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Cycling Roncesvalles to Santiago in under 24 hours

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Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!

MickMac

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013
Frances 2016
Frances 2017
Frances 2018
Frances 2018
Ponferrada-Santiago
July 2019

zrexer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
To quote the character Joost, from the movie, 'The Way', "You can ride bikes?"
I am a avid cyclist when at home, but have zero interest in biking any Camino route.
 
D

Deleted member 39850

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My Spanish is not strong enough to figure out if this was a straight-through time, or if he slept and resumed the clock. Anyone? I'm hoping the latter, but one never knows with "extreme athletes".
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
My Spanish is not strong enough to figure out if this was a straight-through time, or if he slept and resumed the clock. Anyone? I'm hoping the latter, but one never knows with "extreme athletes".
Wow. Indeed. I can only imagine how wobbly one would be coming into Santiago after almost 24 hours of continuous peddling - while pushing the pace to set a record. I ran the artcle through Google translate (for what it's worth) and it didn't say anything about whether it had been done continuously or not. Extreme sports being what they are, I am guessing it was.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way + voie de Tours + CF + Gulf of Biscay + English Channel)
My Spanish is not strong enough to figure out if this was a straight-through time, or if he slept and resumed the clock. Anyone? I'm hoping the latter, but one never knows with "extreme athletes".
Straight-through. Sin parada. Would love to see the track, anyone? Police were helping in major cities, in Pamplona they appealed to the local population to assist while he raced through ... Ultracycling - I had never heard of it before.
 
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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Straight-through. Sin parada. Would love to see the track, anyone? Police were helping in major cities, in Pamplona they appealed to the local population to assist while he raced through ... Ultracycling - I had never heard of it before.
RAAM (Race Across America) is similar but much more demanding.
 

LGLG

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - Finisterre (2005) ; LePuy - Muxia (2007) ; Porto - SC. (2009) planning Lourdes- SC (2018)

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way + voie de Tours + CF + Gulf of Biscay + English Channel)
Exactly my first thought!
Of course he raced an tarmac roads all the time. There are a few photos on his website now. As I understand it, there was at least one if not two cars accompanying him, on one photo you see a sign on one car to alert other drivers, saying something like „cyclist ahead“ or so.
 

LGLG

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - Finisterre (2005) ; LePuy - Muxia (2007) ; Porto - SC. (2009) planning Lourdes- SC (2018)
And my second thought: not very helpful in getting people to understand the Camino admonition : 'don't run, because the place where you must arrive is within yourself'
 

Charles Zammit

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra 2017
GR70 France 2018
[ Via Francigena 2019]
I would have trouble driving a car that distance in the same time .

Reminds me of a joke ;
An Australian grazier was trying to explain just how big his sheep station was to locals in a remote English pub . He said , ''let me put it this way , if I was to start at 5am and drive flat out along my Southern boundary it would be dinner time before I reached the halfway point'' .
The locals all nodded knowingly and one replied '' Aye , I once had a car like that as well ''
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
I read in t
Wow. Indeed. I can only imagine how wobbly one would be coming into Santiago after almost 24 hours of continuous peddling - while pushing the pace to set a record. I ran the artcle through Google translate (for what it's worth) and it didn't say anything about whether it had been done continuously or not. Extreme sports being what they are, I am guessing it was.
I read in the newspaper that he did it without stopping. They wrote that he failed his last attempt: he fell asleep on the bike and ran into a church (!!!)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
I read in t


I read in the newspaper that he did it without stopping. They wrote that he failed his last attempt: he fell asleep on the bike and ran into a church (!!!)
This is the second thread today that has me in stitches!!
So funny

Keep it up folks
Annette
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
462 miles in 23.5 hours is an average speed of almost 20 miles/hour.
462 miles!!
I once cycled 20 miles in a DAY......
Couldn't sit down for a week despite all the natural padding!!
Now it's just...a pied!
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way + voie de Tours + CF + Gulf of Biscay + English Channel)
RAAM (Race Across America) is similar but much more demanding.
I see from his website that he has participated in the Race Across America several times, with top results (once on 4th place). He did his Camino de Santiago challenge for the first time in 2007 in 28 hours and then in 2008 in 27 hours (over 740 km each time). He says at the time they did not yet have the sort of race calendars as today. He's a kind of pioneer for ultracycling in Spain. He says at the time it was a good way to promote the sport to press and sponsors. And that's why he still has a special relationship with this particular challenge. He is originally from Burgos.

It may be difficult to wrap one's head around it but the road to Santiago is a famous road. Like the Silk Road, Route 66, London-Brighton, die Romantische Straße, the road to Timbuktu ... :cool:.

His next goal is the "24-hour World Championship in the desert of Borrego Springs (California) where he seeks to enter the 800 km club."
 
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Helen1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
That's an amazing physical achievement!
 

LGLG

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - Finisterre (2005) ; LePuy - Muxia (2007) ; Porto - SC. (2009) planning Lourdes- SC (2018)
Of course he raced an tarmac roads all the time. There are a few photos on his website now. As I understand it, there was at least one if not two cars accompanying him, on one photo you see a sign on one car to alert other drivers, saying something like cyclist ahead or so.
It was tongue in cheek hinting at the friction between walkers and bikes on the hiking paths. Couldn't help myself, apologies.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way + voie de Tours + CF + Gulf of Biscay + English Channel)
It was tongue in cheek hinting at the friction between walkers and bikes on the hiking paths. Couldn't help myself, apologies.
No need to apologise. I saw from comments elsewhere that some people do think that he rode on "their" path ...
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
A professional cyclist has just set a new time record for cycling from Roncesvalles to Santiago: the first person to complete the distance in under 24 hours. Actual time was 23 hours and 37 minutes. Another cyclist from the Basque region is about to attempt the same feat within the next few days so the record may not stand for long.

http://www.biciciclismo.com/es/julian-sanz-el-camino-de-santiago-en-23-horas-y-37-minutos-26-07-2018?loc=
Why...? He gained a record, but lost a lot more.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
Why...? He gained a record, but lost a lot more.
He did it, not as a pilgrimage, but as an attempt at record setting. I gather that he could care less about the Way itself; it was simply a known distance over which to attempt a physical achievement. :)
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I see from his website that he has participated in the Race Across America several times, with top results (once on 4th place). He did his Camino de Santiago challenge for the first time in 2007 in 28 hours and then in 2008 in 27 hours (over 740 km each time). He says at the time they did not yet have the sort of race calendars as today. He's a kind of pioneer for ultracycling in Spain. He says at the time it was a good way to promote the sport to press and sponsors. And that's why he still has a special relationship with this particular challenge. He is originally from Burgos.

It may be difficult to wrap one's head around it but the road to Santiago is a famous road. Like the Silk Road, Route 66, London-Brighton, die Romantische Straße, the road to Timbuktu ... :cool:.

His next goal is the "24-hour World Championship in the desert of Borrego Springs (California) where he seeks to enter the 800 km club."
If I would have the means I want to walk across Australia ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Seriously? How much water can you carry?
Hi LGLG

Ha Ha ....
I don't think Kinky1 is talking about water!!
Bet you knew that anyway!

Cheers/Saluti/Slainte/Na Zdravie
Annette
 

zzotte

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
I’m woulder how fast the bmw was going, hahaha
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Ok, outside of the obvious, let's take a look at this feat. And as my Spanish is quite rudimentary, I have not read the article. (A posted translation would be appreciated).

It is doubtful that the trip was done in 23 h 37 m on a continuous basis. Granted, it does mean that an average speed of about 35km/h has to be maintained.

It is highly doubtful that the route taken by bike included much off road distance. Imagine a bike passing you on the path at 35 km/h or more? And that speed, on a bike, is pretty much impossible on the uphill, and we know how much uphill there is out there, by road or path.

One advantage though, he did not have to stop often for stamps in his passport.

I am not saying that this is impossible or that there may have been some, ahem, unethical practices, but with the latest electric bike capabilities, and running the clock while riding about 8 hours a day over 3 days, it makes the achievement of this journey much more plausible.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
I was wondering if that time included queuing for their Compostella...
Hola Tinka - don't think he was interested in qualifying as a pilgrim. He would not have had time to stop and get relevant stamps.
As for trail followed - I would say this was an event purely on the tar sealed roads. If anyone has more info might be useful. Cheers
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
@MichelleElynHogan, perhaps you should try google translate on the original article. There is no dispute that the guy did what is claimed, in the time claimed and by the method claimed. And as he has never claimed to be a pilgrim, just a cyclist, I guess his motivations are his own and not a pilgrims.
@Saint Mike II, you're right, though he only needed one more stamp after Roncesvalles, two stamps per day remember :0)
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Ok, outside of the obvious, let's take a look at this feat. And as my Spanish is quite rudimentary, I have not read the article. (A posted translation would be appreciated).
As @Tincatinker says online translation is easily available and the event was publicised well in advance and supervised by the relevant sport's recording body. As a general aid to reading websites in languages other than your own you could try using Google Chrome as your web browser. It can be set to translate automatically by default. Alternatively web pages can be translated simply by right-clicking over the foreign language text and then selecting "Translate to English" in the pop-up menu.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I'm no cyclist (except on the city streets) but 35km/h is easily achieved for trained cyclists. For example (a bit exaggerated example maybe) on the flat(er) stages of Tour de France peloton, main group of cyclists, easily ride with 60 km/h. For 6 hours.
And mentioned cyclist didn't ride on the Camino as we have walked it but on the tarmac roads in the direction of Santiago.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
Ok, outside of the obvious, let's take a look at this feat. And as my Spanish is quite rudimentary, I have not read the article. (A posted translation would be appreciated).

It is doubtful that the trip was done in 23 h 37 m on a continuous basis. Granted, it does mean that an average speed of about 35km/h has to be maintained.

It is highly doubtful that the route taken by bike included much off road distance. Imagine a bike passing you on the path at 35 km/h or more? And that speed, on a bike, is pretty much impossible on the uphill, and we know how much uphill there is out there, by road or path.

One advantage though, he did not have to stop often for stamps in his passport.

I am not saying that this is impossible or that there may have been some, ahem, unethical practices, but with the latest electric bike capabilities, and running the clock while riding about 8 hours a day over 3 days, it makes the achievement of this journey much more plausible.
It was done non stop and this would not be a big deal for some of these ultra cyclists.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way + voie de Tours + CF + Gulf of Biscay + English Channel)
A short video of one of Julian Sanz' earlier 24 hours rides from Roncesvalles to Santiago:


In this video from 2007 he ends at the Monte de Gozo but in later years you can see that he follows the support car into the Plaza de Obradoiro. You also see police stopping traffic for him in the towns. The music is "I'm on my way" by the Proclaimers. I enjoyed watching it. :cool:
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
35km/h is easily achieved for trained cyclists
Even untrained ones. I used to do triathlons and could go that fast and faster, and I was no whiz athlete, just a hacker. But go down at any speed, and it's messy, so it could be scary as you know what. But that's another story.
my dad and his friend were stopped for exceeding the speed limit whilst cycling in town. The cop let them off with a warning, when he realised they were 80. Dad still dines out on that story
Hahahhahaha!:D
That's a story worth dining out on. Too funny.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
Wow, Vira, you did triathlons???
Lots of people do. And it was so long ago that it feels like another life and certainly another body. The ones I did were relatively short ones, or just being part of a relay team for an ironman distance, only doing one part (what's that? A monathlon?).
At this point I couldn't run around the block to save my life.
But I can walk. Not with the best of them, but I get there.:cool:
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way + voie de Tours + CF + Gulf of Biscay + English Channel)
@VNwalking , I'm with @KinkyOne on this: you did triathlons? That's awe-inspiring for me.

Reading on a bit, I understand now that this recent Camino ultracycling challenge was a double event. Julian Sanz' team mate Villa Ziortza also covered the distance of 745 km and she is the first woman who did a non-stop ride over this distance with a time of 34 hours - "a physical and above all mental struggle", "with the entry into Santiago being very emotional", according to https://www.bikezona.com/noticias-ciclismo/ziortza-villa-primera-mujer-que-realiza-camino-santiago-non-stop-bicicleta/31970.

Both are apparently top athletes in Spain and pioneers in their area of speciality.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way + voie de Tours + CF + Gulf of Biscay + English Channel)
There is something special about the Camino de Santiago that cannot be explained in words. A linear trip across the Spanish peninsula, powered only by one’s own force and surrounded by the loneliness that is inherent to the ultracycling discipline, is the most intense cycling experience I've ever had.

To feel how you advance by pedaling and pedaling, crossing the valleys of Navarra and the countryside of La Rioja with the strength that you have during the first hours. Rolling through the night with the full moon as your companion through the plains of Castilla and reaching Leon at dawn. Climbing the pass of O Cebreiro with 600 km in your legs and after that, traversing the undulated Galician terrain to reach the Plaza del Obradorio de Santiago de Compostela … I pursued a dream that I could finally realise and it has gifted me with the memories of a ride that I will never forget.

It's unbelievable to see how the kilometers clock up and your strength decreases but your dream and your aspiration remains, because, in life as in sports, it’s your passion that makes the difference.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/Ziortza-Villa-519361831778586/ - Ziortza Villa is the female ultracyclist who recently rode from Roncesvalles to Santiago in 34h 20m non-stop.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
Exactly my first thought!
Me too, first thought-hope he wasn’t on pedesrtrian way....but then, let’s face it, pedestrian trails would slow him down!;)

All the more reason why separate designated paths need to be implemented for walkers and cyclists.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way + voie de Tours + CF + Gulf of Biscay + English Channel)
OK, not that it matters much but just for the record: it was Mikel Azparren who said he fell asleep and ended on a church wall. Not Julian Sanz. So to keep them apart: Julian Sanz biked this week and Mikel Asparren tweeted a few hours ago that he plans to start today, 29 July 2018, at 17 h in Roncesvalles. My guess is that he's staying at the hotel :).
 

Flatlander

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May/June 2015, via the Atlantic Cycle Route
All the more reason why separate designated paths need to be implemented for walkers and cyclists.
This cyclist is not on a pilgrimage. He cycled the roads to Santiago.

Why should his feat* be used to separate walkers and cyclists on the Camino?

The Camino is a pilgrim route, not a walker's route exclusively.

Are there some obnoxious cyclists? Yes, there are.
Some of them even live along the Camino!
Good luck with gathering all the cyclists who live local to the Camino routes and telling them that their public routes are no longer open to them! And their taxes will have to pay for new routes for their bikes! Can I watch? ;)

I don't know what the answer is to obnoxious cyclists on the Camino.
I 'm fairly sure that the answer to obnoxious, walking pilgrims is not to remove their footwear, or to tell them to walk "over there".

* even though I cycle everywhere, I am not a fan of these kinds of events when they take place on public roads. A cyclist going full tilt for 24 hours or longer is not safe on the roads. Probably more a danger to themselves, but that's not the point.
The most famous exponent of this sport, Mike Hall was killed last year in Australia after an early morning collision with a car.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way + voie de Tours + CF + Gulf of Biscay + English Channel)
even though I cycle everywhere, I am not a fan of these kinds of events when they take place on public roads.
I share your sentiments but I also have admiration for the physical and mental abilities and the sheer stamina of these individual riders. When the thread started, I knew next to nothing about it all but I've now gained some insight. I was starting to root for Mikel Asparran, as I followed the tweets of his crew after his start today in Roncesvalles. Sadly, he had to give up after four and a half hours in or after Logroño. No accident, luckily.

I also reflected a bit more on what Camino de Santiago may mean for people who grow up and live in the area ...
 
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Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
The music is "I'm on my way" by the Proclaimers.
I am Scottish. My sister lived for some years in the same village as the Proclaimers. When I was walking the Olavsleden from Sundsvall to Trondheim I was in a small town supermarket when their song "500 miles" came on the shop's music system. I wonder what the staff thought when they saw a grey-haired Scotsman almost falling over with laughter next to the shelves of tinned fish :)
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
There is something special about the Camino de Santiago that cannot be explained in words. A linear trip across the Spanish peninsula, powered only by one’s own force and surrounded by the loneliness that is inherent to the ultracycling discipline, is the most intense cycling experience I've ever had.

To feel how you advance by pedaling and pedaling, crossing the valleys of Navarra and the countryside of La Rioja with the strength that you have during the first hours. Rolling through the night with the full moon as your companion through the plains of Castilla and reaching Leon at dawn. Climbing the pass of O Cebreiro with 600 km in your legs and after that, traversing the undulated Galician terrain to reach the Plaza del Obradorio de Santiago de Compostela … I pursued a dream that I could finally realise and it has gifted me with the memories of a ride that I will never forget.

It's unbelievable to see how the kilometers clock up and your strength decreases but your dream and your aspiration remains, because, in life as in sports, it’s your passion that makes the difference.
These guys may not be what some people think of as 'true pilgrims,' but who of us here can relate to those sentiments? I would guess anyone who has walked any challenging distance (however far that may be) and entered Santiago. This thread has opened my heart in a surprising way.

(Cycling all night across the meseta by moonlight? That would be something.)
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
These guys may not be what some people think of as 'true pilgrims,' but who of us here can relate to those sentiments? I would guess anyone who has walked any challenging distance (however far that may be) and entered Santiago. This thread has opened my heart in a surprising way.

(Cycling all night across the meseta by moonlight? That would be something.)
Hear, hear!!!
I don't see myself as a pilgrim, for example, but I walked 10 different Caminos and some stretches of them on several occasions :)
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
This cyclist is not on a pilgrimage. He cycled the roads to Santiago.

Why should his feat* be used to separate walkers and cyclists on the Camino?

The Camino is a pilgrim route, not a walker's route exclusively.

Are there some obnoxious cyclists? Yes, there are.
Some of them even live along the Camino!
Good luck with gathering all the cyclists who live local to the Camino routes and telling them that their public routes are no longer open to them! And their taxes will have to pay for new routes for their bikes! Can I watch? ;)

I don't know what the answer is to obnoxious cyclists on the Camino.
I 'm fairly sure that the answer to obnoxious, walking pilgrims is not to remove their footwear, or to tell them to walk "over there".

* even though I cycle everywhere, I am not a fan of these kinds of events when they take place on public roads. A cyclist going full tilt for 24 hours or longer is not safe on the roads. Probably more a danger to themselves, but that's not the point.
The most famous exponent of this sport, Mike Hall was killed last year in Australia after an early morning collision with a car.
My concern with such a feat is that it will likely inspire other cyclists to try and ride even faster...improving their final TIME to Santiago...and putting walkers in even more danger!
 

Flatlander

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May/June 2015, via the Atlantic Cycle Route
My concern with such a feat is that it will likely inspire other cyclists to try and ride even faster...improving their final TIME to Santiago...and putting walkers in even more danger!
First of all, this guy was in an organised event, on the road. His feat is in no way an inspiration for my own bike travels.
You might want to look at this chat https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/running-the-camino.4089/ and see how inspired you are to follow in his footprints - literally.

So your answer is to remove all cyclists from the path?

What's next?

Traffic from the villages, towns and cities that pilgrims pass through?
Ban farmers from tending their fields and vineyards with machinery?
Questionnaires before you start to eliminate people with unsuitable motivations?
Snorers from the Albergues?
Ban the bus tours from visiting iconic locations along the way?

I understand that some cyclists treat the Camino as a race, as do some (walking) pilgrims, by the way!

However proposing blanket banning bikers strikes me as fundamentally going against the principle of a Camino and opens up a lot of questions.

There's also the issue that most of the Camino routes are public which means that individual Pilgrims are responsible for their own safety, and as I alluded to earlier, the paths are open to all - even locals on their bikes.

I would hope that any attempt to remove cyclists would be matched by a clampdown on walkers who walk oblivious to their surroundings and what is happening around them.

If you really want to do something about the "hazard" of bikes along the various Caminos, why not lobby for an information sheet or similar educational publication that is issued to cyclists when they stop in Albergues, hotels, pensiones. Multi language. Perhaps even localised to that specific area.

I'll look forward to reading similar then, for etiquette for early risers, night-time telephone talkers, over-indulgers in vino tinto, and the inadvisability of signing your name to your graffiti.

Or how about a "Bell test" to receive a Compostela? Bring your bike and only those with well used, decibel tested bells get a certificate! :)

My own theory is that it has less to do with being on a bike or on foot and more to do with being in a group. The behaviour I noticed most on the Camino was generally by people in groups - walking and cycling and in one case, people on horses!

To conclude, I resent being told that I shouldn't follow the same path as you for the sole reason that I travel by bike.

And as a friend to locals along the CF, I can assure you they resent people who visit their country telling them what they should and shouldn't be doing!

Might be time for another Camino :)
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
Flatlander, there are parts of the Camino Frances that really are too narrow in high season for both groups to safely navigate IMP. I WISH THERE WAS A BELL TEST! We only walk in twos and are rarely together as paths narrow. The path from Sarria to Santiago is often too crowded for all to walk and ride safely in high seasons.

I have nothing against bike riders on the Camino. I still ride a bike. But I know when a situation is precarious and have experienced several potentially dangerous encounters with bikes who come up too fast from behind us, yes, NO BELL, and not even a verbal warning. I can assure you, that they hear me as they startle us! Something has to give! Let both groups use paths together where there is sufficient room...and provide a separate path for bikers or walkers when the paths are too narrow. There is no reason a new path could not be started or the old paths widened. More people are going to get hurt or killed. I am sorry you resent my concern that there is a significant safety issue that needs to be addressed. Based upon a recent publication regarding the Camino...there are Spaniards that too recognize that there is a safety issue!
 
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Flatlander

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May/June 2015, via the Atlantic Cycle Route
Flatlander, there are parts of the Camino Frances that really are too narrow in high season for both groups to safely navigate IMP.
I agree. I often waited until a path was clear, or walked my bike if I was enjoying the company.
I WISH THERE WAS A BELL TEST! We only walk in twos and are rarely together as paths narrow. The path from Sarria to Santiago is often too crowded for all to walk and ride safely in high seasons.
I agree.
I mainly cycled later in the day when most of the walkers were already off the path. After Sarria, I took to buying some nice food and drink and took to the forest for most of the day. I'd have been driven demented otherwise. Then I headed towards the setting sun.

I have nothing against bike riders on the Camino.
Given that you advocated banning bikes from the traditional route based on an extreme sporting event that took place on the roads I'm afraid I'll have to take a spoonful of salt with that one!

I still ride a bike. But I know when a situation is precarious and have experienced several potentially dangerous encounters with bikes who come up too fast from behind us, yes, NO BELL, and not even a verbal warning. I can assure you, that they hear me as they startle us! Something has to give! Let both groups use paths together where there is sufficient room...and provide a separate path for bikers or walkers when the paths are too narrow. There is no reason a new path could not be started or the old paths widened. More people are going to get hurt or killed. I am sorry you resent my concern that there is a significant safety issue that needs to be addressed. Based upon a recent publication regarding the Camino...there are Spaniards that too recognize that there is a safety issue!
Again, I understand that your position is that because some bikers behave irresponsibly, all bikers should be banished from the path.

I don't resent your concern for safety issues. I resent your suggestion that I should not follow the same path as you because I choose to travel by bike. Apparently, by choosing to ride a bike I am now a danger to walkers.

I have not denied that there are safety risks.
I have suggested the issue is more with the person, rather than the mode of transport. And that also some psychology comes into play, especially in relation to group dynamics.

I don't believe that advocating that all cyclists follow the road or get their own paths is either fair or in the spirit of the Camino. It is also plainly impractical as it will result in locals being banned from riding on their own roads & paths!

Dialogue & education is the answer. Easier said than done, though.
I can assure you, that they hear me as they startle us!
What message are you giving to them?
 

supersullivan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago 2012. SJPP-Santiago-Finisterre-Muxia 2013. Ponferrada-Santiago June 2014. Leon-Santiago-Finisterre September 2014. April-May 2015: SJPP- S de C- Finisterre -Muxia- S de C.
Ok, outside of the obvious, let's take a look at this feat. And as my Spanish is quite rudimentary, I have not read the article. (A posted translation would be appreciated).

It is doubtful that the trip was done in 23 h 37 m on a continuous basis. Granted, it does mean that an average speed of about 35km/h has to be maintained.

It is highly doubtful that the route taken by bike included much off road distance. Imagine a bike passing you on the path at 35 km/h or more? And that speed, on a bike, is pretty much impossible on the uphill, and we know how much uphill there is out there, by road or path.

One advantage though, he did not have to stop often for stamps in his passport.

I am not saying that this is impossible or that there may have been some, ahem, unethical practices, but with the latest electric bike capabilities, and running the clock while riding about 8 hours a day over 3 days, it makes the achievement of this journey much more plausible.
Michelle, in Britain, long distance cycling time trials are a regular form of competition cycling, common events are over a pre-measured 50 mile and 100 mile course and for time durations of 12 hours and 24 hours. Riders must cycle alone but are allowed to have helpers who can hand up food and water 'on the move'. The record distance for the 12 hour duration is over 317 miles and for the 24 hour duration 541 miles.
 

supersullivan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago 2012. SJPP-Santiago-Finisterre-Muxia 2013. Ponferrada-Santiago June 2014. Leon-Santiago-Finisterre September 2014. April-May 2015: SJPP- S de C- Finisterre -Muxia- S de C.
From the Cycling organisation in Britain which runs the Time Trial element of competitive cycling, distances of 10, 25 and 50 miles are most commonly held on 'out and back' courses and longer distances more commonly held on large loops, this removes any advantage from wind direction and having a start point at a noticeably greater height than the finish point.
https://cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/articles/view/129
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
I agree. I often waited until a path was clear, or walked my bike if I was enjoying the company.

I agree.
I mainly cycled later in the day when most of the walkers were already off the path. After Sarria, I took to buying some nice food and drink and took to the forest for most of the day. I'd have been driven demented otherwise. Then I headed towards the setting sun.



Given that you advocated banning bikes from the traditional route based on an extreme sporting event that took place on the roads I'm afraid I'll have to take a spoonful of salt with that one!



Again, I understand that your position is that because some bikers behave irresponsibly, all bikers should be banished from the path.

I don't resent your concern for safety issues. I resent your suggestion that I should not follow the same path as you because I choose to travel by bike. Apparently, by choosing to ride a bike I am now a danger to walkers.

I have not denied that there are safety risks.
I have suggested the issue is more with the person, rather than the mode of transport. And that also some psychology comes into play, especially in relation to group dynamics.

I don't believe that advocating that all cyclists follow the road or get their own paths is either fair or in the spirit of the Camino. It is also plainly impractical as it will result in locals being banned from riding on their own roads & paths!

Dialogue & education is the answer. Easier said than done, though.

What message are you giving to them?
I am also a walker who has been very startled by cyclists. Walking alone, lost in my thoughts which is part of being a pilgrim. From Sarria we encountered groups of them riding 2 or more abreast. I had them nudge me off the path on the path once, I almost stumbled.
Also the packs of local Spanish cyclists swooping around in their bright lycra, clearly on training rides. They are terrifying, speeding on the Camino, often coming from the opposite direction.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
Flat lander says

“Given that you advocated banning bikes from the traditional route based on an extreme sporting event that took place on the roads I'm afraid I'll have to take a spoonful of salt with that one!”

Me
No, I am not advocating a banning of bikes from Whatever the ” traditional route” is. I am advocating common sense safety measures that are employed in many places of the world. Walkers and bikers are in danger in certain areas. There needs to be separate areas at times.

Yes, when bikers startle my sister and I, your darn right, I remind the riders in a loud voice that they did not provide a warning ( a softer voice would be unheard at the speed they are often going). I am hoping they will remember to alert the next walker! Is it in the Spirit of the Camino to endanger walkers...I think not! Each bicycle is a potential lethal weapon if not ridden responsibly.

The event itself with a single extreme rider is not my concern. The other wanna be speedsters that will read the article and will try to go even faster through walkers is! You present yourself as a thoughtful cyclist. Thank You. And I do Iike to peddle along....
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
Flatlander, there are parts of the Camino Frances that really are too narrow in high season for both groups to safely navigate IMP. I WISH THERE WAS A BELL TEST! We only walk in twos and are rarely together as paths narrow. The path from Sarria to Santiago is often too crowded for all to walk and ride safely in high seasons.

I have nothing against bike riders on the Camino. I still ride a bike. But I know when a situation is precarious and have experienced several potentially dangerous encounters with bikes who come up too fast from behind us, yes, NO BELL, and not even a verbal warning. I can assure you, that they hear me as they startle us! Something has to give! Let both groups use paths together where there is sufficient room...and provide a separate path for bikers or walkers when the paths are too narrow. There is no reason a new path could not be started or the old paths widened. More people are going to get hurt or killed. I am sorry you resent my concern that there is a significant safety issue that needs to be addressed. Based upon a recent publication regarding the Camino...there are Spaniards that too recognize that there is a safety issue!
Hola @Marbe2 As a "pilgrim" who has both cycled and walked the Camino Frances I feel I can comment from a position of knowledge. Yes there are numerous section of the Frances that should be avoided by cyclists. I know from bitter experience. Starting from Pamplona in Sep 2015 I tried to follow the walkers trail. It was not fun and after the old Roman Bridge at Cirauqui I moved onto the N1111 for the next 50 or so km. I think it was from Viana that I went back to walkers Camino.
As a responsible cyclist I always rode at a speed that I could stop if I came across a group walking; I had a bell and used it. In most cases the walkers would move over so I could pass, or if it was really crowded I got off and walked around them (this was often the case in towns and cities).
As a walker in May 2017 I came across more than a few cyclists who needed some lessons in road manners. One came to grief when he tried to ride a section that was extra steep.
So what am I saying - well there are sections of the Camino that are not suitable for bikes; there are also sections that are in effect local pubic roads and here the walkers need to be prepared to yield right of way. (A 4000kg tractor does not stop all that quickly).
If you want the historical perspective - 500/700/900 years ago there were pilgrims who walked, those who rode horses or mules and those who travelled in carts. They all co-mingled and so it should be today!!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
So what am I saying - well there are sections of the Camino that are not suitable for bikes; there are also sections that are in effect local pubic roads and here the walkers need to be prepared to yield right of way. (A 4000kg tractor does not stop all that quickly).

Hi Mike, I agree with most of what you write. You too sound like a considerate cyclist! Thank you too! Mike, here is the problem. I cannot yield to what I do not see or what I cannot hear. That is my point!

To address your comparison: When I walk on a road, I walk against the traffic. I can see the truck coming and certainly hear it...and yes, am happy to yield! However, when I am on a trail, I do not look backwards.. waiting for a bike to come! I look ahead..the trails necessitate concentration. If bikes are on a trail...they need to warn riders ..and give them sufficient time to get out of the way without having to jump to avoid injury! This assumes the trail is wide enough..which sometimes is not the case.

Mike, in referencing the history of the Camino, you indicate that “there were pilgrims who walked, those who rode horses or mules and those who travelled in carts. They all co-mingled and so it should be today!”
I imagine, Mike, that Donkeys and carts did not go so much faster than humans on those bumpy dirt roads. In addition, one could certainly hear the carts and horse shoes from a distance. I walk in a state park that includes horses and mountain bikes and we are all able to coexist. However the traffic is not usually heavy and the trails are wide enough.

It would be nice, Mike, if cyclists and walkers could coexist on the CF.
Unfortunately, there are some cyclists who do not give way..try to squeeze into areas that place the walker in danger..and the walker does not know which way to move. I must honestly tell you that I have not experienced one cyclist, yet, on the Camino who got off his/her bike in heavy traffic on the trails. On the contrary, I have seen cyclists, try and ride through a group of about 20 pilgrims on perhaps no more than a 2 meter wide area. Instead of getting off the bike and walking through that section, or, getting on the road, which was an option, they tried to push through those twenty people. Some of the pilgrims jumped..and a couple stumbled. Because there was no place for them to go!

Rules and laws change because of circumstances. The speed and quietness of modern bicycles coming aside pilgrims-as well as the numbers of pilgrims, sometimes in narrow stretches, warrants changes in parts of the route for bikers and/ or walkers.
I am all for coexisting as long as it is safe. However, we both know that there are parts of the CF in high season that are really not safe for bikes and walkers to coexist.
 
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Flatlander

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May/June 2015, via the Atlantic Cycle Route
I am also a walker who has been very startled by cyclists. Walking alone, lost in my thoughts which is part of being a pilgrim. From Sarria we encountered groups of them riding 2 or more abreast. I had them nudge me off the path on the path once, I almost stumbled.
Also the packs of local Spanish cyclists swooping around in their bright lycra, clearly on training rides. They are terrifying, speeding on the Camino, often coming from the opposite direction.
Anamiri, I've delayed responding to your post because I've been trying to formulate an answer that is as respectful as possible to you, yet states the point I am trying to make.

First of all, I'm sorry you had that experience. Being nudged by anyone, cyclist or walker, is not appropriate behaviour.

For what it's worth, I've been run off the road twice in the past 6 months - by cyclists! As recently as last week I had to stop and pull in when passed by a "peleton" of 16 cyclists. Not an a camino - on my usual bike commute home from work.

I understand the nature of your problem.

I just strongly disagree on the solution being proposed.

I believe that it is a dangerous precedent to begin to advocate the banning of people based on a common characteristic.

And I find it unfair that I should suffer the penalties of other's misbehaviour.

I have 2 further points to make;
The first is in relation to the Spanish cyclists.
It is their country. They are on their roads and paths. Obnoxious they may be, but they have every right to be there. (For the record, I cycled all over Northern Spain and I found the cycling groups to be uniformally respectful, friendly and co-operative. Come to the Netherlands and deal with the wannabe racers!!:))

My final point, I believe, is the most contentious. You make reference to being lost in your thoughts.
(I did that once on my Camino... on my bike.... I ended up with lots of blood loss, 3 cracked ribs and a dislocated shoulder!:))
The fact is, the Camino is pretty much on public paths or roads. With the greatest of respect, being lost in thought is risky behaviour. I am not trying to victim blame. I am not trying to say that it's your fault that you were nudged. I am merely suggesting that being lost in thought is perhaps something that could better be done in a safer location than on a public path.

I hope I haven't angered you, or indeed anyone else on the forum, but it's likely I have.

As a cyclist, I have no issue with any reasonable requests such as the use of bells, minimum passing distances, even specific times a section of path may not be ridden by cyclists (not a blanket ban!).

As a cyclist, I would also advocate that walkers take steps to accept the reality of shared spaces such as walking on a specific side of the road/path, not spreading out over the whole path, paying attention to the use of headphones. I'd even advocate hanging a bright flag to the open-road side of a backpack to divert traffic.
(I got such a device for my bike to encourage cars to keep their distance - I use it more to keep cyclists away from me! :))
 

Flatlander

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May/June 2015, via the Atlantic Cycle Route
Hi Mike, I agree with most of what you write. You too sound like a considerate cyclist! Thank you too! Mike, here is the problem. I cannot yield to what I do not see or what I cannot hear. That is my point!
That's your most relevant point in this debate thus far, and it is valid. I just don't agree with your solution.

If bikes are on a trail...they need to warn riders ..and give them sufficient time to get out of the way without having to jump to avoid injury! This assumes the trail is wide enough..which sometimes is not the case.
I absolutely agree. Advance warning is necessary.
Again, I respectfully disagree with your solution.
It would be nice, Mike, if cyclists and walkers could coexist on the CF.
Unfortunately, there are some cyclists who do not give way..try to squeeze into areas that place the walker in danger..and the walker does not know which way to move.
I highlighted the relevant word... some.

I don't believe that it is appropriate to punish an entire group based on the behaviour of some of that group.

I must honestly tell you that I have not experienced one cyclist, yet, on the Camino who got off his/her bike in heavy traffic on the trails. On the contrary, I have seen cyclists, try and ride through a group of about 20 pilgrims on perhaps no more than a 2 meter wide area. Instead of getting off the bike and walking through that section, or, getting on the road, which was an option, they tried to push through those twenty people. Some of the pilgrims jumped..and a couple stumbled. Because there was no place for them to go!
I could start listing off other behaviour I witnessed on my Camino and advocating that those people should be banned. And believe me, I have some interesting stories! :)

Rules and laws change because of circumstances. The speed and quietness of modern bicycles coming aside pilgrims-as well as the numbers of pilgrims, sometimes in narrow stretches, warrants changes in parts of the route for bikers and/ or walkers.
I'm sure you've heard the phrase about hard cases making bad laws. Again, it is unfair and potentially dangerous to punish a group for the behaviour of some.
I am all for coexisting as long as it is safe. However, we both know that there are parts of the CF in high season that are really not safe for bikes and walkers to coexist.
Well, let me reply with some hyperbolic options**
Let the walkers take the roads. After all, the roads are bigger and wider and better able to cope with increasing numbers.
One month every year each of the Camino routes should be dedicated to cyclists only, on a rotating basis.
Since the Camino is traditionally a Catholic Pilgrimage, only practising Catholics should be allowed participate or at least the non-Cathloics can follow the roads. That'll ease the congestion! :)

** Of course, these are not real suggestions! :) (No offence intended!)

At this stage we are way off the topic, which was about an endurance cyclist following the roads to Santiago.

If you wish to start a new thread about bikes on the Camino, I'll happily participate :)
As long as you are advocating that I cannot ride my bike (which is not modern, by the way) on a public path that is as open to me as to you, I will continue to argue my right to be there.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
I am advocating alternate parallel paths in certain sections to avoid accidents. Why do you see this as punishment, Flatlander? I would think you would be happy if there was another lane for cyclists or walkers? I am certainly not trying to suggest banning bikes.

I do not think we can change the attitudes of bikers who continually disregard the safety rules by failing to give adequate warnings.
Having parallel separate paths instead of
one narrow width one would solve most of the problem. Cyclists too would be safer!


Personally,I do not think wearing headphones or listening to any device while on the
Camino at high seasons is prudent. One does need to be alert to what is happening around them. If a biker does give a warning and one is listening to music then the walker is placing both in jeopardy.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
My final point, I believe, is the most contentious. You make reference to being lost in your thoughts.
(I did that once on my Camino... on my bike.... I ended up with lots of blood loss, 3 cracked ribs and a dislocated shoulder!:))
The fact is, the Camino is pretty much on public paths or roads. With the greatest of respect, being lost in thought is risky behaviour. I am not trying to victim blame. I am not trying to say that it's your fault that you were nudged.
You have some interesting and valid points, Flatlander, and I appreciate your taking time to post them.

I humbly but vehemently disagree that those pedestrians who are on pilgrimage should avoid being 'lost in thought' while walking Camino, or that it can be defined as "risky behavior". :) Let me explain.

One of the primary purposes of a pilgrimage is to be lost in meditative thought as one walks. In fact, it is commonly said that each step while walking Camino is a prayer. The entire act of walking, for most, is to have the prolonged opportunity to delve introspectively into those issues and struggles and decisions which was the nexus of motivation for walking Camino. Many engage in prayer and inner communion and dialogue with their spiritual needs while walking. It is unreasonable to define that which is the norm, and which is reasonable and expected behavior as "risky" in order to attenuate the responsibility for yielding -- and for pedestrian safety --- off of the shoulders of those cyclists who wish to "share" the routes which are clearly meant for pedestrians to safely walk.

It is the discrepancy of weight, speed, and size of riders on bicycles and pedestrians which create the risks of serious injuries, or more. It is that discrepancy of momentum and weight of the bicycle which creates the risk, not the pedestrian.

In many nations there are codified and defined rules governing the requirements for yielding the Rights of Way as it concerns autos, bicyclists, and pedestrians. These are logically based on the sound notion that those conveyance categories which have a far greater weight and speed advantage, must yield to those conveyances which are much lighter and slower. Autos must yield to bicycles and pedestrians -- bicycles must yield to pedestrians and horses.

The argument that public paths somehow subvert the oneous of the bicyclist to do what is necessary to protect pedestrians is not convincing. To then extend that argument to the Camino, which is primarily a pedestrian and introspective activity, makes no sense.

I understand that hypervigilance against inconsiderate, uncaring, and dangerous behavior is a defensive action to help protect oneself. Defensive driving is an example of this practice. And if I decide to walk on a motorway that has no segregated area for a pedestrian I will be hypervigilant and not lost in my own thoughts. That is one reason why bicycle lanes from motorized traffic were developed for bicyclists, to provide a way to remove the unsafe discrepancies between bicycle and car so that a bicyclist can focus on riding the bike.

The same for the Camino. While shared, the primary default lies with the pedestrian and not the bicyclist. That means that it has to be the total responsibility of the biker to yield and be hypervigilant around the pedestrian, not the other way around.

If my being hypervigilant for bicyclists and having to forego introspective thinking while walking on Camino, then there is little purpose for doing a Camino. I -- and most others -- do not do it because of the physical aspects, it is because of its spiritual and religious and mental activity accompanied by its physical nature.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
Dave, well written. I am concerned, that pilgrims who are praying or reflecting, do need, given the reality of high season congestion and the speed and number of bicycles, to remain somewhat aware in areas that tend to be narrower. You are certainly right about the meditative nature of the pilgrims walking. However, they are even more at risk of getting hurt then. I wish this were not so! So I ask walkers in high seasons, including Holy Week, to be aware that using ear pieces in congested areas might make you more vulnerable of getting injured..especially in Galicia. Hopefully, at some point, there can be designated areas for bikers and for walkers in certain sections of the CF. This is, IMO, particularly needed in parts of the Camino between Sarria and Santiago.
 
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Thomas Morrison

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I am doing St Jean Pied de Port to Pamploma. Arriving in Saint Jean Pied de Port on the 15/9/16. Starting the walk on 16/9/16
Hello pilgrims. I’m planning on doing the last 100km from Sarria to Santiago commencing the morning of the 6th of September from Sarria. Any other pilgrims walking at a similar time
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
Hello pilgrims. I’m planning on doing the last 100km from Sarria to Santiago commencing the morning of the 6th of September from Sarria. Any other pilgrims walking at a similar time
You might want to make this a separate thread so more folks see It? I can assure you that you will see many pilgrims then!
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
Dave, well written. I am concerned, that pilgrims who are praying or reflecting, do need, given the reality of high season congestion and the speed and number of bicycles, to remain somewhat aware in areas that tend to be narrower. You are certainly right about the meditative nature of the pilgrims walking. However, they are even more at risk of getting hurt then. I wish this were not so! So I ask walkers in high seasons, including Holy Week, to be aware that using ear pieces in congested areas might make you more vulnerable of getting injured..especially in Galacia. Hopefully, at some point, there can be designated areas for bikers and for walkers in certain sections of the CF. This is, IMO, particularly needed in parts of the Camino between Sarria and Santiago.
I agree that one should take care to not have noise producing things blocking their hearing :). If I do hear a bicycle approaching from the rear, I try to be as courteous as is possible, within reason. For instance, I will move as far to the side as I can without putting myself into an uncomfortable situation, and then wish the rider a Buen Camino as s/he passes by. The key is whether I hear the approach :)

A few other thoughts :) :

There is also another reason for failure to adequately hear stuff, including bicycles, aside from wearing headphones, etc, and that is hearing loss. Given the large percentage of 'senior' pilgrims, decreased hearing ability is going to be a fairly common issue. I am someone who also suffers from that issue, primary as a progression from decibel insults in the military.

The bicyclist is the primary injury causing agent in bicycle vs pedestrian accidents. In other words, it is the weight, speed, and momentum discrepancy of the cyclist -- when combined with an unwillingness of many cyclists on the Caminos to do what is necessary to remove that discrepancy when in contact with pedestrians -- which creates the concern. It is also the bicycle which is the "newcomer", relatively speaking, to being on the Caminos; pedestrians were on Camino long before bicycles. So the oneous must be on the cyclist to take action to make the 'shared' nature of the Way work so that the pedestrian is protected.

There is some indication that the Spanish authorities also may feel that same way. Given the latest round of discussions going on within the various jurisdictions through which the Camino routes cross, the authorities are now starting to pay some attention to the complaints by pedestrians about cyclists; and, from what I've read, have not ruled out future consideration of creating two separate paths. I would imagine it is solely in the hands of the general cyclist population to determine whether or not their collective behavior while on the Camino will eventually force the issue further.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
I agree that one should take care to not have noise producing things blocking their hearing :). If I do hear a bicycle approaching from the rear, I try to be as courteous as is possible, within reason. For instance, I will move as far to the side as I can without putting myself into an uncomfortable situation, and then wish the rider a Buen Camino as s/he passes by. The key is whether I hear the approach :)

A few other thoughts :) :

There is also another reason for failure to adequately hear stuff, including bicycles, aside from wearing headphones, etc, and that is hearing loss. Given the large percentage of 'senior' pilgrims, decreased hearing ability is going to be a fairly common issue. I am someone who also suffers from that issue, primary as a progression from decibel insults in the military.

The bicyclist is the primary injury causing agent in bicycle vs pedestrian accidents. In other words, it is the weight, speed, and momentum discrepancy of the cyclist -- when combined with an unwillingness of many cyclists on the Caminos to do what is necessary to remove that discrepancy when in contact with pedestrians -- which creates the concern. It is also the bicycle which is the "newcomer", relatively speaking, to being on the Caminos; pedestrians were on Camino long before bicycles. So the oneous must be on the cyclist to take action to make the 'shared' nature of the Way work so that the pedestrian is protected.

There is some indication that the Spanish authorities also may feel that same way. Given the latest round of discussions going on within the various jurisdictions through which the Camino routes cross, the authorities are now starting to pay some attention to the complaints by pedestrians about cyclists; and, from what I've read, have not ruled out future consideration of creating two separate paths. I would imagine it is solely in the hands of the general cyclist population to determine whether or not their collective behavior while on the Camino will eventually force the issue further.
Dave, sorry you are experiencing hearing loss. I have read that many former military have experienced this as well. Thank you for your service to our nation.

When I hear the bicycle or when the cyclist signals I, too, try and yield, as I want us both to be safe. However, when a rider thoughtlesslly startles me, or comes too close to me, or too fast, I am verbally assertive. It is simply not acceptable to endanger me or my loved ones.

Let us hope, Galicia, in particular, takes action to improve safety for walkers and cyclists.
 
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davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
Dave, sorry you are experiencing hearing loss. I have read that many former military have experienced this as well. Thank you for your service to our nation.

.
I appreciate your kind words, Marbe2. The hearing loss is very manageable, and I am still able to communicate normally in most circumstances; it's just that as time has passed, the ranges of sound frequencies and clarity has slowly been decreasing. The audiologist visit recently indicates that a set of hearing aids will be able to handle the deficiencies now and in the future quite easily. But if I have to fork over that huge bundle of cash, I wouldn't want to risk damaging them during outdoor activities or sports....

So it leaves me at the mercy of the bicyclist having a loud enough warning, far enough back to not startle the bejeebers out of me. :eek::D
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
This is from a post I made earlier this year.
------------------------

1. Assume the pedestrian pilgrims cannot hear you approaching. Bad hearing, conversation, self absorption, focusing on the scenery, traffic noise nearby.... there are a lot of reasons that don't include headphones and music. Given the nature of a Pilgrimage, it should be of no surprise that there is a lot of internal focus for the pedestrian pilgrim.

2. Give a loud enough warning, when you are far enough away, so as not to not startle pedestrian pilgrims. A startled pilgrim is an unpredictable pilgrim and could bolt right into the bicyclists path, causing injury to both. Additionally, it is quite unpleasant to be suddenly frightened.

3. As you approach a pedestrian pilgrim(s), slow down. This helps minimize the large difference in weight and momentum and makes everyone safer.

4. In general, except for those who somehow feel entitled differently, most rules of a shared pathway are based on what is written above and are simply normal commonsense to keep all pedestrians and bicyclists safe: Bicycles and Pedestrians yield to horses. Bicyclists yield to Pedestrians.

5. While it may seem advisable for a pedestrian walking along a pathway to be aware of bicyclists, and it is something one should try to do, pedestrian pilgrims are not responsible for your behavior on a bicycle. They cannot make a warning for the bicyclist, nor use the brakes, nor steer the wheel.

6. Pedestrian and Bicycle Pilgrims are on Camino for a shared goal. Each is there to gain some sort of fulfillment and experience the Camino spiritually or physically, or culturally, or religiously or all of the above. Loving, caring, and respecting one another requires accommodation of differences and nurturing an attitude of giving. Pedestrians can assist the bicyclist by standing aside when you know they are approaching, offering to help with mechanical breakdowns (if knowledgeable), and grabbing a piece of the bike -- with permission -- to help the bicycle peregrino make it up a steep slope or extra muddy path.

Bicycle Peregrinos can be of similar attitude by simply observing the points above.

God Bless Us All; And Let Us Love One Another.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
This is from a post I made earlier this year.
------------------------

1. Assume the pedestrian pilgrims cannot hear you approaching. Bad hearing, conversation, self absorption, focusing on the scenery, traffic noise nearby.... there are a lot of reasons that don't include headphones and music. Given the nature of a Pilgrimage, it should be of no surprise that there is a lot of internal focus for the pedestrian pilgrim.

2. Give a loud enough warning, when you are far enough away, so as not to not startle pedestrian pilgrims. A startled pilgrim is an unpredictable pilgrim and could bolt right into the bicyclists path, causing injury to both. Additionally, it is quite unpleasant to be suddenly frightened.

3. As you approach a pedestrian pilgrim(s), slow down. This helps minimize the large difference in weight and momentum and makes everyone safer.

4. In general, except for those who somehow feel entitled differently, most rules of a shared pathway are based on what is written above and are simply normal commonsense to keep all pedestrians and bicyclists safe: Bicycles and Pedestrians yield to horses. Bicyclists yield to Pedestrians.

5. While it may seem advisable for a pedestrian walking along a pathway to be aware of bicyclists, and it is something one should try to do, pedestrian pilgrims are not responsible for your behavior on a bicycle. They cannot make a warning for the bicyclist, nor use the brakes, nor steer the wheel.

6. Pedestrian and Bicycle Pilgrims are on Camino for a shared goal. Each is there to gain some sort of fulfillment and experience the Camino spiritually or physically, or culturally, or religiously or all of the above. Loving, caring, and respecting one another requires accommodation of differences and nurturing an attitude of giving. Pedestrians can assist the bicyclist by standing aside when you know they are approaching, offering to help with mechanical breakdowns (if knowledgeable), and grabbing a piece of the bike -- with permission -- to help the bicycle peregrino make it up a steep slope or extra muddy path.

Bicycle Peregrinos can be of similar attitude by simply observing the points above.

God Bless Us All; And Let Us Love One Another.


I think, Dave, your previous post should be translated into Spanish, French, German, Korean and Italian and posted on various websites. I also think it should be given out to cyclists in there native language when they start the Camino! It would be an attempt at broader education than this forum!

I came across this website which seems to summarize Spanish cycling laws.
https://www.donkey.bike/spain-cycling-rules/

One specific point reads as follows regarding pedestrians and cyclists.

  • You are not allowed to ride on pavements, sidewalks, public parks and other pedestrian areas, except at a speed of less than 10 km/h and when the following circumstances apply:

    • There are no separate lanes for cyclists
    • The sidewalk is 3m+ wide
    • The sidewalk is not crowded (that means you can keep at least 1m distance from pedestrians and can ride in a straight line for at least 5m)
    • There are no signs or markings prohibiting bicycling.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
Well, if that is indeed the law, then it seems to provide the definitive answer. If the path is less than 3 metres wide (which is the case with many Camino paths) or crowded so that a bicyclist cannot pass without at least a metre to spare, then the cyclist should not be there.

My beef is that cyclists expect pedestrians on the Camino to step off the path to make way for the cyclist. It is also not my experience that they dismount and walk their bikes around pedestrians.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
Well, if that is indeed the law, then it seems to provide the definitive answer. If the path is less than 3 metres wide (which is the case with many Camino paths) or crowded so that a bicyclist cannot pass without at least a metre to spare, then the cyclist should not be there.

My beef is that cyclists expect pedestrians on the Camino to step off the path to make way for the cyclist. It is also not my experience that they dismount and walk their bikes around pedestrians.[/QUOTE

Yes, and when they are passing it should not be more than 10km per hr. How many come wizzing by, way over 10Km...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo
It is also not my experience that they dismount and walk their bikes around pedestrians.
I couldn’t believe my eyes recently, on a very busy path between Sarria and Santiago. I had got myself into a thick crowd of walking pilgrims (it happens after Sarria :(), and all of a sudden I realised that a herd of cows were coming the other way (difficult to see them coming amongst the crowd). As the cows were actually passing me (so close I could touch them), two cyclists, also coming the other way, tried to CYCLE between us. It obviously didn’t occur to them that they were adding to the already very stressful situation :mad:.
Jill
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I couldn’t believe my eyes recently, on a very busy path between Sarria and Santiago. I had got myself into a thick crowd of walking pilgrims (it happens after Sarria :(), and all of a sudden I realised that a herd of cows were coming the other way (difficult to see them coming amongst the crowd). As the cows were actually passing me (so close I could touch them), two cyclists, also coming the other way, tried to CYCLE between us. It obviously didn’t occur to them that they were adding to the already very stressful situation :mad:.
Jill
Imagine that on that typical Galician dug-in path up to O'Cebreiro ;)
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
I couldn’t believe my eyes recently, on a very busy path between Sarria and Santiago. I had got myself into a thick crowd of walking pilgrims (it happens after Sarria :(), and all of a sudden I realised that a herd of cows were coming the other way (difficult to see them coming amongst the crowd). As the cows were actually passing me (so close I could touch them), two cyclists, also coming the other way, tried to CYCLE between us. It obviously didn’t occur to them that they were adding to the already very stressful situation :mad:.
OMG. Didn't anyone tell them that what they were doing was magnifying everyone's stress?

It just takes a few oblivious cyclists to color everyone's perception of all of them.
And there are more than a few; we all have stories.

But before we get on an 'Anti-cyclist on the Camino' crusade, it helps to consider that walking pilgrims can be just as oblivious. It's just not so obvious.
So defensive walking is necessary, just as defensive driving is necessary.
 

mjal

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF : stages 2008, 2017, 2018 ; completed.
Well, if that is indeed the law, then it seems to provide the definitive answer. If the path is less than 3 metres wide (which is the case with many Camino paths) or crowded so that a bicyclist cannot pass without at least a metre to spare, then the cyclist should not be there.

My beef is that cyclists expect pedestrians on the Camino to step off the path to make way for the cyclist. It is also not my experience that they dismount and walk their bikes around pedestrians.
I think you are being just a little disingenuous.

If you read the references (which are actually not official), it is obvious that these rules are intended to refer to the situation in towns and cities and NOT in the countryside.

Re the expectation that pedestrians should step off the path : not necessarily but they should share the path in a charitable fashion (as should the cyclist). Dismounting and walking around the pedestrian is completely unrealistic if not to say nonsensical ; how many times per day would the cyclist need to do this on a busy route?

I write as someone who has both cycled and walked substantial distances on the CF in April/May 2008 and May/June 2017.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
. . . .<snip> Re the expectation that pedestrians should step off the path : not necessarily but they should share the path in a charitable fashion (as should the cyclist). Dismounting and walking around the pedestrian is completely unrealistic if not to say nonsensical ; how many times per day would the cyclist need to do this on a busy route?
I can see that point from a cyclist's point of view :) By that same token, let me gently suggest that it would be far more unrealistic, and inappropriate to the nature of a pilgrim's Camino, to expect the pedestrian pilgrim to be continually on the lookout for cyclists and to keep moving off of the path at narrow spots. I would propose that the cyclist has no more right to expect special treatment concerning how a pedestrian uses the path, than a pedestrian should expect special treatment by a cyclist -- who provides proper warning -- if walking abreast the trail with companions, or wandering around unpredictably on the path when alone.

In other words, a cyclist can have no more of a 'right' to the expectation of unencumbered passage on the Camino, than that of a pedestrian pilgrim. To suggest otherwise would be an unsupportable belief that the cyclist has the superior position and priority when on a Camino. So, if there is not enough room for the cyclist to safely pass, then s/he needs to 'get in line' with the pedestrians -- even if it means dismounting and pushing the bicycle -- until there is space to accommodate both parties.

If pedestrian pilgrims are indeed hogging the Camino in places that are wide enough for a bicyclist to pass, then the pedestrian(s) need to move over so the cyclist pilgrim may proceed. And it is up to the cyclist to let the pedestrians know far enough in advance, with adequate signaling, so that the pedestrian has time to react.
 
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mjal

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF : stages 2008, 2017, 2018 ; completed.
I know that religion is not to be discussed on the forum but perhaps I may be forgiven this paraphrase :

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

I did make the point that I had both cycling and walking experience on the CF, at busy times of the year.

Some vignettes :

1. Mountain bikers (with heavy panniers) having to manhandle their steeds up the Alto de Perdon when the path was in a very poor state. Why not use the road for such a stretch?

2. Walkers (about 8 people) occupying the entire width of a small public road which was the "official" CF. Ringing our bells had little effect.

3. Walking groups which split taking to both sides of the track...and then one person changes his mind and crosses to the other side...dangerous for all concerned.

4. Cycling parties racing across a narrow bridge at high speed with no consideration for the walkers (us) already on the bridge...even more dangerous. This type of behaviour seems to be the prerogative of large, organised tour groups and local mountain bikers (sometimes in even larger groups).

5. Meeting a young mountain biker who was intent on averaging 60 km per day on the walking path. He had already gone over the handlebars twice between St Jean and Logrono (fortunately without serious injury).

6. Abandoning the walkers' path when it was too narrow, too steep, too busy ; all features making us lose time ; remember that a cyclist is covering anything up to 90 km per day (which in my view requires significant use of the roads rather than the path).

So...a foot (literally and metaphorically) in both camps. As I said above, do unto others...
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
I know that religion is not to be discussed on the forum but perhaps I may be forgiven this paraphrase :

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

I did make the point that I had both cycling and walking experience on the CF, at busy times of the year.

Some vignettes :

1. Mountain bikers (with heavy panniers) having to manhandle their steeds up the Alto de Perdon when the path was in a very poor state. Why not use the road for such a stretch?

2. Walkers (about 8 people) occupying the entire width of a small public road which was the "official" CF. Ringing our bells had little effect.

3. Walking groups which split taking to both sides of the track...and then one person changes his mind and crosses to the other side...dangerous for all concerned.

4. Cycling parties racing across a narrow bridge at high speed with no consideration for the walkers (us) already on the bridge...even more dangerous. This type of behaviour seems to be the prerogative of large, organised tour groups and local mountain bikers (sometimes in even larger groups).

5. Meeting a young mountain biker who was intent on averaging 60 km per day on the walking path. He had already gone over the handlebars twice between St Jean and Logrono (fortunately without serious injury).

6. Abandoning the walkers' path when it was too narrow, too steep, too busy ; all features making us lose time ; remember that a cyclist is covering anything up to 90 km per day (which in my view requires significant use of the roads rather than the path).


So...a foot (literally and metaphorically) in both camps. As I said above, do unto others...
Response to:


2) Your point about 8 people walking abreast is well taken. This is inconsiderate to cyclists and cars.

Sometimes I do not hear the bells until the first bike is close...it may be the way the wind is blowing, or rain, or other noise? As Dave mentioned some senior walkers may have a slight hearing loss. That is why it is so important for bikes to slow down when approaching. ...yes and if need be get off the bike. What do you propose...if someone can not hear you?

6) Yes, if one wants to do 90km per day in high season they should think about going off the path and onto the roads when conditions are not appropriate. As a walker, I have made the choice to walk along the roads when conditions were too difficult for me to remain on the path...that includes too much snow, path too muddy, and on occasion, to many people and bikes on the path.
 
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davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
I know that religion is not to be discussed on the forum but perhaps I may be forgiven this paraphrase :

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

I did make the point that I had both cycling and walking experience on the CF, at busy times of the year.

Some vignettes :

1. Mountain bikers (with heavy panniers) having to manhandle their steeds up the Alto de Perdon when the path was in a very poor state. Why not use the road for such a stretch?

2. Walkers (about 8 people) occupying the entire width of a small public road which was the "official" CF. Ringing our bells had little effect.

3. Walking groups which split taking to both sides of the track...and then one person changes his mind and crosses to the other side...dangerous for all concerned.

4. Cycling parties racing across a narrow bridge at high speed with no consideration for the walkers (us) already on the bridge...even more dangerous. This type of behaviour seems to be the prerogative of large, organised tour groups and local mountain bikers (sometimes in even larger groups).

5. Meeting a young mountain biker who was intent on averaging 60 km per day on the walking path. He had already gone over the handlebars twice between St Jean and Logrono (fortunately without serious injury).

6. Abandoning the walkers' path when it was too narrow, too steep, too busy ; all features making us lose time ; remember that a cyclist is covering anything up to 90 km per day (which in my view requires significant use of the roads rather than the path).

So...a foot (literally and metaphorically) in both camps. As I said above, do unto others...
1. That is an option.

2. That would be annoying; I know when walking CF my pace was, in many instances, faster than the gaggle-crowd of walking cohorts. It took patience, graciousness, pardons, and other signals in order to secure enough room to squeeze by.

3. Yeah, that happens for sure.

4. That's part of a self-centered entitlement attitude. Whether from bicycle riders or pedestrians or any situation with people involved, it makes the world a less pleasant place. :)

5. Ouch. . . sometimes it takes someone a few times touching a hot stove to stop doing so.

6. Yeah, I get that; and your view makes sense. :) I would say this to any cyclist with that kind of agenda: I do not care what distance you decide to cover or how long you want to take in doing so. That's your personal issue and agenda. I have my own needs and concerns. Your needs do not take precedence or have more importance than mine. I am a pedestrian pilgrim, not an obstacle, so if you respect me in that manner when we meet on the Way while you are trying to finish a 60+ km day in under 2 hours, I will wish you a speedy, "Buen Camino". :)
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I think it’s great that the forum is a place where people can vent their frustrations. And I agree with many of the descriptions of what can only be called rude behavior. As more people come to the camino, more rude people will be in that cohort.

I do think there are things worth fighting for, but fighting for manners on the Camino Francés doesn’t seem to me to be one of them. I have walked every year since 2000 except for one, and none of these complaints resonate with me. But that’s because I moved off the Francés and now walk untraveled caminos. Maybe that’s the coward’s way out, but I think that if this rude behavior really interferes with your camino enjoyment, you should consider the many alternatives that are just as beautiful, just as historic, and way more pleasant.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
I think it’s great that the forum is a place where people can vent their frustrations. And I agree with many of the descriptions of what can only be called rude behavior. As more people come to the camino, more rude people will be in that cohort.

I do think there are things worth fighting for, but fighting for manners on the Camino Francés doesn’t seem to me to be one of them. I have walked every year since 2000 except for one, and none of these complaints resonate with me. But that’s because I moved off the Francés and now walk untraveled caminos. Maybe that’s the coward’s way out, but I think that if this rude behavior really interferes with your camino enjoyment, you should consider the many alternatives that are just as beautiful, just as historic, and way more pleasant.

Buen camino, Laurie
Well stated, Laurie. :)
 

mjal

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF : stages 2008, 2017, 2018 ; completed.
Response to:


2) Your point about 8 people walking abreast is well taken. This is inconsiderate to cyclists and cars.

Sometimes I do not hear the bells until the first bike is close...it may be the way the wind is blowing, or rain, or other noise? As Dave mentioned some senior walkers may have a slight hearing loss. That is why it is so important for bikes to slow down when approaching. ...yes and if need be get off the bike. What do you propose...if someone can not hear you?

6) Yes, if one wants to do 90km per day in high season they should think about going off the path and onto the roads when conditions are not appropriate. As a walker, I have made the choice to walk along the roads when conditions were too difficult for me to remain on the path...that includes too much snow, path too muddy, and on occasion, to many people and bikes on the path.
I agree entirely about difficulty in hearing cycle bells in certain conditions. If someone really does not hear my bell I will slow to (less than ) walking pace and if necessary dismount. This relatively rare occurrence is a little different from the scenario upthread which seemed to suggest a cyclist walking around all/most/many pedestrians. Did anyone mention the iPod/iPhone ear buds which might be more common than genuine hearing loss?

Not to labour a point too much, but I see this problem from both sides. I run on an almost daily basis on my local, country roads ; there are frequent incidents where cyclists give no warning of their impending arrival. Just last week I was overtaken by a cyclist who was close enough that I could have pushed him off his bike (if I had been both vindictive and faster reacting). This was in "wind against" conditions so my first awareness of him was when he was at my elbow
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
I think it’s great that the forum is a place where people can vent their frustrations. And I agree with many of the descriptions of what can only be called rude behavior. As more people come to the camino, more rude people will be in that cohort.

I do think there are things worth fighting for, but fighting for manners on the Camino Francés doesn’t seem to me to be one of them. I have walked every year since 2000 except for one, and none of these complaints resonate with me. But that’s because I moved off the Francés and now walk untraveled caminos. Maybe that’s the coward’s way out, but I think that if this rude behavior really interferes with your camino enjoyment, you should consider the many alternatives that are just as beautiful, just as historic, and way more pleasant.

Buen camino, Laurie

With huge respect and great admiration, Laurie, “fighting for manners” on the Camino is not my concern... but advocatng to prevent bodily harm to pilgrims is! Many people cannot do many of the other Camino options because the infrastructure does not appear to support their abiliities. How many times have I read seasoned pilgrims of this forum suggest to newbies to take the CF for this reason? How many times have we seen a post with a perspective pilgrim asking....Can I walk the Camino and only do 6km, or 8km or 10km per day (mostly because of medical issues)? Almost every response from experts such as yourself suggests taking the CF. Does one really think that folks with medical issues can easily react to the oncoming speed of the bikers who frequently provide no signal? I have seen fast walkers...which I am not, get nipped by a bike. I, for one, often take to the roads of the CF. I do not have to break my slow rhythm. I can see the ongoing traffic, who are much more predictable than bikes coming from behind, because vehicles and Walker have designated spaces. But that is not a solution for the crowds walking the CF.

From what I have experienced on the CF, there needs to be widening of paths and designated spaces for bikers and walkers in certain areas. Otherwise, at high seasons...especially from Sarria on, more pilgrims are going to be hurt.
 
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