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Do not believe everything you read

rene beets

New Member
Past OR future Camino
september oktober 2015
I cycled in 2016 the Camino Frances. I used a book from the Dutch author Clemens Sweerman. for the route. He wrote that the walking path were not suitable for bicycles and I believed him. I found myself cycling mainly on N 120 roads with cars passing by with high speed. I disliked it but believed the author. The last part in Galicia I start following the yellow arrows and had a great time.
This year I walked the Camino Frances and saw with my own eyes how absolutely wrong the author is. The whole route is perfectly suitable for a simple MTB bike. Of course you have to walk some parts but this is not more than around 5 % of the whole distance. So good walking/cycling shoes are important.
There are a few parts not so suitable that is the last part before Roncesvalles where a few trees fall over the walking path and were not taking away jet the stage from Rabanal del Camino to Molinaseca I would not take the walking path because it is very narrow and steep climbing and descending. For the rest the whole walking route perfectly suitable for cycling.
 
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november_moon

Veteran Member
There are some sections that are fine for bikes and walkers, but some that are not. Part of it has to do with the terrain, but I think it has more to do with the narrowness of some trails and the speed at which bikes fly by. Some sections, there isn't space for cyclists to pass the walkers, so walkers have to step off the trail to let the cyclists go by. This is ok when given enough time to react, but often, the cyclists are on your tail before you even know they are there.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I cycled in 2016 the Camino Frances. I used a book from the Dutch author Clemens Sweerman. for the route. He wrote that the walking path were not suitable for bicycles and I believed him. I found myself cycling mainly on N 120 roads with cars passing by with high speed. I disliked it but believed the author. The last part in Galicia I start following the yellow arrows and had a great time.
This year I walked the Camino Frances and saw with my own eyes how absolutely wrong the author is. The whole route is perfectly suitable for a simple MTB bike. Of course you have to walk some parts but this is not more than around 5 % of the whole distance. So good walking/cycling shoes are important.
There are a few parts not so suitable that is the last part before Roncesvalles where a few trees fall over the walking path and were not taking away jet the stage from Rabanal del Camino to Molinaseca I would not take the walking path because it is very narrow and steep climbing and descending. For the rest the whole walking route perfectly suitable for cycling.

Just as you found it discomforting and probably feared for your safety as much larger and faster cars speed past you, so it is the same for pedestrians on a walking path who are being passed by larger bicycles traveling at much higher speeds. Just as a car can severely injure or kill a cyclist, so too can the same thing happen to a pedestrian by a bike.
 

rene beets

New Member
Past OR future Camino
september oktober 2015
There are some sections that are fine for bikes and walkers, but some that are not. Part of it has to do with the terrain, but I think it has more to do with the narrowness of some trails and the speed at which bikes fly by. Some sections, there isn't space for cyclists to pass the walkers, so walkers have to step off the trail to let the cyclists go by. This is ok when given enough time to react, but often, the cyclists are on your tail before you even know they are there.

I agree with you but that has more to do with the behaviour of people who are cycling. During my walk I start hating them certainly the Spanish ones with there stupid clothes like the are joining a tour the France. I will write later on some rules for people who are cycling.
 
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What honestly gets to me is the might has right attitude of some (not all!) cyclists. A heartfelt thanks to those of you who don't assume that the right of way is yours just because you're bigger and going faster.
 

november_moon

Veteran Member
What honestly gets to me is the might has right attitude of some (not all!) cyclists. A heartfelt thanks to those of you who don't assume that the right of way is yours just because you're bigger and going faster.

YES! And I honestly think that most of the cyclists are polite and considerate and I am very thankful for their politeness. And on the whole, I don't think cyclists are less polite and walkers, but it only takes a few rude cyclists to have a negative impact on a bunch of walkers. It's hard for a rude walker to impact too many people. So I think that a few bad apples give cyclists as a whole a bad rap.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
As the Camino Francés (and other caminos) get more and more popular, what happens is that the governments flatten the rough terrain and spread on gravel. As I understand it, this is the quick and easy way to deal with erosion and water management. It is bad for pedestrians and great for cyclists. For instance, the Primitivo, at least from Galician border onward, is now perfectly fine terrain for mountain bikes. I expect this will encourage more bikes, so not only does this improvement mean more shin splints for walkers, but also more injuries from cyclists. As others have said, collisions are inevitable when both pedestrians and cyclists occupy the same space. I've found that the best strategy is to look for some original terrain (dirt) along the sides of these paths to keep my shins happy and to keep me out of the cyclists' striking distance.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Let me pose this thought:
I keep reading an almost politically correct tag onto any comment about bicyclists on the trail. It goes something like, "This is my complaint, but, of course, it's only SOME of the cyclists, most are OK, the bad apples are in the minority...."

I posit that it is the minority of cyclists who are ready and willing to be courteous and respectful of pedestrians on the paths and trails. So, in all honesty, for every one polite cyclist, how many bad apples are we really seeing by comparison? My sense is the pedestrian-be-darned speedsters outweigh the considerate ones.

I hope my sense is wrong on this.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

rene beets

New Member
Past OR future Camino
september oktober 2015
As the Camino Francés (and other caminos) get more and more popular, what happens is that the governments flatten the rough terrain and spread on gravel. As I understand it, this is the quick and easy way to deal with erosion and water management. It is bad for pedestrians and great for cyclists. For instance, the Primitivo, at least from Galician border onward, is now perfectly fine terrain for mountain bikes. I expect this will encourage more bikes, so not only does this improvement mean more shin splints for walkers, but also more injuries from cyclists. As others have said, collisions are inevitable when both pedestrians and cyclists occupy the same space. I've found that the best strategy is to look for some original terrain (dirt) along the sides of these paths to keep my shins happy and to keep me out of the cyclists' striking distance.


As problems never solved by organisations between skiing and snowboard I am afraid that the organisation of the Camino will not react on bad behaviour and fast cycling. They can start with you have to cycle minimum 14 day and all 14 days 2 stamps per day when you cycle otherwise no certificate. Than there is no use of cycling fast anymore. I can cycle the camino in a week but than I am in a hurry in two weeks I have a the time of the world.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I posted asking for common sense! That thread got shut down because of negative comments towards the bikers! I understand the frustration and anger folks feel as I was concerned with some cyclists behavior! Having limited camino experience, but many tears of shared trail experience....can we be proactive? Are there people we can write to and petition certain sections of the Camino be designated as walkers only!? Where there are i.e., small one meter wide paths, can obstacles be installed to prohibit bikes from riding on them!? What can be done! How can we facilitate this? Perhaps you have tried before?
 
D

Deleted member 56069

Guest
Never had any major issues with cyclists, but very few with bells or if they have them, they are seldom used. They have expensive GPS, Go - Pro 4k cameras, but not a $3.00 bell. Curious.
Being an avid cyclist myself when at home (have not cycled the Camino and never will) I am always surprised when a rider passes me at speed as if he does run into me or another walker, he will go down hard as well and likely be injured. Self preservation is a normal instinct for most of us. When I ride on shared trails at home, I slow down to a walking pace and use my bell or if the terrain permits, I take a wide berth around walkers. Many have ear buds and don't always hear you coming or your bell.
As with most things, the majority of cyclists are courteous and careful, but some treat the trails as their personal off road track and seem annoyed that walkers are preventing their obtaining their personal best time for each section.
Many more cycling clubs on the Camino on my last two Camino's, had one group of more than 20 riders in a tight group go by me this year and the dust cloud they generated was very impressive as they went by.
 

rene beets

New Member
Past OR future Camino
september oktober 2015
I cycled in 2016 the Camino Frances. I used a book from the Dutch author Clemens Sweerman. for the route. He wrote that the walking path were not suitable for bicycles and I believed him. I found myself cycling mainly on N 120 roads with cars passing by with high speed. I disliked it but believed the author. The last part in Galicia I start following the yellow arrows and had a great time.
This year I walked the Camino Frances and saw with my own eyes how absolutely wrong the author is. The whole route is perfectly suitable for a simple MTB bike. Of course you have to walk some parts but this is not more than around 5 % of the whole distance. So good walking/cycling shoes are important.
There are a few parts not so suitable that is the last part before Roncesvalles where a few trees fall over the walking path and were not taking away jet the stage from Rabanal del Camino to Molinaseca I would not take the walking path because it is very narrow and steep climbing and descending. For the rest the whole walking route perfectly suitable for cycling.

As I wrote before I cycled the camino Frances in 2016 I did not had a bell neither a camera. Slowing down till walking speed around 5 km and than say simple Hola like. People look behind and let you pass no problem at all. Last year I did not get a lot of when I told that I was cycling. With my experience of walking the camino in 2017 i know why.
 

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