Search

Highgate man buys bike in France to beat volcanic ash travel chaos

PUBLISHED: 20:00 17 April 2010 | UPDATED: 16:55 07 September 2010

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.''

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.''

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.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ham&High. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Hampstead Highgate Express