Tandem on the Camino De Santiago.
This summer my wife and I will be riding El Camino De Santiago De Compostela in northern Spain. This is a pilgrims path of approx. 850 k that starts in St. Jean Pied De Port, France at the foot of the Pyrenees, and ends in the city of Santiago De Compostela, Galicia. Our ride is a Davinci In2ition. The tour operators recommend a cross type bike as the path is both on and off road with many hills and descents for cyclists.
Has anyone out there done this on a tandem? Any advice on bike setup or anything else will be much appriciated.
Only just seen your post on the Camino, and this is my first post to the forum...
The Camino de Santiago is an exceptional experience. My wife and I have walked sections of it and at some point I would like to complete in on bikes - but I'm not sure about on our tandem.
The majority of the section of the route we took looked comfortably tandemable but some sections of the walkers route are quite technical -but i'm sure you could find a road route around this.
Are you planning on staying in the refuges for pilgrims? If so, be aware that some will only agree to have cyclists at the end of the day after they know how many walkers there will be staying...
I'm sure you will have a great time - the first day definately knocks you into shape - lots of climbing from St Jean Peid de Port to Roncesvalles but it should get easier from then on in!
I'd be interested to find out how you are getting your tandem to the start point -do you have S7S couplings?
I know the region, though never done the Camino de Santiago myself, my sister did and came back with lots of storries, you will have a great time I'm sure. I'd make sure that I leave the pilgrim route every so many days and drop into some of the excellent restaurants, food in the Basque region is sublime and not as pricey as you might expect even with the Euro what it is.
Only tandem advice I can give you is to bring low enough gearing, I'd be curious to know how much will be your total climb over the 850 km. You don't have any real high points, but it is up and down the whole way, and I am sure very steep grades in places.
The cycle route and the walking route do diverge very often, there are many cyclists on the route.
Thanks for the reply. We intend to fly from NYC to Pamplona. From there we will take a taxi either to Roncesvalles, and if necessary another taxi to St. Jean Pied DE Port. Approx 50 -60 miles total. Unfortunately My Tandem ( which we named Dulcinea) is not S&S coupled. Transporting it should be interesting (any tips?). My gearing will be quite low with an 18.3 inch low gear. We are certainly looking forward to all the people, churches, food, wine, and yes even the hardships of the Camino. If you are a Pilgrim, a little suffering is in order.
Give me some dates on the off chance that I am in the neighborhood. I hope I can manage a trip in 2008 sometime.
I have not lugged the tandem around Spain, but perhaps you should look at buses as an alternative to taxies. I have always been able to fit the tandem in the cargo spaces of intercity buses in Argentina.