Bike riding on the Camino de Santiago

We stayed at an Albergue last night that had some strict rules for admission:
1. No Bike Riders
2. No Pilgrims that are having their luggage transported between Albergues
3. No Pilgrims being supported by vehicles or other means.
In other words real Pilgrims that are walking and carrying their gear all the way to Santiago de Compostela.
It might be an unpopular view, but I do not think bicycle riders are doing a pilgrimage. The whole idea of doing the Camino is that its slow and difficult. Zooming down a hill in 700 Euro dual suspension mountain bike is not a Pilgrimage. The Camino was set up for walking. In some places the track is so narrow that two pilgrims can barely pass. However it doesn’t matter how narrow the track is, because you always have to be on the lookout for a Bike rider passing you with no warning. I am all for Bicycle touring, and have done plenty myself, but the camino is not the place.

Some of the things we have observed about people riding the Camino de Santiago by bike.

1. They travel in groups, rarely individually. Sometimes in groups as large as 10.

2. They often do not warn people they are going to pass people.  This cause you always to be expecting a bike rider to suddenly appear. We have been walking side by side, and had a bike rider pass between us with no warning!

# Bike riders passing on a narrow track on the Camino de santiago. The road was only 100 metres away, and we ended up rejoining it, but they had to ride now the track, forcing pilgrims to stop to let them pass.

A thread on a Camino forum about Bike Riders here

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4 Responses to Bike riding on the Camino de Santiago

  1. Christ'l says:

    Waw, an albergue just for the real ones!!! We we return on the camino next year, we’ll surely stay in that one.
    We had a rather bad experience with the spanish railways on our way back home. The station was moved, although still on the map, the 1st class seats were old and didn’t function properly, the train had a delay of 50 minutes. But we got home safely and will return on the camino next year!!!
    It was a real plaisure to meet you. Now we’ll follow you virtualy, thank God for the internet!!!

  2. ron spurgin says:

    Hi South Aussis Some of the places you pass though seems like you are passing back in time is that so do all have mod cons?

  3. Pat and gail wardell says:

    Hey, Greg and Judy we have been following your journey and are in awe. As we nurse our sore knees in our recliners we sincerely admire your toughness and spirit.
    You got thwarted by snow and Greg’s bog on the trip to the cabin but I think you are going to make this goals. Well done.

    • Judy says:

      Hey there Gail and Pat, great to hear from you and to know that you are following our journey. Much love to you both