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2019 Camino Guides

Read Before You Walk!

Madge464

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
future: Camino Frances starting in Sept.(2018)
#1
In preparation for walking this Camino, I read as much as I could to prepare myself for this journey. I have two concerns at this point in time. I started in SJPP and am now in Burgos. The first concern is the amount of toilet paper on the sides of the road and in the bushes. As a women, I was concerned about the distance and having to go on the side of the road privately. I read and packed a ziplock bag and hand sanitizer to solve this problem. It is easy and I am leaving no trace. My second concern is with the bicyclists. I wish they all had a bell to notify you of their approach. Most have made a point to yell out Buen Camino! I have been startled and almost hit more than once. A walker gets in a rhythm with their poles and conversation , which makes it hard to hear. I am loving this journey and my times of solitude and reflection. It should be a wonderful journey for all!
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#2
Your concerns repeat concerns in dozens of past posts, and are as valid now as then!

Most of the tissue is from dripping noses. It is an eyesore as are water bottles, candy wrappers and cigarette butts. You may be best served by simply ignoring it. Banana and orange peels take much longer to degrade than tissues. As to the toilet paper, with 300,000 pilgrims each year, there will be bathroom needs that are not met by the bars and restaurants along the way. There is no solution in the works for more toilets. The governments do not seem to care.

Even bells on bicycles are not of much use. Ears are made to detect sounds from ahead, not behind. When it gets really bad, just jam your walking pole into the bicycle spokes. That will get their attention.:mad:

Or just live with it...:)
 

MickMac

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013
Frances 2016
Frances 2017
Frances 2018
Meseta
Frances 2018
Leon-Ponferrada
#3
Madge,

There has been dozens of debates over time about Bells on Bikes all to no avail. It ends in conflict between bikers and walkers which gets no one anywhere, I personally have had numerous arguments on this forum with bikers about this so instead, I have this idea :).

Maybe a campaign by this forum to alert bikers to the risks of no bell, to "free bells"being handed out to bikers in SJPP and other start points might be an idea for" Spanish and French tourist offices" in the affected regions.
An education program leaflet for biking clubs on the "Be Safe Be Heard" motto distributed to appropriate centers near borders .

Just a few suggestions !
 

MickMac

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013
Frances 2016
Frances 2017
Frances 2018
Meseta
Frances 2018
Leon-Ponferrada
#5
1537695382990.png
Of course in all languages and keep leaflets in albergues and make sure they are distributed to our biking comrades.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Newbie (Nov, 18)
#6
As a cyclist (but not a Camino cyclist) the trouble I have with bells - although they re getting better - is that they people never hear them. I also think that it's a little rude. Can't people just say excuse me as they would in...oh...every other situation? Ringing a bell is like a Car leaning on the horn. It says, "get out my ******ing way".

Unfortunatly it's the sort of problem that just requires everyone to think and be considerate and...well...we only remember the people who arent.

For the other issue, whilst I accept I am a Camino newbie, I am not a walking newbie and I fail to see the reason to drop any litter. Toilet paper in particular (ewwww!).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2019)
#7
One safety accommodation that walkers can make is to walk without earbuds in. This may be controversial, but it is effective. Without earbuds in, I have some hope of hearing oncoming bikes. On the trails near my home, I’d say about a third of bikers do not ring a bell or say “on your left.”
 

MickMac

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013
Frances 2016
Frances 2017
Frances 2018
Meseta
Frances 2018
Leon-Ponferrada
#8
As a cyclist (but not a Camino cyclist) the trouble I have with bells - although they re getting better - is that they people never hear them. I also think that it's a little rude. Can't people just say excuse me as they would in...oh...every other situation? Ringing a bell is like a Car leaning on the horn. It says, "get out my ******ing way".

Unfortunatly it's the sort of problem that just requires everyone to think and be considerate and...well...we only remember the people who arent.

For the other issue, whilst I accept I am a Camino newbie, I am not a walking newbie and I fail to see the reason to drop any litter. Toilet paper in particular (ewwww!).
DD, life would be wonderful if everyone was thoughtful of fellow man but in the mean time "Get out of my ####ing way" with a bell , is better than two weeks in intensive care .
 
Camino(s) past & future
future
#9
As a cyclist (but not a Camino cyclist) the trouble I have with bells - although they re getting better - is that they people never hear them. I also think that it's a little rude. Can't people just say excuse me as they would in...oh...every other situation? Ringing a bell is like a Car leaning on the horn. It says, "get out my ******ing way".

Unfortunatly it's the sort of problem that just requires everyone to think and be considerate and...well...we only remember the people who arent.

For the other issue, whilst I accept I am a Camino newbie, I am not a walking newbie and I fail to see the reason to drop any litter. Toilet paper in particular (ewwww!).
I disagree. We heard the bells when used and thanked those cyclists profusely for using them.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2016)
#10
I struggle with this problem...while on Camino, and back at home. As a walker the majority of time that I am passed by a cyclist the problem takes place with the speed of the approach and pass. Not at all sure of what the solution is. At the same time, as a walker, I have had challenges passing other walkers who walk next to each other blocking the entire pathway. The only think I can control is my own action, and I hope that I am able to walk in a friendly manner for both cyclist and fellow walkers. Peace.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues (April 2019)
#11
As a cyclist (but not a Camino cyclist) the trouble I have with bells - although they re getting better - is that they people never hear them. I also think that it's a little rude. Can't people just say excuse me as they would in...oh...every other situation? Ringing a bell is like a Car leaning on the horn. It says, "get out my ******ing way".

Unfortunatly it's the sort of problem that just requires everyone to think and be considerate and...well...we only remember the people who arent.

.
my experience (locally) with using the 'excuse me' is that people hear a voice and expect anything but a bicycle and get a fright when I ride past, yelling at me to use the effn bell next time.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't, I use a combination of both now.
 

Madge464

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
future: Camino Frances starting in Sept.(2018)
#12
Madge,

There has been dozens of debates over time about Bells on Bikes all to no avail. It ends in conflict between bikers and walkers which gets no one anywhere, I personally have had numerous arguments on this forum with bikers about this so instead, I have this idea :).

Maybe a campaign by this forum to alert bikers to the risks of no bell, to "free bells"being handed out to bikers in SJPP and other start points might be an idea for" Spanish and French tourist offices" in the affected regions.
An education program leaflet for biking clubs on the "Be Safe Be Heard" motto distributed to appropriate centers near borders .

Just a few suggestions !
I think you’re onto something! Great idea!
 

Damienw

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018
#14
The lack of bells on most of the bikes passing me is quite alarming and I am sure that this will result in serious injury! I once commented in frustration at a Spanish rider’s near miss collision and lack of a warning bell and was shocked and speechless by his response in English that there wasn’t one on the bike !!
 

winewalker

Go and do...because Life won't wait.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Portugues 2014, Via Francigena Lucca to Rome 2016, Camino Frances, Way of St.
#15
I struggle with this problem...while on Camino, and back at home. As a walker the majority of time that I am passed by a cyclist the problem takes place with the speed of the approach and pass. Not at all sure of what the solution is. At the same time, as a walker, I have had challenges passing other walkers who walk next to each other blocking the entire pathway. The only think I can control is my own action, and I hope that I am able to walk in a friendly manner for both cyclist and fellow walkers. Peace.
“Walk in friendly manner” I like that! And you could also add: Bike in a friendly manner!
 
Camino(s) past & future
April-May 2013; (September 2014)
#16
As a cyclist (but not a Camino cyclist) the trouble I have with bells - although they re getting better - is that they people never hear them. I also think that it's a little rude. Can't people just say excuse me as they would in...oh...every other situation? Ringing a bell is like a Car leaning on the horn. It says, "get out my ******ing way".

Unfortunatly it's the sort of problem that just requires everyone to think and be considerate and...well...we only remember the people who arent.

For the other issue, whilst I accept I am a Camino newbie, I am not a walking newbie and I fail to see the reason to drop any litter. Toilet paper in particular (ewwww!).
I'm a veteran of 4 caminos (walking) and 3 long distance bike trips, having just completed the latest one today (from Trier to Bonn via Koblenz in Germany.) I would vote for bells on bikes. In 2013 on a downhill stretch on the CF that was particularly steep, narrow and rocky I was nearly hit from behind by a young biker (I'm 72 so I guess most people are "young" from my vantage!) He didn't have a bell and never uttered an audible warning. I guess he had trouble controlling his bike and didn't have the mind to say anything! I wished he had alerted me somehow - and would not have considered his using a bell, or even shouting a warning, to be rude. He apologized profusely, after the near collision! When riding and coming up to walkers I always slow down and ring my bell, once, when I'm within hearing distance. Inevitably I can see people moving aside to let me pass. I always wave my arm or turn around after passing, saying "thank you" in local language. There are ways to keep the peace between hikers and bikers.
 

mmmckay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino francés (Summer 2018!)
#17
In preparation for walking this Camino, I read as much as I could to prepare myself for this journey. I have two concerns at this point in time. I started in SJPP and am now in Burgos. The first concern is the amount of toilet paper on the sides of the road and in the bushes. As a women, I was concerned about the distance and having to go on the side of the road privately. I read and packed a ziplock bag and hand sanitizer to solve this problem. It is easy and I am leaving no trace. My second concern is with the bicyclists. I wish they all had a bell to notify you of their approach. Most have made a point to yell out Buen Camino! I have been startled and almost hit more than once. A walker gets in a rhythm with their poles and conversation , which makes it hard to hear. I am loving this journey and my times of solitude and reflection. It should be a wonderful journey for all!
I walked the Camino Frances in the summer, and I agree with you on both counts. The toilet paper situation gets worse as you move along. The lack of bell use by the cyclists was very frustrating. I was almost wiped out on day three. I met one lovely cyclist from Amsterdam who said that he sees himself as a guest on a pedestrian route and is very respectful and always uses his bell. I wish more cyclists on the Camino felt that way.
 
Camino(s) past & future
future
#18
Maybe we should add to our 'what to bring' suggestions that if you are renting a bike to ride the Camino, BRING YOUR OWN BELL. And be prepared to attach it.
 

Keyes

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF May-June 2016
Francesco June-July 2017
Francigena July-August 2017
Portuguese July 2018
#19
In 2016 a pilgrim friend and I were walking uphill on a wooded path. I heard a chirping sound and asked "Is that your phone or a bird". She replied "Not my phone, must be a bird". A few seconds later a cyclist passed us on the left, laughing and saying "I am not a bird". It's all about mutual courtesy and trying to be aware of your surroundings.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016
Kumano Kodo 2015
#20
As a cyclist, on bush trails or shared pedestrian/bike trails around cities - bells are of limited use. Often a walker will not hear them or will be startled and jump into the path rather than off the path. Best approach is to slow down, ring bell or say hello or say "passing on the right", and then say "THANK YOU" with a smile and a wave.

As a walker on bush trails or shared trails, I often don't hear the approach of a bike and sometimes step into their path when concentrating about something else - even though I consider myself bicycle-aware.

Responsibility rests with the cyclist to pass safely without startling the walkers or wait for an opportunity to do so.
 
#21
Maybe we should add to our 'what to bring' suggestions that if you are renting a bike to ride the Camino, BRING YOUR OWN BELL. And be prepared to attach it.
It seems difficult to believe, but one of our two rented bikes in May 2017 did not have a bell ; what is the logic of one with and one without?
We bought and attached a bell before leaving Logrono (our starting point) ; cost was 3 euros if I remember correctly.

PS : Rental company was NOT Bikeiberia.

PPS : as a walker/runner (as well as a cyclist), I am in no doubt that ringing a bell is much superior to a shouted warning ; the bell is very specific (a bike is approaching) whereas a shout may have many other meanings (someone has fallen over, is calling to a friend, is in high spirits etc etc).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Sept 2016)
SDC/ Finesterre/ Muxia (2016)
#22
It’s odd because my husband was an avid biker putting over 400 miles a month on his bike, going to and from work and on weekends.
The bike culture out here is occasionally a bell, but more often is “on your left “ which tells you someone is coming and to which side to expect them so you know to which side to step.
I was shocked at the complete lack of communication from bikers in Spain
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
Planning Norte 2019
#23
I totally agree with Richard. The responsibility rests on the cyclist. I've seen several near misses where the walker had no opportunity to take evasive action because the cyclist was riding too fast.
 

Peter Fransiscus

Do good and good will come to you.
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
#24
I totally agree with Richard. The responsibility rests on the cyclist. I've seen several near misses where the walker had no opportunity to take evasive action because the cyclist was riding too fast.
I disagree , on small pads the walkers have to stay behind each other leaving enough space for the cyclist.
Never had a problem.

Wish you well, Peter.
 

caminka

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
see signature
#26
I've been known to complain of the cyclists on the camino and that was already years ago. they seem to live in their own world where that world is theirs for the cycling. at the time, few shouted out their coming, but I don't remember any bells.
I prefer bells, because then I know it's a cyclist and not something else.
only once I've met two bicigrinos from usa(?) who were pushing their bikes up and down the steep slopes.

cycling and walking in my city, I've developed this approach:

- ring the bell once (or twice, depending on the bell on the rentable city bike) - meaning for all the walkers in front that a cyclist is coming (so don't jump to the left, don't weave your hands around etc.) - it usually works fine and people move away, except when they are listening to an ipod or really contemplating something; it probably works so fine because the bikelanes here are to the left of the sidewalks and the only problems are the bus stops where people don't pay much attention

- ring the bell three times (multiple times if necessary) - when approaching a bus stop when the bus is approaching it or has just stopped and opened its doors

- ringing the bell - you darn idiot, stop walking on the bikelane, quit jumping onto the bikelane, get out of my way!

- if possible, I overtake the walkers on the left, because they instinctively seem to move to the right

- if possible, I aim to pass the walkers behind them, where they usually don't even notice me

- when walking, I always look to the right when crossing a bikelane, especially if coming from a bus

I'm still in one piece. :)
 

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