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Cycling camino

Camino(s) past & future
We are cycling the camino in June 2019, we sail into santander, and was wandering whether to do the norte anyone have a cycling experience on the norte we like the idea of following the coast, also is it way marked along the route. 1st timer wanting to make right decisions, and have an enjoyable camino.
Camino(s) past & future
I’m 62 and doing it with my 25 yrs old son in aug/September 2018
Hi there!
You will have a great trip. I started from Irun and cycled along the north coast to Bilbao then went south to Burgos and picked up the Frances trail and went west. Amazing journey but very tough for me in parts. Make sure you have the proper tyres.


Tandem Graham

Every new day an adventure
Camino(s) past & future
Bike: Plantagenets, Littorale, Frances, part Del Norte(all 2017), Walk: Le Puy to SJPdP (2018)
We cycled a tandem from Santiago to Santander in 2017 (having cycled through France and then beside the Camino Frances), roughly following the Del Norte in reverse. Be clear that it's lumpy on the coast and distinctly mountainous away from it. You need decent low gears!
Some parts of the del Norte pilgrim walkers' route are only cyclable on full mountain bikes, so we were on roads - mainly minor roads - most of the time. I echo the advice about tyres. Buy the most durable you can find (Schwalbe Marathons or similar) and practise puncture repairs before you go.
There is some waymarking - most of which we managed to miss because we were going the wrong way! A route guide would be handy - the Rother Guides are good. There are also some downloadable maps I understand, though I can't vouch for them.
The views are fabulous along the Northern Coast and, given decent weather, some great beaches too. Once you start heading South West, there is a day (or more) of serious climbing, rewarded with more views, but also greater likelihood of Galician rain. There are fewer pilgrims and fewer options for accommodation than on the CF and I imagine quite a culture shock once you join the hoards on the CF close to Arzua.
In summary, it's a great cycling route for those who like some up and down, with glorious scenery. It's very different from the Camino Frances but no less wonderful an adventure.
Buen Camino!
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
Some parts of the ... pilgrim walkers' route are only cyclable ...
There are lots of shared paths: for walkers and riders on horses and on bicycles.

There are some paths (trails) that are for only for horses.

There are some paths (trails) that are for only for cyclists.

And there are some that are only for walkers.

Why do cycists think a narrow path designed, or just grown like Topsy, for walkers can be used by them also? And at the same time.

Generally such trails are not safe for sharing in this way.

The pathway itself is not magic, as if some karma will descend if only the "official" path is used.

If cyclists do not feel safe on roads they should not feel safe on walkers pathyways either.

Tandem Graham

Every new day an adventure
Camino(s) past & future
Bike: Plantagenets, Littorale, Frances, part Del Norte(all 2017), Walk: Le Puy to SJPdP (2018)
Why do cycists think a narrow path designed, or just grown like Topsy, for walkers can be used by them also? And at the same time.
Hi Alwyn,
As you imply, most of the Camino trail hasn't been designed at all, particularly those caminos and chemins less formalised than the Camino Frances, so I agree that cycle pilgrims should keep under review whether a particular section of trail is suitable for two wheels, or best left for those with two (or four) feet.
But, there if there is some 'magic' on the 'official' trail it is the joy experienced in encounters and shared minutes/hours/days/coffees/breakfasts/water/wine with fellow pilgrims and of sharing the path, the pain, the journey, the views with many centuries of pilgrims who have gone before.
When fixing punctures, I have benefited from help (or enthusiastic encouragement!) from passing walking pilgrims. When on foot and tending to a fellow pilgrim in some distress, I have been offered water and first aid from passing cyclists.
For me, this is a significant reason for wishing to follow the official route, where it is safe and responsible to do so - with moderate speed, cheery tingalings of my bell and a willingness to slow down and stop to share with other travellers, rather than risk startling or injuring them!


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Sanabres (2018) Frances reverse(2018)
As I get older, I tend to cycle the (often empty) roads much more in preference to the trails unless the latter are really convenient for both, as on the VDLP for example. But it is usually possible to "fuel up" at the same villages as the walkers and feel part of the community.
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
cheery tingalings of my bell
@Tandem Graham , I agree with you in the often, but not always, experience in the magic of sharing with others at rest stops. And it does happen occassionaly when underway.

How can a cyclist cannot know in advance which pathways can be dual use.

A major reason why "tinalings" don't work for me is I am quite deaf ... So the first I knew of a cyclist was when they attempted to push past. At first I tried to regain my composure and stand aside as best I could. Nowadays, never.

My fervent prayer, for your sake, is that you and I only meet at rest stops.

Kia kaha (take care)

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