14/2/2020 2 Comments
Camino biking, finding a groove
At the time of posting, we've done 7 days on the bikes, and we're getting the groove. That might be a bit much to say. Maybe it's better to say the days are not as difficult as the first few. The Camino is primarily meant for walking pilgrims. Not bikers. We're learning that roughly half the Camino is not on asphalt. Gravel roads and often, tractor tracks, farmer's fields, and singletrack are common. And a lot of that is wet. And hilly. Pushing loaded bikes with slick tires is enough to frustrate the boys to the point of giving up. So dad helps. And mom helps. A lot. We reach over and ride with our hands on our boys' backs and make it up the hill. Together. It's beautiful. And exhausting.
Most of our days have been overcast, with only one with rain. And really, perfect temperatures. Around 13-15˚C. The first days, we had WAY too many breaks for pannier adjustments. On Tracy's bike, the 30l Ortlieb pannier (containing clothes) wobbled so much, that it often hit the spokes on the rear wheel. On day 2, a spoke broke. We limped into a bike shop to get it fixed. People are kind to peregrinos (pilgrims), so we waited while they dropped everything and fixed it on site. More pannier adjustments - a series of bungie straps, field tested, and we're all good to go.
Mostly, however, we are not adjusting our packing systems and pushing through mud. Sometimes, we are pushing, but it's usually up the steep hills. Some of our days have been big climb days. Our day from Tomar to Ansiao was a big one.
Most days have been stellar, with moments of pain and suffering, and joy and freedom. Sometimes within 5 mins of each other. Like life itself. We try to be philosophical with the boys, how biking can be a teacher, an allegory. Usually doesn't work. The good times are awesome, and the bad times suck.
This is why we ride.
wow - wonderful portrait of travelling. Challenging to manage oneself often, to manage as a couple, wow - managing as 4! Well done! Love the fountain drawings, the discovery of our inheritance in a university begun and protected since 1290. You are all stronger and wiser for this trip, and we are a bit more so too, sharing these notes! Thanks!!
Fixed gear bicycles have only one speed. The chain transmits the energy directly to the pinion on the rear wheel, so the pedals are in motion whenever it is. It is not possible to roll without pedaling.
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A family from Haida Gwaii, BC, Canada hits the road.