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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#3
Thanks for posting this. For me there were two pretty distressing pieces of news in this article — first that Melide is thinking about conferring a Melida, a certificate like the compostela, the fisterrana, muxiana, etc (Collect them all!!!). And second that the powers that be think that the camino needs to be widened and flattened so that emergency vehicles can ride up and down the camino. I understand that public safety and emergency vehicle access are important policy issues, but surely someone who walks the Camino is not logically thinking that he/she is going to get the same kind of response time from first responders as in urbanized areas.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#4
Three cheers for the separation of cyclists and walkers, something that should be seriously considered in light of the next holy year in 2021.

I just returned from Santiago having walked the Madrid to Sahagún and on to Santiago via the Francés and was surprised by the amount of bikes on patches of narrow, rocky paths along the Francés. From Sarria on I observed the behavior of cyclists and I only remember one using a bell (she was American). The majority of cyclists come up from behind without warning.

Sorry didn't mean to hijack the thread.

Thanks for posting the article @Peter Fransiscus
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#5
I am so glad that restrictions will be imposed-separating cyclists and walkers! Cannot come too soon...the paths between Sarria and Santiago are so narrow in parts, (relative to the number of pilgrims on them) and when it is high season, it can be both dangerous and stressful for all!
I talked to a restaurant owner at length in Melide who was very concerned about the pilgrims. She even called a restaurant owner in another town who had significantly overcharged a pilgrim for a glass of wine! Good for her and Melide!
 

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LTfit

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#6
I am so glad that restrictions will be imposed-separating cyclists and walkers! Cannot come too soon...the paths between Sarria and Santiago are so narrow in parts, (relative to the number of pilgrims on them) and when it is high season, it can be both dangerous and stressful for all!
I talked to a restaurant owner at length in Melide who was very concerned about the pilgrims. She even called a restaurant owner in another town who had significantly overcharged a pilgrim for a glass of wine! Good for her and Melide!
No reason to cheer as no restrictions have been made as yet.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#7
And of course once they widen the camino even more, many cyclists will ignore the fact that the authorities may have marked EuroVelo alternatives. :(
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2017
#8
This debate is the eternal question...can bikers safely share the walking paths with 'peregrinos a pied?' My answer, having survived a near-death experience in 2013 at the hands of mountain bikers hurtling down hill at Alto de Perdon, is that the two SHOULD be separated whenever and wherever possible. But then again, I only speak from first-hand experience...o_O

This imperative becomes more so, with annual pilgrim volumes growing so fast. We WILL get to
"Peak Pilgrim" soon, perhaps by the next Holy Year in 2021. this term defines the point at which there is no more carrying capacity for the major pilgrimage routes.

When Peak Pilgrim occurs, there will be no more bed space, cafe chairs, or adequate walking separation on the trails. Adding an influx of bicycles to the mix is a recipe for increased injuries and even some more deaths, all of which might / could be avoided.

In my experience and opinion, the local economy will likely NOT permit or tolerate adding more bed space or cafes, etc. as this increases competition. IMHO, your typical local proprietor of a private albergue, hostal, or bar / cafe, would rather turn overflow away than have to deal with another establishment splitting the traffic and profit all year (or all season). But that is my view. You are welcome to try to open a new albergue or bar / cafe to expand capacity. I wish you good luck.

This past year, dealing with joint pain issues, I was seriously considering biking the Camino Frances. My research found several guidebooks highlighting road-only or road-primarily alternatives, that avoided pedestrian peregrinos, except on roads and village streets. It CAN be done. You just need to research it.

What is absent is the will of the local officials and the cooperation of the 'sprocket heads.' I use the term with respect, as I was one in younger years, commuting to work and university daily, in all weather, in a major US city. I am well versed in the dangers of sharing the road with vehicles. Yes, there are different risks when riding a bicycle on a road verge or shoulder. But most of them can be mitigated by effective clothing, marking, signaling and good riding practice.

There are risks to everything we do in life. But, in the pecking order of transportation, a wheeled vehicle does not usually mesh well with pedestrians when the two compete for finite or confined paths. The same paradigm applies for motorized vehicles competing with foot-powered vehicles (bikes). A drunk driver will be an equal opportunity scythe, mowing down anything in his/her path.

Hope this helps.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#9
No reason to cheer as no restrictions have been made as yet.
Translation of article indicates that there will soon be news that The EuroVelo Program will soon be be applied to the Camino de Santiago! And if I understand correctly zones will be designated as pedestrian areas. At least this is a step in the right direction! I am sure it will take time for cyclists to make the adjustment but it is a good step!
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x3), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham.
2018? CF, again :-)
#10
(...)
And second that the powers that be think that the camino needs to be widened and flattened so that emergency vehicles can ride up and down the camino.
Saddened me too. 'They' have already done that on the magical walk to Cee, where you see the sea for the first time again. It is like a 'pilgrim's motorway', it is wide, flattened and...ugly. Not sure it is any safer if it's wet, this type of gravelly path is very slippery. At least with the original rocks, you KNEW you had to watch your step...
Not walking it again :-(, will go straight to Muxía next time....
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
Planning Norte 2019
#11
While many cyclists ride with care and consideration, there should be strict separation of cycling and walking tracks. I saw several instances of near accidents which could have resulted in serious injury to walking pilgrims.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x3), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham.
2018? CF, again :-)
#12
While many cyclists ride with care and consideration, there should be strict separation of cycling and walking tracks. I saw several instances of near accidents which could have resulted in serious injury to walking pilgrims.
Well said. I did too. But also resulting in injuries to cyclists, there were some with heavyly loaded bikes sliding sideways, unable to control them (they were pushing the bikes at the time, on steep slopes). It was very scary.
 

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