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Cycling the Camino del Norte?

lawrencekellyuk

New Member
Has anybody cycled the Camino del Norte? I'll explain my scenario: 4 of us are going to attempt a camino in September, 3 of us have purely road bikes, and one a hybrid, so although we could perhaps take short bursts of very mild off road, and even walk if necessary, really we want to be doing as much road stuff as possible. Having read a little bit about del Norte route it seems like it could be a really interesting route, plus a little shorter than the main Camino Frances, which is good as we're not sure about the amount of time we'll get off work (could be anywhere between 10 and 18 days). Is the route suitable for road bikes? I'm posting a similar message on the del Norte Forum too, if that's OK?
Anyway, any tips anybody could share would be appreciated, thanks very much.
 

AlainB

New Member
Absolutely doable- am on it now, though am taking a day off to fix my bike and clean my clothes. Starting off from Paris, I have averaged about 70k a day on a mountainbike in France, and about 40 in Spain. In truth, roadbikes will likely be a simpler (not easier) go than mountainbikes, if you intend to follow the excellent spanish road system. A brief technical note, make sure to bring the right inner sheathes...no prize to the man who has to hitchhike to the nearest garage, 50k away, on a sunday.

Following the yellow arrows, I have encountered difficulty after difficulty- broken pedals from bad terrain, gates, etc- but by contrast have otherwise thoroughly enjoyed my time on road, where drivers are (mostly) accomodating and the views often stunning. This may just be my own experience however.

I would recommend learning as much spanish as possible, especially technical terms, and, from St Sebastian and Guernika, following the "official" itinirary as much as possible. Likewise, bringing your own energy-heavy gels will likely save you considerable time and cash, as I have found that, contrary to France, Spanish food, at least in restaurants, is remarkably light. On the same token, learn the lay of the land (duh) and do not be afraid to be flexible: I have often had to take a tram when the roadways were closed or my bike had issues (eg the 2km from Ola into Bilbao). My final piece of advice? Stay as a group, and dont be afraid of the hills!

hope this helps.
 

ruffstuffbob

New Member
Hi, I recently started a new thread on Cycling from Finiestere to Santander,(The opposite way) bypassing Santiago .I kept mostly to the roads (bad memories of going on the Francais Camino) and did it on a road bike. As stated, I made rough notes of the route, heights, distances etc. and asked for feedback as to whether this type of information might be of use to anyone then I could put something together. Also useful touring tips etc. which I have picked up over the years. Best wishes. Bob. J.
 

makingtrax

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
El norte2010
Portuguese 2014
Primativo 2016
Frances sept 2017!
Hi, I recently started a new thread on Cycling from Finiestere to Santander,(The opposite way) bypassing Santiago .I kept mostly to the roads (bad memories of going on the Francais Camino) and did it on a road bike. As stated, I made rough notes of the route, heights, distances etc. and asked for feedback as to whether this type of information might be of use to anyone then I could put something together. Also useful touring tips etc. which I have picked up over the years. Best wishes. Bob.
 

makingtrax

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
El norte2010
Portuguese 2014
Primativo 2016
Frances sept 2017!
Hi Bob. Just read your 2011 blog. I am finishing my 5 caminos in 80 days this summer in August returning to bayonne from Santiago by bike and would be interested in reading your blog in this trip as as it is cycling in reverse I'm not sure how clear signs etc will be. I have walked el norte in stages over the years so have a small onsite as to what to expect. Any help would be appreciated. Cheers Kathleen
 
Camino(s) past & future
www.cyclingsofties.blog
Camino de Santiago, 2013
Hello:
I stongly recommend cycling the del norte. My wife and I, both age 70, did it last September. We took our time and basically went at walkers pace. It is one of the tougher Caminos we've done, but great, great fun. Take a look at my blog on our experiences at http://cyclingthecaminodenorte.blogspot.com Its a great experience. enjoy
What a fascinating read. Sounds like we will need to avoid the Albergue in Gontan though. We rode the Camino de Santiago in 2013 (www.cyclingsofties.blog - sorry, can't resist adding the link just in case anybody is interested in reading) and although we knew not to arrive at an albergue until well after three in the afternoon, we were never turned away or made to wait until 7.00 pm!
 

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