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Transporting my bicycle from Pamplona to St Jean Pied de Port

Eben Jacobs

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019 will be my first
I plan and hope to cycle the camino Frances in August 2022. I will be unpacking and setting up my bike in Pamplona and send my bike case with extra luggage with CORREOS to Santiago. However, I would like to start in St JPdP. How do I manage to get there without cycling it? ALSA will obviously not allow me to take my bike on the bus, and I am afraid that it might get scratched or damaged if they load it in the luggage compartment underneath the bus. Any advice on how I can do this without paying an arm and a leg, will be much appreciated. I walked the Frances in 2018 and I am hoping to cycle it this time and also include the section from Porto after a few days of rest in Santiago.
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Can you ship your bike to Paris or Bayonne instead of Pamplona? Because then you could travel to SJPDP by train, which I assume would be more bike friendly.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
Unless you have a particular reason to add a Portuguese route to your trip why not just bike the Camino Catalan / Aragones or Catalan / Ebro. You can Correos your kit from Barca as easily as from Pamplona and save yourself all that logistical grief. (The Camino Frances does not start in StJpdP 😉)
 
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Barbara

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
I tried to get my bike from Pamplona to Bayonne. I ended up riding it there. Spanish rules on bikes on trains are Kafkaesque, to say the least. But it's a great ride. There is a greenway from Latasa to Andoain on the old railway track that is wonderful. The rest is country roads with low traffic. I have taken my bike on several busses, a lot of companies will take them assembled as long as you do a bit of wrapping with cardboard.
Alternatively, the direct route to Roncesvalles is bike friendly, you could always start there. Or Pamplona. If you must start at SJPP then cycle to Bayonne and along the river to SJPP.
 

Eben Jacobs

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019 will be my first
I tried to get my bike from Pamplona to Bayonne. I ended up riding it there. Spanish rules on bikes on trains are Kafkaesque, to say the least. But it's a great ride. There is a greenway from Latasa to Andoain on the old railway track that is wonderful. The rest is country roads with low traffic. I have taken my bike on several busses, a lot of companies will take them assembled as long as you do a bit of wrapping with cardboard.
Alternatively, the direct route to Roncesvalles is bike friendly, you could always start there. Or Pamplona. If you must start at SJPP then cycle to Bayonne and along the river to SJPP.
I thank you for your detail advice and info
 

MikeC

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Cycled SJPP to SDC September 2016
Starting Camino Ingles June 2018
I plan and hope to cycle the camino Frances in August 2022. I will be unpacking and setting up my bike in Pamplona and send my bike case with extra luggage with CORREOS to Santiago. However, I would like to start in St JPdP. How do I manage to get there without cycling it? ALSA will obviously not allow me to take my bike on the bus, and I am afraid that it might get scratched or damaged if they load it in the luggage compartment underneath the bus. Any advice on how I can do this without paying an arm and a leg, will be much appreciated. I walked the Frances in 2018 and I am hoping to cycle it this time and also include the section from Porto after a few days of rest in Santiago.
Pamplona to SJPP is an international service and ALSA policy is to not accept bikes.
 

Skinnybiker

The Skinny Biker in Spain
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I plan and hope to cycle the camino Frances in August 2022. I will be unpacking and setting up my bike in Pamplona and send my bike case with extra luggage with CORREOS to Santiago. However, I would like to start in St JPdP. How do I manage to get there without cycling it? ALSA will obviously not allow me to take my bike on the bus, and I am afraid that it might get scratched or damaged if they load it in the luggage compartment underneath the bus. Any advice on how I can do this without paying an arm and a leg, will be much appreciated. I walked the Frances in 2018 and I am hoping to cycle it this time and also include the section from Porto after a few days of rest in Santiago.
Two options; wrap in a cardboard box for the bus trip or ride it, looks like a nice one day trip mostly downhill
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
I plan and hope to cycle the camino Frances in August 2022. I will be unpacking and setting up my bike in Pamplona and send my bike case with extra luggage with CORREOS to Santiago. However, I would like to start in St JPdP. How do I manage to get there without cycling it? ALSA will obviously not allow me to take my bike on the bus, and I am afraid that it might get scratched or damaged if they load it in the luggage compartment underneath the bus. Any advice on how I can do this without paying an arm and a leg, will be much appreciated. I walked the Frances in 2018 and I am hoping to cycle it this time and also include the section from Porto after a few days of rest in Santiago.

Hola and yes you are posing a difficult question. Now about the ALSA buses, who told you that they will not take your bike?? When I last researched this question the ALSA advice was that up to two bikes could be carried on each bus. You have to pay an additional fee (1-5 euros I think). But that only gets you to Roncesvalles - as I do not recall ALSA going over the border into France. Do a bit of research and see what comes up. You have the time.
To those who offered advice about Spanish trains - RENFE here I can speak from experience. If the bike backs down to 1200mm or less in length and about 250mm in width it can travel on the media distance trains. Very few AVE trains have large freight areas. If your bike is fully assembled then you need the local trains. I had to wait for 4 hours in Sahagun in 2015 to get to Leon (it was raining very heavy, 80 km cross winds and the temperature was below 10c. Not good bike weather).

@Eben Jacobs - when you do eventually get to Santiago there is a great cycle shop (Veloceopedo - I think at that's the spelling) and its right on the Camino trail was you enter Santiago from the Monte del Gozo (about1-2 km past the Autobus station). I used them back in 2015, they told me where I could get the bike cleaned, they packed it up and arranged transport (back to Madrid in my case), it had to go to a hotel - not directly to the airport.

Hope this helps all concerned.
 

Eben Jacobs

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019 will be my first
Hola and yes you are posing a difficult question. Now about the ALSA buses, who told you that they will not take your bike?? When I last researched this question the ALSA advice was that up to two bikes could be carried on each bus. You have to pay an additional fee (1-5 euros I think). But that only gets you to Roncesvalles - as I do not recall ALSA going over the border into France. Do a bit of research and see what comes up. You have the time.
To those who offered advice about Spanish trains - RENFE here I can speak from experience. If the bike backs down to 1200mm or less in length and about 250mm in width it can travel on the media distance trains. Very few AVE trains have large freight areas. If your bike is fully assembled then you need the local trains. I had to wait for 4 hours in Sahagun in 2015 to get to Leon (it was raining very heavy, 80 km cross winds and the temperature was below 10c. Not good bike weather).

@Eben Jacobs - when you do eventually get to Santiago there is a great cycle shop (Veloceopedo - I think at that's the spelling) and its right on the Camino trail was you enter Santiago from the Monte del Gozo (about1-2 km past the Autobus station). I used them back in 2015, they told me where I could get the bike cleaned, they packed it up and arranged transport (back to Madrid in my case), it had to go to a hotel - not directly to the airport.

Hope this helps all concerned.
I thank you so much for the lengthy reply. It sounds promising and obviously just need to do my homework properly.
 

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