A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Bikers on the Norte

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18, '19)
I don't recall seeing a single one. That said, the Norte has a fair amount of road walking compared to the Francis which has almost none. Some of the road walking is on busy roads where busses are more of an issue than bikers! A reasonable amount is also on beach walks, where you will encounter a lot of people strolling with ice cream or dogs. Away from the towns, its a much lonelier trail with some significant hills, not suitable for a biker who doesn't have a death wish. Bikes are the least of your concerns.

Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF14(21?)
Aussie Camino15
WHW15
CP16
CdelN Fin/Muxia18
GGW StCuthWay HadrWall CotswoldWay19
We agree with Rick M, don't recall many bikes at all when we walked the Norte from the end of April to mid June 2018.
Buen Camino
Anne & Pat
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I saw a few bikers on the Norte, but I had no close calls in late April. Weekends always busiest.
 

spursfan

Veteran Member
I will be walking the Norte next spring. My question is, are there many bikers compared to the Francis where I experienced many close calls?
Can I just clarify your terminology - I think you mean pilgrim cyclists - and indeed I didn't see many

But, especially at weekends, you will see groups of motor cyclists (that I would call bikers) out riding - and well as some amateur cyclists out on the roads
 
Camino(s) past & future
(September 2017)
Can I just clarify your terminology - I think you mean pilgrim cyclists - and indeed I didn't see many

But, especially at weekends, you will see groups of motor cyclists (that I would call bikers) out riding - and well as some amateur cyclists out on the roads
If a biker hits you does it make a difference?
 
Camino(s) past & future
(September 2017)
I don't recall seeing a single one. That said, the Norte has a fair amount of road walking compared to the Francis which has almost none. Some of the road walking is on busy roads where busses are more of an issue than bikers! A reasonable amount is also on beach walks, where you will encounter a lot of people strolling with ice cream or dogs. Away from the towns, its a much lonelier trail with some significant hills, not suitable for a biker who doesn't have a death wish. Bikes are the least of your concerns.

Buen Camino
Thank you for your reply.
 

easygoing

Camino Sharon
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
I don't recall seeing a single one. That said, the Norte has a fair amount of road walking compared to the Francis which has almost none. Some of the road walking is on busy roads where busses are more of an issue than bikers! A reasonable amount is also on beach walks, where you will encounter a lot of people strolling with ice cream or dogs. Away from the towns, its a much lonelier trail with some significant hills, not suitable for a biker who doesn't have a death wish. Bikes are the least of your concerns.

Buen Camino
I am confused by your answer. I have walked the Francis many times and we walked along a road alot the very first day from St Jean. I found much of the Camino was on back roads and along roads even if we are on a newly built trail. We plan to walk the Norte in May so are going to walk on highway? Please explain the difference thanks.
 

spursfan

Veteran Member
The building of superhighways close to the Norte has taken a lot of the traffic has taken a lot of the traffic away from the ordinary highways - you should at least buy a guidebook and see for yourself
 

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18, '19)
I found much of the Camino was on back roads and along roads even if we are on a newly built trail.
Indeed, as you point out, the Francis is mostly on an improved aggregate trail, some of which runs parallel to a local road, like the N-120. Away from the towns and villages, you are on that trail. Towns are towns, and you are on a road, usually on a sidewalk. But on the Norte there is not as much "trail parallel to local road" between villages. The trails are not built parallel to the roads for the most part, they are over hill and over dale through the forest. But there are a fair number of places where there is no "trail" at all. You are walking on the local road, on the shoulder. There are a few places where the road is windy, and the shoulders are very narrow. Fortunately, as has been pointed out, the new freeway has taken a lot of the traffic off these local roads, but there is still some.

Outside of the towns, the Francis has almost no walking on the shoulder of a road. The Norte has plenty.

Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
(September 2017)
My old Harley was 800 pounds. My current commuter bicycle is 30 pounds. The Harley could hit 100 mph, while I'm lucky to go 15 mph on my bicycle. So, yes, it would make a difference.
For an unknown reason you are making a issue from a simple inquiry.
I don’t recall encountering any Harleys on the Francis and all the other responders understood my question relating to the numerous cyclists on the Francis.
 

Bash On!

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Next year perhaps?
For an unknown reason you are making a issue from a simple inquiry.
I don’t recall encountering any Harleys on the Francis and all the other responders understood my question relating to the numerous cyclists on the Francis.
Just answering your follow-up post. Peace, brother.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May/June 2018)
Camino Norte (Sept/Oct 2019)
I finished the Norte 2 weeks ago. It was fabulous.
I did encounter a few push bikes, and had one really close call - walking a steep uphill section of a minor road, two bikes came down very fast and the lead one just missed me as it came screaming around a corner. There was no visibility (steep banks and hedges) and no verge. I wasn't wearing headphones, and I may have just heard something before it rounded the corner and stepped back a fraction. All over in a flash, biker and I were equally startled.
 

nickymd1

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdN + Fisterra 2017
Jakobsweg (Imperii + Regia) | BER-Leipzig-Naumburg 2018
Burgos-SdC 2019
The bike route on the Norte tends to run parallel rather than on the walking trail. You'll see signs regularly that lead the bici pilgrims one way and the pied pilgrims in another. Particularly in the Basque country, the walking route is not suitable for bikes and, generally, the Norte is very steep for cyclists, meaning alternate routes are preferred or provided.
 

Jay Es

Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017 the del Norte, home via the Portuguse to Vigo, Planning a Via de la Plata for October 2018.
I rode the Norte in April/May 2017 and didn't see many walkers at all until the last 100km. When it was busy we just rode along the road to keep from having any conflict with big groups of walkers. When we did meet we stopped so often that we got to know many of those walking the route and it was very friendly. I know some do find it difficult to get along with each others pace, but if we all just stop occasionally and take pleasure in company of other perigrinos things work fine. This was in May, when over 1000 people a day where receiving their Compstellas.
It's a lovely route and often the Bicigrino route is on the road when the Camino goes along narrower paths where it would be difficult to pass each other.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
@Jay Es, I wish all the bikers were as respectful and kind on the trails as you! Maybe there are more of "you" out there rolling on two wheels than I give credit to...most of my experiences with bikers have not left good memories. Thanks for the upbeat post!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I've walked the del Norte several times and only twice encountered cyclists trying to follow the footpaths. They did not have an easy time of it. I saw only a few bicycle pilgrims as their marked routes were generally apart. I would suggest to walking pilgrims that they follow the bicycle route into Orio, as the pedestrian path is on a very very rough mediaeval road and easily matches the miserable trail into Molinaseca.

Most of the pilgrim cyclists I met were individuals. On Sundays and Saturdays, you will often see small hordes of lycra-clad local recreational cyclists in their packs but they were on the highways, and cheerfully greeted pilgrims. I never had a problem with any of them on the del Norte or on the Primitivo, but I fear that I could not say that of the cyclists I saw on the Francese.

I encountered a pack of antique motorcyclists doing a rally on the Catalan, but they were no problem, and I chatted with some of them at one of their stops. No Harleys, but plenty of WWII and postwar military motorcycles-- with the fall of the Warsaw Pact, lots of eastern bloc motorbikes are on the market. No-one would mistake them for pilgrims, or consider them to be likely candidates for son-in-law.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
On the Norte we roomed one night in a monestary with a woman from Argentina who was a bicagrino with panniers. She left early the next morning, but we caught up with her an hour later as she struggled to drag her bike up a very steep, twisty, muddy section of the trail. My adult son had to take the bike from her and drag it a ways until she was able to take over again. She appeared to be a tiny lady in her mid 50's and I was surprised she wasn't taking roads.
 

Jay Es

Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017 the del Norte, home via the Portuguse to Vigo, Planning a Via de la Plata for October 2018.
I've walked the del Norte several times and only twice encountered cyclists trying to follow the footpaths. They did not have an easy time of it. I saw only a few bicycle pilgrims as their marked routes were generally apart. I would suggest to walking pilgrims that they follow the bicycle route into Orio, as the pedestrian path is on a very very rough mediaeval road and easily matches the miserable trail into Molinaseca.

Most of the pilgrim cyclists I met were individuals. On Sundays and Saturdays, you will often see small hordes of lycra-clad local recreational cyclists in their packs but they were on the highways, and cheerfully greeted pilgrims. I never had a problem with any of them on the del Norte or on the Primitivo, but I fear that I could not say that of the cyclists I saw on the Francese.

I encountered a pack of antique motorcyclists doing a rally on the Catalan, but they were no problem, and I chatted with some of them at one of their stops. No Harleys, but plenty of WWII and postwar military motorcycles-- with the fall of the Warsaw Pact, lots of eastern bloc motorbikes are on the market. No-one would mistake them for pilgrims, or consider them to be likely candidates for son-in-law.
Yes we had plenty of pushing bikes and rough trails, we often met the same walking pilgrims during the day as we went no further than they. But on the road sections it was faster by a long way. The trails through Galicia were particulary lovely
 

Attachments

hecate105

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'09 Portuguese Estellas '14 Aurelia '16 St Davids '17 Via Augusta/V dl P. '18/'19 Michael Mary Way
I think Bash On was making the point there is a difference between 'bikers' - people on motorbikes - and 'cyclists' on cycles. Cyclists may be pilgrims or may be local sporting cyclists or holiday tourers....
I would hope that pilgrim cyclists would be considerate for walking pilgrims when both are necessarily on the same road with no pathway. Sporting cyclists and motorbikes may not have any inkling that there is a 'walking path' or 'Camino' in the area and so greater care is needed. I cycled much of the route and found no problem between cycles and walkers - but it behoves any walker or cyclist to be vigilant on a shared use roadway...(personally I find British buses to be the worst offenders - but perhaps I have been unlucky...!)
Enjoy your Camino!
 

Get on our Mailing list for new products on the Camino Store and news from the Camino Forum








Advertisement

Booking.com

Camino Conversations

Camino Conversations

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

Most downloaded Resources

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 16 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 10 0.8%
  • March

    Votes: 55 4.2%
  • April

    Votes: 197 15.0%
  • May

    Votes: 325 24.8%
  • June

    Votes: 95 7.3%
  • July

    Votes: 24 1.8%
  • August

    Votes: 27 2.1%
  • September

    Votes: 379 28.9%
  • October

    Votes: 158 12.1%
  • November

    Votes: 17 1.3%
  • December

    Votes: 7 0.5%

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock