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A complete online guidebook to the Camino by bike from Saint-Jean-Pied-du-Port to Santiago de Compostela. Walkers will find it useful as well!

0 Euro Camino Bank Note

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk/ is a brand new free to use guide for cyclists updated in July 2018 with all the info about the route, alternative routes and all albergues on the Way (with prices and directions). It contains maps and elevation charts for the crucial parts of the trail. The guide is richly illustrated with photos of the Camino. Although it is written with cyclists in mind also walkers may find it useful as it covers the history of the Camino, provides all important information for those preparing for the Way, guides to the churches, cathedrals, cities, towns, and villages on the Camino Frances. Never mind the individual guide to the city of Santiago de Compostela. All on your smartphone. Buen Camino!

By the way, the author first walked the Camino, missed the Way, so cycled it numerous times... Sounds familiar?
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
Great resource. I'm not a cyclist, but the history and general information would be applicable to any pilgrim.
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May/June, 2018
Porto-Muxia-Finisterre Oct (2019)
Nice website. Just to get things started I dropped in a little opinion comment on your piece about bikes on the Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Thank you for this resource. I am enjoying reading it. I like your style, written and attitudinal! Cycling off into the middle distance till those looking incredulously can’t see you anymore, then falling off and walking again!
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
Great resource. I'm not a cyclist, but the history and general information would be applicable to any pilgrim.
Thank you so much Bala! I believe that Internet is the best place to popularize the Camino, isn’t it?
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
Nice website. Just to get things started I dropped in a little opinion comment on your piece about bikes on the Camino
Thank you for your comment – I read it avidly. It is always good to see things from the other person’s point of view.
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
Thank you for this resource. I am enjoying reading it. I like your style, written and attitudinal! Cycling off into the middle distance till those looking incredulously can’t see you anymore, then falling off and walking again!

Thank you, Kirkie so much. As I wrote in the introduction – there would be no glory stories about my lonely journey across Northern Spain…
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Thank you, Kirkie so much. As I wrote in the introduction – there would be no glory stories about my lonely journey across Northern Spain…
You are welcome. I have forwarded the link to my niece’s husband, a keen cyclist.
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
If your niece's husband is a keen cyclist he will really enjoy doing the Camino Frances that for us cyclists mean cycling the Camino trail, empty former national roads, and cycle lanes. Amazing two weeks. Highly recommended.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola @Kat, on behalf of cycling pilgrims I thank you. I knew that CSJ had a publication, but had not seen any updates. Thanks again & cheers. M
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
Hola @Kat, on behalf of cycling pilgrims I thank you. I knew that CSJ had a publication, but had not seen any updates. Thanks again & cheers. M
Hola Mike
Thank you, so much! I launched the web two weeks ago so it will need some time to be listed by Google, Bing etc. Originally I wanted to publish it as a book and I’m so glad that I didn’t. Because on the Internet everybody can access it and use it. And then hopefully, pack the panniers and cycle to Compostela.
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
I have just added to the website PDF with simplified route description. Please use it while cycling the Camino. For everything else (albergues, bars, sights, alternative routes etc.) use the website.
 

Pola Veroni

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances 2019
I am planning to do the Camino next year. I don’t have much time so I consider cycling. I am commuting to work every day on bike, but I have never done touring before. So is the Camino ok for first timer?
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola @Pola Veroni Tourist/Travel cycling is different from your average commuting but if you are road fit then you can manage it. What I suggest you take into account is that you will have around 10kg/20 pounds in weight on the rear of your bike (less if you are a minimalist packer).. The type of bike is also important - I recommend a hybrid/mountain bike with wider tyres/tires. Route selection is your other problem(?). The Camino Frances is the best one for a first timer - but there are sections of if that are not "bike friendly". So have a look back at some other posts by pilgrim cyclists have reported during their adventures. The closing piece of advice - be prepared for the unexpected. Cheers
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
Hi Pola! I'm sorry but I haven't been on Forum for a long time. Camino Frances is a perfect choice - healthy mixture of tarmac roads, cycling lanes and off-roads. In the other words is made for a first timer. If you are riding every day to work you will be fine!
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
Hola Pola! Download and print out "CYCLISTS' GUIDE TO SANTIAGO BY BIKE" that is just e-book https://caminodesantiagobybikecouk.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/camino-de-santiago-by-bike-copyright-katarzyna-kostrzewska.pdf

I would recommend having that downloaded on your phone or/and printed out. But obviously it is up to you. You don't have to print it out, you can use electronic version solely. Then pack your phone on your bar bag and voila!

PDF is a pure route description with maps, elevation profiles and info when you should cycle the Camino and when you should cycle the roads. It is a proper guidebook just in electronic version.

Albergues, photos and detailed cities and towns descriptions you will find on web in the "Cyclists' Guide" section. In the evening check the stage you will cycle the next day.

I think that I may prepare separate PDF with accommodation only...

Before you go read "Camino Essentials" (transport, what to pack etc.) and "Route" sections, "Camino de Santiago" with provide you with general info on history of the pilgrimage and "About" will give you some additional info.

I cycled the Camino last year so everything is up to date. However... https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk/about/flyover-in-meseta/
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
TYRES. Personally I have Schwalbe Marathon Plus, mostly because I hate bike maintenance. Last year I almost run into broken wine bottle less than a half kilometre from Saint-Jean-Pied-du-Port. So I blessed the day when I bought them.

Pros: I am not worried about punctures for 800 km

Cons: I'm not able to cycle up the hill between Castrojeriz and Itero de la Vega, that sandy hill on the way to San Juan y Ortega (nobody is able anyway😁) and I have to be very careful cycling down the hill just before Santo Domingo de la Calzada and maybe another three in Burgos area. Other than that I am fine.

If punctures don't bother you choose something like Continental Ride Tour or Contact Travel.

Pola Veroni when are you going?
 

Pola Veroni

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances 2019
Kat and Saint Mike II your advice is much appreciated. Thank you.

I may change the tyres. I will go in October. I’m a bit nervous about it, mostly about the Pyrenees. It is my first time.
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
June, September and October are amazing for cycling the Camino.

It is important to invest in good tyres. In my guidebook the route I describe allows a good mix of the Camino and roads – the cycle-friendly parts of the Camino and the remote and beautiful cycle-perfect roads. So think gravel/roads.

First day is a challenge. It is a mountain road, busy at times, so focus on your safety. It is only 27 km total and a bit over 14 km of climbing. Remember that you have the whole day to do them. Just start cycling around 8- 8.30 am. You will be fine.

As I wrote before don’t let pushing the bike lower your spirits – it is not like you are the first one to do it, the author of your guidebook did it before you.

Yes, when I cycled that route for the first time I pushed 👍
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy
Thank you for the guide. I'm planning on home (central France) to Pamplona on the Aragonese (Somport) this year and then Pamplona to Santiago via Frances and Invierno next year. Looks as if it will be very useful.
Does anyone know if I can take a non dismantled bike on any train from Pamplona to anywhere on the French side? Otherwise I'll just ride to Bayonne and get on the train there.
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
Good for you Barbara! I love Somport Pass and that amazing descent from Somport to Confranc❤ Which route are you taking in France?

According to Spanish train website http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/info/bicicletas.html of course you can! But if you read it carefully it is Russian roulette. On the other hand traveling with bike is always Russian roulette isn't it? Been there, done this, got the t-shirt;)

By the way TGV from Paris (stops in Bordeaux, Bayonne) goes to Irun. It takes 15 min of pleasant cycle to get across the border to Hendaye.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy
Hi, thanks for that info. Looks like I should get to the station early and prepare to cycle if I need to.
In France i'm taking a secondary route from home (near St. Savin 86310 in the Vienne) to Saint Aulaye (South of Angoulême) Then joining either the Tours or Vezelay route (doing some research right now) before cutting across to Pau to head for Somport.
This will be my first time with an electric assist bike. I'm tired of walking up the hills.
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
Sounds like an amazing, way over 1500 km ride. Buen Camino!
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy
Is going to be amazing. Actually I'm having to split it into two, hence train from Pamplona, as I can't get away for long enough at a time. First Camino I ever did was home to Santiago on bike with paniers, eighteen gears , none of which were granny enough, and road tyres. Only one puncture. 1999 I think.
Three years ago on the Norte, better bike and modified to be more of a track bike, with granny gears, on one memorable day I had FIVE punctures. Not repeated flats with the same tube, I take a couple of spares and there was a handy bike shop to buy more.
After that I invested in Kevlar reinforced tyres, a better pump, and tubes filled with sealant.
I'm now using an ebike as I got fed up with walking up hills. Schwalbe marathon tour plus tyres And an electric rechargeable pump plus a tiny CO2 pump. Those big tyres take a lot of hand pumping. Oh, and two spare tubes and sealant. Remember that with hydraulic brakes you can't turn the bike upside down, so you need three hands to replace the rear wheel. That's with a central motor. With a rear hub motor you need a workshop in your bags.
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
Five punctures on one day...Unbelievable. What's a story Barbara.

First time when I cycled the Camino I had standard Continental tyres, no punctures, no problems and life was beautiful until Galicia where my bicycle along with 6 or 7 others was damaged by vandals. The tyres of all the bikes were methodically punctured with a knife. Both tyres - front and rear.

When you loose don't loose the lesson. That was the first and last time when I left my bike outside the albergue for the night (obviously I'm not referring to lovely places like Puente la Reina or Ponferrada, that have outdoors bike stands in walled gardens). Speaking of which - albergue in Jaca has bike stands outside. Brilliant albergue, highly recommended, however I would personally give outdoor bike stands a miss.

When I read your post I realised that cycling e-bike is quite a challenge. Not only your bike is heavier than a standard bike by 5 kg, but you have also carry the whole workshop, battery etc with you. Additional 7kg?
 

hecate105

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 Portuguese Estellas 2014 Aurelia 2016 St Davids 2017 Via Augusta/V dl P. 2018 Michael Mary Way
Great resource - how do we download it?
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
Thank you hecate105. The web was made to popularize the Camino Frances by bike. I cycled the Way one more time last year so it should be up to date.

The guidebook itself is under CYCLIST’S GUIDE TO SANTIAGO BY BIKE. E-BOOK TO DOWNLOAD https://caminodesantiagobybikecouk.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/camino-de-santiago-by-bike-copyright-katarzyna-kostrzewska.pdf It is just pure route description.

By the end of this week I will publish separate pdf with the updated albergue info. For now you can find all albergues (in blue) in Cyclist's Guide section ( 1)SJPdP to Roncesvalles, etc). I think that it will be more practical to have separate pdf with accommodation only. Plus walkers may download and use it as well.

If anything else please let me know. When are you planning to cycle?
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy
Hi again
While the bike itself is heavy, 23 kg with battery and the charger, and built in racks, part of that is a sturdy frame, so not all battery and motor. It's aluminium and very stiff, despite being a step through, which I personally like. My previous bike was 13 kg with the racks, and also aluminium but not as rigid. Of course, as long as the battery isn't flat the weight doesn't matter other than for getting on trains. Central motor and quick release wheels. Disc brakes so they can stay in adjustment. I don't carry many tools, just the usual tubes and a few allen keys, chain and spoke keys and tyre levers. Two pumps, as I mentioned. The tyres are heavy as well, I changed them from the originals which were not very grippy on grass and weren't reinforced. I've done over a thousand km since I bought it in June, and depending on the terrain and how I feel I have a range of anything up to 120km. To be honest, I get sore before I run out of battery. 80 km a day is fine. I cycled the St. Martin in Poitou Charentes 240 km plus 17km each way to the station in temperatures over 40 degrees, in four and a half days, about half road and half grass or gravel, and never had less than 20% battery on arrival, and enough energy to go sightseeing. Mind, I drank at least four litres of water every day....
The bike is rated for 149 kg all up weight so no problem with carrying reasonable luggage.
It's the first bike I've had with brakes and lights that actually work. I need the use of a power point for four hours, so a carry an adapter to let other people use it at the same time. I usually have a long lunch break so could always do a partial charge at that time.

The five punctures in Spain were caused by a nasty spiny plant with seeds that always land with one spike facing up. I can't remember exactly where, but near to Gijon in the autumn. I had three of four punctures on other days, always these nasty little seeds. Going on the road helped a bit, not so many of them there.
 

hecate105

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 Portuguese Estellas 2014 Aurelia 2016 St Davids 2017 Via Augusta/V dl P. 2018 Michael Mary Way
Barbara- I have taken assembled, laden bikes on lots of French and Spanish trains - I think the trick is just to rock up ..... If I have googled it beforehand it always says bikes have to be dismantled or bagged....in practise the staff are always keen to get you on the train and on your way. I've even had them insist on stamping my credencial.... luckily on a return trip!!
Kat - I am not sure when - it is on my 'do in the next 5 yrs list'! But so is cycling the coast of France, Scotland, walking the Norte and Welsh Coast Path and paddling the Thames.......!
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy
Thanks Hecate. I've only used the narrow gauge in Spain, easy, flat access. Next time will be Media Distancia I hope.
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
After everything you wrote, I will give e-bike a try one day.

Cycling in 40 degrees is a challenge. I cycled in South of France in August. First time in my life I had my lips swollen from sunburn. Since then I know that I don't look good with big lips. One day I run out of water and I just knocked at the door of the first house I saw. Woman who lived there, just looked at me and came back with a jug of water. Probably I was not the first one who knocked on her door.

80km per day sounds like a good distance for e-bike. I'm so happy that you will cycle the Camino. I wish I could do the same.
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
hecate105 put cycling Camino Frances on top of your list. Paddling the Thames surely can wait.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy
Kat, if we can meet up somewhere you can try mine.
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
My next cycling trip is going to be France for sure so let's stay in touch! When are you going? In September or October?
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy
I'm starting Tuesday next week. Planning between 50 and 80 km a day, then train back from Pamplona for this year. PM me if you like. Cheers
Barbara
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
Excellent! Have a great time and let us know how good it was when you are back. Buen Camino Barbara
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy
Hi again. I've been cycling since Wednesday, starting at Lescar, via Lourdes, Arudy, Sarrance, and Borce. Tonight I'm in Spain at Candanchu in a deserted ski station. I might be the only person staying tonight. I think if I take an e-assist bike over the Somport pass again I'll start at Urdos. The battery died as I stopped outside the Gite, which was probably cutting it a bit fine. That's 19km compared to my usual comfortable 60 to 80. Eek!
I've had fantastic weather, and met quite a few people on both the Piémont and Arles. Great routes, and more accommodation than I was expecting.

While I'm here, can anyone suggest a place to stay in Santa Cillia that's bike friendly? Not essential for it to be a pilgrim place as long as the price is reasonable.
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
Hi Barbara!
I don't spent a long weekend at home, so I won't be able to help you with an accommodation in Santa Cillia. I have all camino books on the shelf at home.

Jaca's albergue municipal is lovely, comfortable, spacious and not busy. Just don't leave your bike outside for the night - there is a massive hall inside. The Cathedral is a must-see.

19 km... Well, I think your bike says you to slow down:)
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy
Tee hee. It was uphill in bottom gear all the way. I got to Arrès at lunchtime today, so that's where I'm staying. Lovely little village and albergue. Not to mention a downhill ride most of the way
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
I wish I was in Arres, rather than in London...I love that route. Where are you going to cycle today?
 
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