Search 57,387 Camino Questions

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


Advertisement
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.
Camino Masks
This week, 50% off ALL Camino Masks

biking the camino in may 2016

mungodelics

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino frances (2016)
Hi all
I'm planning on cycling the camino in may 2016 and was hoping if anyone had any recommendations for guides to research with... i have a cicerone guide that deals mainly the road path but i intend on riding the trail. Also any tips on where to obtain a good cheap bike to do the camino with.
cheers guys
 
how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
Create your own ad
€1,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.

newfydog

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay

David

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2005
Hi Mungo - if you intend to cycle the Camino rather than the roads then any Camino guide will do as the only difference between you and a walking pilgrim is daily distance.
Getting your bike is a little more difficult - where will you start? what will you do with it when you finish?

You could say that "good cheap" bike is an oxymoron .. cheap bikes are cheap bikes - that said, if you are not racing along like a mount biker and don't mind quite a lot of hard work it doesn't really matter - the thing is, you could do it on a 30 year old heavy steel hub 3-speed if you wanted to.
Those old roadster had steel wheel rims with steel spokes and strong tyres. Sure, they are heavy but they are strong and these are the most common bikes used in the third world - sometimes carrying huge loads, over unpaved rough roads and sometimes over long distances - you don't 'need' a sophisticated expensive bike, what you 'need' is a strong bike.

Sure, you would do a lot of pushing up the hills but so what? If you bought a cheap old 2ndhand basic bike you could just give it away when you finish :)

There is a real pleasure in riding a good light, multi-geared, bike but it isn't necessary if money is tight ..

Here is a bike taxi in Burundi ...(he has a bell!!)

taxi-bicycle-burundi-africa.jpg

and this is a fully loaded single speed working bike .....

overloaded-bicycles.jpg

My point being that if it doesn't matter to you you could just buy a cheap bike wherever you start from - there are always bicycles for sale, everywhere.
 
Last edited:

newfydog

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
David--
I'll see your load of wood and add a pile of tanks. Actually, none of those bikes would be very good on the Camino, and those tires you say are tough are far too narrow. I worked my way through college as a bike mechanic, and still end up fixing them everywhere I go, in the third word and on the Camino. Cheap does not equal strong. Lots of those third world bikes are actually garbage, it is just what is available to them.

Get the best bike you can.

bike.JPG
 

David

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2005
Apart from "get the best bike you can" - which is obviously true! I have to disagree old chap. I am a fair bike mechanic. I used to run long distance cycle rides for charity. I remember a chap on the Bordeaux to Barcelona at 74 years old on a Sturmey Archer three speed, steel roadster with steel mudguards, who daily 'beat' the wannabee racing cyclists on their mountain bikes (the road racers always came in first) because he knew about cadence and pacing himself and how to ride, whereas they burnt themselves out in a couple of hours. On one of our Lands End to John-o-Groats we had a chap on an ordinary - a late 19th century 'penny farthing' iron framed bike with solid tyres who did the distance (though he always came in very late each day and found it hard having to both walk up and walk down the hills!!). Of course in the third world those bikes are falling to pieces - they don't have the money for the tools nor the spares nor have the training to repair - of course you will find so many of them clapped out - but -

You are American? I would refer you to the Viet Cong in Vietnam who continuously re-supplied themselves by carrying ammunition, weapons, food, medical supplies, etc, on those very types of 'cheap' bicycles over a couple of thousands of miles of secret paths from the far north to the combat zones over terribly difficult unpaved terrain, for some years - I may be wrong but my memory is that their inadequate tyres and their garbage bikes overwhelmingly beat your hi-tec approach to the war?

I would also point out that since the invention of the roadster, the single or hub three-speed heavy steel bikes, those garbage bikes with their inadequate tyres, seen above and known by all peoples of the world since the beginning of the last century, that that design has served the world quite adequately until the quite recent explosion of the first-world cash rich hobby cyclist and their flying machines.

Mind you - I have a really low geared 24 speed aluminium framed light bike with pannier frames fore and aft and the fattest padded gel saddle that an elephant would sigh with comfort on ;)
 
Last edited:
how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
Rent a house in Santiago (1 month minimum)
300m from the cathedral and around the corner from the fresh food market in Santiago. Perfect place to tele commute from (1GB symmetrical connection).

mungodelics

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino frances (2016)
Hi Mungo - if you intend to cycle the Camino rather than the roads then any Camino guide will do as the only difference between you and a walking pilgrim is daily distance.
Getting your bike is a little more difficult - where will you start? what will you do with it when you finish?

You could say that "good cheap" bike is an oxymoron .. cheap bikes are cheap bikes - that said, if you are not racing along like a mount biker and don't mind quite a lot of hard work it doesn't really matter - the thing is, you could do it on a 30 year old heavy steel hub 3-speed if you wanted to.
Those old roadster had steel wheel rims with steel spokes and strong tyres. Sure, they are heavy but they are strong and these are the most common bikes used in the third world - sometimes carrying huge loads, over unpaved rough roads and sometimes over long distances - you don't 'need' a sophisticated expensive bike, what you 'need' is a strong bike.

Sure, you would do a lot of pushing up the hills but so what? If you bought a cheap old 2ndhand basic bike you could just give it away when you finish :)

There is a real pleasure in riding a good light, multi-geared, bike but it isn't necessary if money is tight ..

Here is a bike taxi in Burundi ...(he has a bell!!)

View attachment 17419

and this is a fully loaded single speed working bike .....

View attachment 17420

My point being that if it doesn't matter to you you could just buy a cheap bike wherever you start from - there are always bicycles for sale, everywhere.

Thanks for the advice... i hopefully won't be as loaded up as those gents! Plan is to donate bikes at the end of the ride as well
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
Well David, all I can say is that it amazes me that people who would never dream of recommending a hiker to go with the shoes, socks, and packs that you would find in a thrift store, the third world, or on the feet and backs of Viet Cong soldiers, (who tragically died by the thousands), don't hesitate to recommend the same to a cyclist. I invite you to go to one of the "blister" threads here and suggest they use something that is really cheap and can be thrown out when they reach Santiago!

Those sandals the medieval pilgrims worked well enough for some of them to make it, people in the third world get by with minimal footwear, and the American farmers at Bunker Hill whipped the British Redcoats in spite of the spiffy outfits. What of it?

Get the best bike you can.
 
Last edited:

David

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2005
Good point! ;) though my point was that were you to travel a few miles a day you could take any old bike you wanted to. If you wanted to zoom to 30+ miles a day you would need a modern one.

Same with thrift store clothing and packs - nothing wrong at all with kitting oneself out with all that stuff - plenty of people do, plenty of people are cash poor but spirit rich.
 
Last edited:

David

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2005
and the American farmers at Bunker Hill whipped the British Redcoats in spite of the spiffy outfits.

Very lucky for us that you guys ran out of ammunition at Bunker Hill (well, Breed's Hill) and had to withdraw, otherwise I don't think any of our lot would have survived. The British tactics of throwing men uphill at your redoubt until you ran out of ammunition may have allowed us to "win" the hill but at the cost of over 800 dead and over 1200 casualties - our generals were idiots.
 
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Year of past OR future Camino
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Hi mungodelics -

The title of your thread - Biking the Camino in 2016 - really sparked my interest as Saint Mike II from here on the Forum and I are doing exactly the same thing in September this year. We're cycling from Pamplona out to Finisterre and the question of whether to buy a bike, at, say, Decathlon in Pamplona, rent a bike (hugely expensive) or bring our own bikes from Australia has been on our minds for many months. Like you we want to be on those magical paths themselves as much as we can rather than the road.

I've decided (Mike's making a decision after Easter) to bring my own bike from home. Last week, after much research, I bought a beautiful Giant brand womens' mountain bike (second cheapest in the range but it will more than serve my purposes for what I hope will be years of training and many caminos) which is my Camino dream bike - it looks like a mack truck compared to the road and racing bikes which I see all the time near where I live in Sydney, but it rides like an absolute dream. It was properly fitted for me and was kitted up with all the extras I'll need for the bike camino by the bike shop and everything's perfect. As a relatively new cyclist this bike has given me a lot of confidence and I know it will get me from Pamplona right out to Finisterre on this camino - riding safely is my responsibility of course but I have a great bike, which is heavy duty and it's a bike that will be durable. I still have to buy a bike bag for air travel and the train travel within Spain but they're readily available and I know I'll be able to get something suitable. The air travel and train travel part, ie. getting the bike to Pamplona is going to be somewhat an adventure in itself but the bike is going to be properly packed up by the bike shop before I leave so I'm hopeful that all's going to be fine there.

I've come to the conclusion that having my own bike which I will have trained on for about 5 months by the time I leave was the way to go.

While posting, I'd like to acknowledge the excellent advice given by both David and newfydog on other threads relating to bikes here on the Forum. Their knowledge and their willingness to share it has been instrumental to me in making my decision, which I know is the right one. Thank you very much David and newfydog - I'm so grateful to you both.

Cheers mungodelics and Buen Camino - Jenny
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
Hi mungodelics -

The title of your thread - Biking the Camino in 2016 - really sparked my interest as Saint Mike II from here on the Forum and I are doing exactly the same thing in September this year. We're cycling from Pamplona out to Finisterre and the question of whether to buy a bike, at, say, Decathlon in Pamplona, rent a bike (hugely expensive) or bring our own bikes from Australia has been on our minds for many months. Like you we want to be on those magical paths themselves as much as we can rather than the road.

I've decided (Mike's making a decision after Easter) to bring my own bike from home. Last week, after much research, I bought a beautiful Giant brand womens' mountain bike (second cheapest in the range but it will more than serve my purposes for what I hope will be years of training and many caminos) which is my Camino dream bike - it looks like a mack truck compared to the road and racing bikes which I see all the time near where I live in Sydney, but it rides like an absolute dream. It was properly fitted for me and was kitted up with all the extras I'll need for the bike camino by the bike shop and everything's perfect. As a relatively new cyclist this bike has given me a lot of confidence and I know it will get me from Pamplona right out to Finisterre on this camino - riding safely is my responsibility of course but I have a great bike, which is heavy duty and it's a bike that will be durable. I still have to buy a bike bag for air travel and the train travel within Spain but they're readily available and I know I'll be able to get something suitable. The air travel and train travel part, ie. getting the bike to Pamplona is going to be somewhat an adventure in itself but the bike is going to be properly packed up by the bike shop before I leave so I'm hopeful that all's going to be fine there.

I've come to the conclusion that having my own bike which I will have trained on for about 5 months by the time I leave was the way to go.

While posting, I'd like to acknowledge the excellent advice given by both David and newfydog on other threads relating to bikes here on the Forum. Their knowledge and their willingness to share it has been instrumental to me in making my decision, which I know is the right one. Thank you very much David and newfydog - I'm so grateful to you both.

Cheers mungodelics and Buen Camino - Jenny
Photo please Jenny.
Jane and I hope to be in Santiago in September for a short Camino, either a section of the Portuguese Coastal or the Ingles from A Coruna, which was where many Irish pilgrims walked from after taking a boat from Ireland. Maybe we will meet up if the Gods ordain. :)
 

mungodelics

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino frances (2016)
Apart from "get the best bike you can" - which is obviously true! I have to disagree old chap. I am a fair bike mechanic. I used to run long distance cycle rides for charity. I remember a chap on the Bordeaux to Barcelona at 74 years old on a Sturmey Archer three speed, steel roadster with steel mudguards, who daily 'beat' the wannabee racing cyclists on their mountain bikes (the road racers always came in first) because he knew about cadence and pacing himself and how to ride, whereas they burnt themselves out in a couple of hours. On one of our Lands End to John-o-Groats we had a chap on an ordinary - a late 19th century 'penny farthing' iron framed bike with solid tyres who did the distance (though he always came in very late each day and found it hard having to both walk up and walk down the hills!!). Of course in the third world those bikes are falling to pieces - they don't have the money for the tools nor the spares nor have the training to repair - of course you will find so many of them clapped out - but -

You are American? I would refer you to the Viet Cong in Vietnam who continuously re-supplied themselves by carrying ammunition, weapons, food, medical supplies, etc, on those very types of 'cheap' bicycles over a couple of thousands of miles of secret paths from the far north to the combat zones over terribly difficult unpaved terrain, for some years - I may be wrong but my memory is that their inadequate tyres and their garbage bikes overwhelmingly beat your hi-tec approach to the war?

I would also point out that since the invention of the roadster, the single or hub three-speed heavy steel bikes, those garbage bikes with their inadequate tyres, seen above and known by all peoples of the world since the beginning of the last century, that that design has served the world quite adequately until the quite recent explosion of the first-world cash rich hobby cyclist and their flying machines.

Mind you - I have a really low geared 24 speed aluminium framed light bike with pannier frames fore and aft and the fattest padded gel saddle that an elephant would sigh with comfort on ;)

No my friend not american but australian...
Hi mungodelics -

The title of your thread - Biking the Camino in 2016 - really sparked my interest as Saint Mike II from here on the Forum and I are doing exactly the same thing in September this year. We're cycling from Pamplona out to Finisterre and the question of whether to buy a bike, at, say, Decathlon in Pamplona, rent a bike (hugely expensive) or bring our own bikes from Australia has been on our minds for many months. Like you we want to be on those magical paths themselves as much as we can rather than the road.

I've decided (Mike's making a decision after Easter) to bring my own bike from home. Last week, after much research, I bought a beautiful Giant brand womens' mountain bike (second cheapest in the range but it will more than serve my purposes for what I hope will be years of training and many caminos) which is my Camino dream bike - it looks like a mack truck compared to the road and racing bikes which I see all the time near where I live in Sydney, but it rides like an absolute dream. It was properly fitted for me and was kitted up with all the extras I'll need for the bike camino by the bike shop and everything's perfect. As a relatively new cyclist this bike has given me a lot of confidence and I know it will get me from Pamplona right out to Finisterre on this camino - riding safely is my responsibility of course but I have a great bike, which is heavy duty and it's a bike that will be durable. I still have to buy a bike bag for air travel and the train travel within Spain but they're readily available and I know I'll be able to get something suitable. The air travel and train travel part, ie. getting the bike to Pamplona is going to be somewhat an adventure in itself but the bike is going to be properly packed up by the bike shop before I leave so I'm hopeful that all's going to be fine there.

I've come to the conclusion that having my own bike which I will have trained on for about 5 months by the time I leave was the way to go.

While posting, I'd like to acknowledge the excellent advice given by both David and newfydog on other threads relating to bikes here on the Forum. Their knowledge and their willingness to share it has been instrumental to me in making my decision, which I know is the right one. Thank you very much David and newfydog - I'm so grateful to you both.

Cheers mungodelics and Buen Camino - Jenny
Photo please Jenny.
Jane and I hope to be in Santiago in September for a short Camino, either a section of the Portuguese Coastal or the Ingles from A Coruna, which was where many Irish pilgrims walked from after taking a boat from Ireland. Maybe we will meet up if the Gods ordain. :)
Hi mungodelics -

The title of your thread - Biking the Camino in 2016 - really sparked my interest as Saint Mike II from here on the Forum and I are doing exactly the same thing in September this year. We're cycling from Pamplona out to Finisterre and the question of whether to buy a bike, at, say, Decathlon in Pamplona, rent a bike (hugely expensive) or bring our own bikes from Australia has been on our minds for many months. Like you we want to be on those magical paths themselves as much as we can rather than the road.

I've decided (Mike's making a decision after Easter) to bring my own bike from home. Last week, after much research, I bought a beautiful Giant brand womens' mountain bike (second cheapest in the range but it will more than serve my purposes for what I hope will be years of training and many caminos) which is my Camino dream bike - it looks like a mack truck compared to the road and racing bikes which I see all the time near where I live in Sydney, but it rides like an absolute dream. It was properly fitted for me and was kitted up with all the extras I'll need for the bike camino by the bike shop and everything's perfect. As a relatively new cyclist this bike has given me a lot of confidence and I know it will get me from Pamplona right out to Finisterre on this camino - riding safely is my responsibility of course but I have a great bike, which is heavy duty and it's a .bike that will be durable. I still have to buy a bike bag for air travel and the train travel within Spain but they're readily available and I know I'll be able to get something suitable. The air travel and train travel part, ie. getting the bike to Pamplona is going to be somewhat an adventure in itself but the bike is going to be properly packed up by the bike shop before I leave so I'm hopeful that all's going to be fine there.

I've come to the conclusion that having my own bike which I will have trained on for about 5 months by the time I leave was the way to go.

While posting, I'd like to acknowledge the excellent advice given by both David and newfydog on other threads relating to bikes here on the Forum. Their knowledge and their willingness to share it has been instrumental to me in making my decision, which I know is the right one. Thank you very much David and newfydog - I'm so grateful to you both.

Cheers mungodelics and Buen Camino - Jenny

Thanks jenny! you've certainly given me some food for thought in regards to bringing my bike from home. Good luck on your ride. I'm hopeful of being able to finish in finisterre also. We plan on going from SJPP to Finisterre. I am so looking forward to having that wonderful spanish sun on my back once more
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
You just don't get it, do you? Those bikes are nice antiques, but I would no more recommend them than suggest getting to Spain in a steamer or horse and buggy, walking barefoot or in old leather sandals, carrying a cotton canvass raincoat and sleeping on the ground along the way. Sure it can be done, has been done. Go on those bikes if you like, but most would enjoy the trip more if they use the better gear available today available.

I have an Indonesian pedal taxi on my front porch. I did our annual Pole Pedal Paddle race in it one year, along with my father's wooden skis from WWII, which I used in both the downhill and cross country legs. I got there, even beat some people, and had some fun. One day was enough though.
 
Rent a house in Santiago (1 month minimum)
300m from the cathedral and around the corner from the fresh food market in Santiago. Perfect place to tele commute from (1GB symmetrical connection).
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop

David

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2005
You just don't get it, do you? Those bikes are nice antiques, but I would no more recommend them than suggest getting to Spain in a steamer or horse and buggy, walking barefoot or in old leather sandals, carrying a cotton canvass raincoat and sleeping on the ground along the way. Sure it can be done, has been done. Go on those bikes if you like, but most would enjoy the trip more if they use the better gear available today available.


"You just don't get it, do you?" Steady now. Keep calm. I thought that people were entitled to have differing points of view. If you actually read my posts you will see I recommend a modern bike and I also let folk know what sort of bike I ride, a lightweight aluminium framed 24 speed - my point is that one could go on Camino on any old bike and I stand by that.
Those old styles of bikes can still be purchased brand new, and are currently used by tens of thousands of cyclists in Europe - and, yes, you can definitely do the Camino on one.

We have them in the UK but an American company named Linus sell them - like this ... hub three speed, steel mudguards, swept back bars - a beautiful machine and I say again, you can do the Camino on one, or an older 2ndhand version.

RoadsterSPORT_RACK_Black_1_1024x1024.jpg


Incidentally, I don't fly (they fall out of the sky you know, as well as being the worst polluters we have on the planet) - so I am all for steamers and horses and buggies (the Amish seem to get by) and also see absolutely nothing wrong with walking barefoot or wearing old sandals, or taking a cotton raincoat, or sleeping on the ground (preferably with a sleeping mat). When I visit people I always ignore the bed they give me and sleep on the floor in my sleeping bag, just as I am.

What is this thrall to expensive modern things? It is pleasant to spend vast amounts of money on modern things, I'm sure, but isn't necessary you know. Until quite recently mountaineers went up wearing old boots, tweed suits and silk underwear, a trilby on their head and a lit pipe sticking out of one side of their mouth.

Seems one cannot teach a newfydog old tricks - :):)

Buen Camino - however you do it
 
Last edited:

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Year of past OR future Camino
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Photo please Jenny.
Jane and I hope to be in Santiago in September for a short Camino, either a section of the Portuguese Coastal or the Ingles from A Coruna, which was where many Irish pilgrims walked from after taking a boat from Ireland. Maybe we will meet up if the Gods ordain. :)
Hi Pat -

Here's a photo of my Camino dreambike - not loaded up yet with panniers. Those are going on in a couple of weeks when I begin to increase the weight of the gear I'm taking.

Camino 'Dreambike'  photo 1.jpg

It would be FANTASTIC to catch up with you and Jane in Santiago in September! We'll be there around the end of the month. I'm seeing Mike on Saturday - it's our regular Pilgrims in Sydney lunch meeting - and we'll see if we can pin down our arrival to within a few days. What's your timing? It would be wonderful if our dates coincided.

Best wishes from Cronulla to you, Jane and the family -

Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Year of past OR future Camino
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Thanks jenny! you've certainly given me some food for thought in regards to bringing my bike from home. Good luck on your ride. I'm hopeful of being able to finish in finisterre also. We plan on going from SJPP to Finisterre. I am so looking forward to having that wonderful spanish sun on my back once more

mungodelics, Today at 1:26 AM Report

Cheers mungodelics! Once we've completed our bike camino I'll put a post up on this thread to let you know how it all went - particularly to let you know the practicalities of bringing the bikes from Australia. You're braver than I am starting at SJPP - it's a pretty gnarly start!

There's nothing like the wonderful Spanish sun, is there? And there's nothing in this world, absolutely nothing, that beats being on the Camino.

Cheers, Jenny
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
That is a beast of a bike Jenny :).
Our dates are completely open, we are just sort of forward planning a bit, we have the camper trip to France/Spain/Portugal from 18th May to 24th June, then we are talking about a short Camino in Sept but no dates set as yet. We don't want to tempt the Gods. :)
 
Camino Masks
This week, 50% off ALL Camino Masks
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.

mungodelics

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino frances (2016)
Thanks jenny! you've certainly given me some food for thought in regards to bringing my bike from home. Good luck on your ride. I'm hopeful of being able to finish in finisterre also. We plan on going from SJPP to Finisterre. I am so looking forward to having that wonderful spanish sun on my back once more

mungodelics, Today at 1:26 AM Report

Cheers mungodelics! Once we've completed our bike camino I'll put a post up on this thread to let you know how it all went - particularly to let you know the practicalities of bringing the bikes from Australia. You're braver than I am starting at SJPP - it's a pretty gnarly start!

There's nothing like the wonderful Spanish sun, is there? And there's nothing in this world, absolutely nothing, that beats being on the Camino.

Cheers, Jenny

Awesome jenny! The start is filling me with a bit of fear but the mountain is there so why not go over it? Hopefully this will be first of many caminos
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
"
Seems one cannot teach a newfydog old tricks - :):)it

Actually, I have done bike tours for 42 years. I have been on steel rimmed bikes, with cheap clothes and gear, I learned those old tricks already.

Much of my earlygear was army surplus. If you want to suffer like a soldier, by all means outfit yourself like one,
All the sore body parts, tendonitis, flat tires, numb hands, soggy camping of the early years have vanished as I learned some new tricks. It would be nice if I could pass them on without being lectured on how great it was before we had these improvements,
 
Year of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
oops; Here are two Australian soldiers in 1917 on "garbage cheap bikes with too narrow tyres" certainly not good enough for the Camino - just the first World War.
View attachment 17433
Hola David - I seem to recall seeing photos of the French Army on bikes similar to these, they also sent another part of their army to the Western (actually East of Paris) Front in black taxis. As for a photo of Jenny - well I have seen one of the bike but it was sans rider in lycra??? However we should be able to organise (maybe one of both of us). (and no this is not a 1st April comment!!)
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Year of past OR future Camino
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Awesome jenny! The start is filling me with a bit of fear but the mountain is there so why not go over it? Hopefully this will be first of many caminos
Cheers mungodelics! Good on you for tackling the St Jean to Pamplona part. I agree with you about your hopes that this will be the first of many caminos - I feel exactly the same way.
Cheers - Jenny
 
Camino Masks
This week, 50% off ALL Camino Masks
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Year of past OR future Camino
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Hola David - I seem to recall seeing photos of the French Army on bikes similar to these, they also sent another part of their army to the Western (actually East of Paris) Front in black taxis. As for a photo of Jenny - well I have seen one of the bike but it was sans rider in lycra??? However we should be able to organise (maybe one of both of us). (and no this is not a 1st April comment!!)
Naturally Mike we will need to be wearing said lycra, cycling sunnies and also our Camino buffs, then we'll look really cool! I won't have my helmet on for the photo though ... helmet hair ... aargh!
Cheers!
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Year of past OR future Camino
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
That is a beast of a bike Jenny :).
Our dates are completely open, we are just sort of forward planning a bit, we have the camper trip to France/Spain/Portugal from 18th May to 24th June, then we are talking about a short Camino in Sept but no dates set as yet. We don't want to tempt the Gods. :)
Cheers Pat! It does have some serious grunt! Let me tell you! I think it could have been a tractor in a former life ... ;)
Your France/Spain/Portugal camper trip sounds fabulous - gorgeous time of year.
Once you know your plans for the Camino around September-ish, let's know - it would be so fantastic if we could all get together.
Cheers - Jenny
 
Year of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
"You just don't get it, do you?" Steady now. Keep calm. I thought that people were entitled to have differing points of view. If you actually read my posts you will see I recommend a modern bike and I also let folk know what sort of bike I ride, a lightweight aluminium framed 24 speed - my point is that one could go on Camino on any old bike and I stand by that.
Those old styles of bikes can still be purchased brand new, and are currently used by tens of thousands of cyclists in Europe - and, yes, you can definitely do the Camino on one.

We have them in the UK but an American company named Linus sell them - like this ... hub three speed, steel mudguards, swept back bars - a beautiful machine and I say again, you can do the Camino on one, or an older 2nd hand version. Buen Camino - however you do it
David - I seem to recall that we had bikes in Oz (back in early 1960's) that looked very similar to the one in your picture. If I recall correctly they were made by Malvin Star (an Australian Company that sponsored some of our international cyclists in the period between WW1 & WW2). But you are right - they were very heavy; lousy brakes and did not steer all that well in the wet. The mudguards did go some way to stop road water getting on you legs etc.
 

edumad

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Português '12 '14 (Rates), '18 (Ponte de Lima)
Interior '15 (Vila Real)
Francês '16 (Ponferrada).
Mungodelics, you have 3 alternatives:
- buy used in France on olx.fr or equivalent classifieds website;
- rent bike;
- take your own.

One important thing that is not yet clear: do you regularly ride a bike? in all terrains?
I venture that you do, as you want to do the actual camino rather than cycletour around it.
If you have your own bike and ride regularly all 3 options are accessible.
If you are not used to riding a bike, even with a mountain bike you won't take full advantage and ride less and walk more.
In this case, having someone help you with choosing and setting up your bike is best, so the first option would be a challenge.

I'd venture to say the best option for more confort and less chances of hassle when riding is to get the bike well set up and well ridden at home then ship it to the start of the camino (or take it with you on flight). More logistics work and planning at first though. Price wise it'd be about the same as renting a bike for 3 weeks if sent be sea, or about half if sent by sea. Don't know about prices for taking it with you on flight.

If you go for a bike rental service check very well what is and isn't included, such as accessories, insurance, etc.
 

mungodelics

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino frances (2016)
Mungodelics, you have 3 alternatives:
- buy used in France on olx.fr or equivalent classifieds website;
- rent bike;
- take your own.

One important thing that is not yet clear: do you regularly ride a bike? in all terrains?
I venture that you do, as you want to do the actual camino rather than cycletour around it.
If you have your own bike and ride regularly all 3 options are accessible.
If you are not used to riding a bike, even with a mountain bike you won't take full advantage and ride less and walk more.
In this case, having someone help you with choosing and setting up your bike is best, so the first option would be a challenge.

I'd venture to say the best option for more confort and less chances of hassle when riding is to get the bike well set up and well ridden at home then ship it to the start of the camino (or take it with you on flight). More logistics work and planning at first though. Price wise it'd be about the same as renting a bike for 3 weeks if sent be sea, or about half if sent by sea. Don't know about prices for taking it with you on flight.

If you go for a bike rental service check very well what is and isn't included, such as accessories, insurance, etc.

cheers mate. I ride trails mainly around the state forests near my house. Am thinking about bike rental just for convenience but ill have to think about that some more
 
how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop

David

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2005
These guys were tough, 1600 miles, averaging 32 miles a day! on their single speed heavy bikes with 'inadequate' tyres and carrying their own camping gear and food, as well as weapons.

I wonder how they would have found the Camino ...

"In Western Montana, dirt roads veer off main thoroughfares about as often as branches on a tamarack, which makes for great bicycling. And it's been that way here in the heart of the Northern Rockies for a century.

Although the first people to take credit for the mountain bike craze claim to have conquered steeps and narrows in the past two decades, the REAL first mountain bikers conquered the West 100 years ago. And they weren't white males with a median age of 40 and a median income of $50,000. They were 20 black men on soldiers' wages who burrowed themselves spokes-deep into the Rocky Mountains and Midwestern plains of the United States.

On June 14, 1897, Lieutenant James Moss, U.S. Army, led his bicycle corps of the 25th Infantry, from Fort Missoula, Montana, up wagon trail and Indian path, to St. Louis, Missouri, arriving July 16, 1897. As cycle tourists go, these guys had grit! They jolted down dusty trails and nonexistent paths of the Old West, often pushing and carrying their one-speed steel steeds."

regiment.jpg

here the website link - http://www.highonadventure.com/Hoa97aug/Montana/montana.htm
 
Last edited:

Jefgy

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June (2005), from SJPDP,
May (2010), from Roncesvalles
Sep (2015), from SJPDP
Hi all
I'm planning on cycling the camino in may 2016 and was hoping if anyone had any recommendations for guides to research with... i have a cicerone guide that deals mainly the road path but i intend on riding the trail. Also any tips on where to obtain a good cheap bike to do the camino with.
cheers guys

Hi Mungodelics. Here is my experience from two french caminos on my own bike.
  • Mi son joined me on the second trip and instead of following my advice, he decided to borrow a bike from friends in Bilbao (a cheap one) and we spent lots of time and money on bike shops along the way fixing it and changing various parts. So I would never recommend a cheap bike.
  • I carried a mountain bike that was solid and heavy both times and later when I changed bikes I realized what a difference it made specially when you are loaded with saddlebags. Conclusion, look for a light bike and carry as little as possible.
  • We mainly rode through the path so needed a bike with 2 - 2.2" tires, 27 gear and a comfortable seat, so David's recommended Linus bike (very nice city bike) would only work if you ride on the road but not for the path / trails.
  • Each time it took us 13 days to ride from SJPDP to Santiago (Roncesvalles-Finisterre) at a slow - medium pace (40 to 70K per day). So even if you plan to take longer or ride slower, I still good recommend that you train regularly and include hills on your training because there are lots of climbs in the Camino and you do not want to be pushing your bike most of the way.
  • In my first Camino I flew to Paris and from there took the train to SJPDP; however I could not leave Paris the same day since my luggage was misplaced. I got the 1st pannier the next day, the 2nd pannier on the second day and the bike on the third day. It went to Hong Kong before being rerouted to Paris, so if you bring your bike count with unexpected delays.
  • This year I am attending a conference in Rome after the camino so have estimated CDN $400 just on airfare plus Eu $20 for bus transportation. So this time for me will make more sense to rent a bike rather that bringing one.
Hope this helps. Buen Camino!!!!
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
the first people to take credit for the mountain bike craze claim to have conquered steeps and narrows in the past two decades, the REAL first mountain bikers conquered the West 100 years ago. And they weren't white males with a median age of 40 and a median income of $50,000. They were 20 black men on soldiers' wages

David, I shared an office with an African-American gentleman who ran a foundation commemorating the buffalo soldiers. It was no picnic.

I make my recommendations on bikes, tires etc. based on experience and practicality, not out of ignorance of what has been accomplished in the past.. All the historical stuff you have dug up is quite entertaining, but really, if you feel the need to post more on the historical development of the bicycle, please start a thread on it. Myself, I will continue to advise pilgrims to ride the best bike they can arrange, and to try to enjoy the journey, unlike those brave black soldiers of 1897.

I don't think a modern pilgrim needs to suffer like that. I would no more recommend a buffalo soldier's bike than I would recommend his dentist.
 
Last edited:

David

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2005
Newfy, you mistake me - I would never recommend that one did the Camino on a heavy steel single speed bike - those soldiers must have had a terrible time! I recommend a good quality lightweight multi-geared bike with top quality off-road tyres and wheels spoked for toughness.

My point, which sort of riled you, is that one can do it on any bike. Think of someone who is poor and wants to cycle the Camino - cash poor but time rich - of course they can do the Camino on a clunker. It won't be pleasant, it will be much harder work, there would be a lot of pushing, but of course that person can do that.

I have cycled from Logrono to Santiago on the cheapest bike that Decathlon sold at the time. It really was the cheapest, and it was a lady's frame too. I had absolutely no mechanical problems with it at all and it carried me and my gear all of the way without any problems. It was a lump, and heavy, and nothing like the sort of bike I was used to at home - but it was dirt cheap and it got me there - not even a puncture!
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
Great! I totally agree that what can be done is not what should be done. Getting the best bike your budget allows is practical, not a mere thrall with modern gear.

"
What is this thrall to expensive modern things?
Seems one cannot teach a newfydog old tricks -
 
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

David

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2005
and if your budget is £30 (50$)? - exactly, then you buy a 2ndhand old clunker.

There is no 'should' on a pilgrimage Newfy, each pilgrimage is an individual thing, a personal journey, and it is not to be regulated by anyone else

and the first world consumer fetishism is indeed a thrall to modern things, that cannot be denied - buen Camino
 

Andres Cano

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April 9 - May 3 2018 on regular bicycle.
Hi Mungo - if you intend to cycle the Camino rather than the roads then any Camino guide will do as the only difference between you and a walking pilgrim is daily distance.
Getting your bike is a little more difficult - where will you start? what will you do with it when you finish?

You could say that "good cheap" bike is an oxymoron .. cheap bikes are cheap bikes - that said, if you are not racing along like a mount biker and don't mind quite a lot of hard work it doesn't really matter - the thing is, you could do it on a 30 year old heavy steel hub 3-speed if you wanted to.
Those old roadster had steel wheel rims with steel spokes and strong tyres. Sure, they are heavy but they are strong and these are the most common bikes used in the third world - sometimes carrying huge loads, over unpaved rough roads and sometimes over long distances - you don't 'need' a sophisticated expensive bike, what you 'need' is a strong bike.

Sure, you would do a lot of pushing up the hills but so what? If you bought a cheap old 2ndhand basic bike you could just give it away when you finish :)

There is a real pleasure in riding a good light, multi-geared, bike but it isn't necessary if money is tight ..

Here is a bike taxi in Burundi ...(he has a bell!!)

View attachment 17419

and this is a fully loaded single speed working bike .....

View attachment 17420

My point being that if it doesn't matter to you you could just buy a cheap bike wherever you start from - there are always bicycles for sale, everywhere.

I must disagree. pushing 40 lb wheelbarrow (bike with all your gear) is a world of difference than pushing 80 lbs. having suspension on a rocky road with ruts is essential to saving your buttocks. Having gearing that allows you to pedal rather than push makes tremendous difference. Having disc brakes is essential when it's raining, snowing or hailing in the Pyrenees or O Cebreiro. I did the camino Frances on a crappy bike in 2018 and will return in 2021 with a lightweight, full suspension mountain bike with extra low gears.
 

Andres Cano

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April 9 - May 3 2018 on regular bicycle.
By the way, DO NOT rent from Bikeiberia. They delivered bikes that were broken and seven years old. They refused to answer e-mails reporting the bikes were delivered with the wrong size helmets, a torn seat, an unattached wheel, bad brakes. Later a pedal bearing failed. This company is a disaster.
 

Andres Cano

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April 9 - May 3 2018 on regular bicycle.
"You just don't get it, do you?" Steady now. Keep calm. I thought that people were entitled to have differing points of view. If you actually read my posts you will see I recommend a modern bike and I also let folk know what sort of bike I ride, a lightweight aluminium framed 24 speed - my point is that one could go on Camino on any old bike and I stand by that.
Those old styles of bikes can still be purchased brand new, and are currently used by tens of thousands of cyclists in Europe - and, yes, you can definitely do the Camino on one.

We have them in the UK but an American company named Linus sell them - like this ... hub three speed, steel mudguards, swept back bars - a beautiful machine and I say again, you can do the Camino on one, or an older 2ndhand version.

View attachment 17444


Incidentally, I don't fly (they fall out of the sky you know, as well as being the worst polluters we have on the planet) - so I am all for steamers and horses and buggies (the Amish seem to get by) and also see absolutely nothing wrong with walking barefoot or wearing old sandals, or taking a cotton raincoat, or sleeping on the ground (preferably with a sleeping mat). When I visit people I always ignore the bed they give me and sleep on the floor in my sleeping bag, just as I am.

What is this thrall to expensive modern things? It is pleasant to spend vast amounts of money on modern things, I'm sure, but isn't necessary you know. Until quite recently mountaineers went up wearing old boots, tweed suits and silk underwear, a trilby on their head and a lit pipe sticking out of one side of their mouth.

Seems one cannot teach a newfydog old tricks - :):)

Buen Camino - however you do it
We did the camino on crappy bikes and ended up walking half the way or taking the highway because of rocks, mud, water, brick surfaces, stairs. I intend to buy a moderately lightweight bike so 1. I can actually ride up hills with a 500% gear range 50T cassette and with suspension on the rear to save my aching bum. If you enjoy walking and pushing a 40lb wheel barrow that is your choice. I choose not to suffer so much again.
 

David

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2005
We did the camino on crappy bikes and ended up walking half the way or taking the highway because of rocks, mud, water, brick surfaces, stairs. I intend to buy a moderately lightweight bike so 1. I can actually ride up hills with a 500% gear range 50T cassette and with suspension on the rear to save my aching bum. If you enjoy walking and pushing a 40lb wheel barrow that is your choice. I choose not to suffer so much again.

😂 ... ah, consumer fethisits - you gotta love them 😂

 
Last edited:
Learn how to Get "Camino Ready " 2nd Edition. In English, Spanish, German and Korean
Published on Amazon
Guide to the 16 main caminos with maps, pictures, hyperlinks and other information.

Did not find what you were looking for? Search here

Popular Resources

“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf ivar
  • Featured
“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf
4.95 star(s) 101 ratings
Downloads
15,124
Updated
A selection of favorite albergues on the Camino Francés Ton van Tilburg
Favorite Albergues along the Camino Frances
4.83 star(s) 35 ratings
Downloads
7,793
Updated
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
4.88 star(s) 24 ratings
Downloads
7,608
Updated

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

Top