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My Holiday

5 most frequently asked questions about biking the Camino

Fecha: 2019-10-16

Of the more than 300,000 pilgrims in 2018, 93% did the camino on foot and 6% by bike. Biking has its advantages. Here we list the 5 most frequently asked questions (and answers) for you.

Question 1: What are the benefits of cycling the camino?

They say that walking a camino is a lot more intensively than cycling a camino. For the pilgrim on foot it is a long and hard way. But the reward is also bigger: see more, experience more, live more intensively. But cycling a pilgrim route also has advantages:

  • Cycling is faster than walking. If you want to walk from the Netherlands to Santiago you are on the road for more than 100 days. It takes the cyclist about a month.
  • As a cyclist you can be less critical of what you take with you. The pilgrim who is on foot must pay attention to every gram. Ten kilos is possible, but eight kilos is better. For the cyclist these figures are resp. 23 kg and 18 kg.
  • On foot you have a greater chance of physical discomfort: pain in the back, legs and / or blisters on the feet. A well-trained and prepared cyclist can do the pilgrimage without any physical discomfort. No guarantee of course!

Question 2: How many kilometers can I cycle per day?

That depends on a few things:

  • The wind: It makes a lot of difference whether you are biking on the roads with a strong wind in your back at 30 km per hour or that you need to bike against the wind. Especially on the Meseta (the part between Burgos and Leon) it can be very windy!
  • The majority of the caminos are not really flat. When you are climbing to O Cebreiro or Cruz de Ferro (the highest points of the camino Frances) you go as a cyclist less than 10 km per hour. 

Experience shows that 60 to 80 km per day can be done

 

Question 3: Which bicycle is suitable?

The bicycle for the pilgrim must meet a number of basic requirements. The frame must be stable. Most pilgrims choose a so-called trekking bike or a hybrid bike. A bike must be comfortable also. That means a frame size that fits your physique and leg length and especially with well-adjusted handlebars and saddle.

Bicycles that are equipped with the latest gadgets may be interesting, but technical delights can show up and a foreign bicycle mechanic does not always have the knowledge and equipment to repair it. Also something to think about.

If you don´t want to go to the camino with your own bike, you can rent a bike. This bike will be delivered in your first hotel. Do you go all the way to Santiago? Then you can leave the bike there at the Post Office. If not, we will pick up your bike at the last hotel where you spend the night. Read more about our bikes here. It is also possible to rent an Ebike. That is sometimes better if you need a little support to climb those hills or if you suffer with back problems. You can find an impression of our Ebikes here.

Question 4: How do I take my luggage with me?

Use special bicycle bags for this. The best are 2 separate bags with a click system. Also ensure a balanced distribution between left and right and front and rear (about two-thirds of the weight in the rear bags and a third in the front). And unfortunately, no bag is 100% waterproof, so bring a few plastic bags to keep your clothes dry. If you make a camino on the bike with Spain is More, the transport of your luggage is always included.

Question 5: How can I prepare myself physically?

It is not just about the number of kilometers you can cycle per day. More important is how long you can sit on the saddle. You should be able to maintain this for at least six hours a day. Do not start without (cycling) condition. Of course you also build up your condition during your camino, but if you start untrained, you discover that you are building up tiredness. 

Do you also want to cycle to Santiago? You can find our camino´s on the bike here. We would be happy to help you! 

Buen camino!

 

Annemiek Nefkens

Happy Holiday Managing camino expert

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