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Brother Beaker

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
None past. Camino Del Norte (Aug. 2020)
My son and I are doing the Camino Del Norte on bicycles this summer at the end of July. We are reverse-engineering the trip from SdC and working with what I feel is a very conservative 30 miles/50 kilometers a day for a 10-day trip, which means that we will probably officially kick off somewhere around Santander. We have dates that are not terribly flexible (dictated by my work and his process of discernment).

I was hoping that there would be some bicigrinos that could answer a couple of questions for us:

1. Is Bilbao the best place to fly in/out of?
2. What is the most convenient way to get from Bilbao to Santander?
3. If I decide to transport my bike, is there a place in either Santander or Bilbao that would store the bike box? Or could I ship it ahead to SdC?
4. I like a touring bike with a fairly upright geometry and I am 6'3" (1.90m) tall. Is there any place that one can rent such a thing or do I just bite the bullet and ship? (It looks like that will cost about $150 each way).

I am loving this forum and have no doubt that I will have a ton more questions, but these are some that seem to go with the initial planning stages. Thank you all!
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
1. Depends where you're coming from. London is good for santander, but USAnians might have to fly in from the U.S. to Paris. From South Dakota you have a long journey whatever you do.
2. Train. Or Alsa coach, which are cheap, frequent and reliable. Google is your friend here.
3. You'd need to email a hotel and ask them. But you could fly in with your bikes on the same flight. Easy.
4. Google Bicigrino, you can hire bikes from them and they write good guides, on arrival in Santiago you leave the bikes at Hostel La Salle for collection. I think you can arrange to pick up hire bikes from a range of places on the Camino.
 

debra

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2010, Frances 2010
Via Francigena 2014 bicigrino
Way of St. Francis 2017 bicigrino
3. If I decide to transport my bike, is there a place in either Santander or Bilbao that would store the bike box? Or could I ship it ahead to SdC?
4. I like a touring bike with a fairly upright geometry and I am 6'3" (1.90m) tall. Is there any place that one can rent such a thing or do I just bite the bullet and ship? (It looks like that will cost about $150 each way).

I am loving this forum and have no doubt that I will have a ton more questions, but these are some that seem to go with the initial planning stages. Thank you all!

3. I would look at the post office as they ship and hold for up to 60 days. https://www.elcaminoconcorreos.com/en/transfer-luggage

4. If you have a touring bike you like, a rental will always be a step down in both fit and quality. I would fly your own bike. You are looking at 300 USD for flying it with you or 450 for renting.
 
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flyfishinguy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 - camino frances
as it relates to transport/storing your bike - another idea would be to ship your bike in a large cardboard box to your start destination.

If your final destination is Santiago de Compostella, then there is a bike shop there that, for a small fee, will break down your bike and fit it into a cardboard box that is the proper size for either a train ride or bus ride and then ship back by air.

buen camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lycra tribe.
CF (2017/8), VF (2018/9), Old Way (2020), VFnS (2020), CP (rebooked) (2021), VdT (ToDo)
reverse-engineering

Engineer?

1. Is Bilbao the best place to fly in/out of?
It's not bad. About an hour onto Estella or similar. I did the reverse and was happy with it

2. What is the most convenient way to get from Bilbao to Santander?
I'm with mmmmartin on this. Alsa are good and helpful so there shouldn't be an issue.

If I decide to transport my bike, is there a place in either Santander or Bilbao that would store the bike box? Or could I ship it ahead to SdC?
Agree with Debra. They appear (strangely) to be set up for this. It is almost like they have had thousands of people before.....

I like a touring bike with a fairly upright geometry and I am 6'3" (1.90m) tall.

More difficult to answer as it depends on your view. Bicigrino is an option for rental. Debra puts her finger on the issue of availability - when you get there can you refuse? Well you can as you can visit a Decathlon store and buy one for about $250-$350 depending on what suits. (Check availability but usually off the floor - 3 times in my case)
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
Bicigrino seems to have a decent reputation so I'd have thought if you explain the size you need they would accommodate you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
If your final destination is Santiago de Compostella, then there is a bike shop there that, for a small fee, will break down your bike and fit it into a cardboard box that is the proper size for either a train ride or bus ride and then ship back by air.
Interesting ffguy. Which bike shop are you referring to?
 

Anthony Coyne

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugal Coastal (2018)
as it relates to transport/storing your bike - another idea would be to ship your bike in a large cardboard box to your start destination.

If your final destination is Santiago de Compostella, then there is a bike shop there that, for a small fee, will break down your bike and fit it into a cardboard box that is the proper size for either a train ride or bus ride and then ship back by air.

buen camino

I understand that the airport in Santiago de Compostela has a baggage service which includes a bike box service for €17. Has anyone got more information on this issue?
 

justin credible

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013), Via de la Plata (2016) (2017) (2019) Camino Ingles (2018) Portugues (2017)
I understand that the airport in Santiago de Compostela has a baggage service which includes a bike box service for €17. Has anyone got more information on this issue?
Yes, there's a bike packing service at the airport but I didn't realise this and I had it already packed in a bike shop in Santiago. I noted that the bike packing service at the airport usually just box and seal your bike in the box but will help you dismantle your bike if asked.
 
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Anthony Coyne

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugal Coastal (2018)
Yes, there's a bike packing service at the airport but I didn't realise this and I had it already packed in a bike shop in Santiago. I noted that the bike packing service at the airport usually just box and seal your bike in the box but will help you dismantle your bike if asked.

Do you know if the boxes were provided by the packing service?
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
In 2017 we flew Gatwick to Seville with the bikes in thick plastic, and carried the plastic in the panniers. For the return we cycled into Santiago airport then dismantled the bikes and wrapped them in the plastic. The check-in man said we had to have the bikes in boxes but we showed them the Easyjet website where it says bikes must be in boxes or bags. He phoned his supervisor who came back with the answer that bags were fine.. ... It was a tense 15 minutes though.

In the past I've wrapped the dismantled bike in clingfilm, then used cardboard boxes from the supermarket (printing on the inside, obvs) with parcel tape to make it look like a strong cardboard box, and flown across Chile and back across the Pond like that. You might be able to manage that if you couldn't find a box for the bike.

However, the Correos (post office) next to the Pilgrim Office has huge boxes for bikes, you can put all your kit in there, pay them €90 and they'll deliver it to your house somewhere in the EU. You can then fly home with merely small hand luggage. If you take the bike with Ryanair you pay £60 for the bike plus you *also* need to pay for a bag in the hold containing all the sharp, punch, stabby, oily things you need to maintain a bike. If I were to need to get a bike home to the UK, I'd go to the Correos office.
 

justin credible

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013), Via de la Plata (2016) (2017) (2019) Camino Ingles (2018) Portugues (2017)
Do you know if the boxes were provided by the packing service?
Yes, both the shop in Santiago and the packing service in the airport supply the boxes, they are also included in the price.
 
In 2017 we flew Gatwick to Seville with the bikes in thick plastic, and carried the plastic in the panniers. For the return we cycled into Santiago airport then dismantled the bikes and wrapped them in the plastic. The check-in man said we had to have the bikes in boxes but we showed them the Easyjet website where it says bikes must be in boxes or bags. He phoned his supervisor who came back with the answer that bags were fine.. ... It was a tense 15 minutes though.

In the past I've wrapped the dismantled bike in clingfilm, then used cardboard boxes from the supermarket (printing on the inside, obvs) with parcel tape to make it look like a strong cardboard box, and flown across Chile and back across the Pond like that. You might be able to manage that if you couldn't find a box for the bike.

However, the Correos (post office) next to the Pilgrim Office has huge boxes for bikes, you can put all your kit in there, pay them €90 and they'll deliver it to your house somewhere in the EU. You can then fly home with merely small hand luggage. If you take the bike with Ryanair you pay £60 for the bike plus you *also* need to pay for a bag in the hold containing all the sharp, punch, stabby, oily things you need to maintain a bike. If I were to need to get a bike home to the UK, I'd go to the Correos office.
Martin, thanks for the advice about the post office.

With regards to Ryanair. I have flown with them about 20 times. If my bike is in a box, all the rest of my gear goes in with it. Panniers, helmet shoes, the whole lot. You just need to keep it within the weight limit.

I usually travel with my bike in a bike bag made from spinnaker cloth which I made. All I do is remove my handlebars and pedals and hang my rear mech off the seat stay with a shoe lace. My panniers stay on. I then wrap the outside of the bag with eleastic string. I dont even take air out of my tyres. I have used a box 3 times and it has been damaged twice. I have flown with the bag about 15 times and it has never been damaged. Talking to baggage handlers, they hate bike boxes and like bags and plastic as they can man handle them single handed.

Brother Beaker. You could contact a bike shop at the start and ask if you could ship your bike to them to look after. I did this last year when I went to Bulgaria. Coming from the states it may be cheaper to hire.
 

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