Registration for the 2016 National Gathering of Pilgrims is open!
Whether you have been a pilgrim on the Camino in the past or you are an aspiring one, the 2016 Gathering of Pilgrims at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Illinois, is for you. And if you are considering serving as an hospitalero in the future, hospitalero training is being offered immediately prior to the Gathering. Click HERE to go to the National Gatherings page for complete information and to register.
Cycling the Camino
Between 15 and 20% of peregrinos who arrive in Santiago do so by bicycle. Cyclists are eligible to receive the Compostela if they document that they have ridden the final 200 km to Santiago, essentially from Ponferrada. American Pilgrims recommends that cyclists interested in the French Route consider early- or late-season travel, as the French Route is the most popular and can be crowded. We strongly encourage cyclists to consider other routes, such as the Via de la Plata, during the busy season.
What kind of bike do I need?
How do I get my bike to Europe and then back?
Our experience is that prices for shipping bicycles via a freight or package delivery company can become quite high for international transport. Here are two possible resources: In 2013 British Air would ship bicycles for free if they were in "a recognised bicycle bag" and didn't weigh more than their weight allowance and Bike Flights for shipping bicycles and cases once you arrive in Europe. The Guardian newspaper has a summary of bicycle policies on airlines serving England.
In Europe, be aware of different policies regarding bicycles on trains. When buying train tickets, be clear that you have a bicycle and specify whether it is boxed or not. For RENFE's (Spain) policies click HERE (English). For the SNCF (France) click HERE (French). For an excellent overview of the policies in most countries in Europe click HERE (English).
Are the cycling-specific guidebooks?
What should I take in my bicycle tool kit?
What about renting bicycles?
How long should this take me?
Do the albergues discriminate against cyclists?
Do I need to wear a helmet in Spain?
Are there other legal requirements?
Are there many bike shops on the camino?
What about interacting with foot-borne peregrinos?
Internet resources to consider