Doing the Way of St. James by bike has nothing to do with the shooting that we can usually do in our town or outings with friends some weekend. Physical preparation is very important and you will have to follow specific training to prevent this exciting adventure from turning into an ordeal. In this article we will give you the basic training guidelines to do the Camino de Santiago by bike.
Before training, plan
As with any trip, you have to plan. In this case, pilgrimage on two wheels you have to consider different things. First of all, as you know, if you want to get the Compostela, you will have to ride the last 200 kilometres of an official Jacobean route. If you arrive in Santiago de Compostela you are entitled to this certificate, and if you arrive in Finisterre and/or Muxía, you can get the Finisterrana and/or the Muxiana. For this it is necessary to carry the Pilgrim’s Credential, and if you also want to sleep in public hostels, having it is an essential requirement.
You will have to choose one of the available routes, the one you like the most, and in this article we present them to you. Consider the number of stages you want to do, depending on the c
The number of kilometres you are willing to cycle each day. The usual average is 60 or 65 kilometres a day, although some people do 50 kilometres or even 90 kilometres.
To train: gym or not?
We know that the gym is lazy, but once you’re pedaling the Camino de Santiago you’ll be grateful for having made that little effort of preparation. It is advisable that you consult with the instructor at the gym about the training guidelines, no one better than them will know how to advise and guide you throughout the preparation process.
Whether you go to the gym or not, the ideal is to find a routine that works your entire lower body and core. Strengthening your leg muscles will help protect your knee joints, which suffer the most when pedalling. You should work the quadriceps as well as the hamstrings and glutes, so that you can correctly stimulate the main muscles involved in generating movement. Also pay attention to the abdomen, front planks will help you to improve its stabilizing function and achieve better balance on the bike.
It is very important that the technique of the exercises you follow is as strict as possible to avoid injury. Before training, take time to warm up properly, paying special attention to your knees, which are one of the most injury-prone joints.
Outings with the bike
Training on the bike is also important. You don’t need to be an advanced cyclist to do the Camino de Santiago by bike, but it is advisable that you have ridden a bike before, especially in the mountains. So, take frequent trips to the mountains to begin to get your body used to the effort in the same conditions in which you will be walking the Camino.
If you want to follow the original route, keep in mind that sometimes the road will not be flat and you will be you will find different types of terrain, with stones, gravel, earth, mud, etc. However, it is true that in certain sections there are alternatives for two wheels that do not follow the pilgrims’ path on foot, but they are always small distances that in the end will recover the standard path.
If you are a beginner cyclist, or you don’t ride a bike much, it is important to get advice, and for this you can read this one article with lots of tips for cycling pilgrimages. You will have to get used to reacting differently. Brake earlier on the downhills, be more careful on the curves, push harder on the climbs, and manoeuvre with more skill in the tricky moments.
It is also important to deciding what to wear. If you plan to carry your luggage in your panniers, it is advisable to start cycling with them from the beginning. You can start with a light weight to make sure you are good at it and gradually increase the difficulty.
It is also very important which bike to choose. In this sense, there are many models of bicycles the most common being the mountain bike. Whatever bike you ride, and this advice is a constant among cyclists, make sure the saddle is comfortable. You should choose, adjust and test a saddle that won’t give you problems. If you are a regular cyclist, this is already solved, but if not, keep in mind that it has to adapt very well to you, it will be your companion for many hours of effort.
Let’s roll and enjoy
The Camino de Santiago by bicycle is a very way to travel very pleasant. In addition to other “bicigrinos”, you will find the usual pilgrim on foot, and on behalf of them we ask you to carry a bell or an acoustic signal to let them know that you are going to overtake them. We all fit in the Camino de Santiago, and we all make it richer and more special.