If you are passionate about the Way of St. James and the bicycle, the term bicigrino might be familiar to you. In fact, it’s more and more frequent that pilgrims decide to do the Camino by bike, (more than 5% of the total number of pilgrims who obtained the Compostela in 2019 did it by bike).
If you are also among the thousands of people who are planning to travel one of the Santiago ways by bicycle, you will probably be a fan of this means of transport. Without doubt, this is a trend that has been developing in recent years. Thanks to the increasing use of bicycles and with the higher attention that we give to our body and leisure time, activities like this are growing. As much for the growing importance that physical activity is assuming in our lives, as for the desire to be outdoors and in contact with nature, the number of pilgrims (both walking and cycling) has, in fact, increased in recent years.
But do not rush into choosing a bike and ask for advice from an expert. For most of the routes, no doubt the best option is a BTT but you will have to choose both the right size and the model that can help you to cover so many kilometers with less difficulty. It’s important to have a good suspension system that will allow you to absorb as much shock as possible during descents and therefore weigh less on your back. At the same time, it is possible that, in order not to have to make too much effort uphill, the most suitable option is an electric bicycle. Nowadays, the possibility of renting this type of bike at a moderate price can make the difference between a pleasant and unforgettable trip and prolonged suffering. Do not think twice, if you are afraid of not being in perfect shape, rely on an e-bike and totally enjoy the experience.
Often, it happens that the bicigrinos impose themselves too long stages, with too demanding gradients and consequently they risk not really enjoying the experience for having underestimated the difficulty of the itinerary. Remember that the camino is a journey that not only aims to reach the Cathedral of Santiago, at the end.
The Way of Saint James is a unique opportunity to stop and admire the landscapes, to visit the wonderful cities that you’ll cross, to give space to your thoughts and express your emotions. Hopefully, to spend time that otherwise you would not dare to give yourself, getting to know other people and discovering the culture, history and gastronomy of new places. You won’t be able to do any of this if you are exhausted after a whole day riding your bike, with the only desire to finish your stage. Live the journey completely, lose yourself in nature and explore a part of yourself that you did not know. But above all, be well informed about the path you want to take, the differences in height, prepare in advance and do a test of several consecutive days, with a number of kilometers similar to what you would do on the way.
And if you want to get the Compostela at the end of your journey, inform yourself about how many kilometers you will cover. The Compostela for pilgrims by bicycle, is given at the completion of at least 200 kilometers of distance, unlike for pilgrims on foot which is only 100 km. Each official route has the minimum distance required except the English Way, which can still be cycled but without obtaining the final certificate.
Remember that this experience will change your life, and if in doing so you can enjoy the landscapes that most fascinate you, why not? Whatever the route you take, your journey by bike will be absolutely incredible!
And do not forget to enjoy warm comfortable accommodation, nice and traditional food and wonderful natural landscapes as you pass by Zubiri in HOSTAL GAU TXORI, a place where all the security and hygiene measures are taken to face the covid 19.
Source: From an article by Galiwonders.