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Which Cycling Route - 1st time on camino?

Lizremedy

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Cycle (2020)
Want to cycle the Camino later 2019 or spring 2020. We are use to casual mtb riding. I dont know where to start planning. Which is the best recommended route to follow - without being crowded? Can cyclists follow the same paths as hikers, use the same accommodation, etc? What is security like in Spain ie if one chains one's bike up while visiting a church or cafe, will it still be there after? Really appreciate any guidance or advice.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
I think I might be well qualified to answer your question, and I would recommend the Via de la Plata as perfect for a first bike Camino. You can take to the nearby empty roads whenever you feel like it, but the tracks, particularly before the Sanabres section are very bike-friendly, often wide farm tracks, and you don’t cause annoyance to the relatively few walking pilgrims. Accommodation is very easy to find, and there are some wonderful albergues.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola @Lizremedy . In 2015 I cycled the Camino Frances (starting in Pamplona). This Camino does have some tough climbing sections: eg the Alto de Perdon; Los Arcos to Logrono has some hills that seem to go on and on; Belorado to Burgos is also a challenge. Most of the Meseta (apart from the Climb west of Castrojeriz) is a relatively moderate event. But from Astorga to Triacastela does have some really tough, long climbs. If you search back through the Bike Camino section you will see my report in detail and also other reports by Newfydog,. Good luck
 
Year of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
What is security like in Spain ie if one chains one's bike up while visiting a church or cafe, will it still be there after?
I’ve never allowed myself to get too paranoid about this, and have had no problem, using only a combination cable lock. That said, I would usually have my bike in view at cafes along the way, and would get my bike safely to my accommodation before sight-seeing in cities.
 

Lizremedy

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Cycle (2020)
I’ve never allowed myself to get too paranoid about this, and have had no problem, using only a combination cable lock. That said, I would usually have my bike in view at cafes along the way, and would get my bike safely to my accommodation before sight-seeing in cities.
Did you take your own bikes or rent? Did you need panniers or just take a backpack?
 
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Lizremedy

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Cycle (2020)
I think I might be well qualified to answer your question, and I would recommend the Via de la Plata as perfect for a first bike Camino. You can take to the nearby empty roads whenever you feel like it, but the tracks, particularly before the Sanabres section are very bike-friendly, often wide farm tracks, and you don’t cause annoyance to the relatively few walking pilgrims. Accommodation is very easy to find, and there are some wonderful albergues.
Thanks, if I had my choice I'd walk it to get the full social experience - I hear cycling is rather different? But leave is limited and hubby is a cyclist. I would still like to stick to pathways etc used by pilgrims, not have to use roads. I much prefer pathways and dirt to tar. Is that possible?
 

Stephen Nicholls

Steve Nicholls, Suffolk, U.K.
Year of past OR future Camino
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
Whatever you decde, PLEASE have a bell on your bike, and warn walkers when you're approachng from behind.
Then - just enjoy!
Buen camino!
 

Mike Wells

author of 'Cycling the Camino Frances'
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (1995) (2017 twice) (2018); Via de la Plata (1996); Finisterre (2018)
Did you take your own bikes or rent? Did you need panniers or just take a backpack?
First the sales pitch. I am the author of a recently published Cicerone guide to cycling the Camino Frances (ISBN 9781852849696). Inside this you should find the answer to all your questions. Some specifics. If you enjoy moderate off-road riding, go for the waymarked Camino trail, its a great ride. Yes it can be busy with walkers but if you go in October the weather will still be good but the numbers will be well down at least as far as Sarria. Despite what some walking peregrinos think, the whole trail is the Spanish equivalent of a bridleway legally open to pedestrians, cyclists and horsemen. One piece of advice; do not use a backpack as your centre of gravity will be much to high and you will be unstable at slow speeds and in wind. Always use good quality fully waterproof panniers.
Mike (4 times cycling CF in past two years) plus one Ruta de la Plata.
 

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