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Things To Know Before Cycling The Camino De Santiago

Discussion in 'Cycling the Camino de Santiago' started by samantha davies, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. samantha davies

    samantha davies Member

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    If you are thinking about cycling the Camino, I summarised here the main points from my experience:
    • Cycling the Camino de Santiago is the second popular option, just after walking.
    • Not all original paths can be made by bike. Sometimes you need to use a nearby road to the next stage.
    • Best routes to cycle are the French and English Way, as Northern and Primitive can get quite challenging.
    • Best seasons to make the Camino are spring and autumn, avoiding the hot summer and cold winter days.
    • Cyclists must remember to always use safety equipment, such as helmets and hi-vis vests during the night. Make sure to keep distance with walking pilgrims and cars. Also, when it comes to spending the night in a pilgrim hostel, pilgrims on foot have priority over cyclists, as they travel slower.
    Main tips to do the Camino by bike
    • Plan the distance to complete each stage. On average, a day of cycling goes from 60 to 80 km.
    • To achieve the Compostela, cyclists need to cover double the daily distance than pilgrims who choose walking.
    • Choose the best bike tailored to your needs and physical condition. Hybrid bikes are the most used, as they are practical for both mountain and road paths.
    • Pilgrims usually bring two light saddlebags in the back and a small backpack at the front. The bigger the weight, the harder the way.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
  2. davebugg

    davebugg DustOff: "When I Have Your Wounded"

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    I would add:
    1. As is the norm on shared trails or paths, the right of way priority is: horses, then pedestrians. Bicycles have a large speed and momentum discrepancy with pedestrians and should yield the right of way.
    2. When approaching pedestrian pilgrims from behind, assume that they cannot hear you.
    3. Signal your approach far enough away from the pedestrian pilgrim to make a difference. Signaling when you are nest to a pilgrim will potentially startled him/her and may create a collision as the startled pedestrian suddenly jumps and moves.
    4. Slow down when approaching a pedestrian so that the discrepancy of speed and momentum are reduced. Again, assume that, despite signaling, the pedestrian didn't hear you.
     
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  3. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    All of which is why I don't wear anything in my ears. I want to know when bicycles approach and what "wilderness" sounds like.
     
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  4. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Sound advice from everyone! It’s really a two sided coin. Cyclists need to exercise care and proper etiquette when approaching walkers whether on a Camino or on a recreational path in their home town. In a similar vein, walkers need to be aware of their surrounds so as to avoid certain difficulties. Wearing headphones or earbuds and listening to music makes it almost impossible for them to hear an approaching cyclist behind them. As an avid cyclist, I have bells on every bike in our household. But, in spite of announcing my approach to walkers on a recreational path, I’m well aware that they won’t hear my bell if they are listening to music. The caution I try to exercise is as much for my own safety as theirs. Buen Camino everyone!
     
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  5. davebugg

    davebugg DustOff: "When I Have Your Wounded"

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    A large percentage of pilgrims are older, many of that subset may be hard of hearing. Conversations amongst pilgrims as they walk can also mask approaching sounds. Some people hum and sing. There are a lot of reasons, other than wearing something in the ear, which makes hearing an approaching bicycle difficult. :)
     
  6. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    Also I have a service connected hearing ptoblem. I have hearing aids but don't wear them when I hike because they make my ears iceh I do wear them when I expect to be having any conversation, but not when hiking.
     
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