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Camino Frances 2024 Biker/Walker Accident

Jerri

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
We all know there are a lot of bikers on the shared Camino path. I was knocked over in the town of Villatuerta and had to return immediately to the US for treatment after destroying my Camino on May 6.

I would like to urge all bikers to get bells or speak loudly when approaching walkers. Just saying Buen Camino after we try to dodge you is not the best protocol.
Jerri

My gift on the Camino
IMG_9038.jpeg
 
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Hope you get well soon and can come back to the Camino again.

As a cyclist myself at home it has always baffled me when I walk the Camino how many cyclists don’t give walkers a warning by using a bell or at a minimum shouting out in the language of their choice the equivalent of “BIKES BACK!”. And why can’t they slow down when passing? I’m on the Francés right now and have nearly been knocked over 2x because of the lack of a warning.

To those that do give a warning of some kind - thank you.
 
Hope you get well soon and can come back to the Camino again.

As a cyclist myself at home it has always baffled me when I walk the Camino how many cyclists don’t give walkers a warning by using a bell or at a minimum shouting out in the language of their choice the equivalent of “BIKES BACK!”. And why can’t they slow down when passing? I’m on the Francés right now and have nearly been knocked over 2x because of the lack of a warning.

To those that do give a warning of some kind - thank you.
Thank you for this kind reply and thank you to those who do give warning. I wish there could be a standard for bikers on the Camino Francés because it is SO crowded.
 
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Here is the map of the Eurovelo 3 - the standard for bike routes throughout Europe. Changed maps to get to the walking route and they seem to be the same. Seems there is a need for some sort of official traffic separation rather than routing both over the same ground. Second law of physics? Two objects cannot occupy the same place at the same time.

Wouldn't solve the issue of carelessness / lack of attention but would reduce it.
 

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3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
We all know there are a lot of bikers on the shared Camino path. I was knocked over in the town of Villatuerta and had to return immediately to the US for treatment after destroying my Camino on May 6.

I would like to urge all bikers to get bells or speak loudly when approaching walkers. Just saying Buen Camino after we try to dodge you is not the best protocol.
Jerri

My gift on the Camino
View attachment 170576
Angry, emoji. I am so sorry that your camino was destroyed because of the careless behaviour of a superior vehicle driver. I hope the damage is temporary.
Edit:
I walk, I cycle, I drive. Responsibilities belong to the discrete functions.
 
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So sorry this happened to you and wish you a full recovery.
The increased speeds and weight of e-bikes is creating a whole new level of danger for walkers who share paths and small roads with them on camino and hiking routes. I’ve had several close calls with cyclists on the VF this year and all of the cyclists were riding e-bikes. Quite sure these riders have not been schooled in basic bicycle etiquette for overtaking walkers or other bikes and the result is that more accidents like yours will happen. As a cyclist (old school), I can only express my sympathies for your ruined Camino and your injuries and wish you Godspeed in returning to health.
 
As a cyclist and one who has both walked and ridden Caminos, I continue to be more than annoyed by both the lack of common sense by cyclists passing walkers from behind and the general lack of courtesy that we should all count on when sharing a path.

In crowded times, there might be better options for cyclists than the Frances. I rode the VDLP in part due to the fact that it is a less traveled Camino. Nothing but a great experience for me and all the walking pilgrims whom I enjoyed stopping and chatting with. My bike turned out to be a great ice breaker for those I met along The Way. Common sense will go so far if one just evaluates their surroundings and uses the proper caution needed under the circumstances. Nonetheless, as a cyclist, without paying caution to the dangers of others on the path, I stand to get injured as well. As I’m the one approaching from behind, it is my full responsibility to make sure passing walkers is done safely!

At the risk of raising some ire, as an old school cyclist, I’m not happy to see the increase of a-bikes on the Camino or any trail where mountain bikes go. As mentioned above, they can and often do go too fast and without the proper instruction or experience, some of these riders put us all at risk of getting hurt! Cycling a Camino is far from easy! I worked just as hard riding the VDLP as I did walking the CF. However, I do question the legitimacy of riding an electric powered vehicle in one’s quest to reach Santiago!
 
Responsibilities belong to the discrete functions.
This is not sarcastic or a judgement or anything other than my own ignorance but what do you mean by the above statement. Just curious. If it is a science or math expression please tell me simply. Your audience is a man who couldn't help his kids with their math homework after the 5th grade!
 
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In crowded times, there might be better options for cyclists than the Frances.
Was the cyclist in this case a pilgrim en route to Santiago? In my experience, the fastest cyclists on the trails are local cyclists out for their weekend workout, and they probably feel that the hoards of walkers are a nuisance on their bike trails.
 
Was the cyclist in this case a pilgrim en route to Santiago? In my experience, the fastest cyclists on the trails are local cyclists out for their weekend workout, and they probably feel that the hoards of walkers are a nuisance on their bike trails.
Camino cyclist.
 
I have had some scares, some very close calls and some ire with cyclists on the Caminos. Partly my fault as I don't hear well in one ear. On the Camino Portuguese my family and I were passed by 3000 cyclists in one or two days in 2015. Bad timing on our part as it was a long weekend and an opportunity for the Portuguese cyclists to get to Santiago over the weekend. Note C clearly's caution above and remember it is their country and their roads and trails. However, Jerri's hit by the cyclists is the fault of the cyclist and not her. I sympathize deeply. But Buen next Camino
 
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Heartfelt sympathy, @Jerri .
Having lost count of the number of close calls I've had, I know your experience could happen to any of us. Oblivious cyclists aren't risking themselves as much as they pose a risk to walkers.
May you heal well and quickly!

At the risk of raising some ire, as an old school cyclist, I’m not happy to see the increase of a-bikes on the Camino or any trail where mountain bikes go
No ire here. Agree completely.

However, I do question the legitimacy of riding an electric powered vehicle in one’s quest to reach Santiago!
You're not the only one. But money talks, and the Xuntas involved in promoting the camino are probably much more interested in money rather than the pilgrims who spend it. And while the church makes the rules about Compostellas, those decisions aren't made in a vacuum.

Partly my fault as I don't hear well in one ear.
Not intentional carelessness - unlike risky cyclists who zip by without warning.
 
This is not sarcastic or a judgement or anything other than my own ignorance but what do you mean by the above statement. Just curious. If it is a science or math expression please tell me simply. Your audience is a man who couldn't help his kids with their math homework after the 5th grade!
I am sorry, my fault for not speaking plainly! As a walker I have responsibilities to others, also as a cyclist, also as a driver. For us all to get where we want to go, we have to respect the rights of others.
I am neither scientist nor mathematician. I was probably conscious of trying to be economical with words, and see where that got me! 😁
 
Was the cyclist in this case a pilgrim en route to Santiago? In my experience, the fastest cyclists on the trails are local cyclists out for their weekend workout, and they probably feel that the hoards of walkers are a nuisance on their bike trails.
Hola as one who cycled the CF in 2015 and walked ii in 2017 I know first hand the issues. Imho most locals use the roads for exercise. If training for off road then they would know about how crowded the CF is or can be and would avoid those crowded times. Imho there are some sections of the CF that are totally unsuitable even for experienced riders.
 
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Oh dear! I’m so sorry this happened to you. I hope the cyclist stopped or that you weren’t alone so someone could help you. The cyclist practically owes you at least a business class ticket back to the US! I have torn my ACL and worn a similar brace so I can only imagine how challenging that will be on your trip home. I applaud you for being so rational and level-headed! I can’t say I’d be the same. Last year on the Portuguese a cyclist told me to get out of the way, rather than “excuse me” or “on your left” and I was fuming for several kilometers. I’ve done the Camino after three knee surgeries and my mom did the Frances in her early 70s after ACL surgery, so I hope you get back to Spain to finish your Camino. Ensure your doctor prescribes you a suitable amount of physical therapy. Take care!!
 
Was the cyclist in this case a pilgrim en route to Santiago? In my experience, the fastest cyclists on the trails are local cyclists out for their weekend workout, and they probably feel that the hoards of walkers are a nuisance on their bike trails.
On the VF in France, I had several experiences where local cyclists stopped to visit and wax eloquent about how wonderful it was that I was walking the VF. Not so much in Italy where they do seem a bit annoyed with the abundance of Pellegrini in their path.
 
1 day off the Camino Frances. Not 1 in 10 cyclists gave any warning whatsoever as to their presence and I rarely heard them until they were at my side.

Twice there were cyclists who went around me at same time on BOTH sides. I was first aware of the one on my right side so I moved left, only to narrowly miss the bike passing on the left. Close calls! Cyclists please please don't "box in" us walkers.
 
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The first edition came out in 2003 and has become the go-to-guide for many pilgrims over the years. It is shipping with a Pilgrim Passport (Credential) from the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.
My impression was that the cyclists are sport cyclists from the community and don't give tow figs about a bunch of backpackers on their bike trail. I can understand that. It's the same as if the town over from you bussed in a bunch of schoolkids onto your local trail and they got in your way. You wouldn't actually take any of them out, but you'd think about it.
 
My impression was that the cyclists are sport cyclists from the community and don't give tow figs about a bunch of backpackers on their bike trail. I can understand that. It's the same as if the town over from you bussed in a bunch of schoolkids onto your local trail and they got in your way. You wouldn't actually take any of them out, but you'd think about it.
The cyclist who hit me had on a Camino shirt but this does not guarantee he was biking the Camino. Perhaps he was local but there is no way of knowing.
 
meaning, at a certain point, we are the tourists to their community and they are the locals who pay the taxes for upkeep and such. We may consider ourselves pilgrims and all the meaning that we put into that word, but to the Spaniards, we could be seen as backpacking tourists clogging up their local bike trails.

Communities evolve and what is sacred and meaningful to one doesn't always mean it is for everyone. Case in point- the city of Rome. The Parthenon, the colosseum- just hanging out on random street corners with streets coming as close as they can- no easement in place for the classics in the city. Because the city grew up and around and through the leftovers of previous times. Perhaps the camino has (for locals) evolved to a bike path instead of a sacred route. And I think sometimes they scare the walkers out of fun or out of spite.
 
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meaning, at a certain point, we are the tourists to their community and they are the locals who pay the taxes for upkeep and such. We may consider ourselves pilgrims and all the meaning that we put into that word, but to the Spaniards, we could be seen as backpacking tourists clogging up their local bike trails.

Communities evolve and what is sacred and meaningful to one doesn't always mean it is for everyone. Case in point- the city of Rome. The Parthenon, the colosseum- just hanging out on random street corners with streets coming as close as they can- no easement in place for the classics in the city. Because the city grew up and around and through the leftovers of previous times. Perhaps the camino has (for locals) evolved to a bike path instead of a sacred route. And I think sometimes they scare the walkers out of fun or out of spite.
I’m just leaving Rome this morning. It is overrun with tourists and we haven’t even reached June on the calendar. My BNB host said he is booking people into early 2025 now, as his 4 units are booked pretty nonstop until then. He’s worried about the crush of tourists but almost giddy about his revenue stream. Your comments made me think about a related issue on Caminos and cities— if you are in a group and stop for some reason, move off the path or leave some space for others to pass by. I’m only a lowly walker and it annoys me when people unwittingly block the entire road or hiking trail. I can only imagine that it is not pleasant for locals or for cyclists either. Not giving cyclists a pass here for unsafe or boorish behavior but note that groups of otherwise sentient individuals seem to lose their sensitivity to others when they hike in packs. Just my observation after seeing this over and over on the VF in Italy, particularly from Siena to Rome.
 

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