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Starting from Madrid by bike 19 April

2020 Camino Guides

RedBike

Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Route SJPDP (2004, 2007). From Granada - part of (2009)
I'm an aging cyclist from Australia starting in Madrid. I have booked myself 2 night at a hotel in Barajas near the airport and will set off by bike on Friday 19th April. Travelling by bike is great until you have to deal with huge airports which are difficut to access on foot or by bike. In fact my google searches suggested I can't be done except by talking a train, bus or metro to another station first. However careful study of google street view shows covered walkways to get you across the tangle of roads. Its only about 1.5km! Is anybody else setting of about this time either on foot or bike? My plan is to go at a very leisurely pace. ie around 30km stages per day sounds good!
 

marjude

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
4/2011 VdlP,
4/2014 Rota Vincentina, Portugues.
4/2016 Aragones, Frances.
4/2019 Madrid, Frances
Hi Redbike, I’m also from Australia and starting my walk from Madrid on April 5th, I know it’s well before you but no one else has answered your query. I will be doing some fairly short days and taking a few rest days to have a good look around so we may cross paths but if not I hope you have a great Camino. Are you continuing along the Frances route after Sahagun.
Buen Camino judy.
 

RedBike

Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Route SJPDP (2004, 2007). From Granada - part of (2009)
Great to get your comment Judy. You are starting 2 weeks ahead of me, but I'm on a bike so have the potential to progress a bit quicker. I might even catch you at some point.
I have previously done the French route from St. Jean PdP. In 2004 solo by bike (far too quickly) and 2007 on foot with my wife which was better. We also walked parts of Routa Mozarabe from Granada - Casceres in 2009.
However, now in my 70's and going solo, I didnt feel confident doing those fairly long stages on foot, especially as it seems to be quite a lonely route.
But - I am taking a "disposable" bike and a rucksack so I have the option of becoming a walker if I choose. I really enjoy the social aspect of the Camino.

Very Best Wishes to you Judy and I hope you can keep us all posted about your experiences.
 

RedBike

Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Route SJPDP (2004, 2007). From Granada - part of (2009)
I'm an aging cyclist from Australia starting in Madrid. I have booked myself 2 night at a hotel in Barajas near the airport and will set off by bike on Friday 19th April. Travelling by bike is great until you have to deal with huge airports which are difficut to access on foot or by bike. In fact my google searches suggested I can't be done except by talking a train, bus or metro to another station first. However careful study of google street view shows covered walkways to get you across the tangle of roads. Its only about 1.5km! Is anybody else setting of about this time either on foot or bike? My plan is to go at a very leisurely pace. ie around 30km stages per day sounds good!
Attended mass and got my first sello today at Real Iglesia Parroquial de Santiago y San Juan Bautista. It was standing room only and a fantastic atmosphere! So many families kids and young people! Colmenar Viejo tomorrow by bike. Hope the rain eased off.
 

marjude

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
4/2011 VdlP,
4/2014 Rota Vincentina, Portugues.
4/2016 Aragones, Frances.
4/2019 Madrid, Frances
Buen Camino, Red Bike b
 

Leandra

Leandra
Camino(s) past & future
French Way, starting on may 21st 2019
Ao, today is the breasted day!,,
Have a wonderful time,
 

RedBike

Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Route SJPDP (2004, 2007). From Granada - part of (2009)
Recent rain has made the track very muddy. Impossible to ride and difficult to even walk in places at the beginning.
I would recommend the Ruta Verde alongside the main road for anyone with a bike or even for walking until the ground dries out. I got off the Camino as soon as possible.
I think Autumn is probably a better option than spring. Without the mud it would have been lovely.
Now in Clomenar Viejo at the Gran Hostal El Chisco. Fabulous! After a very tough 7 hour ride from Madrid.
 
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
Recent rain has made the track very muddy. Impossible to ride and difficult to even walk in places at the beginning.
I would recommend the Ruta Verde alongside the main road for anyone with a bike or even for walking until the ground dries out. I got off the Camino as soon as possible.
I think Autumn is probably a better option than spring. Without the mud it would have been lovely.
Now in Clomenar Viejo at the Gran Hostal El Chisco. Fabulous! After a very tough 7 hour ride from Madrid.
Just checked the forecast. Looks good for the next 9 days; improving, partial sun, and rising temeratures.

Buen Camino!
 

RedBike

Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Route SJPDP (2004, 2007). From Granada - part of (2009)
My departure from Segovia delayed for a day because of severe weather warning. High winds and snow. Not as bad as it sounds...gave me time to research the via Verde. 75 km in the right direction, YES! ;)
 

RedBike

Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Route SJPDP (2004, 2007). From Granada - part of (2009)
My final day on the Redbike was over the mountain from Astorga to Ponferrada, about 60km for the day. I was surprise I arrived in quite good shape! The training over the past 2 weeks from Madrid obviously paid off. I donated the bike to the barman at Ponferrada bus station and now on my way home by bus, trains and planes. But I did buy a new credencial at the albergue .. for next time :)
 

Ingrid T

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014 Frances, Portugues (2016), Del Norte, Portugues, VDLP Sept 2018,Paris, Arles,Madrid (2019)
Awesome thread redbike. I am a kiwi bicigrina and starting this camino in September but backwards from SDC to Madrid. Hopefully it will be uneventful and rather drier then when you rode this camino. :)
 

RedBike

Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Route SJPDP (2004, 2007). From Granada - part of (2009)
Hi Ingrid, Sounds like a great plan. You'll love the very social French route to Sahgun and then by comparison the unspoilt but rather solitary Madrid route experience. I'm keen to go back next spring and start from Seville. I'm hoping for more social interaction with other pilgrims. That was my only disappointment with the Madrid route.
 

Ingrid T

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014 Frances, Portugues (2016), Del Norte, Portugues, VDLP Sept 2018,Paris, Arles,Madrid (2019)
Hi ya Redbike, If your doing the VDLP it is another solitary one Im afraid. I met 6 cyclists along the whole route and really only saw them at different albergues. Not too many walking pilgrims and I think because the route is sometimes longer than a normal 30k day. I did it last September and for that time of year it was still really hot.
I also did a daily blog on that camino, so if you look under VDLP theres a bit of info on there.
It is seriously lovely but I only had 10 days up my sleeve to get back to Santiago and fly out so was able to finish it in 9 days. I will definitely go back as there were some beautiful places I wished I could have stayed at but time was not on my side.

Ultreia!!!
 

Ingrid T

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014 Frances, Portugues (2016), Del Norte, Portugues, VDLP Sept 2018,Paris, Arles,Madrid (2019)
Sorry Redbike, Also if your biking the VDLP either ride tubeless or put slime in your tyres. I managed to get 5 punctures within 4 days (they have these prickly weeds that punctured my tyres) until I got to Puebla de Sanabrea where I went to see Ramiro at his bike workshop He was awesome and serviced my bike at the same time. After I got the slime in - no more punctures.
 

RedBike

Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Route SJPDP (2004, 2007). From Granada - part of (2009)
Sorry Redbike, Also if your biking the VDLP either ride tubeless or put slime in your tyres. I managed to get 5 punctures within 4 days (they have these prickly weeds that punctured my tyres) until I got to Puebla de Sanabrea where I went to see Ramiro at his bike workshop He was awesome and serviced my bike at the same time. After I got the slime in - no more punctures.
 

RedBike

Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Route SJPDP (2004, 2007). From Granada - part of (2009)
I don't like slime or " puncture free" tyres so I'll take my chances. Maybe I'm lucky, but I had no punctures this time and only one some years ago when I rode the French route. However my freewheel came apart at Coca this year and there were little ball bearings in all the wrong places. Fortunately I fixed that myself with some improvisation. There seemed to be no bike shops or even a hardware store or mechanic in the towns or villages.
Travelling solo, by bike certainly reduces your chances of finding a buddy travelling at your speed. For that reason, I'd actually like to walk it next time, but my ankles aren't up to the task :(
 

pipello

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, Camino del Norte, and the Camino Portuguese (May, 2018)
I'm an aging cyclist from Australia starting in Madrid. I have booked myself 2 night at a hotel in Barajas near the airport and will set off by bike on Friday 19th April. Travelling by bike is great until you have to deal with huge airports which are difficut to access on foot or by bike. In fact my google searches suggested I can't be done except by talking a train, bus or metro to another station first. However careful study of google street view shows covered walkways to get you across the tangle of roads. Its only about 1.5km! Is anybody else setting of about this time either on foot or bike? My plan is to go at a very leisurely pace. ie around 30km stages per day sounds good!
Hi. My husband and I are going to cycle the VDLP north to south in mid October. We are thinking about cycling the Camino de Madrid to connect since we are flying into Madrid. Did you ride the roads paralleling the Camino de Madrid? We have folding road bikes so we don't want to ride rough roads. Thanks.
 

RedBike

Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Route SJPDP (2004, 2007). From Granada - part of (2009)
I think folding bikes would be difficult on some sections but there are alternative routes.
From Madrid, I'd avoid the Camino completely and use the very good sealed Ruta Verde to Colmenar Viejo. The next section from Colmenar to Manzanares is extremely difficult. I had to push and drag my mountain bike in places, but there is a road alternative.
On to Cercedilla is quite good but steep towards the end. I then took a train to Segovia as the pass was under snow.
From Segovia, ignore the Camino because there is a fantastic Ruta Verde del Eresma going your way for the next 75 km. Mainly gravel. I took it as far as Coca. Lots of on road or Camino options after Coca, but the off road Ruta Verde or Camino is often soft sandy soil. I was glad to have large tyres.
I used the camino gps data loaded into maps.me plus Google maps.
Can you fit fatter tyres to your bikes?? :)
 

pipello

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, Camino del Norte, and the Camino Portuguese (May, 2018)
Thank you so much. We'll have to consider the fatter tyres. We may just decide to transport to Leon or Gijon and ride from there and stay more in the south when it gets into November.
 

RedBike

Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Route SJPDP (2004, 2007). From Granada - part of (2009)
I
Thank you so much. We'll have to consider the fatter tyres. We may just decide to transport to Leon or Gijon and ride from there and stay more in the south when it gets into November.
Think you've picked a good season to go. For those of us who have to take long haul flights, Madrid is a very convenient starting point. For me too, I wanted to spend a few days in Segovia on the way. I had been hoping to encounter a few more pelegrinos! ;)
 

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