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Luggage Transfer Correos

BYOB (bring your own bike) trip planning for July 2019

Brambor

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Kumano Kodo April 2019, French Way July2019
Hello there. First post on the forum. Hoping to get some tips on services that would ease our logistics, mainly to start and from finish of the Camino.

We are planning to bring our own bikes or a tandem. Here is the current plan, based on the newbie knowledge that we have please DO fill in the voids in our plan but skip telling us to rent bicycles. :)



Bikes in a bike case.
1.Fly to Madrid. That’s the easy part :)
2.Transport to Madrid train station with a bike box ? How? Busses? Taxi Minivans capable to transfer a bike case?
3.Take a train to Pamplona
4.Take a bus over the Pyrenees to the starting point (St.Jean de Pied?(sic))
5.Check into a bike friendly place (bike shop or ‘auberge’) where we can assemble our bike and ship our bike luggage to Santiago de Compostella to a bike friendly bike shop or ‘auberge’. ? ? ? Seeking recommendations please.
5.Do the tour in 10 days avoiding dirt paths ... take secondary roads ... wild camp if possible (I know there are limitations) :)
6.Arriving in Santiago. Show up where our bike box has been shipped to and disassemble the bicycle for transport.
7.Take a bus or train back to Madrid? Seeking recommendations here please. :)

It would be probably ideal if there was a bike touring company that transported bikes and luggage between start and end point of the Camino who we could hire to transport our bike luggage. If You know of some then please point me in the right direction.

Alternatively we would consider starting in Pamplona if the logistics made everything easier.

Thanks to anyone who would help us by posting answers. Cheers! :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017 bike, solo & lost, SJPP-Santiago via Napoleon Route
Save a few days & fly into Biarritz via CDG, and then a shuttle to SJP. This will add a few more days for riding & enjoying the adventure. My one regret is I was to focused on time & finishing. This is typical for any first trip. My next trip I will take much more time to smell the roses. Bringing a tandem will be costly, unless you have S&S couplers, which I doubt. Also the possibility of freight damage (mostly by TSA unpacking and half ass repacking) is greatly increased.
 

Brambor

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Kumano Kodo April 2019, French Way July2019
Thanks for the tip.


Yes we will have couplers.
 
Camino(s) past & future
www.cyclingsofties.blog
Camino de Santiago, 2013
Hi Brambor, you don't mention where you are flying from. I only ask because we came over to ride the Camino Frances back in 2013 and managed to get from the UK on a specific coach. We got off in Bayonne and rode from there to SJPdP. I have to admit I wouldn't relish riding a tandem over the Pyrenees - a single bike with luggage was bad enough! However, bearing in mind that we did have two full panniers each, and were both over 65, it's hardly surprising that we found the first few days hard going.

Check out if there might be transport, other than a bus, which could get you straight to Roncesvalles which is the other side of the Pyrenees. I know that wild camping is frowned upon although we did see a few hardy souls having a go, while keeping out of the reach of the authorities - who might not like it. The Auberges are quite cheap and you could sometimes rent a private room at one if you wanted, at a reasonable price. We did find that bedding down in a dorm a wonderful experience and a great way to meet other like-minded pilgrims.

We rarely used the paths frequented by those who were walking and found most of the roads quiet and scenic. Only a few times did we have to use busier roads but we're seasoned cyclists do it didn't bother us. Be aware that if you arrive somewhere and want to book in you might come across some resistance if you're quite early as walkers have to be catered for first. This makes sense because someone who has walked a long way might not be able to carry on if there are no beds (we saw that happen on occasion) but a cyclist, after a short rest, could always go on that bit further to another auberge.

At the end of our amazing trip, when we had reached Santiago we arranged for our bikes to be shipped back to our hometown - then got on a few trains to get back home ourselves.

The planning is definitely part of the fun and I'm sure you will both have an unforgettable experience, as we did.
 

Helen1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
Hello!

I can half help with one question:

2.Transport to Madrid train station with a bike box ? How? Busses? Taxi Minivans capable to transfer a bike case?
There's a train from the airport to Atocha station, assuming you can wheel/carry your bike box fairly easily it shouldn't be problem - although it was evening when I travelled, rush hour might be a very different experience. Others here will know the ins and outs. Spain has rules about trains and bikes and booking that I never fully understood (equally complex it the UK to be fair) but I would do a bit of research before you go. There's security scanning at some of the stations too which might be awkward with a bike box.

How much flexibility have you got timewise and how much of an adventure do you want? There are other travel options like trains from Paris (although I'm not sure that's much easier), cycling to SJPD from Biarritz or cycling the coastal route or tunnel route from Biarritz to join the CF. If you can get a direct flight to Bordeaux it's not all that far from Bordeaux to SJPD, maybe 250k, flat riding through Le Landes and then quite hilly after Dax - you can follow the camino route or you could pick up the eurovelo route.

For your other questions and transport info try: http://www.bicigrino.com/albergues/camino-frances. It's super helpful with bike friendly accommodation. I know you don't want anyone to say hire bikes but personally (having hired and transported bikes) I would hire a bike on the CF, skip the hassle and knock the hell out of someone else's bike. http://www.hostallasalle.com/en/content/services is totally geared up for bikes in Santiago. Wild camping is pretty easy in most places except on the meseta (lots of space but not a lot of cover to camp incognito) and in the summer from Sarria onwards (because of signs asking people not to camp and having to wade through human excrement to to get off the road to a camping spot, plus it rains a lot). If you're going in the summer bear in mind that Spanish people go to bed really late and pilgrims get up insanely early and spend hours walking in the dark so don't camp 'on' the path!

Hope you have an amazing time! - Helen
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
Hola @Brambor . I know the real difficulties of bringing your own bike. I bought mine from Australia. To get from the Madrid airport I had to hire a taxi-van (I did this in advance - I think it was about Euro 30, but it will take two people as well as your luggage). Getting from Atocha to Pamplona by "media distance" trains might be a problem unless you can pack it down to 1200mm (or 4 ft for you) in length. Mine was around 1500/1600 mm but when the train conductor recognised me as a pilgrim he let me put it in the seat area (the train was almost empty). If I was to do it again I agree about flying into Bayonne (via CDG). As for getting home, there is a really great cycle shop in Santiago (if you follow the camino into town you will go right past it). They helped with packing (told where I could get the bike jet washed - local car wash facility); and even arranged transport back to Madrid. If you search back through this area you should find my story (I think I posted it in late 2015). Cheers
 

Flatlander

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May/June 2015, via the Atlantic Cycle Route
I'll answer the piece I know the most about.

5.Do the tour in 10 days avoiding dirt paths ... take secondary roads ... wild camp if possible (I know there are limitations) :)
Thanks to anyone who would help us by posting answers. Cheers! :)
I think that 10 days is far too short to fully appreciate SJ to Santiago. That's what? about 90 km every day? Depending on the time of year you are planning on doing this that could turn out to be very draining (summer) or a lot of hardship - any other time of the year!
Secondly, it does not give a lot of time for the actual Camino experience or indeed the many, many sights to savour and enjoy. I cannot stress enough that the Camino is not like another bike tour. If you race through it you will miss out on so much.

Wild camping will be difficult and frankly exclude you from a large social aspect of the Camino experience. It may also have an impact on your Compestela if you do not have enough "stamps".

How are ye on the tandem on hills? there are a few, you know? :) Also, a tandem will be more difficult to take on public transport in the event that you need to make up time.

There seems to be a lot of logistics (and costs) involved in getting your own bikes (and I would imagine more with a tandem) there to cycle for 10 days. A simpler alternative is to hire bikes there. There are companies with full support available. A Google will help.

To give more options for wild camping consider the Northern route (or variations thereof).

For more information from people who have done similar check out Journals on CrazyGuyOnABike.com.

If you are more interested in a tour than a pilgrimage then Northern Spain is a cyclist's dream and will ease up on the logistical constraints of your current plan.

Or consider Santiago as the start and end point. Lots of bike facilities (as well as cheap bikes!).

I cycled SJ to Santiago, then the west coast of Spain, then along the northern coast on the way home.
The Camino was fantastic (I took 16 days) and I wouldn't have missed it, but the rest of Spain was far more enjoyable for bike touring. I camped every night, except for the time on the Camino, proper, then I stayed in Albergues. I'd have missed out a lot if I didn't.
 

Teevo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
None
I cycled the Portuguese Camino last year with my cousin. He hired a bike. This year we do the northern route from Bilbao. He’s bringing his own bike this time as the rental wasn’t a great bike.
Our method is to get a cardboard box from the local bike shop and build your bike at the arrival airport. Leave the box for recycling.Its easier to transport your bike out of a box. You just ride to the train station. There is space/racks on the trains for your bike when it’s not in a box.
In Santiago there is a bike shop, Velocipedia that will professionally box it for about €22. Great service, used it last year. There is also a bike packing service at the airport in Santiago, in case you get a flight out of there. There could well be a bike packing shop in Madrid if it suits you to fly out of there, but you’ll have to check this out on the internet.
I’ve also gone bike touring and just used the plastic CTC bike bag twice, to get the flight home and not had any issues/damage with a carbon gravel bike . The handy thing with this method is it’s very light and compact and doubles as a groundsheet for camping.
So unless you are bringing a top of the range carbon road bike, this is the most practical/cost efficient way to transport your bike.
If your insisting on bringing the bike box the Spanish post office Correas have a service to transport bikes (or any empty bike box) to points on the Camino. This link might work https://www.correos.es/ss/Satellite/site/producto-1363190895027-todos_paqueteria/detalle_de_producto-sidioma=en_GB.
I’ve bikepacked and wild camped and enjoy it, but there are so many places to stay on the Camino for less than 15€ a night that it doesn’t make sense. To get a nice shower , and not have to carry the extra weight of tents sleeping bags and gear is worth it.
 

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