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-   -   Cycling El Camino Real (http://www.notesfromspain.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11449)

outpostbabu 5th September 2010 02:44 AM

Cycling El Camino Real
 
Hi all,

I am hoping to find some information here about a potential trip to Spain to cycle to Santiago de Campostela along the northernmost route. I would be traveling for two+ weeks this October and am wondering about others' experiences with the following:

1. What's the weather like up north during October? Too cold/too wet to cycle the camino?

2. What's the best way to have a bike there. I have a bike I could bring from the US but it appears to be quite expensive (I've been told $300 each way for my carrier, Delta). Is it possible rent bikes for long treks/periods of time in Spain at a good rate? Any pointers to places that rent for the camino? Another option I am considering is buying a bike once I arrive. If I landed in Madrid where should I purchase the bike? Is it easy to travel by train to the north with a bicycle? If possible, is it expensive?

3. Has anyone done this sort of trip, either the whole camino or in part on a bicycle? I'd love to hear stories.

Thank you,

Ben

outpostbabu 6th September 2010 01:48 AM

In case anyone else is in the same boat, Juan Carlos sent me an excellent link to some info on the camino, in particular via bicycle:

http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/camino-en-bici/

But the site in general has a lot of good information:

http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/...ago/del-norte/

Like a list of all the stages for each route.

Is nobody doing something like this in October? Would love to meet some NotesFromSpain'ers along the way! :D

Urgellenk 6th September 2010 12:59 PM

The weather is becoming less and less predictible, but early fall has usually very variable weather conditions. The North Route is much wetter year round than the classical French Route, so the chances of precipitation are high, but you may also be lucky and have some sunny days. Temperatures will be ideal for cycling, though.

You can buy a bike starting at around 100,- in "Carrefour" and up to more than 2 000,- in specialized stores. You do not need to buy your bike in Madrid, as there are malls and large supermarkets (grandes superficies in Spanish) in any mid-sized town. Not all trains allow to take your bike with you, and, if they do, it will be a little bit of a hassle, as you will have to pack it into a "Bike-bag". You can check the details in the renfe site:

http://www.renfe.com/viajeros/info/bicicletas.html

outpostbabu 8th September 2010 02:57 AM

Thanks for the info, Urgellenk. I'll have to do more research on which route to take but the trip is official, I bought the plane tickets today. Now to just figure out the rest... It looks like renting a bicycle in Spain will be quite a bit cheaper than trying to ship my bike over. Does anyone have any recommendations for renting bikes in Spain, northern Spain specifically, or better yet, along the Camino?

Legazpi 8th September 2010 08:52 AM

Googling "alquiler bici camino santiago" led me to this site (amongst others):

http://www.tournride.com/

Personally I wouldn't risk buying a cheap bike as it will spoil your enjoyment as bits break off during the route.

outpostbabu 19th September 2010 05:08 AM

In the end I've decided to just take my own bike after all. Anyone have info on how to get to St. Jean Pied de Port with a bicycle? I figure I can train to Pamplona but then what would be the best way thereafter? The only advice I have so far:

"Take a bus from Pamplona to Roncesvalles and then a taxi to St Jean Pied de Port."

outpostbabu 19th September 2010 05:36 AM

Actually it looks like it'll be cheaper and easier to rent a car in Madrid and drive to Pamplona.

AnnieSantiago 26th September 2010 04:30 PM

Biking the Camino
 
Hello,

I've walked various portions of the Camino for 2 years, and there are many, many pilgrims and "bici-grinos" that you can talk to on the Santiago Pilgrim's forum here:

http://www.caminodesantiago.me/board/

I highly suggest this forum for anyone wanting to walk the Camino Santiago. The information there is priceless!

outpostbabu 27th September 2010 03:33 AM

Thanks Annie! I've been reading some of the posts there and its a very interesting perspective into the Camino both in terms of the experiences people have had and the planning that went into their trips. :thumbs-up:


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