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Cycling (Bicicleta) Pilgrims receiving Compostelas

Time of past OR future Camino
Cycling Pilgrims attaining Compostelas reached peak numbers back in 2010, another Holy year. Since then both the numbers of Pilgrims who cycle for their Compostela and the percentage of cyclists to other modes of travel have consistently fallen.

During January, February and December there are minimal (almost none) cyclists. March and November see noticeable numbers of cyclists and like most other Pilgrims the numbers finishing become significant in April through October in most years.

Traditionally August has been the most popular month for cyclists to finish a Camino and obtain a Compostela although it is going to be interesting to see the August and September 2022 numbers because during 2021 July (2,148) was neck-a-neck with August (2,132) and September took over as the most popular month with 2,240 Compostelas issued. So far this year June has sprung up to lead in the numbers to date with 4,417. This June increase has been building for the past six years, excluding the Covid years.

The other notable trend that we can see from this chart is that numbers of cyclists obtaining compostelas has steadily dropped, year on year. This is most notable in the August numbers. Of course, 2010 was a Holy year and so would have attracted some additional Pilgrims. This Holy year effect may well account for the strong numbers in May, June and July this year.


If we now look at the percentage of cyclists receiving Compostelas compared with other Pilgrims then the steady fall off in Cycling numbers is even more obvious as numbers of other Pilgrims has generally increased since 2010.

There is one interesting feature during the early 2010's. Clearly the number of walking Pilgrims dropped further then the equivalent number of cyclists after the 2010 Holy year because in 2011 the percentage of cyclists versus other Pilgrims actually increased across the board.

It is worth highlighting that as a result of the January, February and December numbers of cyclists (and other Pilgrims) is so low that we should not take too much notice of percentage changes during these months. A minor increase or decrease in numbers as a result of a group of riders would make too much of a difference.

Generally for 2019 and 2022, the two reasonably normal years out of the last four years the percentage of cyclists versus other Pilgrims has been 5% or less. The outlier being June 2022 when cyclists were 7.5% of all Pilgrims receiving a Compostela.


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