Buen Camino!

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
John Holiday
Posts: 425
Joined: 2 Nov 2007, 2:01pm

Buen Camino!

Postby John Holiday » 25 Sep 2015, 10:43am

Just back from two & a half weeks cycling the Camino pilgrim route from Pamplona to Santiago on my 'Birdy' folder with Rohloff. Flew from Manchester to Bilbao & then train to Pamplona.Return,again with Easyjet,from Santiago to Gatwick.
Great riding,although some of the 'walking' routes are very steep & rough,so tended to opt for minor roads running nearby.
Mostly walkers,but quite a few cyclists too from a huge variety of countries. Became friendly with some lads from Brazil & from Argentina also riding. Most people were intrigued that riding it on small wheels. The only others I saw were a small group from USA on 'Bike Fridays', & two Bromptons in Santiago.
The bike & tools,clothes went in the bike bag as hold luggage, & rest in pannier inside rucksack as 'carry on'.
Only real problem was a couple of punctures. Excellent hostels along the way,often serving good food. If not lots of options nearby on 'Menu of day' at 9Euros.
Amazing.jaw dropping architecture all the way along.
Glad I fitted my 'Dutch Ding/Dong' bell. It generated a lot of favourable comment & was popularly received.
Still pretty busy in September,despite being 'off season'. Must be pretty hectic in high summer!
Recommended!

tyreon
Posts: 936
Joined: 4 Oct 2012, 4:39pm

Re: Buen Camino!

Postby tyreon » 25 Sep 2015, 2:24pm

Envy!

So when are we getting some o the pictures?

And...folder: good idea! But for every plus there's a minus: Small package: bike handler to his mate, Fred: ' Throw 'er up Harry. No probs. Chuck that big(15kg) suitcase on top,(of your packaged folder)it'll do no 'arm.'

Sounds a great trip.

whoof
Posts: 1926
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: Buen Camino!

Postby whoof » 25 Sep 2015, 3:35pm

Sounds like a great ride.
We, myself and Mrs Whoof thinking of riding from Porto to Bilbao next year. The plan was to ride North into Spain and then East, mainly inland but occasionally dipping down to the coast. The hostels on the pilgrims trail sound appealing but someone told me that many do not welcome cyclists only walkers, how did you find it? Also do you know if it would matter if I where going in the 'wrong' direction?

simonhill
Posts: 2554
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: Buen Camino!

Postby simonhill » 25 Sep 2015, 5:44pm

Negative waves tyreon, negative waves!

tyreon
Posts: 936
Joined: 4 Oct 2012, 4:39pm

Re: Buen Camino!

Postby tyreon » 25 Sep 2015, 5:50pm

Simonhill: I know,I know. Oftentimes my heaviest baggage is the stress of travelling! I don't know why I do it to myself! I'm usually okay once on the bike!

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bigjim
Posts: 3118
Joined: 2 Feb 2008, 5:08pm
Location: Manchester

Re: Buen Camino!

Postby bigjim » 28 Sep 2015, 11:34am

tyreon wrote:Simonhill: I know,I know. Oftentimes my heaviest baggage is the stress of travelling! I don't know why I do it to myself! I'm usually okay once on the bike!

I detest flying with my bike. The return nightmare seems to stay in my mind during the tour. I'm still thinking of ways round it. Going out is ok as I box the bike up and it always arrives ok. It's the whole packing up and getting through check-in thing on return that drives me mad. I'm seriously thinking of taking a bike out and just leaving it there. I've read of a guy doing this and it works for him. I've got a couple of old MTBs hanging around. The best of them is worth no more than £50 I guess. Which is the cost of a Ryanair retun flight. I reckon I could set one up for touring with folding road tyres. Give it a good service. Once the tour is over. Ride to the airport, remove pedals, tyres, saddle and bar ends, maybe even grips and add to carry on bag. Then stroll to check-in with a broad stress-free grin on my face.
Nothing left to prove.

nirakaro
Posts: 1026
Joined: 22 Dec 2007, 2:01am

Re: Buen Camino!

Postby nirakaro » 28 Sep 2015, 3:04pm

I did that on a long ride once, and it worked a dream; old bike, owed me nothing, did the job, then I took off the bits I liked - saddle, bar ends, pedals etc. - and heaved the rest into a skip at Palermo airport. Very easy trip home.

John Holiday
Posts: 425
Joined: 2 Nov 2007, 2:01pm

Re: Buen Camino!

Postby John Holiday » 28 Sep 2015, 4:29pm

Regarding taking the bike,I have travelled on numerous occasions both with full sized 'Raven' Tourer in CTC bag, & with Brompton/Birdy folders in soft bag,with little or no problem. Turn bars,remove pedals & make as small a package as possible.
They are all pretty robust & have withstood the vagaries of Baggage Handlers!
The bag was a rather odd shape & went through'Oversized' portal. The lady in check-in did insist on tyre being deflated on return journey,but most airports now seem to be accepting that this is nonsense.
With regard to cyclingWest to East,I don't think this would be a problem. All the route is well signed with yellow arrows,if not full signs.
With regard to the hostels, there are now so many that I don't think you would have difficulty, although it was still pretty busy in September despite not being peak season. In theory they will give priority to walkers over cyclists, but didn't encounter this as problem. In fact lots of the hostels stress their 'bike friendly' storage etc.
Spain appears to be struggling badly economically,(25% unemployment) so all these visitors walking/cycling the Camino are very welcome.
Sorry no photos. Have just had my disc back but not sure how to download!

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bigjim
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Joined: 2 Feb 2008, 5:08pm
Location: Manchester

Re: Buen Camino!

Postby bigjim » 28 Sep 2015, 4:44pm

The lady in check-in did insist on tyre being deflated on return journey,but most airports now seem to be accepting that this is nonsense.

My last two return trips. One from Faro the other from Beziers. Both times, bag was torn and tyres delated by some numpty.
Nothing left to prove.

oldmanpop
Posts: 11
Joined: 8 Apr 2009, 8:23am

Re: Buen Camino!

Postby oldmanpop » 6 Oct 2015, 1:16pm

Hola all,like John, me and Joan are just back from our Camino.We walked from St Jean to Burgos.Thanks to t'internet we had hired bikes to be picked up from a designated address in Burgos.The bikes were hybrids with road tyres,front suspension and came with helmet,rear ortiliebs and ortilieb bar bag and low end shimano gears.Equipment was two spare tubes,tyre levers,pedal spanner and a multi tool.We fitted pedals,adjusted seats and were off.The bikes were "clunky" but we had what we had and got on with it.We rode tarmac following the camino route as much as poss.We made a big mistake at Sarria though and took the pilgrims path.This was serious off roading, in and around so many pilgrims,quite a nerve wracking section.The bikes took all the punishment though.So asap we were back on the road.Big up hills and wonderful sweeping downhills.At Santiago and 650/700k later we dropped the bikes at a bike shop and were back on foot.We walked to Finisterre/Muxia to end a stunning holiday.

LindaB
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Joined: 17 Jun 2013, 8:41pm

Re: Buen Camino!

Postby LindaB » 12 Oct 2015, 4:27am

Fun to stumble on this Camino post; thanks John! We biked Pamplona to Santiago also, though in September, 2008, and had a wonderful time. I believe there were fewer on the trail then, since it was well before the two Camino movies were released (here in the US, anyway, though I imagine you might have seen them in the UK also). We moved back and forth between road and path depending on conditions. Here's a link to our trip report: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/ourcamino.