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Bike thief - Security

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lordofwaldwen

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte - September 2019
Dear pilgrims,

I'm planning to take the Camino del Norte by bike. As a swimmer and a runner, It could be a great adventure to travel the north of Spain by bike. I'm planning to start in the middle of September and do it in a couple of weeks. So, after the presentation, my requests:

- Should I use my new ebike, that is quite expensive, or the old granny iron bike?

- If I use the ebike, will it be enough to search for the albergue with a secure place for the bicycle or could it be unsafe? Could I leave it there and go for a walk? I'm planning to visit church and towns.

- Should I search (and book) apartments?

As you can see, I'm quite worried about my ebike. I don't want to miss the good experience of the journey, but, also, I don't want to be worried every day about some thief.

Thank you for your kindly answers!

A.
 
Camino(s) past & future
.
Hi A,
just a few observations from a walker while we wait for a cyclist to pedal over here...
Not many accommodation places will do well if they don't cater for bikes.
Quite a lot of people use very fancy touring bikes, so yours won't necessarily be the most valuable.
I recall plenty of albergues with good facilities for cyclists on the Norte, including areas within the albergue compound, or within the gates, where bikes could be secured. Us walkers see stopping points as necessary on average between 20 and 30k, but you only need good facilities at about a third of these stops. So I'd say, with a little planning and chat with other cyclists (either on here or after you start) it'll be totally fine you take the e-bike.
Websites and guides will often give some info about bike facilities, so for instance, Gronze often lists dedicated bike shelters (Resguardo para bicicletas) in the albergue info section. I just looked up Santander as I remembered the municipal albergue is an apartment with a door onto the street. Gronze says: (google translate) 'Bike shelter They fit few and charge 3 euros; They can be stored in a nearby bar for 2 euros.'
As for swimming - I can think of plenty of nice beaches where you'll just be able to leave your bike on the beach or right by it, in view while you swim. Maybe not at the big public beach at Gijon..
Cheers, tom
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola @lordofwaldwen . I cycled the Frances back in 2015 and took my own bike along with a very secure lock and chain. If I left the bike unattended it was always in the open where anyone trying to steal it would have stuck out.
Now for your questions: eBikes (here I assume electronic bike??) if you ride and ebike you will not qualify for a Compostela so if that is your aim take the old granny bike. I stayed in private alberques and they all accepted me and my bike and in all but one case provided off street somewhat secure parking. On one night I recall there were about 10 bikes all locked up. My advice - bring the best quality lock and key you can buy; take your real valuables (phone, money, passport etc) with you when you leave the bike. Also one last reminder - equip your bike with an effective bell - the louder the better and use it when approaching anyone walking along a road or trail. 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)
I cycled Camino Norte a few years ago. It is very demanding route suitable only for experienced cyclist. It is brilliant, personally I loved it. You will love it as well.

Usually all of the albergues have dedicated space for bikes. So you do not need any special accommodation. Do not worry about it.

In case you will stay in the albergue where you are asked to leave your beloved bike outside, smile, wait for hospitaliera to leave at 10 o'clock and move your bike inside the albergue;) And always chain it.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
In case you will stay in the albergue where you are asked to leave your beloved bike outside, smile, wait for hospitaliera to leave at 10 o'clock and move your bike inside the albergue;)
Great. Good advice. :eek:😡 I'm sure all the hard-working hospitaleras will be blessing your name the next morning when on top of everything else they have to do there is dirt from the bike on the common room floor that needs to be cleaned up.
I see you write an online guide for cyclists, and you need to know that even with a winky-face emoji this is something that might (justifiably) give bicigrinos a bad name.
(I do understand the need to secure your bike...but there are way better options than this.)

And to the OP - bring the old bike. That way you have less worry and can get a compostella.
 

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)
Last but not least. Camino Norte is demanding route meaning constant climbing for 800 km, so you need really good bike. I do believe that you don't need the most expensive bike, but you still have to be reasonable. Decision is yours, but personally I would leave beloved granny bike at home and took new shiny one:)

If you have any other questions about the route or safety on the Way please let us know.

Buen Camino!
 

lordofwaldwen

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte - September 2019
Thank you, to each of you. So many answers in so little time.

It could be useful to next bicigrino: Rayanair, but also the other airlines companies, don't allow the ebike on their plane! Due to the lithium battery that could explode, it's forbidden. To be accurate, battery are allowed below some capacity (100wh)!

Tomorrow I'll post a photo of the granny bike. Kat Kostrzewska, you'll be the judge. :)

As a runner and swimmer, distance and elevation shouldn't be a problem. :)
 

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)
Lordofwalden I do not know where are you traveling from but if you get to Paris you can take comfortable TGV to Irun. And sit close to your bike. You have to reserve the space beforehand, it costs 10 Euros. Please double check if they have any restriction on e-bikes, but I don't think so.

And as for Ryanair - not a great loss, they succeed in damaging my pannier rack last year on my way back from Compostela. I hope to see the person who did it on Last Judgment Day. Seeing HOW the person managed to do it will be interesting as well.

Transport and safety are always the biggest concerns for us bicigrinos. Doesn't matter if that's first of tenth camino. It is always something. The rest is easy;)

I'm waiting for a photo of that granny bike
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
As a runner and swimmer, distance and elevation shouldn't be a problem.
I'm also a former competitive swimmer but I've never trained in an uphill pool - I only did flat racing.
(If you're very tolerant I might also tell you my joke about the mess the horses made when I tried water polo).
 

lordofwaldwen

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte - September 2019
@Raggy, I'll be glad to hear your joke! 🙃 (I live in the mountains, at 650mt high. I used to run with altitude, and, also, swim in altitude. In livigno, at 1816m above the sea)

@Kat Kostrzewska , sorry for your pannier rack! Starting from the north of Italy, by train, it will be a journey in the journey . :) I'll think about it. Not a bad suggestion at all.

After speaking with a friend who made the French route on walk, I'm more uncertain about what to do. Should I walk or ride a bike?

I'll be alone, and I will do it. That's unmovable.

- By bycicle. I'll be more free to move from one place to another. If an albergue is full, I could just move to the next, however, I might also lost the social experience of the journey.

- By walk. If there will be few people, It could be frustrating. But, to reach some point out of the track, just like San Juan De Gatzelugatxe, without a bus, that I see as a fraud, It might be too far.

What do you think about it? :)

Finally, the IRON bycicle, 14kgs.

IMG-20190801-WA0002.jpg


Thank you! I see this forum as a part of the Camino itself! :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
.
Hi A,
to bike or to walk is a long conversation!
I think for you, either will work out well.
I'll recommend just one thing: allow yourself lots of extra time to reach your destination. That way, you can slow down, detour or even stop awhile if you find a great beach or group of friends. We sometimes meet people who are prisoners of their ambitions to walk great distances each day, and rarely are they smiling!
Cheers, tom
PS I think you need a wicker basket on the front of that bike...
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
One thought if you are undecided is to bike part and walk part.
I met a guy in Rioja who was biking, and who planned to begin walking in Burgos. I don't have any idea what he did with his bike (or his panniers) once he began to walk,.

(And the steel-framed clunker? That'd be a workout, to be sure. But unlike the ebike, you could bid it farewell if you were going to walk part of the way.)
 

lordofwaldwen

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte - September 2019
Thank you, @peregrino_tom . I'll definitely take an extra time, no rush! It's already part of the plan. :)

Still looking for right plan of action, but it's almost done. Sometimes I'm a little bit uncertain about what route should I take, Norte or Francés. They both seem to be good, for different reasons. 🤷‍♂️

However, by the end of the next week I'll book the flight. 👨‍⚖️
 

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 Lordofwaldwen!

Common I don't believe that your grandmother is cycling that bike;)

You can do Camino Norte meaning walker's path only on mountain bike. And only partially because there are parts that you won't able to cycle, you will have to carry the bike. In the other words you will cycle roads parallel to Norte as I did. And you know that's an amazing route, but you will be entirely by yourself. I met other bicigrinos (Spanish name for cyclist doing the Camino de Santiago) two days before reaching my final destination. The question is if it is what you are looking for.

It is your first camino, so if I were you I would walk. Yep, it's cyclist speaking. I walked the Camino and I cycled the Camino. Both experiences and unforgettable, but I always think that it is better to walk first to have the full experience. And then cycle.

You are very fit so Norte will be more suitable for you as it is more challenging. It is also less busy, than Frances. I think that you will like it. However Frances is the original route so even though a bit too busy at places is the most beautiful one.

Decision is yours, if you have any doubts please let us know. On your bike or walking it is the beginning of the great adventure

Maybe read this short post, perhaps it will help you to make up you mind https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk/2018/08/28/the-journey-to-the-inner-self/
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy
I've walked the Norte and Primitvo with a donkey. I've cycled the Norte. Well, the downhill bits. I walked up most of the hills. There are plenty of road options. I used a bike that's a cross between road and VTT.
You want my opinion? Take the ebike. You will still get the Compostela if you want one. (As long as it's only electric assist) Take plenty of spare inner tubes. My record was five punctures in a day. If you have a rear wheel motor get some Kevlar tyres. Oh, get them anyway. And a really good pump. I take two. One CO2 cartridge pump, because those big tyres take forever with a hand pump, and a hand pump to top up with. And some of those cunning tubes like a sausage so you don't have to take the wheel off. Even if you don't have a rear wheel motor, because you need three hands to put the derailleur back when you can't turn the bike upside down because you have hydraulic brakes. Which will at least mean you can stop with the brakes rather than only being able to stop by falling off. Oh, and one of those aerosol puncture sealing kits. Or five of them. And the inner tubes filled with sealant. Did I mention Kevlar tyres?
I bought an ebike in June. Take yours. But you will now be leaving Spain by the narrow gauge train. Two days to Hendaye. Otherwise you have to put your bike in a box. Don't use the Correros bike service. Not unless you want to get it repaired when you get home. The narrow guage train along the coast you just push it on. Once in France you can take it assembled.
 

michael

Member
Not sure if you can fly with ebike batteries but do look into that.
On the practical front is the battery easily removable? If not you need to carry an extension lead plus your charger. More weight. What type connector and how long a lead?
Personally I would remove as much external anxiety inducing stuff as I could. Battery anxiety being one of those unexpected side effects of ebike riding.
I would take the clunker as it can be fixed easily has no anxiety inducing battery life issues and less attractive to anyone looking to liberate one for their own use.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy
Looks like the OP is coming from Italy. So, aeroplane not a problem. There are trains. It'll take a while. Don't know if Italian trains take unboxed bikes.
I haven't seen any ebikes where you can't remove the battery. But absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
They do work without the battery. And yes, it is hard work. Uphill, anyway.
 

inmari

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - Pamplona (2013)
El Camino de San Olav, Burgos - Covarrubias (2014)
Pamplona - SdC (2015)
Hola @lordofwaldwen . I cycled the Frances back in 2015 and took my own bike along with a very secure lock and chain. If I left the bike unattended it was always in the open where anyone trying to steal it would have stuck out.
Now for your questions: eBikes (here I assume electronic bike??) if you ride and ebike you will not qualify for a Compostela so if that is your aim take the old granny bike. I stayed in private alberques and they all accepted me and my bike and in all but one case provided off street somewhat secure parking. On one night I recall there were about 10 bikes all locked up. My advice - bring the best quality lock and key you can buy; take your real valuables (phone, money, passport etc) with you when you leave the bike. Also one last reminder - equip your bike with an effective bell - the louder the better and use it when approaching anyone walking along a road or trail. Cheers
This was really interesting reading! I plan a long distance bike trip in 2021 (Frederikshavn, Denmark, to SdC, about 3600 km). I will probably need a new bike by then an have thought a lot about ebike or an ordinary one. I think you have made the decision a lot easier! Thank you!
 

lordofwaldwen

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte - September 2019
So many answers, thank you everybody! @Kat Kostrzewska , @Barbara , @michael , @inmari

No, I was joking. But it's been used by my father, who is now grandpa. :)

I'm taking advice over advice, changing the plan according to what could be right. Open, just like you said @Kat Kostrzewska in your beautiful write, to changes. According to that, I think that bycicle the Norte have to wait. A friend is going to get married and we are thinking about a journey in the north of Spain, Bilbao and San Sebastian on may!

I can't speak spanish, just a survival version of english and I thought that everyone were able to speak in english: I was wrong The language could be a real barrier in the Norte. 6% of the people take the Norte, 6% are bicigrinos. It's my first Camino and I don't want to miss the social aspect. I think that I will take the Camino francés by walk, from Saint- Jean pied de port. :)

It'll be a one way flight! :)
 

debra

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2010, Frances 2010
Via Francigena 2014 bicigrino
Way of St. Francis 2017 bicigrino
This was really interesting reading! I plan a long distance bike trip in 2021 (Frederikshavn, Denmark, to SdC, about 3600 km). I will probably need a new bike by then an have thought a lot about ebike or an ordinary one. I think you have made the decision a lot easier! Thank you!
I would ask for more information on the bike for Compostela as people have been riding them for the last few year and getting Compostelas.
I would take the time to the read the bike threads. Second the ebike real problem is the battery can not be flown with on an airplane.
 

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 am so happy that you have found yours answers...You see preparing for the Camino can be the beginning of Camino. It starts at your doorstep.

Frances is just unforgettable.

camino.JPG

I wish you Buen Camino!!!!!!
 

inmari

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - Pamplona (2013)
El Camino de San Olav, Burgos - Covarrubias (2014)
Pamplona - SdC (2015)
I would ask for more information on the bike for Compostela as people have been riding them for the last few year and getting Compostelas.
I would take the time to the read the bike threads. Second the ebike real problem is the battery can not be flown with on an airplane.
I may solve the transportation problem by just riding the bike back home, I'm sure I can bring it on the ferry back to Oslo. Or I might find a long distance bus. :)
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I've removed a few posts from this thread. They were irrelevant to the question asked, or a personal exchange that became snarky. If you want to engage in a conversation with one other person, please take it to "Conversations".
 

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