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Cycling Norte - Stages

Time of past OR future Camino
Walked from Astorga to SDC in May 2012.
Cycled the Frances from SJPP May 2014
Cycled the Portuguese from Lisbon May 2016
Hi All
I'm planning to cycle del Norte from Irun to Santiago in May/June 2022 and have planned to do it in the following 15 stages. Could someone who has done it already give me some comments about my plan? Whether some stages are too long or too short? Or whether I should stop elsewhere? I've cycled the CF and Portuguese before and loved both. I try to stick to the walkers route as much as possible. The Buen Camino app seems perfect for highlighting non-cyclable parts. This time I will be opting for an Emountain Bike. Any recommendations are welcome. Thank you:

StagePartialTotal
Irún - Zarautz49.549.5
Zarautz - Markina4897.5
Markina - Bilbao57154.5
Bilbao - Castro Urdiales50.3204.8
Castro Urdiales - Güemes61.6266.4
Güemes - Santillana del Mar61.5327.9
Santillana del Mar - Colombres52379.9
Colombres - Ribadesella55.2435.1
Ribadesella - Gijón67.5502.6
Gijón - Soto de Luiña66.1568.7
Soto de Luiña - La Caridad69.6638.3
La Caridad - Lourenzá49.3687.6
Lourenzá - Baamonde65.3752.9
Baamonde - Arzúa63.6816.5
Arzúa - Santiago de Compostela39855.5
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Hi All
I'm planning to cycle del Norte from Irun to Santiago in May/June 2022 and have planned to do it in the following 15 stages. Could someone who has done it already give me some comments about my plan? Whether some stages are too long or too short? Or whether I should stop elsewhere? I've cycled the CF and Portuguese before and loved both. I try to stick to the walkers route as much as possible. The Buen Camino app seems perfect for highlighting non-cyclable parts. This time I will be opting for an Emountain Bike. Any recommendations are welcome. Thank you:

i am planning on riding in Sept. I would love to hear about your trip. Are you renting a bike when you get there? Road or Mtn bike? Will you make sleeping arrangements ahead of time or day of? Really looking forward to hear about your adventure!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
.
Hi Michelle
I'm not a cyclist, but from my walking experience this looks OK.
You might want to play around with those final couple of stages to see if you can make it work so you stay at Sobrado dos Monxes. I found it to be a powerful experience. I was there some years back, before the recent refurbishment. It was bike-friendly then (plenty of room in the cloisters!) though I don't know about e-charging. In fact I'd be interested to hear your strategy for this - is its viability discussed/accepted in the cycling pilgrim community?
Cheers, tom
PS thought this pic of the overloaded little ferryboat at Pasajes de San Juan might whet yr appetite.. fortunately a calm crossing...
https://flic.kr/p/edQZGn
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Walked from Astorga to SDC in May 2012.
Cycled the Frances from SJPP May 2014
Cycled the Portuguese from Lisbon May 2016
I am planning on cycling in Sept. I would love to hear about you

i am planning on riding in Sept. I would love to hear about your trip. Are you renting a bike when you get there? Road or Mtn bike? Will you make sleeping arrangements ahead of time or day of? Really looking forward to hear about your adventure!
Hi Denise. We are renting an e mountain bike this time. Did the Frances and the Portuguese on my mountain bike which I took with me from Malta. Quite a hassle to be honest, so this time we decided to rent an ebike and make things a bit easier on us. Def a mountain bike though as we like to stick to the walkers' route as much as possible. You will def hear about our trip as we usually do a write up about it to help future cyclists since there isn't as much info for cyclists as there is for walkers. I had done the same for my previous Caminos too. Hope all goes well.
Michelle
 
Last edited:
Time of past OR future Camino
Walked from Astorga to SDC in May 2012.
Cycled the Frances from SJPP May 2014
Cycled the Portuguese from Lisbon May 2016
Thanks Tom. I will definitely look into staying here. The place does look amazing. Should be fine to increase my last leg to 60 Km into Santiago. I don't think it's a tough hilly ride.
Michelle
 
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Skinnybiker

The Skinny Biker in Spain
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte, Frances, Primitivo May 2022
By bike
Also look at daily vertical ascents along the route. The Norte has many short steep ascents, some days there will be more climbing than others though with an eMTB you'll be able to power up the hills. Oh yes, and check up on battery charging along the way, it may not always be straight forward / easy. Enjoy
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
I love to walk the del Norte, despite the many narrow, rocky, muddy and steep descents. I would encourage you to avoid these as much as possible and use the designated bicyclete routes around these descending areas. Sometimes it is very difficult for a walking peregrino to get off the path and onto slippery rocks or into rough gorse, to get out of the way of bicycles, which have a tendency to descend at high speeds. And please make sure your bike has a loud bell and please use it. Gracias y Buen Camino
 

Jim F.

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Jun'05, May'10, Sep'15, Sep'17, Jun'19, Jun'22
Hi Denise. We are renting an e mountain bike this time. Did the Frances and the Portuguese on my mountain bike which I took with me from Malta. Quite a hassle to be honest, so this time we decided to rent an ebike and make things a bit easier on us. Def a mountain bike though as we like to stick to the walkers' route as much as possible. You will def hear about our trip as we usually do a right up about it to help future cyclists since there isn't as much info for cyclists as there is for walkers. I had done the same for my previous Caminos too. Hope all goes well.
Michelle
Hi Michell, Can you share where are you renting the e-bike from? I will be starting the camino del norte (cdn) on June 03 on my mountain bike but my friend will have to use an e-bike this time. Are you aware of any variants needed when riding the cdn. on an e-bike? Thank you!
Jim
 

Jim F.

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Jun'05, May'10, Sep'15, Sep'17, Jun'19, Jun'22
Hi All
I'm planning to cycle del Norte from Irun to Santiago in May/June 2022 and have planned to do it in the following 15 stages. Could someone who has done it already give me some comments about my plan? Whether some stages are too long or too short? Or whether I should stop elsewhere? I've cycled the CF and Portuguese before and loved both. I try to stick to the walkers route as much as possible. The Buen Camino app seems perfect for highlighting non-cyclable parts. This time I will be opting for an Emountain Bike. Any recommendations are welcome. Thank you:

StagePartialTotal
Irún - Zarautz49.549.5
Zarautz - Markina4897.5
Markina - Bilbao57154.5
Bilbao - Castro Urdiales50.3204.8
Castro Urdiales - Güemes61.6266.4
Güemes - Santillana del Mar61.5327.9
Santillana del Mar - Colombres52379.9
Colombres - Ribadesella55.2435.1
Ribadesella - Gijón67.5502.6
Gijón - Soto de Luiña66.1568.7
Soto de Luiña - La Caridad69.6638.3
La Caridad - Lourenzá49.3687.6
Lourenzá - Baamonde65.3752.9
Baamonde - Arzúa63.6816.5
Arzúa - Santiago de Compostela39855.5
Hi, Michelle again. Even when I have not cycled del Norte yet, my past experience has taught me that my energy level is pretty low during the first 2 o 3 days of the Camino due to jet lag, so I agree with you to start slow. In addition, the first few stages until Bilbao are advertised as taff. Finally, San Sebastian has the most Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain and per square meter in the whole of Europe! So I shouldn't rush my stay in that beautiful city that is one of 5 must-see cities of that Camino!
Jim
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Hi Michell, Can you share where are you renting the e-bike from? I will be starting the camino del norte (cdn) on June 03 on my mountain bike but my friend will have to use an e-bike this time. Are you aware of any variants needed when riding the cdn. on an e-bike? Thank you!
Jim
Can I ask, who you rented bikes from?
 
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Corned Beef

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
VDLP Part 2/2023
Looking at your stages I can only see a couple where you might have a problem. Take the Lourenzá - Baamonde section where you are combining a 65k section with a 1300m climb. That may not be possible with your battery capacity, something you won't be able to judge until you've had a few days using the rented bike. Check the next section from Baamonde too.

It won't be much fun pushing a 22kg bike with 15kg panniers up the 10% slopes on that section.

With e-MTB's you are better to look at the height profile per section rather than the raw distance as you are at the mercy of battery capacity (unless you carry a spare one). You can look at the profile here.


Range Anxiety: Another thing to check with your e-MTB is the way the battery discharges. Some will take a while to show any drop in capacity and then fall away quite rapidly. You might think you have a charge to get you to the section end but don't. You'll only know after a few days riding the bike. You can judge your sections then - though they look OK bar two now.
 
Last edited:
Time of past OR future Camino
Walked from Astorga to SDC in May 2012.
Cycled the Frances from SJPP May 2014
Cycled the Portuguese from Lisbon May 2016
Looking at your stages I can only see a couple where you might have a problem. Take the Lourenzá - Baamonde section where you are combining a 65k section with a 1300m climb. That may not be possible with your battery capacity, something you won't be able to judge until you've had a few days using the rented bike. Check the next section from Baamonde too.

It won't be much fun pushing a 22kg bike with 15kg panniers up the 10% slopes on that section.

With e-MTB's you are better to look at the height profile per section rather than the raw distance as you are at the mercy of battery capacity (unless you carry a spare one). You can look at the profile here.


Range Anxiety: Another thing to check with your e-MTB is the way the battery discharges. Some will take a while to show any drop in capacity and then fall away quite rapidly. You might think you have a charge to get you to the section end but don't. You'll only know after a few days riding the bike. You can judge your sections then - though they look OK bar two now.
Thanks for this. Exactly what I was after. Will have a look at the stages again but to be honest I did take the altitude into consideration and only combined more than 2 walking stages when they were marked as not difficult on the guides. Exactly why I did the first few stages quite short to enable us assess the bikes. Thanks so much for this.
 

1deblackwell

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
North
Hi All
I'm planning to cycle del Norte from Irun to Santiago in May/June 2022 and have planned to do it in the following 15 stages. Could someone who has done it already give me some comments about my plan? Whether some stages are too long or too short? Or whether I should stop elsewhere? I've cycled the CF and Portuguese before and loved both. I try to stick to the walkers route as much as possible. The Buen Camino app seems perfect for highlighting non-cyclable parts. This time I will be opting for an Emountain Bike. Any recommendations are welcome. Thank you:

StagePartialTotal
Irún - Zarautz49.549.5
Zarautz - Markina4897.5
Markina - Bilbao57154.5
Bilbao - Castro Urdiales50.3204.8
Castro Urdiales - Güemes61.6266.4
Güemes - Santillana del Mar61.5327.9
Santillana del Mar - Colombres52379.9
Colombres - Ribadesella55.2435.1
Ribadesella - Gijón67.5502.6
Gijón - Soto de Luiña66.1568.7
Soto de Luiña - La Caridad69.6638.3
La Caridad - Lourenzá49.3687.6
Lourenzá - Baamonde65.3752.9
Baamonde - Arzúa63.6816.5
Arzúa - Santiago de Compostela39855.5
Your trip looks wonderful. I have an ebike here in hilly Washington and the drain on the battery is significant. I make it a point to keep it on the lowest less battery taxing setting but still get battery anxiety at about 60 miles. My specialized VADO allows me to put in my mileage range and will divy out energy to make sure I make my distance goal but at times it is like I am riding a 50 lb bike. Slow and heavy. I thought about buying another battery to carry for really long rides that are hilly but that comes with a hefty price. (600.00) Please post pictures I cannot wait to follow your travels.
 

Josika

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Santander - Santiago de Compastela
Hi All
I'm planning to cycle del Norte from Irun to Santiago in May/June 2022 and have planned to do it in the following 15 stages. Could someone who has done it already give me some comments about my plan? Whether some stages are too long or too short? Or whether I should stop elsewhere? I've cycled the CF and Portuguese before and loved both. I try to stick to the walkers route as much as possible. The Buen Camino app seems perfect for highlighting non-cyclable parts. This time I will be opting for an Emountain Bike. Any recommendations are welcome. Thank you:

StagePartialTotal
Irún - Zarautz49.549.5
Zarautz - Markina4897.5
Markina - Bilbao57154.5
Bilbao - Castro Urdiales50.3204.8
Castro Urdiales - Güemes61.6266.4
Güemes - Santillana del Mar61.5327.9
Santillana del Mar - Colombres52379.9
Colombres - Ribadesella55.2435.1
Ribadesella - Gijón67.5502.6
Gijón - Soto de Luiña66.1568.7
Soto de Luiña - La Caridad69.6638.3
La Caridad - Lourenzá49.3687.6
Lourenzá - Baamonde65.3752.9
Baamonde - Arzúa63.6816.5
Arzúa - Santiago de Compostela39855.5
On May 8, I will start my Camino del Norte from Santander on similar sections Santander - San Vicente de la Barquera - Ribadesella - Gijon - Cudillero - Luarca - Ribadeo - Abadin - Baamonde - Monastery of Sobrado - Santiago de Compostela. I would like to know if you include sights on your way, such as the Palacio de la Magdalena and the Centro Botin in Santander, or the Admission to El Capricho de Gaudí in Camillas. And which places of interest on this route should be visited. What have you planned?
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Walked from Astorga to SDC in May 2012.
Cycled the Frances from SJPP May 2014
Cycled the Portuguese from Lisbon May 2016
On May 8, I will start my Camino del Norte from Santander on similar sections Santander - San Vicente de la Barquera - Ribadesella - Gijon - Cudillero - Luarca - Ribadeo - Abadin - Baamonde - Monastery of Sobrado - Santiago de Compostela. I would like to know if you include sights on your way, such as the Palacio de la Magdalena and the Centro Botin in Santander, or the Admission to El Capricho de Gaudí in Camillas. And which places of interest on this route should be visited. What have you planned?
Hi, to be honest that’s one thing I don’t plan much of. I leave that for the evenings on the Camino during dinner with a glass of wine when I check the next day’s route in detail included recommended places of interest! My only plan so far is the Guggenheim in Bilbao as it has been on my bucket list for a long time. Would be great if you send me some recommendations after your trip!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Walked from Astorga to SDC in May 2012.
Cycled the Frances from SJPP May 2014
Cycled the Portuguese from Lisbon May 2016
So we did this! Cycled this incredibly beautiful route on our rented ebikes. The Buen Camino app worked wonders in keeping us off the walkers route only when necessary. The battery lasted all day every day but we did work hard to keep it always on the lowest assistance required. I can’t even begin to express the beauty of the scenery through it all. All went according to plan. No problems with storing and charging bikes but we did make bookings beforehand and informed them of our requirements. We put a video together which I shall post in this thread. Anyone who wants any help with their planning please get in touch. This was my 3rd Camino and by far the most beautiful route and least crowded. I def recommend a side visit to Playa de Las Catedrales. We took a taxi from Lourenzá at 4pm after our day cycling was complete and according to the tide time. I have the taxi guy details for anyone who needs them. It is a hilly route so those using a normal bike be prepared and train hard.

Link:
 

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Corned Beef

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
VDLP Part 2/2023
Great video, lovely scenery and looking forward to going back to that coast again. A couple of questions.

Looks like you were on the pilgrim trail for most of the journey. How much road did you have to do as the trail was too difficult.

Second question is about your backpacks. These tend to shift the centre of gravity when travelling. Was it a deliberate choice so you could have carry-on panniers on the flight(s)?

Bonus question. Any punctures or mechanical problems?

PS I recognise the bike, especially the pack on the handlebars. Surprisingly useful.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Walked from Astorga to SDC in May 2012.
Cycled the Frances from SJPP May 2014
Cycled the Portuguese from Lisbon May 2016
Great video, lovely scenery and looking forward to going back to that coast again. A couple of questions.

Looks like you were on the pilgrim trail for most of the journey. How much road did you have to do as the trail was too difficult.

Second question is about your backpacks. These tend to shift the centre of gravity when travelling. Was it a deliberate choice so you could have carry-on panniers on the flight(s)?

Bonus question. Any punctures or mechanical problems?

PS I recognise the bike, especially the pack on the handlebars. Surprisingly useful.
Thanks, glad you liked the video.

If you use the Buen Camino app you will see the green detours on the map. I would say we were off the walkers' route for 20% of the route. Still as beautiful though and did not mind that at all.

The panniers and back pack were both carried on the flight. We only kept the daily needs in the back pack and they were very light. They also served as our 'going out exploring after the ride' bags. We kept our wallets, passports etc there. They had no affect at all on our center of gravity.

Luckily no punctures. I did wear out the brakes though due to the very steep downhill parts. Luckily the rental company had thrown in a spare set which I got someone to replace in Sobrado which is very close to the end. Should have done it before really and avoided a lot of screeching.

Yes the handlebar bags came with the bikes. Very useful to have easy accessible items. I had to remove mine though as it kept interfering with my filming since I had the gopro on a chest mount. Luckily we had taken a bungee chord with us and we could strap it on the rack on top of the panniers. It also double up as a washing line in our hotel rooms :)
 

Corned Beef

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
VDLP Part 2/2023
I did wear out the brakes though due to the very steep downhill parts.

Thanks for the confirmation. I'll have a spare set of pads with me. Even with hydraulic brakes, these are heavy beasts that can be difficult to slow.
 
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Sailing Pilgrim

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Hopefully 2023
So we did this! Cycled this incredibly beautiful route on our rented ebikes. The Buen Camino app worked wonders in keeping us off the walkers route only when necessary. The battery lasted all day every day but we did work hard to keep it always on the lowest assistance required. I can’t even begin to express the beauty of the scenery through it all. All went according to plan. No problems with storing and charging bikes but we did make bookings beforehand and informed them of our requirements. We put a video together which I shall post in this thread. Anyone who wants any help with their planning please get in touch. This was my 3rd Camino and by far the most beautiful route and least crowded. I def recommend a side visit to Playa de Las Catedrales. We took a taxi from Lourenzá at 4pm after our day cycling was complete and according to the tide time. I have the taxi guy details for anyone who needs them. It is a hilly route so those using a normal bike be prepared and train hard.

Link:
Woohoo, what a beautiful part of country. Thank you for sharing. My little folding bike and me on a beach or ferry, could be a religious experience. 😇
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Walked from Astorga to SDC in May 2012.
Cycled the Frances from SJPP May 2014
Cycled the Portuguese from Lisbon May 2016
Hi, great pics!
Who did you rent your bikes from?
I am looking at Bicigrino.
Thanks
Paul
Hi Paul. We rented from Bikeiberia. No complaints. Bicigrino look like they’re well kitted out and their network might be better. More expensive too.

Regards
Michelle
 

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