The Way of Saint James by bike – Itineraries and preparation

Making the way by bike is a great option for bike and road lovers. For some, this modality is a physical challenge in which to test how many kilometers they can pedal per stage. But without a doubt, for the majority it is an alternative option to the route on foot that allows them to go more slowly on each stage and make short detours to get to know more things.

And that’s right! The reality is that making the journey by bike offers advantages that the route on foot cannot. In the following post we tell you everything you need to know if you want to do this adventure, don’t leave as we started!

 

One of the first questions: How long are the stages?

 

Here is one of the potentialities of cycling, dear friends: there are no pre-established official stages. The Jacobean route marks the series of towns we must pass through, but there is no stage with a set mileage for cycling. Each one is free to configure the stage according to their physical possibilities.

So you know, you can set an average of 30 or 40 kilometers per day and enjoy the trip and the stops calmly, or you can set longer stages if you have a few days to cover a long stretch.

 

What about the Compostela?

 

Just as there are no pre-established stages, there is a minimum number of kilometres to be cycled to obtain the Compostela. The road on foot marks a minimum of 100 kilometers to obtain it. However, to obtain the Compostela by pedaling you will need to add at least 200 kilometers. But do not be afraid! They are perfectly bearable in a few days.

 

How do you prepare to make the way by bike?

Physical preparation

Just as for making the pilgrimage on foot, if you are thinking of making the journey by bike, you should prepare yourself. Training on the bicycle is very important to carry out this experience without suffering. Bear in mind that cycling every day requires a minimum of strength in your legs and torso, in order to bear the effort of pedaling well. We recommend that you combine your cycling training with exercises to strengthen your legs, abdomen and back.

Bike preparation

It is very important to carry out correct maintenance of the bike every day, in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. Always carry a kit of accessories for your bike, such as: lights, bell, lock, pump, patches, elastic octopus, multi-tool kit and a small bottle of oil, among other things. It is very important to carry a bell that works properly, keep in mind that many times you will have to share a track with the walking pilgrims and other people, so you must warn them as you go. Oil is also essential: many times you will pass through muddy or dirty areas and then you will have to clean the bike; so you will need oil to re-grease the chain, thus avoiding possible breakages.

Of course, some good saddlebags to carry your stuff in, but don’t over do it! The less weight you carry with you the better. To make the journey by bike, the best option in terms of luggage is to hire a transfer.

Clothing

A good jersey and a good shorts to go comfortable all the way. It is also interesting that you carry a windbreaker or a raincoat in one of the saddlebags, in case it rains or is very windy. It is very important that you take some snacks such as energy bars or fruit and a small hydration bag. Of course, don’t forget your helmet!

Are all the routes suitable for cycling?

In general, this is the case. However, there may be areas where you have to deviate from the original path and go on the road, or where you have to get off the bike and walk it. What they do exist, are different degrees of difficulty, here we tell you:

Expert level routes

We can put the Primitive Way, the North Way and the Silver Route in the Top 1 of difficulty. The first one, due to its irregular terrain, can be considered a “leg-breaking” path. Second, due to the usual bad weather and difficult stretches of terrain. And the third one, because of its extreme length and the few services it has. To do the Silver Route you must be completely sure that you will endure the stage you are going to ride and be well supplied.

Routes for all

The French Way, the Portuguese Way and the English Way are the most favourable routes due to their good terrain for travelling, except for the mountain passes of the Pyrenees and O Cebreiro in the French Way!

 

How do I get my bike?

This is a frequent question that many of you have. Don’t worry about anything, there are companies that will move your bike to wherever you need it. What if I don’t have a bike?” It’s not a problem either, you can rent one to make the journey! In this aspect, if you have doubts about whether you will be physically able to pedal for several days, we advise you to consider the option of renting an electric bike, problem solved!

Dare to ride your bike! And if you have already done so, share your experience and recommendations with us to help other indecisive bikers. If you are more of a perregrino, in this link you will find all the info.

Good way!

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