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Compostela: Electric Bikes Excluded?

Time of past OR future Camino
Various 2014-19
Via Monastica 2022
Primitivo 2024
I was looking at the new credencial I just got at the Pilgrim's Office for my next Camino. Reading the information inside I came across this:
20240522_174007.jpg

I had understood that it was possible to get a Compostela if one rides an ebike, but maybe not? As a walker, I'm very happy to see this, even though there will always be people without basic honesty claiming a Compostela by riding them anyway. Ebikes are a different level of scary altogether in terms of collision risk. 😨
 
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It's certainly was possible if you were riding an e-bike which is assisted with an electric motor (but you still need to pedal), as opposed to an electric bike with a throttle ( no peddling required).
This came up on several occasions over the past couple of years. The last definitive post that I could find (from @t2andreo) dates from 2019.

However the wording you have highlighted is very unclear.

It would be interesting to hear from anybody currently volunteering at the pilgrims office, or of course from somebody who is in Santiago and can check, so that we don't just continually speculate but have the facts.

Edited to add: I find it exceptionally unlikely that e-bikes ( assisted ) are not allowed because of the sheer number of businesses involved in supplying / transporting pilgrims e-bikes.

Let alone (and more importantly) the numbers that are nowadays riding them for health reasons, that quite simply could not complete a camino without their assistance.
 
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I was looking at the new credencial I just got at the Pilgrim's Office for my next Camino. Reading the information inside I came across this:
View attachment 171087

I had understood that it was possible to get a Compostela if one rides an ebike, but maybe not? As a walker, I'm very happy to see this, even though there will always be people without basic honesty claiming a Compostela by riding them anyway. Ebikes are a different level of scary altogether in terms of collision risk. 😨
Personnally, I’m very pleased to see (excluyendo la bicicleta electrica) on the qualifications section for a Compostela. I certainly don’t want to restrict opportunities for people to accomplish a pilgrimage. However, on the crowded CF, care needs to be exercised by the cyclist not to injure walkers they pass. My fear is that the e-bike is viewed as a way by less accomplished riders or less physically able individuals to do a pilgrimage. Cycling the Camino is not easy. I’ve ridden one and feel confident to speak to the challenges of the Camino for cyclists. A more novice rider puts everyone at risk if they can’t control their bike in and out of walkers and on difficult terrain regardless of the type of bike that they are riding. The e-bike is not the solution. Although philosophically opposed to this type of assistance for receiving the Compostela, I’m even more concerned about pilgrim safety. If you’re going to ride a Camino, you need the necessary experience to be safe rider and not jeopardize the safety of those around you. An e-bike might even make you an even greater danger to the rest of us.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
A more novice rider puts everyone at risk if they can’t control their bike in and out of walkers and on difficult terrain regardless of the type of bike that they are riding
I concur.
I’m even more concerned about pilgrim safety. If you’re going to ride a Camino, you need the necessary experience to be safe rider and not jeopardize the safety of those around you. An e-bike might even make you an even greater danger to the rest of us.
Potentially, yes.

One solution would be to do something similar to what they do here in Germany. Some paths are for pedestrians only. Other paths have a visual separation, and appropriate signage. It's far from foolproof (although normally to be fair it's then generally the pedestrians that are at fault), but it most definitely helps.

Alternatives could be established for narrower and trickier ( or particularly busy) sections, thus making it safer for all concerned.

The number of e-bikes is on the rise worldwide, better to be proactive.
 
The number of e-bikes is on the rise worldwide, better to be proactive.
My husband has several E-bikes and he cannot walk the distances I do. We go south for two months every winter and the 25 miles of state park trails we frequent have had exponential growth among seniors in the past two years...there will be no turning back whether we like it or not. The number of stand up E-scooters I saw in Italy, especially in Rome, on busy streets were scary to see amidst traffic, and I wondered how many accidents have escalated in the last few years.
 
The number of stand up E-scooters I saw in Italy, especially in Rome, on busy streets were scary to see amidst traffic, and I wondered how many accidents have escalated in the last few years.
I remember seeing electric scooters all over Paris in 2019, but last year they seemed to be mostly gone. I think that some cities cracked down on their use because people would just leave them laying around anywhere - on the sidewalk or the street. And many users were very inexperienced.
 
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I remember seeing electric scooters all over Paris in 2019, but last year they seemed to be mostly gone. I think that some cities cracked down on their use because people would just leave them laying around anywhere - on the sidewalk or the street. And many users were very inexperienced.
I saw them laying around, too, on the sidewalks in Rome away from the direct tourist sights, but they were def still on the streets and going strong in October 2022.
 
I concur.

Potentially, yes.

One solution would be to do something similar to what they do here in Germany. Some paths are for pedestrians only. Other paths have a visual separation, and appropriate signage. It's far from foolproof (although normally to be fair it's then generally the pedestrians that are at fault), but it most definitely helps.

Alternatives could be established for narrower and trickier ( or particularly busy) sections, thus making it safer for all concerned.

The number of e-bikes is on the rise worldwide, better to be proactive.
This separation also exists on some paths in Spain.
 
I was looking at the new credencial I just got at the Pilgrim's Office for my next Camino. Reading the information inside I came across this:
View attachment 171087

I had understood that it was possible to get a Compostela if one rides an ebike, but maybe not? As a walker, I'm very happy to see this, even though there will always be people without basic honesty claiming a Compostela by riding them anyway. Ebikes are a different level of scary altogether in terms of collision risk. 😨
I agree! Almost got run over a couple times by e-bikes on the Portuguese earlier this month. One pair of bikers - not e-bikes were polite and used their bells. Is “BIKE BACK” not a term used universally?
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
Is “BIKE BACK” not a term used universally?
No. Certainly not in Europe - even in the English-speaking parts.

Sounding a bell is commonplace.

Both seem to imply that the pedestrian should make way for the cyclist, which is neither a safe assumption nor (at least in the UK) the order of precedence.
 
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The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Personnally, I’m very pleased to see (excluyendo la bicicleta electrica) on the qualifications section for a Compostela. I certainly don’t want to restrict opportunities for people to accomplish a pilgrimage. However, on the crowded CF, care needs to be exercised by the cyclist not to injure walkers they pass. My fear is that the e-bike is viewed as a way by less accomplished riders or less physically able individuals to do a pilgrimage. Cycling the Camino is not easy. I’ve ridden one and feel confident to speak to the challenges of the Camino for cyclists. A more novice rider puts everyone at risk if they can’t control their bike in and out of walkers and on difficult terrain regardless of the type of bike that they are riding. The e-bike is not the solution. Although philosophically opposed to this type of assistance for receiving the Compostela, I’m even more concerned about pilgrim safety. If you’re going to ride a Camino, you need the necessary experience to be safe rider and not jeopardize the safety of those around you. An e-bike might even make you an even greater danger to the rest of us.
I too have cycled (2015) and walked (2017) and I agree that there are some sections that even experienced mountain bike riders should avoid. Unfortunately there no specific cycle guides in English ( I have one in French - that does have some route restriction info). The problem I see with e-bikes is that they are generally faster than a regular bike, don’t have effective or efficient bells, or riders don’t use then, to alert walkers as they approach.
 
I for one and this opinion is only I. I am personally happy that a compostela will not be awarded to people on E bikes. There are things all of us would like to do but because of lack of ability, age, intelligence, education, money, etc etc etc will never accomplish. To me giving a compostela to someone on an e bike is like making sure everyone gets a trophy so nobody feels bad. I am not advocating that people on e bikes should be banned from using a camino route. I am not a Spaniard or the government. But I wouldn't shed a tear if they were.
Getting hit by an ebike driven by someone who is going to fast, spacing out, talking or listening to music on their phone or inexperienced or coming around a turn to fast, not slowing down enough, misjudging distances between their bike and a pilgrim or a local taking a daily stroll, or making people aware of their approach, (I am sure I am missing scenarios) can lead to life altering or deadly consequences.
You can't always get what you want, and you shouldn't either. This is my two cents. Maybe not even worth that much.
 
It's certainly was possible if you were riding an e-bike which is assisted with an electric motor (but you still need to pedal), as opposed to an electric bike with a throttle ( no peddling required).
This came up on several occasions over the past couple of years. The last definitive post that I could find (from @t2andreo) dates from 2019.

However the wording you have highlighted is very unclear.

It would be interesting to hear from anybody currently volunteering at the pilgrims office, or of course from somebody who is in Santiago and can check, so that we don't just continually speculate but have the facts.

Edited to add: I find it exceptionally unlikely that e-bikes ( assisted ) are not allowed because of the sheer number of businesses involved in supplying / transporting pilgrims e-bikes.

Let alone (and more importantly) the numbers that are nowadays riding them for health reasons, that quite simply could not complete a camino without their assistance.
There are business supplying taxis also. Does absolutely not mean one should get a Compostela when utilizing powered transportation. Ebikes’ pedal assist loophole should not qualify either. They engage the motor with a touch of the pedals and no physical effort.
 
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From all the bandages I saw last year on e bike riders on the Portugues, I think they are more a danger to themselves than to the walkers.
 
E-bikes are now using 350 to 700 watt (and more) motors. That's nearly the same as a small chainsaw motor. It would NOT be ok to put a chainsaw motor on a bike to get a compostella. But, at least you could hear them coming from behind!!
They are essentially electric motorcycles now. They should use roadways like a motorcycle. After numerous close calls and one impact, I'm fed up with them
Just my opinion.
 
From all the bandages I saw last year on e bike riders on the Portugues, I think they are more a danger to themselves than to the walkers.
Ha, that's amusing and possibly correct, put a neophyte on a powered vehicle in rocky terrain is asking for trouble. A couple of misconceptions in replies above; eMTBs do require physical input and many peregrinos seem to assume that they're just targets for guys on bikes. A rider will do his best to avoid pedestrians but what happens, I think, is that the fright response makes peregrinos move / jump in to the path of a bike, resulting in injury.
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
I think "bike back" may be US usage thing. When the bikes were coming through groups of walkers I was hollering "bike back" to warn others. I had a couple of people tell me they had never heard that before. 😉
 
While the revised credencial language, presented by VNwalking is somewhat unclear, it does state “except for electric bicycle…” the previous policy was that an electric ASSIST bicycle that had to be peddled to move forward WAS okay. But, an electric bicycle that had a throttle, and could optionally be ridden without pedaling to move forward, was NOT APPROVED.

The problem is that there is no easy way to make this determination without a physical inspection of the bicycle by someone at the Pilgrim Office. There is no way to do this.

For “the good of the order,” could someone who is at Santiago, or possibly working as a volunteer, please show the revised credencial to permanent staff, and have the language clarified?

It could mean - no electric bicycles - no way - no how. OR, the earlier policy of electric ASSIST bicycles being valid might still be in force. IT NEEDS TO BE CLARIFIED.

Personally, I can argue both sides of the debate. I am a walker on Camino, and I do not like the added risk of a faster moving bicycle overtaking me on the senda.

But, as I said, I can appreciate both sides of the issue.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 
I feel obliged to say something about E-Bikes. I have walked the frances from StJpdP in 2018. For a different experience, I will be cycling it in July with an E-Bike. I have done a fair bit of training (and still do). Cycling 50-60 km every day at the age of 67 is no joke. In every ride my average heart rate is between 125-130. I try to use the battery assistance as little as possible. When I pass a runner or walker, I slow down to the extent that I almost start a conversation with the person.
So PLEASE, dont judge all cyclists. Many mototorists are horrible drivers too.
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
I think, is that the fright response makes peregrinos move / jump in to the path of a bike, resulting in injury.
The bike rider can dismount and walk the bike past the walkers or slow down - a lot.
I think "bike back" may be US usage thing. When the bikes were coming through groups of walkers I was hollering "bike back" to warn others. I had a couple of people tell me they had never heard that before. 😉
Never heard it in California or Oregon. Must be regional. I just yell bike to let others in front of me know. I think the "back" is implied. If the bike were in front it would be obvious. 😉
 
When I pass a runner or walker, I slow down to the extent that I almost start a conversation with the person.
So PLEASE, dont judge all cyclists. Many mototorists are horrible drivers too.
Thank you for being a responsible cyclist. If only all cyclists were like you!
 
I was looking at the new credencial I just got at the Pilgrim's Office for my next Camino. Reading the information inside I came across this:
View attachment 171087

I had understood that it was possible to get a Compostela if one rides an ebike, but maybe not? As a walker, I'm very happy to see this, even though there will always be people without basic honesty claiming a Compostela by riding them anyway. Ebikes are a different level of scary altogether in terms of collision risk. 😨
Excellent!! Let's hope that the riders of these bikes also stay off the waking/hiking only trails as well.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
A rider will do his best to avoid pedestrians but what happens, I think, is that the fright response makes peregrinos move / jump in to the path of a bike, resulting in injury.
Your response implies it is the walkers fault if a collision occurs.
There should not be a "fright response" at all.

I've been road biking, mountain biking and walking for over 60 years. Learn your place.

If by bell, voice or slower movement the "fright" cant be removed, then the bike should be on the road.
Or, as is becoming practiced in many places, bikes can go build their own trails and stay off the hiking trails. Bikes are not allowed on the major hiking trails of the US. There is a big fight against E-bikes even being on mountain bike trails, because the mountain bikers built those trails. If you want to play in this "new game", go build your own infrastructure.
 
I certainly hope that someone can clarify the language as it certainly sounds like no e-bikes no matter what. I'm personally all for the change but then again, I'd prefer that all cyclists stay off Camino paths and use the road instead. You may be a considerate cyclist but I've encountered way too many individuals and groups of cyclists who are not. Foreigners seem to be better users of bells than the Spanish. I've told off several when walking.

In my opinion the problem occurs when the number of e-bike users and cyclists in general doing the Camino increases. I've seen this first hand in The Netherlands where I live. It seems that everyone now has an e-bike (sign of wealth imho). Even though we often have separate bike lanes and traffic lights, the explosion of e-bikes (and yikes, especially fatbikes) in The Netherlands is causing an significant increase in accidents. According to police statistics especially in the 50+ year old population.

Great if you are a responsible cyclist, unfortunately you are in the minority.
 
Although the ratio of cyclists to walkers was much higher when I walked my first Camino there was little conflict between the two at the time. Cyclists almost exclusively used road touring bikes which could not be used on the narrow rocky footpaths which were originally marked out with pedestrians only in mind. Vastly increased numbers and a marked change in the nature of cycling has made a conflict of interest more immediate. My first Camino predated the 100km/200km rule and so the question of power-assistance would not have applied anyway. Personally I would like to see that rule scrapped as I feel it distorts the understanding of pilgrimage by equating it with a specific physical challenge. But as things stand it seems only reasonable that a ban on the use of motorised transport should apply equally to both cyclists and pedestrians.
 
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I just finished Frances last week. As a percentage, bikes are still low.
In 4 weeks there was not a day without a fast bike encounter. Yes, there are very some considerate riders. There are also NOT considerate.

When 2 "pedal bikes" are going up a hill and the non-electric is being pulled by the "pedal assist" electric that is only casually pedaling as they chat,,, the MOTOR is doing the work.
 
Never heard it in California or Oregon. Must be regional. I just yell bike to let others in front of me know. I think the "back" is implied. If the bike were in front it would be obvious. 😉
Interesting,,, I live on Texas, have biked Colorado, New Mexico and most of the states over to Florida. Bike back, car back, car up, etc. is real common. Left and right is usually just car warnings.
Now that you say it,,, maybe I'm the wierdo that's applying to walking as well 😉
 
E-bikes are now using 350 to 700 watt (and more) motors. That's nearly the same as a small chainsaw motor. It would NOT be ok to put a chainsaw motor on a bike to get a compostella. But, at least you could hear them coming from behind!!
They are essentially electric motorcycles now. They should use roadways like a motorcycle. After numerous close calls and one impact, I'm fed up with them
Just my opinion.
Please don't transpose what happens in the US to Europe.
Speed pedelecs or ebikes having a motor that's > 250W are not that popular outside of Belgium and Switzerland because of quite restrictive regulations and they are onerous to use on public roads due to tax and insurance requirements. There are illegal ones out there but getting caught is an expensive business.

As for the presence of ciclysts on "The Camino", let's keep in mind that it's primarily a bridleway, not a hiking path. This means that unless signposted with specific restrictions, anything that can be ridden, driven or towed from a bicycle to a car to a trebuchet and other assorted siege engines are allowed provided it physically fits.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Your response implies it is the walkers fault if a collision occurs.
There should not be a "fright response" at all.

I've been road biking, mountain biking and walking for over 60 years. Learn your place.

If by bell, voice or slower movement the "fright" cant be removed, then the bike should be on the road.
Or, as is becoming practiced in many places, bikes can go build their own trails and stay off the hiking trails. Bikes are not allowed on the major hiking trails of the US. There is a big fight against E-bikes even being on mountain bike trails, because the mountain bikers built those trails. If you want to play in this "new game", go build your own infrastructure.
Thank you for your response!!
 
I feel obliged to say something about E-Bikes. I have walked the frances from StJpdP in 2018. For a different experience, I will be cycling it in July with an E-Bike. I have done a fair bit of training (and still do). Cycling 50-60 km every day at the age of 67 is no joke. In every ride my average heart rate is between 125-130. I try to use the battery assistance as little as possible. When I pass a runner or walker, I slow down to the extent that I almost start a conversation with the person.
So PLEASE, dont judge all cyclists. Many mototorists are horrible drivers too.


FWIW I understand you. I myself also have a regular Ebike , more than 25 k and it turns into a " normal ", though heavy framed bike :) .
In good weather I use it for transport home to work. I live in a hilly region and even when I put the Ebike on max power I still have to pedal quite alot.

Indeed many motorists should not be allowed on the roads either! Only today I saw two cardrivers manipulating their cellphone while driving.
 
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Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
I feel obliged to say something about E-Bikes. I have walked the frances from StJpdP in 2018. For a different experience, I will be cycling it in July with an E-Bike. I have done a fair bit of training (and still do). Cycling 50-60 km every day at the age of 67 is no joke. In every ride my average heart rate is between 125-130. I try to use the battery assistance as little as possible. When I pass a runner or walker, I slow down to the extent that I almost start a conversation with the person.
So PLEASE, dont judge all cyclists. Many mototorists are horrible drivers too.
I sure wish you wouldn't use an E-bike especially if you don't plan to use battery assistance very often. If you find this difficult consider biking less kms. per day. At any rate have a good good Camino and please stay off the walking only trails.
 
I was looking at the new credencial I just got at the Pilgrim's Office for my next Camino. Reading the information inside I came across this:
View attachment 171087

I had understood that it was possible to get a Compostela if one rides an ebike, but maybe not? As a walker, I'm very happy to see this, even though there will always be people without basic honesty claiming a Compostela by riding them anyway. Ebikes are a different level of scary altogether in terms of collision risk. 😨
So this whole thread is not about cyclists at all.

It is about riding the Camino paths by motorcycle. If it is a two-wheeled cycle with a motor attached to the drive chain, it is a motorcycle. Whether the motor is powered by gasoline, electricity or cold fusion is irrelevant. It is a motor-cycle. If that is the way we wish to see the Camino go, then so be it, but at least we should seek sponsorship from Red Bull.

This also an issue that many cities have been dealing with, Camino aside. The most popular electric motorcycles are now the ‘fat tire’ variety and are very fast. You mix walkers, toddlers, pooches being walked, with a fat tire electric motor-cycle and…it’s just a bad mix. The response of course is always “but it’s just a bike”, as if it were the equivalent of a kids bike with streamers. Those who hold that it’s “just a bike” I invite them to shoulder carry their bike up a flight of stairs. The electric motor-cycles are heavy and, to dispense with the fiction, they are not a motor assisted pedal bike, but an EV with pedals attached. Try pedalling one of these EVs without the motor at all, given their weight, far harder than a pedal bike.

I agree with another poster here, about handing out Compestelas for people driving cheapens it for all. I’d love to be able to say I’ve climbed Everest, I’m just waiting for the Nepalese government to install an escalator.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
So this whole thread is not about cyclists at all.

It is about riding the Camino paths by motorcycle. If it is a two-wheeled cycle with a motor attached to the drive chain, it is a motorcycle. Whether the motor is powered by gasoline, electricity or cold fusion is irrelevant. It is a motor-cycle. If that is the way we wish to see the Camino go, then so be it, but at least we should seek sponsorship from Red Bull.

This also an issue that many cities have been dealing with, Camino aside. The most popular electric motorcycles are now the ‘fat tire’ variety and are very fast. You mix walkers, toddlers, pooches being walked, with a fat tire electric motor-cycle and…it’s just a bad mix. The response of course is always “but it’s just a bike”, as if it were the equivalent of a kids bike with streamers. Those who hold that it’s “just a bike” I invite them to shoulder carry their bike up a flight of stairs. The electric motor-cycles are heavy and, to dispense with the fiction, they are not a motor assisted pedal bike, but an EV with pedals attached. Try pedalling one of these EVs without the motor at all, given their weight, far harder than a pedal bike.

I agree with another poster here, about handing out Compestelas for people driving cheapens it for all. I’d love to be able to say I’ve climbed Everest, I’m just waiting for the Nepalese government to install an escalator.

Welcome to Spain.
Please leave your North American preconceptions at home...
 
Maybe it would help if ALL E-bikes did not qualify to receive a Compostela. There would be no analyzing and nit-picking over which motors and pedal assists qualify. Apparently no one at the Pilgrim office is really keeping track anyway, and are trusting the individuals riding the bikes to tell the truth as to the size of their motors, etc.
There are enough problems with regular bicyclists sharing paths with the walkers and as we all know, there have been numerous threads over the years on this subject with many complaints.
 
Maybe it would help if ALL E-bikes did not qualify to receive a Compostela. There would be no analyzing and nit-picking over which motors and pedal assists qualify. Apparently no one at the Pilgrim office is really keeping track anyway, and are trusting the individuals riding the bikes to tell the truth as to the size of their motors, etc.
There are enough problems with regular bicyclists sharing paths with the walkers and as we all know, there have been numerous threads over the years on this subject with many complaints.

Or the Cathedral could give everyone who wants it a Compostela and forget the arbitrary 100/ 200 k rule 😉.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
So this whole thread is not about cyclists at all.

It is about riding the Camino paths by motorcycle. If it is a two-wheeled cycle with a motor attached to the drive chain, it is a motorcycle. Whether the motor is powered by gasoline, electricity or cold fusion is irrelevant. It is a motor-cycle. If that is the way we wish to see the Camino go, then so be it, but at least we should seek sponsorship from Red Bull.

This also an issue that many cities have been dealing with, Camino aside. The most popular electric motorcycles are now the ‘fat tire’ variety and are very fast. You mix walkers, toddlers, pooches being walked, with a fat tire electric motor-cycle and…it’s just a bad mix. The response of course is always “but it’s just a bike”, as if it were the equivalent of a kids bike with streamers. Those who hold that it’s “just a bike” I invite them to shoulder carry their bike up a flight of stairs. The electric motor-cycles are heavy and, to dispense with the fiction, they are not a motor assisted pedal bike, but an EV with pedals attached. Try pedalling one of these EVs without the motor at all, given their weight, far harder than a pedal bike.

I agree with another poster here, about handing out Compestelas for people driving cheapens it for all. I’d love to be able to say I’ve climbed Everest, I’m just waiting for the Nepalese government to install an escalator.

AMEN Gobsmacked!!
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
True,
In the end it’s a man-made indulgence whose meaning should be deeply personal to the recipient.
If you mean "indulgence" in the loose secular sense of the word then that may be true. If you mean "indulgence" in the specific religious sense then the Compostela certainly is not that. Much more to the concept than a piece of paper from the pilgrim office.
 
If you mean "indulgence" in the loose secular sense of the word then that may be true. If you mean "indulgence" in the specific religious sense then the Compostela certainly is not that. Much more to the concept than a piece of paper from the pilgrim office.

It would lead us too far here but I already told it many times on the forum and would like to repeat it.
My late grandmother who went by bus ( she was in her eighties ) to the Marial Sanctuary of Banneux ( here in Belgium ) and walked more or less two hundred meters from the parking lot to the church. But she went to confession, received Communion and all other requirements for a plenary indulgence. She was more a pilgrim than I ever will be with all my Caminos and Compostelas.
 
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It would lead us to far here but I already told it many times here on the forum.
My late grandmother who went by bus ( she was in her eighties ) to the Marial Sanctuary of Banneux ( here in Belgium ) and more or less two hundred meters from the parking lot to the church. But she went to confession, received Communion and all other requirements for a plenary indulgence. She was more a pilgrim than I ever will be with all my Caminos and Compostelas.
Ditto with the story of my father's godmother which I've also shared previously:

In the 1970s she, a pensioner herself, drove a group of elderly nuns to Santiago from Southampton UK. With the Bishops blessing and a shell on the front of the car. Recognised and welcomed all along the way as the pilgrims they were.

No Compostela for them but a very warm welcome in the cathedral....

All this petty squabbling over whether you should get a Compostela or not because of how you get to Santiago.

It's what's in your heart that counts, not how you get there.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
She was more a pilgrim than I ever will be with all my Caminos and Compostelas.
Your grandmother reminds me of a couple I met, probably in their 80's I happened to sit next to at a restaurant in Santiago a few years ago. The tables were pushed quite close together, so we started up a little conversation. They had driven their car on the whole Camino Frances, stopping at many villages along the way, saying they could no longer walk the Camino because of their age and health, but were happy to relive many of their special memories from long ago.
I'm sure there was no compostela for them, but I got the impression it no longer mattered to them. They were happy to have arrived again, and to "bask in the moment" at the end of their journey by car.
 
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My paternal grandfather had such a long-standing commercial relationship with the Fox and Grapes public house in the centre of Preston, Lancashire that a plaque was installed to his memory on his death and the brewery considered issuing a profit warning.

If we are guided on here to regard even electrobicigrinos as pilgrims then Grandad Tom’s got a claim as well.
 
I think "bike back" may be US usage thing. When the bikes were coming through groups of walkers I was hollering "bike back" to warn others. I had a couple of people tell me they had never heard that before. 😉
I asked this question yesterday - I used it while on the Portuguese (especially the spiritual variant) several times and people didn’t know the warning.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I feel obliged to say something about E-Bikes. I have walked the frances from StJpdP in 2018. For a different experience, I will be cycling it in July with an E-Bike. I have done a fair bit of training (and still do). Cycling 50-60 km every day at the age of 67 is no joke. In every ride my average heart rate is between 125-130. I try to use the battery assistance as little as possible. When I pass a runner or walker, I slow down to the extent that I almost start a conversation with the person.
So PLEASE, dont judge all cyclists. Many mototorists are horrible drivers too.
I totally agree! I am 77 and plan to ride the coastal ride from Porto in September on an E-bike. I have ridden E-bike all over NZ and NEVER run into anyone or hurt anyone. I too slow down and use my bell so please do not judge all E-bikers by the same measure.
 
e-bikes have become so ubiquitous, in Europe at least, that people generally just consider them to be "bikes".

I live in a location where there is a combination of many e-bike users, including people commuting by such means, and also many non-e-bikers riding the "normal" bikes for sport, including some professional and amateur and semi-pro cycling teams training individually or by two or in groups.

All of these types of bikers can include people wishing to bike the Camino -- and so it has become basically impracticable to banish these people but not those from the Camino.

Sure, I have seen some things that I would consider to be abuses -- I encountered one particular group of 20-somethings with e-bikes who were also transporting their bike bags (or whatever luggage they were using). OK they were still pilgrims, as they were making their way towards the Tomb of the Apostle ; but it's doubtful that this degree of motorisation and refusal of the effort typically associated with a Camino should be accepted by a typical Albergue or by the Pilgrims Office.

I don't know if there are any Albergues that refuse the e-bicigrinos, or who accept only those of them who are elderly or disabled or something ?
 
I feel obliged to say something about E-Bikes. I have walked the frances from StJpdP in 2018. For a different experience, I will be cycling it in July with an E-Bike. I have done a fair bit of training (and still do). Cycling 50-60 km every day at the age of 67 is no joke. In every ride my average heart rate is between 125-130. I try to use the battery assistance as little as possible. When I pass a runner or walker, I slow down to the extent that I almost start a conversation with the person.
So PLEASE, dont judge all cyclists. Many mototorists are horrible drivers too.
You are right many motorists are bad drivers but for the most part they are on a road whizzing by you not on the Camino path. (Yes I know there are some places that you are next to a motorist but not that many kilometers all together).
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I was looking at the new credencial I just got at the Pilgrim's Office for my next Camino. Reading the information inside I came across this:
View attachment 171087

I had understood that it was possible to get a Compostela if one rides an ebike, but maybe not? As a walker, I'm very happy to see this, even though there will always be people without basic honesty claiming a Compostela by riding them anyway. Ebikes are a different level of scary altogether in terms of collision risk. 😨
I can’t see anything worse in this than having backpacks transported between stages. Back even in 2014, there eere quite significant numbers doing the Camino by bus and duly fronting up for their Compostelas. I saw this service advertised on a notice board in Granada ( I didn’tvreally look anywhere else). We need to accept it’s a business and an importanr source of revenue for various enterprises.

De colores

Bogong
 
I remember seeing electric scooters all over Paris in 2019, but last year they seemed to be mostly gone. I think that some cities cracked down on their use because people would just leave them laying around anywhere - on the sidewalk or the street. And many users were very inexperienced.
Three deaths and 459 injuries were attributed to e-scooters in Paris in 2022, compared to one fatality and 353 injuries in 2021 so the mayor decided to put it to a public vote: ban e-scooters or not?
There wasn't a huge turn out, not much over 100,000 but 90% voted to ban them so no more e-scooters to trip over at the Eiffel Tower as of September 2023!
Private scooters are not affected.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Maybe it would help if ALL E-bikes did not qualify to receive a Compostela. There would be no analyzing and nit-picking over which motors and pedal assists qualify. Apparently no one at the Pilgrim office is really keeping track anyway, and are trusting the individuals riding the bikes to tell the truth as to the size of their motors, etc.
There are enough problems with regular bicyclists sharing paths with the walkers and as we all know, there have been numerous threads over the years on this subject with many complaints.
The trouble is . . . . wait for it . . . . some Pilgrims lie!
I've seen people getting their compostelas and saying that yes, they walked every step of the way when I've witnessed them regularly getting out of taxis or having their support vehicles drop them off.
What is to stop an electrigrino saying "Sure, I cycled 200km on an ordinary pedal bike" when they actually just switched the motor on and cruised feet up? The PO hasn't the time or staff to check.
 
The trouble is . . . . wait for it . . . . some Pilgrims lie!
I've seen people getting their compostelas and saying that yes, they walked every step of the way when I've witnessed them regularly getting out of taxis or having their support vehicles drop them off.
What is to stop an electrigrino saying "Sure, I cycled 200km on an ordinary pedal bike" when they actually just switched the motor on and cruised feet up? The PO hasn't the time or staff to check.
Yes some pilgrims lie, some pilgrims get get on and off buses having just walked a few kilometres per day, some use e-bikes when they don't have to, and you know what ?

I really don't care.

The only people they're cheating is themselves.
 
I'm sure there's many a "pilgrim" who games the system. I've seen a tour guide get off a coach, enter the bar and stand at the counter stamping a pile of credentials whilst her fellow pilgrims remained on board.
I feel sorry for them and more so for the volunteers in Santiago.
After the joy of receiving a first Compostela and twinning it in Japan, we no longer feel any need for official evidence of our Camino efforts.
A tired body and sore feet are proof enough!
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
Yes some pilgrims lie, some pilgrims get get on and off buses having just walked a few kilometres per day, some use e-bikes when they don't have to, and you know what ? I really don't care.
Hear, hear!

In my humble opinion, the main news value is this: There is a new version of the credencial that the Cathedral of Santiago issues; for the first time, there is mention of bicicleta electrica in it; the website of the Oficina del Peregrino has not been updated and makes no mention of e-bikes; credentials issued by international Camino associations make no mention of this either, I presume; pilgrims who obtained a Spanish credencial and don't read Spanish may not notice it; and I am not aware that there has been an announcement about this in the media or in Spanish or international Camino association circles.

Or am I mistaken?
 
The trouble is . . . . wait for it . . . . some Pilgrims lie!
I've seen people getting their compostelas and saying that yes, they walked every step of the way when I've witnessed them regularly getting out of taxis or having their support vehicles drop them off.
What is to stop an electrigrino saying "Sure, I cycled 200km on an ordinary pedal bike" when they actually just switched the motor on and cruised feet up? The PO hasn't the time or staff to check.
Exactly...I hear you, Jeff, and I agree. There is nothing to stop a cheater, whether they are only partially walking, taking a bus or taxi, using a support vehicle, or E-biking. It is not the Pilgrim's office's duty to determine who has, or has not followed the rules of the final 100/200k. Only the sellos collected help them determine if they qualify for a compostela.
 
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Probably not.
Thanks. And another thing to consider in this discussion is the fact that the Compostela is awarded for the last 200 km on a bike or the last 100 km on foot.

So, on the Francés, this leaves about 600 km on an e-bike and the rest on a non e-bike for the potential and honest Compostela aspirant, or even 700 km on an e-bike and the rest on foot, or, which appears to become increasingly popular, the section Burgos to Leon on an e-bike, and everything else before and after on foot. And let us not forget all those who will use an e-bike for the whole length of the Camino Francés and are not interested in a Compostela.

In short, e-bikes on Camino won't disappear any time soon.
 
Your response implies it is the walkers fault if a collision occurs.
There should not be a "fright response" at all.

I've been road biking, mountain biking and walking for over 60 years. Learn your place.

If by bell, voice or slower movement the "fright" cant be removed, then the bike should be on the road.
Or, as is becoming practiced in many places, bikes can go build their own trails and stay off the hiking trails. Bikes are not allowed on the major hiking trails of the US. There is a big fight against E-bikes even being on mountain bike trails, because the mountain bikers built those trails. If you want to play in this "new game", go build your own infrastructure.
I meant of course the "fight or flight" response which we have little control over. A rider will always try to avoid an obstacle since most are fixed but the pedestrian also has an almost automatic response to avoid another moving or threatening object; this imo is where the difficulty lies. This whole biker / bicigrino / peregrino issue is far too complex with too many facets to ever be resolved. Maybe I'll start another thread from the bicigrino pov but for now I'm supposed to be on holiday with my wife......
 
Yes some pilgrims lie, some pilgrims get get on and off buses having just walked a few kilometres per day, some use e-bikes when they don't have to, and you know what ?

I really don't care.

The only people they're cheating is themselves
So true, so true.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Welcome to Spain.
Please leave your North American preconceptions at home...
There was absolutely nothing that the poster said about e-bikes that were incorrect regarding speed, size and weight. Many Americans have rightly been called arrogant and thinking our opinion and ways are the only right ones and manyhave often shown an obnoxious air of superiority. You have learned well from us. You should apply for American citizenship. Also would you please supply any information that I assume supports your assumption that Spaniards whole hardily want e-bikes on Camino routes. I always step aside when I am in a foreign land as I am a visitor and must accept what the home citizens want. Oh yea, if you think Americans have rejected e-bikes take a stroll down 3rd Avenue in Manhattan.
Ha, that's amusing and possibly correct, put a neophyte on a powered vehicle in rocky terrain is asking for trouble. A couple of misconceptions in replies above; eMTBs do require physical input and many peregrinos seem to assume that they're just targets for guys on bikes. A rider will do his best to avoid pedestrians but what happens, I think, is that the fright response makes peregrinos move / jump in to the path of a bike, resulting in injury.
That is quite an assumption that it is the fright response. The other side of this hypothesis is if there was no stimulus ie bicycle or e bike there would be no fright and therefore no injuries.
 
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This may not be a popular opinion, but I think that e-bikes or any other motorized vehicle should be banned on any trails (including Caminos). In my neck of the woods, we have a really nice and long multi-use trail that is enjoyed by many people walking, running, and biking. Recently however, the trail is inundated with people riding e-bikes (often riding at a high speed without pedaling) and it has become a not so enjoyable and somewhat dangerous place for everyone.
 
When I walked the Norte 2 years ago, I noticed by the end that I'd only seen 6 pilgrims on bikes and that 5 of those had been on e-bikes but I only ever saw them in albergues. I didn't see any of them along the trails as I often used the GR alternatives, so as to stick to the coastal paths as much as possible.The cyclists were able to stick to roads and so I didn't have any of the close encounters that others have mentioned.
I recognised that e-bikes are very popular in Europe so their presence didn't bother me and I didn't care if they were able to claim a Compostela or not. They wanted to do the camino their way and I wanted to do it my way.
The cyclists themselves were all friendly people and I enjoyed their company and to be honest, I was amazed by how much luggage they had, sitting either side of their front and back wheels. I could only imagine how difficult it must have been to keep the bikes balanced. As they were usually cycling about 60+kms a day, their batteries were usually flat by the end of the day anyway.
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
I agree! Almost got run over a couple times by e-bikes on the Portuguese earlier this month. One pair of bikers - not e-bikes were polite and used their bells. Is “BIKE BACK” not a term used universally?
I have never heard the term used before. I am familiar with shouts from behind of, "On your right/left"
 
Let’s make it very clear, An electric bike is a motor bike.
I am very happy with how people choose to travel down the Camino Frances, but if you choose to do it on a motorbike you might see some negativity.
I am always surprised at at the effect of sticking a walking pole through the wheel of an electric bicycle!
Lindsay
 
NO! ebikes.

Additionally, I would like to see bicycle riders establish alternate routes around places where the path is obviously only wide enough for one pedestrian.
 
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Modern technology for transport can either be discarded and traditions maintained as it pertains to the Caminos de Santiago. Or we must be mindful that if one exception to technology is made in the modern era it almost requires that continued exceptions be allowed.

I see now that what had been termed a 'moped' -- small, gasoline-powered cycles/scooters (Gbikes) are nowadays often no larger than an electric bike (Ebike), sometimes weigh less than an Ebike, and go the same speeds as an Ebike. Gbikes have usable peddles that can be used for self-powered movement.

In fact in the Ebike's construction and weight, brakes lights and electronics, etc., many ebikes these days more closely resemble a Gbike than they do a traditional bicycle.

I can imagine that at some point there may be discussions about surrounding the issue of what difference it makes as to how such vehicles are powered. Why are Ebikes permitted when Gbikes are not. In fact, I could see a case being made to allow Gbike towing of passenger trailers for those needing mobility devices.

What does NOT change is this: the danger to a pedestrian who is hit - or even dealt a glancing blow - increases not just with the momentum of a pedaled vehicle, but also the weight of a pedaled vehicle.
 
An electric bike is a road bike
That may be, but what makes sense is not what counts. What does count is what is allowed or permitted for Ebikes or Gbikes using trails and paths that only make sense for pedestrians and horses/burros/donkeys/mules.
 
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8000 watts, speed: 60 MPH. But its just a bike.
In Spain, this is neither a bike nor an e-bike according to the Spanish road traffic regulations.

I recommend looking for definition and traffic rules for bicicleta electrica in the Reglamento General de Vehículos y el Reglamento General de Circulación.

BTW, I did not check the Spanish road traffic regulations for mopeds. Before I would make statements about what kind of vehicle is allowed to drive where in Spain I'd check these regulations first though.
 
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In Spain, this is neither a bike nor an e-bike according to the Spanish road traffic regulations.

I recommend looking for definition and traffic rules for bicicleta electrica in the Reglamento General de Vehículos y el Reglamento General de Circulación.

BTW, I did not check the Spanish road traffic regulations for mopeds. Before I would make statements about what kind of vehicle is allowed to drive where in Spain I'd check these regulations first though.
I agree. On my part I thought I had avoided stating what is or is not allowed, just what has a potential of discussion.:) If it came across that way, mea culpa.
 
Let’s make it very clear, An electric bike is a motor bike.
I am very happy with how people choose to travel down the Camino Frances, but if you choose to do it on a motorbike you might see some negativity.
I am always surprised at at the effect of sticking a walking pole through the wheel of an electric bicycle!
Lindsay
You have clearly never cycled an E-Bike.
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
I agree. On my part I thought I had avoided stating what is or is not allowed, just what has a potential of discussion.:) If it came across that way, mea culpa.
@davebugg, of course your contributions were clear and helpful :) but that cannot be said of all the contributions where it is sometimes not clear whether a fact is stated or wishful thinking or something that is plain wrong. Or even a joke in very poor taste.

If it helps the discussion: In Spain, a bicicleta electrica - what is meant in the Cathedral's credencial - is defined as a bicycle which has a motor of 250 W or lower; whose motor only works when pedalling; whose engine stops working when a maximum speed of 25 km/h is reached or when the cyclist stops pedalling; and which must not weigh more than 40 kg. If these conditions are not fulfilled, the vehicle is not classified as a bicycle and not subject to the traffic rules for bicycles but belongs to the category (categories?) of ciclomotores and their traffic rules. (Source: https://www.emesa-m30.es/legislacion-bicicletas-electricas-espana/)

AFAIK, this is a technical EU standard but I did not look into this any further.

The credencial says nothing about where bicicletas electricas are to be used - not what Spanish traffic law says and not what global common sense says if such a things exists ... opinions seem to vary considerably. It would be interesting to find out why riding a bicycle is even included in the categories for the movements of pilgrims worthy of a Compostela. My guess it that the answer is buried somewhere in the 1950s, 1960s or 1970s, long before "our time". ☺️
 
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I have dealt with two pilgrims involved in e-bike accidents. Both required emergency medical care. These vehicles do not belong on the same trails with people on foot.

Also, I know of several non-profit albergues that don't accept e-bikes. If you can afford to be riding one of those, you can afford to pay for your room... and the electricity to charge the battery.
 
There was absolutely nothing that the poster said about e-bikes that were incorrect regarding speed, size and weight.
In relation to European regulations his statement is incorrect regarding an e-bicycle. The post was nothing but uninformed preconception. Please read up on what legally qualifies as an e-bicycle in Europe, plenty of correct info on this thread I won't repeat (thanks @Kathar1na )
Speed pedelecs and e-bikes not complying with that standard are not common in Europe (bar Belgium and Switzerland) because of onerous and quite restrictive regulations. Getting caught with an illegal e-bike on bicycle infrastructure can be a painfully expensive experience.

Many Americans have rightly been called arrogant and thinking our opinion and ways are the only right ones and manyhave often shown an obnoxious air of superiority. You have learned well from us. You should apply for American citizenship.
Dealing with inaccurate preconceived notions and generalities, be it from Americans or anyone else, is tiresome and annoying. I admit I can get a bit short when dealing with claptrap, no apologies.

Also would you please supply any information that I assume supports your assumption that Spaniards whole hardily want e-bikes on Camino routes. I always step aside when I am in a foreign land as I am a visitor and must accept what the home citizens want. Oh yea, if you think Americans have rejected e-bikes take a stroll down 3rd Avenue in Manhattan
Having cycled a fair bit on the Camino routes and Spanish GRs, I encountered many e-MTBs, ridden by locals enjoying their amenities. It's my experience, nothing more. As everywhere some have issues with it, some don't have any issues with it and some don't give a hoot.

Even if pilgrims don't like it; the Camino routes are bridleways, meaning unless a section is signposted differently anything that physically fits can be walked, driven or ridden on it from bicycles to tractors to horses. Cycle itineraries (touring, MTB, gravel or road) in Spain are often on the very same bridleways as caminos and GR trails. I suggest you compare maps.

As for what Americans consider to be an e-bicycle, do or don't ride in the US, I couldn't care less.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Ebikes are a different level of scary altogether in terms of collision risk
Not so. The level of collision risk is proportional to the idiocy of the cyclist, not the type of bike. I’ve biked thousands of kilometers and never hit anyone, even though at least half of the people I passed on the Camino appeared to not hear my announcements of my approach. I’ve also walked thousands of kilometers and never been hit by a cyclist.
 
No. Certainly not in Europe - even in the English-speaking parts.

Sounding a bell is commonplace.

Both seem to imply that the pedestrian should make way for the cyclist, which is neither a safe assumption nor (at least in the UK) the order of precedence.
As a cyclist, I interpret my bell and announcement as a courtesy to the pedestrian, so they don’t unintentionally cancel my efforts to avoid hitting them.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
If by bell, voice or slower movement the "fright" cant be removed, then the bike should be on the road.
So because a large percentage of pilgrims are so semiconscious that none of my efforts to avoid startling them work, I should be banned from the path? I don’t think so. I have never hit anyone, and I do my best to make them aware of my existence, but some of them seem to be sleep-walking.
 
Great if you are a responsible cyclist, unfortunately you are in the minority.
I keep hearing this, but when walking, I’ve been passed by almost as many bikers as the number of walkers I’ve passed on my bike. And I have never experienced the rudeness that I keep reading about in this forum. I’m painfully aware that there are cyclists who think they own the (paved) roads, but I find it hard to believe those of us with brains are the minority.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
As for the presence of ciclysts on "The Camino", let's keep in mind that it's primarily a bridleway, not a hiking path. This means that unless signposted with specific restrictions, anything that can be ridden, driven or towed from a bicycle to a car to a trebuchet and other assorted siege engines are allowed provided it physically fits.
Yes, many sections can and do have cars (and cows and sheep).
 
8000 watts, speed: 60 MPH. But its just a bike.
Whatever ...
I can't tell if you're being wilfully of bad faith or just ignorant, but even in the US this would be classed as a motorbike if the 8000w is enabled despite what the blurb says (it'sshipped as a class 2 20mph btw). It's outside of the definition of class 1, class 2 or class 3 e-bikes if the full power is enabled.

Anyway, driving that thing in Europe on public roads or public lands without the appropriate A class driver's licence, motorcycle registration, tax, insurance and type approval will see it seized, the rider getting a stiff fine and potentially land in jail if caught.
 
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Not so. The level of collision risk is proportional to the idiocy of the cyclist, not the type of bike.
I'm skeptical about this. E-bikes make you go faster and they are very popular among novice riders because e-bikes require much less physical exertion than regular bikes. Both of these facts, increase the chances of accidents. Many experienced riders eschew e-bikes as they consider riding e-bikes "cheating".
 
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I always slow to just barely faster than the walkers. Especially when (as almost always) they give no indication that they heard me announce my approach.
Which is why you never hit anyone.
If you think a tyro on an ebike's going to do this, you're fooling yourself.

And I have never experienced the rudeness that I keep reading about in this forum.
Many of us have, and have experienced close calls and/or a collision. Please don't assume your experience is universal.

Just one example:
I just finished Frances last week. As a percentage, bikes are still low.
In 4 weeks there was not a day without a fast bike encounter. Yes, there are very some considerate riders. There are also NOT considerate.
 
I remember seeing electric scooters all over Paris in 2019, but last year they seemed to be mostly gone. I think that some cities cracked down on their use because people would just leave them laying around anywhere - on the sidewalk or the street. And many users were very inexperienced.
Shared E-scooters were voted off of Parisian streets in August 2023…
 
I have an e-bike. It is of the type that one doesn't need to pedal to get propulsion and, I understand, as such were outlawed in some, if not all? Euro states in 2015?
I could circumvent the Law by inserting a grub screw into the throttle to prevent it being able to be used without muscle power.
However, it would not occur to me to use my bike to do the Camino because it is principally a 'town' bike and totally and wholly unsuited to the footpaths, dry stream beds and rough surfaces encountered on certainly the Portuguese, for instance.
However, in April I walked from Valenca to SdC and encountered several groups of E-bike users who were equipped with very modern, up the minute equipment.
To state that the use of these bikes are more acceptable than those of 9 years ago, in the main is naive.
The modern e-bike, with its modern motor is infinitely more capable of getting the perigrino to SdC than my old 'boneshaker' .
May I add more fuel to the fire.
When I walked in April, I did so in the company of my two grandsons.
I don't recall exactly where we were but on one occasion we walked out of a footpath and the Camino indicated that we should cross the road into the hinterland of a village. I knew, through modern technology that after a length of distance the path would once more come across the road. I also knew, through the same tech. that there was a bar, between the two crossings and my charges were needing a fuel stop.
I needed no prodding to walk along the pavement to the bar, and afterward rejoining the 'Official' Camino.
Why am I saying this?
Well, in order to get the Compostela, we all know the conditions. For a bicyclist, it's a Camino of 200kms but I would suggest that the 200kms is a route following the highways, biways, footpaths, mountain goat walkways, as per the 'Official' route.
With modern technologies, what is to stop a modern e-biker riding between the towns on roads and in doing so, make a mockery of the Compostela conditions.
I'm not accusing anyone but in conclusion, any form of assistance to a biker other than muscle power should not be allowed.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I have an e-bike. It is of the type that one doesn't need to pedal to get propulsion and, I understand, as such were outlawed in some, if not all? Euro states in 2015?
Not outlawed, requires an AM drivers' license, registration, insurance and taxation, though is banned from use on cycle infrastructure as it's in the same class as a light motorcycle / Moped


I could circumvent the Law by inserting a grub screw into the throttle to prevent it being able to be used without muscle power.
Nope. The type approval is legally required to be displayed on the permanent sticker on the seat tube below the saddle. Disabling the throttle does not circumvent the class/type approval unless you put in the paperwork to change it.


However, in April I walked from Valenca to SdC and encountered several groups of E-bike users who were equipped with very modern, up the minute equipment.
To state that the use of these bikes are more acceptable than those of 9 years ago, in the main is naive.
The modern e-bike, with its modern motor is infinitely more capable of getting the perigrino to SdC than my old 'boneshaker' .

E-bikes capable of making the journey on the Camino Bridleways and some hiking paths were in existence 9 years ago and longer. It was/is a question of Engine torque, wheel / tyre choice, gearing on the model and pushing the bike on occasion. Nothing more. Just becasuse you don't see yourself doing on your boneshaker doesn't mean it couldn't be done

May I add more fuel to the fire.
When I walked in April, I did so in the company of my two grandsons.
I don't recall exactly where we were but on one occasion we walked out of a footpath and the Camino indicated that we should cross the road into the hinterland of a village. I knew, through modern technology that after a length of distance the path would once more come across the road. I also knew, through the same tech. that there was a bar, between the two crossings and my charges were needing a fuel stop.
I needed no prodding to walk along the pavement to the bar, and afterward rejoining the 'Official' Camino.
Why am I saying this?
Well, in order to get the Compostela, we all know the conditions. For a bicyclist, it's a Camino of 200kms but I would suggest that the 200kms is a route following the highways, biways, footpaths, mountain goat walkways, as per the 'Official' route.
With modern technologies, what is to stop a modern e-biker riding between the towns on roads and in doing so, make a mockery of the Compostela conditions.
Not buying your arguments.

1/ the official camino cycling or hiking "routes" between towns and cities are the most direct and practical available. No amount of navigation technology is going to escape the reality of lay of the land: there are not that many roads in the hills and mountains on either side of a camino route, and cross-country cycling with no paths at all with a touring bike isn't all it's cracked up to be even when shaving off a few miles.
2/ Walking and cycling GPS navigation units have been around for more than 20 years, no e-Bike needed. They've become easier to use, but that's it.
3/ Let's not forget the ultimate navigation technology: Ordnance Survey Maps, a compass and road-signs.

I'm not accusing anyone but in conclusion, any form of assistance to a biker other than muscle power should not be allowed.
By that logic backpack/luggage transfer services between stages shouldn't be allowed either, but who am I to judge...
 
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By that logic backpack/luggage transfer services between stages shouldn't be allowed either, but who am I to judge...ee
Yes, by all means let's ban these. The Way would be far less crowded, for sure. (I am not serious, just to be clear - even though I often wish the practice had never started.)

My point in the OP was less about assistance (that's the business of the Church) than about relief that just maybe the way will be a bit safer for all concerned. Not that I have any naive ideas that ebikers will care.
 
I met one pilgrim in either 2021 or 2022 who was using an e-bike because his disability prevented him from doing the Camino any other way. He said he felt that he was cheating and said he deliberately wouldn't get a Compostela. I did tell him about the exception to the normal rule against motorised assistance, for the disabled, but I'm not sure I convinced him. He seemed like a pilgrim to me anyway ...
 
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I met one pilgrim in either 2021 or 2022 who was using an e-bike because his disability prevented him from doing the Camino any other way. He said he felt that he was cheating and said he deliberately wouldn't get a Compostela. I did tell him about the exception to the normal rule against motorised assistance, for the disabled, but I'm not sure I convinced him. He seemed like a pilgrim to me anyway ...
My introductory posting.

I rode the Portugese Central Route from Porto to Santiago in September 2022.

My wife and daughter walked it. When they told me they wanted to walk the Camino for vacation I was a little dismayed—because I thought they would have to do it alone. My wife suggested I do it with them, but with me on a bicycle because…

Fifteen years ago I broke my back and suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury. I was extremely fortunate that I regained the ability to walk again but I am impaired, my left leg has only about 60% of the strength of my right leg (which is also not 100% of my pre-injury strength). I walk unassisted, albeit slower than a normal walk, and I have stability issues due to very, very, weak plantar flexion in my left leg/foot and weak plantar flexion in my right foot, I also have weak hip muscles on the left side. On rough terrain or for extended walks I use walking poles and they work quite well, I use the walking poles in a very physical way. I can walk 5 miles (8 kilometers) or so but I am pretty done after that. Multiple days of that would probably result in some othopedic injury. When I was relearning to walk after my injury, I stress fractured my right foot (my better leg) because of all the compensation going on to compensate for the marked left leg weakness. And that was doing 1-2 mile “walks”.

I only tell you the above because, I can ride a bicycle pretty well and it is my primary source for recreational fitness, as it was pre-injury, although I am a lot slower and must always pedal seated due to my loss of plantar flexion. I also use flat pedals because I’m physically unable to use clips or clipless, my foot has to be pretty far forward on the pedal because of the plantar flexion issue. Walking the Camino, even just 250km, was simply not a possibility for me. When my wife suggested a bicycle, I looked into the possibility of renting a bike and was delighted to find the extensive availability of suitable bicycle rentals. I ended up selecting a gravel bike instead of a mountain bike because I ride a gravel bike here at home, that was a big mistake, the gearing was inadequate. I would joke along the way that I was riding the Camino, but walking (pushing my bike) —on only the very hardest parts. I still would have had to push a mountain bike up some very rugged and steep parts, but a mountain bike would have had me riding up some steeeper inclines.

I had been warned that hikers were not very warm to bike riders but I found that to be untrue, probably because I took extreme care always to warn hikers I was approaching and always slowing to a speed barely faster than a walking pace as I passed them with a friendly Bom Camino as I passed. I was thanked more than once for my technique. And when they saw me pushing my bike up a steep path, sweating and struggling because I insisted on following the hiking path (with only 1 deviation), I probably earned their respect as well. But honestly, I wasn’t trying to earn their respect, I was just sticking to the path stubbornly for me. I did use luggage transport because due to the spinal cord injury, I have an ongoing need for medical suppplies (thanks spinal cord injury…) that take up room and weight. I need about 125-150 grams of supplies per day and I was quite worried about always making sure I had adequate supplies. They are vital.

I never considered using an e-bike. But I can understand that some people might not have any alternative, and I also understand that probably most use e-bikes when they really don’t need to. I am less concerned that they are not doing the Camino my way but lament that they are missing an essential part of the Camino, at least as I understand it.

My Camino was wonderful and my wife, daughter and I met people we still keep in touch with today for they were part of the experience we treasured.

I retire in about 9 months and am planning to ride the French way by myself (wife and daughter still working…) I am definitely renting a mountain bike for that, carrying all my own gear but using luggage transport to preposition medical supplies and my suitcase for the trip home. I plan to follow the hiking route and expect I will still be pushing the bike up more than a few hills, especially on the first days and near the end.
 
Aargh! I'm a walker and a cyclist. When I ride my bike, a traditional non-electric touring bike, I pedal it. However far I travel, I do not peddle small goods, drugs, guns etc. Native English-speakers should observe the difference, and cyclists, whatever their choice of bike, should observe common courtesy on the Camino. Ah, that's better!
 
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I'm not at all opposed to e-bikes being allowed a Compostela.
However, I do think that would benefit from revisiting the minimum distance required.

Because the way I interpret it, the requirements for the Compostela are not at all related to physical effort.
That's why luggage transfer is allowed. Or taking a taxi to a luxury hotel at the end of the day (and back to the path the next). Or why your camino can be non-consecutive, instead being a collection of sunday afternoon strolls if you want.
It's just not a requirement to be physically challenging.

But what does seem to be required is a commitment of time.
Three to four hours of normal walking (5k/hour) for five days, makes 100km.
Three to four hours of normal sailing (10k/hour) for five days, makes 185km.
Three to four hours of normal cycling (15k/hour) for five days, makes 200km.
It doesn't seem to matter how much physical effort you put in: as long as you commit at least five days of your time to your pilgrimage, you can apply for a Compostela.

Most e-bikes are capped at 25k/hour, and an untrained e-cyclist can easily average 20k/hour.
So assuming three to four hours of normal e-cycling for five days... makes 300km.

To me, allowing Compostelas for e-bikes is perfectly consistent, but I do think it would be even more consistent if the minimum required distance for e-bikes is increased a bit.


(To be perfectly consistent, I guess that would apply to cars as well? As long as you drive four hours for five days... 1500k minimum?)
 
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