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Camino biking advice for newbie biker

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Yully

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances september 2016
Greetings pilgrims! I am seeking advice from experienced pilgrims who have biked the camino. My boyfriend and I decided to go on camino to begin early July. We will walk and bike a portion of it from Puente la Reina to Astorga. However, it’s been 22 years since I have rode a bike. I rode for the first time yesterday and admittedly found it a bit challenging mostly do to my nerves and fear. For those of you pilgrims whom have done camino in bike and know the route well. Would you advise this plan doable or not advisable to bike?
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
With your stated level of experience, there are many areas of the Camino that are steep, rocky and difficult for a bike; you will want to use the nearby roads and not the pedestrian pathway.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
I suspect you will find yourself pushing the bike more than riding it if you use the same paths as the walking pilgrims. This is the busiest time of the year along the Camino de Santiago, especially on the Camino Frances. There will be occasional traffic jams, both of walkers and cyclists.

If you DO move forward with the bicycle Camino plan, GET A BELL, USE THE BELL.

DO try to give walking pilgrims as wide a berth as possible. Share the Camino with grace and patience for slower moving walking pilgrims and others on bikes.

Seriously consider using adjacent, and largely parallel roads, instead of using the walking paths, at least until your skills and confidence level rise. IMHO, given the busy time of the year, you might get frustrated having to constantly get off the bike to navigate difficult terrain for your skill level, deal with traffic levels, etc. That is why, were I you, I might consider using the adjacent roads.

Hope this helps.
 
Last edited:

Elaine Rau

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May, 2016, Sarria to Santiago de Compestela
Greetings pilgrims! I am seeking advice from experienced pilgrims who have biked the camino. My boyfriend and I decided to go on camino to begin early July. We will walk and bike a portion of it from Puente la Reina to Astorga. However, it’s been 22 years since I have rode a bike. I rode for the first time yesterday and admittedly found it a bit challenging mostly do to my nerves and fear. For those of you pilgrims whom have done camino in bike and know the route well. Would you advise this plan doable or not advisable to bike?
Yes. Walk. That's what it's for.
 

freeflyer123

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
www.cyclingsofties.blog
Camino de Santiago, 2013
At 65 I rode the Camino de Santiago with my husband (who was 72 at the time). I walked almost all the way on the first day out of St Jean Pied de Port because it was almost all a steep climb and even I struggled in places.

We generally stuck to the roads, but then we've cycled a long time and are used to cycling in all conditions. If you do use the path where other pilgrims are walking always make them aware that you are approaching them. People are usually so wrapped up in their thoughts that they don't always register immediately. A quiet little ting with the bell is so much better than a huge horn which may startle them. The Meseta is by far the easiest route on a bike.

As mentioned by someone else above, it isn't an easy ride but I'd do it over again if I could, to be honest. If you have a look on my blog where I wrote about what, to me, turned out to be a very cathartic experience, check it on: https://cyclingsofties.blog.

If you do go this year I do need to stress that it is looking like you'll be cycling in very hot weather. Please make sure you carry lots of water - you'll be surprised just how quickly you'll go through it. And even cyclists need plenty of suntan lotion. But please do go, whether on a bike or walking, because you will always see it as an enormous event that you can look back on year's later.
 

Yully

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances september 2016
Thank you all for you great advice. we decided to wait until we have the time to walk it all instead of biking any portion of it. I’ve walked it before back in 2016 on my own and it was the best experience of my life. We don’t want to rush the camino in any way. We want to embrace and enjoy it. Thank you all again for taking the time to advise me and help us make a better prepared decision.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola @Yully, if you are a less experienced cyclist you will find it "bloody tough". If you can think back to 2016 you will recall those tough sections were the poles came in handy. If you are thinking about walking and cycling then I suggest you are hiring, which you may find expensive. If I may, have a look back through some of the post from previous cyclists. Buen Camino.
 

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