferries with plenty of room were being so inflexible given the circumstances.
''We had to go to extraordinary lengths just to get back,'' he said. 'It didn't seem sensible.''
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But he told the BBC that the whole episode had been an exciting adventure.
The second hand bike he purchased, though, never made it to Highgate. Mr Noble abandoned it in Dover, having made it safely across the English Channel.