How far can i cycle a day on the Camino?
To get closer to some basic recommendations, we will establish parameters in such a way that each pilgrim on a bicycle can be identified in each case. It must be taken into account that the minimum distance for the Church to grant the Compostela credential is 200 kilometers. It is approximately the distance from Ponferrada in the French Way, Ribadeo in the North, from A Gudiña on the Sanabrés Road or from Vila do Conde in Portuguese. So from this we will analyze the routes and capabilities.
We can say that the entry in Galicia from the Plata, by any of the 3 options, is the most complicated since they will meet with the Galaico model system which implies raising considerable slopes for bicycles. This means that we suggest short stages, and adapted to what each one is able to develop on top of the bicycle. If it is normal to cover an average of 50 kms, for these stages should consider shortening them in half.
For the French Way, you will find several stages only suitable for the most physically adventurous. If you leave from St. Jean Pied de Port, the ascent to Roncesvalles is challenging. Many pilgrims consider whether or not to continue on the first day. There are sections with unevenness at the height of the Tour de France in the Pyrenees, but if you pass that stage and the later to Logroño (approximately), you will have a simpler route to León. As we said before, we speak of averages of 50-60 kms per stage.
The Way of the North, as all the pilgrims tell, is the most challenging. Of course it is thought for the most prepared and practically does not allow the rest that yes allows the Plata in the French Way. The more prepared cyclists will be able to maintain those mileage averages, but it is not a advisable route for beginners.
However, the ever-growing Portuguese Trail does allow us to mix a little tougher sections with the kindest ones for cyclist pilgrims, especially the one that runs along the coast and not the interior. If you are not a regular bicycle, departure from Porto is one of the best options for pilgrimage to Santiago. Good road, good weather, relatively easy stretches and exceptional scenery.
In the Route of the Plata from Seville you will find sections that run through the limits of the provinces of Cáceres and Salamanca where there are important slopes, the rest of the Way is presented more or less simple until you reach the confluence with the French in Benavente. Of course, they are more than 800 kms, so more than the difficulty, here will be tested the resistance.
In any of the options, we are talking about averages of kilometers of 50-60kms a day for initiated people, who have trained an average of 150 kms a week, at least, 2 months before the beginning of the route. Let them get used to riding on a mountain bike and be prepared to cover those distances every day. Evidently it is possible to pedal 50 kms in a day for almost any pilgrim but, you can do it 7 days, 10 days, 15 days in a row? That's the challenge ... !!!