Bicycles on the Renfe trains or Alsa buses in Spain.

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0lski
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Joined: 2 Jun 2007, 4:35pm

Bicycles on the Renfe trains or Alsa buses in Spain.

Postby 0lski » 27 Apr 2010, 6:13pm

Hello,

I booked tickets to Bilbao yesterday, with the intention of cycling the Camino Norte to Santiago De Compostella.

I've just found the Renfe site in order to check out how to get back to Bilbao but I'm not sure about bikes.

Has anyone ever taken their bike on these trains?; Do I have to book my bike in advance in advance?; Do they have to be dismantled or in a bag?

All of the above questions for the Alsa buses?

Thank You

aquilegia
Posts: 27
Joined: 6 Sep 2008, 9:15pm

Re: Bicycles on the Renfe trains or Alsa buses in Spain.

Postby aquilegia » 27 Apr 2010, 9:38pm

FEVE operates a network of narrow gauge trains in northern Spain, and they all permit you to roll your bike with you onto their trains. I took a FEVE train to get to the outskirts of Bilbao to begin riding last year, and used them at other times when the weather deteriorated. In the following map, FEVE lines are in green. By the way, you can take bikes on the Bilbao metro system which covers a considerable area.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:FEVE_map.png

Renfe allows bikes on their "cercania" (local) trains, but not on their long-distance lines in the north (I don't know about the rest of Spain). I believe they permit bikes on their "media distancia" trains in the north, but my memory is a little fuzzy about that.

I toured in northern Spain last year. I was not doing a Santiago de Compostela tour, though part of my route coincided with some of the routes. My favorite parts of northern Spain were away from the Santiago routes including the Minho/Mino valley along the Portuguese/Spanish border (the Portuguese side has a nice bike trail). Eastward, the part of the valley entirely within Spain was superb, with great scenery and little traffic. The Picos de Europa range was very nice, and there was an excellent ride in a gorge on the north side of the Picos.

There are virtually no flat roads in northern Spain!

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megilleland
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Re: Bicycles on the Renfe trains or Alsa buses in Spain.

Postby megilleland » 27 Apr 2010, 11:38pm

Information here on cycling the Camino and using ALSA buses - 10 euros a bike with ticket.

FEVE trains are very slow. Leave Ferrol at 8.10 arrive Santander 20.17 and train to Bilbao does not leave until 8.00 next day arriving Bilbao 10.46. Also Ferrol is 90 kms from Santiago de Compostela.

A RENFE train leaves Santiago de Compostela at 9.25 arrive Ourense 11.15. Change Ourense leave at 11.55 arrive Bilbao 20.00.

The bus leaves Santiago de Compostela at following times.. I would suggest the bus.

Mattie
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Re: Bicycles on the Renfe trains or Alsa buses in Spain.

Postby Mattie » 28 Apr 2010, 7:25am

I took my bike on the train from Soria to Madrid in August last year, I think it was Renfe. It went easily enough as there was no competition for the luggage space.

Bungee cords were very useful to hold the bike in place, as seen in this pic

[url]Image[/url]

Gearoidmuar
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Location: Cork, Ireland. Corcaigh, Éire má tá Gaeilge agat.

Re: Bicycles on the Renfe trains or Alsa buses in Spain.

Postby Gearoidmuar » 30 Apr 2010, 8:19am

You usually can't take bikes on Inter-City trains in Spain, but you can take them on Express trains. This is a misnomer as these are stop-start local trains. E.g we cycled from Barcelona to Lisbon last autumn. We took an "Express" south to Tortosa to get us clear of Barcelona. We took another Express from Cuenca to half-way to Toledo, as that's a boring bit and we were falling behind a bit.
Barcelona to Lisbon is not worth doing, but Tortosa through the Maestrazgo to Toledo is marvellous. Not worth going west of Toledo as scenery is tedious and the drivers in Northern Portugal are nuts.

0lski
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Joined: 2 Jun 2007, 4:35pm

Re: Bicycles on the Renfe trains or Alsa buses in Spain.

Postby 0lski » 9 May 2010, 2:16pm

Thank you all for your help, especially,

"There are virtually no flat roads in northern Spain!"

caldini
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Re: Bicycles on the Renfe trains or Alsa buses in Spain.

Postby caldini » 17 May 2010, 9:40pm

Each train station in Spain has a big yellow timetable of all train journeys leaving the station on that day. There is a little picture of a bike next to the journeys that allow bikes. I used the trains three times and didn't need to pack my bike up in a bag or anything.

Also, be aware that the trains aren't "roll-on" - there's usually three steep steps up to the carriage. It's best to get a train that starts and ends at a terminus as this will give you plenty of time to get the bike on/off the train. I arrived in Barcelona one morning, took the bike off the train, went back on to get my panniers and the doors shut behind me. The train continued on to the next station. It was the worse part of a disastrous evening, but it all came good in the end.

0lski
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Joined: 2 Jun 2007, 4:35pm

Re: Bicycles on the Renfe trains or Alsa buses in Spain.

Postby 0lski » 18 May 2010, 8:40am

Dear Caldini,

Thanks for your reply.
That information has put my mind at rest and your pannier story made me laugh although it is a terrible thing to have happened.
I'm glad it turned out ok in the end.
If I use the train I will strap all of my belongings to my person as I carry my bike off.

O