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Bike transport on trains and buses

Krofojed

New Member
We will by cycling from Burges to Santiago and then we need to get back to Burges (where our car will be waiting). To do so, we need to load our bikes on a train or bus (well, if all else fails, we can leave them in Santiago and pick them up by car, but that means driving an extra 1200 km, which is highly undesirable).

I gather that long-distance trains carry bikes packed (Renfe web site says so). The ride from Santiago to Burges appears to be long-distance (using medium-distance trains instead results in changing trains several times and stoping three dozen times or so, which probably takes a looong time). Is may information correct? Or is it possible to transport bikes assembled on long-distance trains as well? Or is perhaps my interpretation of long/medium-distance wrong? We would rather avoid searching bike shops for boxes and disassembling the bikes if possible.

Buses also appear to carry bikes packed (ALSA website says so, although other companies may have different policies). Anybody has different information? Thanks.
 
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csejr

New Member
It has been some time since I was last in Spain, but some of the rules may still apply. RENFE was still using something called Pacque Express, where they would truck or train large objects to your final destination. I didn't have to disassemble my bike to use this. Just rolled it on up and they tagged it and gave me a receipt. They didn't run on weekends, so I wouldn't recommend this on Fridays or Saturdays as your bikes wouldn't arrive until Monday morning. Also the local trains will allow you to bring your bike on board, but you may find yourself sitting in a weird location if you want to keep an eye on it. Good luck..
 

cutie pie

New Member
Let me liven up the topic.
I gonna travel by bicycle from Pamplona to Santiago.
My plane arrives in Bilbao and flies out from Madrid. So I need to transfer from Bilbao to Pamplona and from SdC to Madrid by bus or by train (doesnt matter). How can I do it the best way (without disassembling the bike)?
Unfortunately, this site
http://www.autobuseslaunion.com/es/index.asp
says its not possible to transfer the bike by bus.
Does anybody have actual information?

Thanks.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
From ALSA:
Transporting bicycles, surfboards or skis has an additional cost, 5 euros for short-distance routes and 10 euros for long-distance routes.

In international services is only allowed to carry bicycles in Spain-Morocco route, by booking and paying this extra service.

Because of the limited space, we admit 4 objects (bicycles and surfboards) altogether in each coach, one per ticket. They have to be prepared to travel without causing any damages to other baggage, so it is obligatory that they are well packaged in boxes or appropriate bags.

You can buy the ticket in our website together with the bicycle transport, indicating it in the box in step 3 of the purchase process. Tickets with bicycle transport must be bought one by one, so that it's impossible to check this box if you chose 2 or more seats.

If there is no space in the selected coach, this box will be unavailable too.

Once bought the ticket, the passenger must be at least 15 minutes before the departure time with the indicated bicycle or surfboard.
You may need to wrap the bicycle in cardboard for the bus.
 

cutie pie

New Member
O yeah, I agree to do this on the part SdC-Madrid (it's better to walk by step in Madrid).

But route Bilbao-Pamplona is not operated by ALSA, it is operated by another company which not allowes bike transportation (as I understand from web-site).
And more than that , if I will pack the bike in Bilbao, I will need construct it back in Pamplona. But I can not do this 8)
 
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D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
If the ALSA bus is out, here is the Renfe information on bicycles:
Bicycles will be allowed on all Media Distancia trains that have a designated area or enough space to carry them. Only one bicycle per passenger will be allowed as long as there are enough places on the train or the maximum capacity for each carriage or train is not exceeded. Otherwise, the passenger will be entitled to use another Media Distancia train or to a reimbursement of the price of the journey not made.

In general, passengers travelling in a group with more than three bicycles must be authorised by Renfe-Operadora beforehand. Only in the case of authorised groups can the maximum limit for each carriage or train be exceeded.

This service is available for all Media Distancia trains but it can be limited on overcrowded trains. Maximum limits per train and carriage can be established for this service. This service will not occupy a seat nor can a seat be reserved for this purpose. The price will be the one established on the current price list.

Passengers transporting a bicycle must take proper care to ensure the safety and comfort of other passengers and will be responsible for any damages to the train and injuries to third parties.

In Special Price Nº 6 there may be limits on this service, depending on the date, time, period and route.
 

k1ypp

Member
Last June, Jane and I were doing a self-supported, European tour by bicycle. As luck would have it, after 800 km, she had a bad crash in Leon and could no longer ride the bike. We had started in Barcelona and were headed for Santiago de Compostela. We couldn't take the high-speed, express, train to SDC, so we had to take the slower, local trains, with our bikes fully assembled, plus panniers, front and rear. The train had racks to "hang" the bikes by the front wheel. That was a bit of a chore, since they were heavy with all the gear, but it worked out okay.

The train probably took at least twice as long as the express one, but we did get to see tons of really nice scenery, and trains, unlike planes, have plenty of room to spread out. Additionally, we met a number of other interesting people, and a few pilgrims, so the ride was very enjoyable. We stored the bikes in SDC and went off and walked the Portuguese Camino and when we returned, she couldn't ride, so we shipped the bikes back to the US (very reasonable price with Mailbox Etc. in SDC) and hiked and rode trains for the next four months. Many of the trains there either have a specially marked car for bikes, or often, a conductor would come out and indicate which car was for the cycles. It was well organized and I'd recommend taking the train with the bicycle.
 

obinjatoo@yahoo.com

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012 Dieppe, FR Bici CF.
2014 Ruta Vasco/CF/Primativo
Wow, I'm glad you could take your bikes on the local trains. I tried last fall and the info I got was that bikes on ALL Spanish trains was Prohibido. Perhaps folks were referencing RENFE. I did get it on buses though even though I sometimes had to purchase a ticket for it depending on the mood of the driver.
 

Brunocguedes37

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Did Camino frances
Last June, Jane and I were doing a self-supported, European tour by bicycle. As luck would have it, after 800 km, she had a bad crash in Leon and could no longer ride the bike. We had started in Barcelona and were headed for Santiago de Compostela. We couldn't take the high-speed, express, train to SDC, so we had to take the slower, local trains, with our bikes fully assembled, plus panniers, front and rear. The train had racks to "hang" the bikes by the front wheel. That was a bit of a chore, since they were heavy with all the gear, but it worked out okay.

The train probably took at least twice as long as the express one, but we did get to see tons of really nice scenery, and trains, unlike planes, have plenty of room to spread out. Additionally, we met a number of other interesting people, and a few pilgrims, so the ride was very enjoyable. We stored the bikes in SDC and went off and walked the Portuguese Camino and when we returned, she couldn't ride, so we shipped the bikes back to the US (very reasonable price with Mailbox Etc. in SDC) and hiked and rode trains for the next four months. Many of the trains there either have a specially marked car for bikes, or often, a conductor would come out and indicate which car was for the cycles. It was well organized and I'd recommend taking the train with the bicycle.


Hi.

What company did you use ?

Thanks
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Let me liven up the topic.
I gonna travel by bicycle from Pamplona to Santiago.
My plane arrives in Bilbao and flies out from Madrid. So I need to transfer from Bilbao to Pamplona and from SdC to Madrid by bus or by train (doesnt matter). How can I do it the best way (without disassembling the bike)?
Unfortunately, this site
http://www.autobuseslaunion.com/es/index.asp
says its not possible to transfer the bike by bus.
Does anybody have actual information?

Thanks.

Actual Information - from one who did the following: Madrid to Pamplona and Santiago to Madrid (Sep-Oct 2015). Can you do it without disassembling the bike - short answer NO.

I brought my own bike from Oz (never again!!) it was still in its cardboard carton - yes disassembled. I was able to get it on the Media Distance train - real lucky the conductor saw I was a pilgrim and I put it in the seat compartment - should have been less than 1250 mm (it was just 1500 mm).
In Santiago I used Veloxipedo (Rua San Pedro 23, Santiago - the Camino trail just right past their front door) - Tel 981-580-260) they directed me to a car wash garage where I was able to pressure wash to bike totally clean; then then disassembled it and packed and arranged transport to Madrid. I think the total fee - packing/transport was around E75-80. Unfortunately they cannot transport it directly to Madrid Airport - luckily I had a hotel in Madrid and I arranged in advance for them to store it for 2 or 3 days. I then arranged through maxi-taxis for a van (5-7 seater) to take me and bike to the airport - fee was around $25-30.
Can you get your bike on an ALSA bus - yes! But (and its a BIG BUT) you have to pay a bike fee (E1-3 depends on distance) - but only 1 (max 2 bikes per bus) - so if you get on the bus and there are already 2 bikes yours can't travel - oh and no refund!! Trains - RENFE - AVE (Spain's TGV) - no bikes; Media Distrance - see above - size limits apply. I did eventually discover that the bike could have travelled on the overnight train from Santiago to Madrid - but then you still have to pack it to get it on the plane.

Hope this helps. Cheers
 

Jasna

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
I plan to cycle camino frances in june 2017
Hi,
me and my husband are planning to cycle the Camino Frances. We will take our bicycles and drive to Pamplona with our car. We will leave our car in Pamplona, so we don't need to change several trains/buses on the way back from Santiago.
Can somebody please tell me how it is with taking the bikes on ALSA bus from Pamplona to SJPP? The website says there are maximum 4 bikes per bus, but I don't find the option to book a bicycle with my ticket online. Is it better to buy tickets at the bus station in Pamplona? In case the bus will not accept our bikes, we will have to start our Camino in Pamplona, although our wish is to start at the beginning in SJPP.
On the way back to Pamplona we plan to take our bikes on train. Now I am little confused – on which trains Is it possible to take bike without to many complications? Who operates local trains if not RENFE?

Kind regards,
Jasna
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
The Correos transfer bikes, suitably packed in one of their boxes. The instructions on packing are clearly on the box in Spanish. Might 'posting' your bikes be a better option.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hi,
me and my husband are planning to cycle the Camino Frances. We will take our bicycles and drive to Pamplona with our car. We will leave our car in Pamplona, so we don't need to change several trains/buses on the way back from Santiago.
Can somebody please tell me how it is with taking the bikes on ALSA bus from Pamplona to SJPP? The website says there are maximum 4 bikes per bus, but I don't find the option to book a bicycle with my ticket online. Is it better to buy tickets at the bus station in Pamplona? In case the bus will not accept our bikes, we will have to start our Camino in Pamplona, although our wish is to start at the beginning in SJPP.
On the way back to Pamplona we plan to take our bikes on train. Now I am little confused – on which trains Is it possible to take bike without to many complications? Who operates local trains if not RENFE?

Kind regards,
Jasna
Hi Jasna - never tried to book ALSA online; but I think you need to pay for the bike at the Autobus Station - just so you know you can get the bike on the bus you are travelling on. Renfe operates virtually ALL trains (non-metropolitan) across Spain so the info I provided above will apply. As from taking the train from Santiago to Pamplona - that is a real difficult task. As far as I could determine there is no direct service; you will need to change trains (and probably more than once) so you may end up overnighting. It might be easier for one of you to take a bus back to Pamplona and bring the car down. Good luck.
 

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