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Walking/Biking Sarria to Santiago on trails

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Susan55

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2020)
Hello. I am planning on walking with 5-7 girlfriends from Sarria to Santiago for my 55th birthday . . . well 60th to be truthful. One friend is planning to cancel because of her knees but I’m hoping to find an alternative - biking. She, and maybe one other for company, would bike while we walk - either with us or another route. The company helping with accommodations says biking isn’t a good idea as she/they would have to take the road or have to be “pretty good on a mountain bike”. Interested in thoughts on biking from Sarria to Santiago. Rocky, hills, ruts, narrow? She’s very polite and cautious so would go out of her way to be courteous to walking pilgrims - of which 5 would be friends. Thank you!
 

debra

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2010, Frances 2010
Via Francigena 2014 bicigrino
Way of St. Francis 2017 bicigrino
A couple comments.
First does she bike a lot, if so skip this comment. Poor form while biking or an ill fitting bike can cause a lot of knee pain.
Second assuming that you are walking 20KM a day, a good amount for a walker, that is a 2-3 max hour bike ride unless she is planing a side trip for each day. Some of the places people stop for the night are not full of churches to see or other things to do for the 3-6 hours waiting for the walkers to reach the stoping point.
Third the route is very busy at that point and not about being polite but that the route is not very wide at some points vs the number of walkers. However there is a well maps out road route near main route.
Fourth she/they, who ride bikes will not receive a compostela if starting in Sarria that matters to them.

Fifth she/they can rent an e-bike which will help with the hills to cause the ride to be a little easier.

IF the plan/point of this is to spend time as a group but you need two set of people one on bike and one walking. I would have the walkers start in Sarria as plan and the biker start in Astorga at 250km or Ponferrada at 197km with a ride back to the 200km stamp point. each group planing to meet up for the walkers last day into to Santiago and spending time together in Santiago. Maybe if there was time have the whole group spent a day in Astorga together before splitting up with the bikers riding out and the walkers taking the bus to Sarria.

Please note that the route from Sarria does include hills.
 
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debra

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2010, Frances 2010
Via Francigena 2014 bicigrino
Way of St. Francis 2017 bicigrino
She, and maybe one other for company, would bike while we walk - either with us or another route.
One extra note, biking while talking with walkers is a high level skill on a dirt path.
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
Hi Susan!

Personally I think that it is easier to walk than cycle in Galicia. Your friend will have to cycle roads between Sarria (100km) and Gonzar (that is 44 km to SANTIAGO). So you won't spend time together. And it is not easy ride. Imagine never-ending hill...
 

Galloglaigh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Member of the Lycra tribe.
CF (2017/8), VF (2018/9), CP (2020)
Sarria to Santiago is not that difficult by bike but it depends on the general fitness of your friend. Galicia is hilly so there are as many downs as ups. So walking up and freewheeling down is a possibility.

It will be busy though and the recommendation for bikers is to use the roads rather than the tracks. Even on the tarmac bits, it will be busy with pedestrian pilgrims.

Nothing really to worry about for your friend though apart from the extra time she will have on her hands while the walkers complete their section. It is a worthwhile journey and it would be a shame for her to miss out.
 

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