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Old 12-08-21, 08:55 AM
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John N
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Originally Posted by HobbesOnTour View Post
I've a couple of pointers having done the Camino in two directions on a bike.

When people ask about cycling the Camino my first suggestion is to consider if they want the "bike touring" experience or the "Pilgrimage" experience. In my opinion they are very different. It seems that as a couple you will be doing both. That could be interesting!
​There are any number of Camino routes and variations so you may be coming across Pilgrims anywhere. Some of these folk are deep in thought and have saved for years to do this - don't be a jackass and be respectful.
When on the "official" Frances route it can be quite busy early in the morning but empty by noon.

Northern Spain is great for riding, to he honest you can't really go wrong. New motorways have taken a lot of traffic so older "main roads" are almost empty. Small villages can be wonderful to explore for a while and locals are invariably friendly and welcoming, especially if you speak a bit of Spanish. Food is fantastic and a great way to pass time. After the Camino I roughly followed the northern route just following my nose.

Since your wife is walking and you are not expect to be having different experiences. She will be far more immersed in the "Camino family" than you.
Allow flexibility in plans - especially for her. The unhappiest people I met were the ones sticking rigidly (and painfully) to plans made months and years in advance, at home, that should have been ditched on day one.

The Brierly guide is the most popular English language guide and as a result a lot of people slavishly follow the stages leading to high demand for accommodation. Simply make your own stages and reduce the stress.
If staying in Albergues (hostels) be aware that some will not accept cyclists until later in the day in order to accommodate walkers.


You may find some useful info here: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/
an active Camino forum, if not the friendliest for cyclists.

I loved my Camino experience, but not as a bike tour. My subsequent wanderings around Northern Spain were far more enjoyable as a tour. I met one person who ditched her bike so as to enjoy the experience better.

Buen Camino
You are indeed correct. My wife is doing the "Pilgramage" and I am just touring, albiet with somewhat constrained parameters. I have already convinced her to do her own schedule (especially "off cycle" compared to Bierly) since I strongly believe that if you are not enjoying the trip, why do it. Sure there will be days when we are on a Bierly recommended stop but we will definitely not be beholden to it. Plus, I can always ride the extra 5km to find her if she decides to do shorten or lengthen any given day. We will try to stay mainly in private rooms when available but understand we may have to separate occasionally due to "no cyclists allowed" and the only available place is a municipal albergue. My dilemma is that I have discovered how incredibly beautiful northern Spain is and all the little country roads. Wow! However, I can only break off for a 5 days so many times before she will get perturbed. Hopefully, she will want to become more immersed and will prefer to go it alone so I can tour my heart out further north.

If not, I just plan to make a couple of 40km to 80km routes that will hopefully meet up where she is at. That is why I started this post; to see if there are nice rides near the trail. Anyway, I figure if I arrive early (most likely) compared to her, I will just eat some tapa and drink some wine while reading a book.

Tailwinds, John
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