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Camino Norte - Bikes on buses

I will be bringing my Giant MTB from Denmark to ride the Camino Norte in September. I will start in Irun and follow the Camino route and coastal road to Navia and then head to Santiago.

My question is about bikes on buses along this coastal route. I may skip some sections between Irun and Navia and take the bus. In Bulgaria last year I was told I had to have my bike in a bag to go on the bus. Fortunately I was opposite an IKEA and a supermarket. I nipped into IKEA and bought the cheapest duvet cover I could find and then into the supermarket for 2 rolls of cling film and a roll of gaffa tape. I took the wheels of the bike and put it in the duvet cover and cling filmed and gaffa taped it. It was all done in an hour and caught the next bus. The duvet cover came in handy as an extra sheet in Bulgarian hostels.

This is how I flew my bike back to Denmark. Not unusual as my bike usually travels in a bag made from spinnaker cloth.

Any information about the buses would be welcome.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Castile y Leon!
I have seen partially deconstructed bikes being placed in the luggage hold of buses/coaches in Spain but they will obviously give preference to bags and suitcases.

Have you thought about following the Japanese "rinko" method of bike packing? Think of it as bicycle origami!

In my local city bus station there's a cycle shop and, while in there buying a new inner tube last summer, I got talking to a couple of Japanese students who were taking their bikes to pieces in order to fit them into Rinko Bags (except one of them had lost hers and was using an IKEA type polytarp bag instead) to take on a cross-Channel coach.

The bikes are set up so that you can easily remove both wheels, the pedals, even the front forks (!) and it all goes into a tiny space

1581588046011.png

The ladies said they had it down to less than 20 minutes to disassemble/reassemble but if guys tried to "help" (ie take over) it usually took much longer!
 
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Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
From memory the ALSA buses only allow one or two bikes per sector and you have to buy a "bike ticket"- E2 I think. I can't recall if the bike had to be in a box or cover but I think the front wheel had to be removed. Cheers
 
I have seen partially deconstructed bikes being placed in the luggage hold of buses/coaches in Spain but they will obviously give preference to bags and suitcases.

Have you thought about following the Japanese "rinko" method of bike packing? Think of it as bicycle origami!

In my local city bus station there's a cycle shop and, while in there buying a new inner tube last summer, I got talking to a couple of Japanese students who were taking their bikes to pieces in order to fit them into Rinko Bags (except one of them had lost hers and was using an IKEA blue trolley bag instead) to take on a cross-Channel coach.

The bikes are set up so that you can easily remove both wheels, the pedals, even the front forks (!) and it all goes into a tiny space

View attachment 69682

The ladies said they had it down to less than 20 minutes to disassemble/reassemble but if guys tried to "help" (ie take over) it usually took much longer!
I could do that if it was necessary Jeff. Its not difficult. Failing that I could just take my Brompton :) I rode it through Bulgaria last year. But thanks for the Rinko method. I have never heard of it before and so I will give it a go. I have all the gear to make a bag for it.
 
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Paladina

old woman of the roads
Camino(s) past & future
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles etc (2018), Mozarabe etc (2019), tbc (2020)
In my experience, the bikes-in-bags rule seems intended to protect passengers’ luggage from your bike’s oil rather than to protect your bike from accidental damage in transit. Bin liners will satisfy their requirements. You can decide how much you wish to dismantle and/or protect the bike.
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
I will be bringing my Giant MTB from Denmark to ride the Camino Norte in September. I will start in Irun and follow the Camino route and coastal road to Navia and then head to Santiago.

Any information about the buses would be welcome.
An alternative to buses would be the FEVE railway. At least from Bilbao to Santander to Ribadesella. Then from Muros de Nalon to Navia. They take bikes - strapped upright and no need to dismantle. The number taken will I guess be limited, but we have witnessed pilgrims on board complete with bikes and packs.
Website and timetables here:- http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/feve/index.html

Blessings on your preparation!
Tio Tel
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Castile y Leon!
I could do that if it was necessary Jeff. Its not difficult. Failing that I could just take my Brompton :) I rode it through Bulgaria last year. But thanks for the Rinko method. I have never heard of it before and so I will give it a go. I have all the gear to make a bag for it.
In 2016, delighted to have walked all the way from Pamplona without mishap, we encountered two Englishmen outside of the cathedral in SdC with Bromptons loaded for long distance travel:
Had they done Camino? Yes.
Where did they start out? Bordeaux.
Bordeaux? Yes.
How did they manage the Pyrenees? (Sheepishy) We did a lot of pushing!

I'd be tempted to have a go with my Moulton

Mk3 B.jpg

But it's only a 3 speed at present (photo shows 8 spd but couldn't get used to back peddle brake so converted it back to 3)
 

Jerry B

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 18 2015 frances,august 2016 camino madrid, august 2017 camino frances bike
we were charged 5 euros to take our bikes and they suggest you reserve a spot as there is a limit of bikes per bus .......they also wanted either a box or bike bag they will sell you the box at some locations... the train is also a bit more complicated and subject to the conductors discretion but most ask for bike bags ....... i did see another pilgrim from korea using a collapsible bike and he had no issues at all since it was small
 
Thanks for the replies.

It gives me a couple of options and like always, once you have done it once, it is pretty obvious how the system works.
 

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