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How can you get an electric bike to the Camino from England?

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Ducks

Walking for 3
Past OR future Camino
Camino Portugese (2020)
Camino Frances (2021)
Does anybody have any practical suggestions or experience getting to the Camino (preferably Porto, but Burgos or Pamplona also a possibility) with one electric bike, from the UK?

Can't fly with it. The train looks very complicated. And not cycling there all the way - too far!

The idea is my partner will cycle about 200 kms of the Camino while I walk. He's quite happy to sit out half of the day while I catch up daily. But I can't figure out how we can get his bike there to start.

Alternative - hiring a bike, but that seems very expensive. Also he needs a step-through. (Health and age factors into our planning.)

Thank you for any advice
 
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Paul J W

Paul J
Past OR future Camino
Miscellaneous camino routes since 2000.
Does anybody have any practical suggestions or experience getting to the Camino (preferably Porto, but Burgos or Pamplona also a possibility) with one electric bike, from the UK?

Can't fly with it. The train looks very complicated. And not cycling there all the way - too far!

The idea is my partner will cycle about 200 kms of the Camino while I walk. He's quite happy to sit out half of the day while I catch up daily. But I can't figure out how we can get his bike there to start.

Alternative - hiring a bike, but that seems very expensive. Also he needs a step-through. (Health and age factors into our planning.)

Thank you for any advice

Ferry from Portsmouth or Plymouth to Bilbao or Santander? You’re then on the Camino del Norte. Return to Spanish port by rail. Worth exploring?
 

Corned Beef

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
C. Norte Sept/2022
Options are:

1. Take bike (plus batteries) on ferry to Santander and then trains from them. You'll be restricted to the slower Regional Express / Media Distancia if the bike cannot be folded to carry on sizes.

2. Box the bike (minus batteries) and send by courier or someone like SendaBike.com. Then take batteries by fast train by Eurorail / SNCF / Renfe / CP

3. Once you have worked out the costs of options 1 and 2, you'll likely decide to hire a bike as the hire companies have put in place the insurance needed to transport batteries by road across Iberia.

I've done #3 and doing #1 as I can store the bike in Spain until I need it again. As a backup I might do #2.
 

Helen1

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
From personal experience:
  1. Ferry is fun, takes ages, not cheap because I think you need a cabin on those routes. Bikes on trains in Spain is potentially more complex than you might expect as there are rules that are hard to understand (the rules are probably worse in the UK but it's not quite as easy as turn up to the station and put bike on train...) or you could take the bus but you need a bag/take off the front wheel.
  2. Trains, as you say very complex because there are quite a few changes (bikes and panniers are unwieldy, with 2 it would be easier but there's often a lot of humping stuff up steps/on and off trains)
  3. A cycle transport company like https://cycletransfer.co.uk/ but expensive and usually linked to cycling events
  4. Hire a bike, agree with CornedBeef, in terms of stress/cost it's usually the best option. I hired a non-electric bike from https://www.vieguini.pt/contacts/ in Porto surprisingly easy, they give you everything you need, very simple process to return in Santiago. Bike was an old and had seen some serious use but it had been serviced and got me there.
You could also try:
  1. Fly with bike and ship the batteries as dangerous goods
  2. Hire a battery in Spain but that would still mean flying the bike. If you're struggling a bit physically just getting a boxed bike to oversize luggage could be quite a challenge and you'll probably need a taxi the other end so that you can assemble the bike at the hotel.
  3. Drive/ferry to Spain with the bike leave the car somewhere whilst you walk and then have a lovely long road trip through France - assuming the ferries are all operational now.
Hope you manage to work it out and have a fun trip!
 
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mattythedog

Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
From personal experience:
  1. Ferry is fun, takes ages, not cheap because I think you need a cabin on those routes. Bikes on trains in Spain is potentially more complex than you might expect as there are rules that are hard to understand (the rules are probably worse in the UK but it's not quite as easy as turn up to the station and put bike on train...) or you could take the bus but you need a bag/take off the front wheel.
  2. Trains, as you say very complex because there are quite a few changes (bikes and panniers are unwieldy, with 2 it would be easier but there's often a lot of humping stuff up steps/on and off trains)
  3. A cycle transport company like https://cycletransfer.co.uk/ but expensive and usually linked to cycling events
  4. Hire a bike, agree with CornedBeef, in terms of stress/cost it's usually the best option. I hired a non-electric bike from https://www.vieguini.pt/contacts/ in Porto surprisingly easy, they give you everything you need, very simple process to return in Santiago. Bike was an old and had seen some serious use but it had been serviced and got me there.
You could also try:
  1. Fly with bike and ship the batteries as dangerous goods
  2. Hire a battery in Spain but that would still mean flying the bike. If you're struggling a bit physically just getting a boxed bike to oversize luggage could be quite a challenge and you'll probably need a taxi the other end so that you can assemble the bike at the hotel.
  3. Drive/ferry to Spain with the bike leave the car somewhere whilst you walk and then have a lovely long road trip through France - assuming the ferries are all operational now.
Hope you manage to work it out and have a fun trip!
Leave that miserable E bike home and rent a regular bike when he arrives. He will be slower and not have to wait as long for you during the walk. And tell him to stick to the roads, not the Peregrinos’ path!!!!
 

Ducks

Walking for 3
Past OR future Camino
Camino Portugese (2020)
Camino Frances (2021)
Thank you everyone for the good advice. I think I will leave rider at home with his ebike, and just fly over and do my walk myself. Seems much easier ☺️. He was just kindly offering to come l but it seems way too complicated and expensive.
 

mattythedog

Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Thank you everyone for the good advice. I think I will leave rider at home with his ebike, and just fly over and do my walk myself. Seems much easier ☺️. He was just kindly offering to come l but it seems way too complicated and expensive.
Thank you. A very wise decision and much easier on the Peregrinos who are walking the path
 

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