Bicycle Touring Experiences from Spain

Spain

On this page we attempt to make available the experience of individual bicycle tourists who travel to Spain (you can share your experiences here).


Contents on this page


Malaga, Spain

Access: highway

Daniel Rondeau, June 03, 2015

Train from Madrid Airport, Portugal Trains

In Sept. 2012 I flew with my bike from Washington DC to Madrid, cycling to Lisbon, Portugal. There is no longer a need to cycle to or from the airport to downtown Madrid. At terminal 4 there is a train to Charmatin Station, connecting to Atocha and other stations. The train takes bikes and cost a couple of Euros. You can also, take a bike on the Metro (non-rush hours) but with the train this is really not necessary. If you land at Terminals 1-3 there is a shuttle bus to T-4 that that will take bikes.

The regional trains around Lisbon, Portugal, also, take bikes. I took mine on a regional train in Sept. 2012.

Stuart Bonning, September 26, 2012

What different airlines charge for taking your bike with them

Up to date information about what different airlines charge for taking your bike on their planes.

http://www.cyclefiesta.com/multimedia/articles/taking-bicycles-on-planes.htm

Most European airlines are covered, as well as a few other big ones around the world.

Ian Smitton, August 27, 2012

Taking bikes on trains in Spain

I have recently updated an article regarding taking bikes on trains in Spain. The rules have changed in the last year or se regarding several operators, so I hope the guide will provide useful for anybody planning to visit Spain with their bike.

http://www.cyclefiesta.com/multimedia/articles/bikes-on-trains-spain.htm

Ian Smitton, August 11, 2012

DuVelo / Discover Europe on a really good bike.

We rent trekking bikes (Santos Travelmaster 2.6ALU) with Rohloff and belt, waterproof Ortlieb bags, GPS. We pick up and deliver anywhere in Europe.

Dumortier Tom, March 26, 2012

SICK AND TIRED

Hello,I am a regular bike user and I am sick and tired of pedestrians who do not follow traffic regulations, ie. they cross when they shouldn't, they walk their doggies on the bike lanes, they wait for the traffic lights to change in the middle of the bike lane, just to name a few... However, I do feel even more sick and tired of bikers who do not follow the regulations, bikers who do not wear crash helmets, who do not have any lights on/off at all so it is difficult so distinguish them early in the morning or sometimes even in broad daylight, and bikers, who on top of the above mentioned, dress in dark or black colours and their bike is also black, making them difficult to be spotted on. Needless to say about those who do not wear reflectant vests and those who jump red traffic lights. If they want pedestrians and motorists to respect them, they should be the first ones to respect the norm.

Carmen, September 30, 2011

Response to

**NEVER** pay any railway officials in Spain for putting your bike onto a train (not even the TRENHOTELs (overnite sleepers). This is not RENFE policy, and if you do so, you are just giving the guard a backhander.
Don't encourage this, otherwise word will get around and we'll all have to start forking out this bribe.

Steve Mabey, February 24, 2011

BORNBIKE RENTAL & TOURS

At Bornbike Rental & Tours you will be able to rent a well-maintained, safe and comfortable bike. We love to ride bicycles in Barcelona and we are convinced that you will love it too. Enjoy!
We offer you different guided city tours that make it an unique experience and a chance to enjoy a perfect mix of history, culture, arts, nature and fun. We will make you experience Barcelona like never before... Gothic to Modernism Tour, Beach Tour, Montjuïc Tour, Tapas Tour. We are located in the street Marquesa nº1 at the Born quarter metro Barceloneta (L4) 00 34 93 319 00 20

BORNBIKE RENTAL & TOURS, February 16, 2011

looking for maps, collaborators online cycling project

Hiya, I am on sourcing out the best ways to travel with bikes and to this end have started my own project. I need maps of proven cycle routes all around Europe, detailing stop off points, cycle friendly accomodation, repair points and hospitable people along the way to make my journey easier.

glenn newland, November 07, 2010

Delta Airlines and Madrid Bike Box

We flew Delta from Portland, Oregon to Amsterdam, returning from Madrid, Spain.
They charged $200 per bike outbound, 200 Euros coming back.
My bike has S & S couplers so I paid $50 outbound, 50 Euros coming back. That charge was for the second bag, they only allow one free checked bag.
My friend was unable to obtain a bike box from the airlines at Madrid airport.
We obtained a free box at Calmera Bicycle, near the Sol district: http://www.calmera.es/
They have some English speaking employees.

Lee Taylor, October 13, 2010

Madrid Airport to Madrid Center (+ visa versa)

This is an update to Bruce’s (bruce_northcutt@ekit.com) post.
(I also include some hints about airport storage at the bottom)

Luckily, due to the recent expansion of Barajas airport (additional terminal etc…) the sprawl of Barajas had started to spread over to the other side of the highway, making it considerably easier now to get into Madrid (and out of) and very safely too, with the addition of some useful footbridges over the hideous highway.

This description will take you through a short cut suburban route shortly after the airport, cutting down the time cycling on the nasty outer road (Av. America, ) to around just 10mins through the entire journey. (The outer road runs parallel to the main highway, and acts as a sort of service road for the communities along the way and also the local busses use this route too).

Due to this expansion there are now 3 or 4 pedestrian/bike walkover bridges on the way to Madrid, which the cyclist must make use of. This way is the quickest and safest IMHO:

Into Madrid centre
At T1 arrivals exit to the outside and immediately turn left. Follow the service road round the terminal (you’ll be against the traffic so may as well walk this first bit along the pavement/sidewalk). Continue past all the taxis. In about half a km you’ll come to a blue pedestrian walkway over the highway. Walk the bike up the slope and back down the other side. You’ll now be on the outer road heading into Madrid.

Continue on the outer road for about another 1km until you come to the first roundabout. At this point you have 2 choices. 1 is to continue on the outer road, the other is to turn off and take a short cut through a leafy suburb:
The street name at the roundabout is c/Bergantin. Turn into this street and continue to the 1st roundabout. Take 2nd turning. You’ll still be on c/Bergantin. Go straight at the first junction. You’ll now be in Av de Cantabria. At next roundabout take 1st turning onto c/de La Carabela. Then take 1st street on left into c/del Balandro. Keep going straight over junction. The street changes its name to c/ de Obenque. Keep going and you’ll come out on the outer road again and at big hotel called NH (I think) Hotel. About 20ms further down outer road is a footbridge with a ramp. Walk the bike over the bridge and you’ll end up op on c/de Alcala.

Stay on c/de Alcala as it goes all the way into the centre of Madrid. Out here it acts as a service road and you’ll be against the traffic. Best bet is to cycle on the pavement/sidewalk (no one seems to mind, and others do the same). You’ll pass under a big highway running N-S. Next you’ll pass under a big red cycleway also running N-S. Just after this the street turns into town. You’ll spot the 1st metro station called Canillejas.

At this point you can start cycling on the street. Along the way you’ll pass other metro stations. – Torre Aries, Suazes, Quintana, El Carmen and Retiro. Along the way you’ll also pass the huge bullring. The closer you get to the centre of town the crazier this street becomes. Watch out for cars that will cut you up as they turn into side streets on the right. I would suggest that once you get to Retiro get off the bike and push it the rest of the way into the centre (2kms), as the street turns into a major boulevard of traffic madness.

If you’re lucky and you find yourself on c/Alcala during siesta or w/end mornings you’ll find the journey a lot less stressful as traffic it at the minimum.

From the centre of Madrid to Airport
It’s pretty much a reverse of above. After the slog upto the bullring it’s pretty much a freewheel all the way out to the service road section of c/de Alcala. You’ll be flowing with the traffic so this makes this section much quicker. After you pass under the big red cycleway and the big highway there are 2 footbridges on c/de Alcala, which cross back over to Av. America. Take either one and continue on Av. America until you reach the landmark hotel NH Hotel. This is the point at which you turn into the leafy suburb on c/de Obenque. Do the reverse of above all the way to T1 arrivals.

A note on Left Luggage and Bike Box
The left luggage (consignia) at the airport is conveniently outside of the furthest exit (Puerte 3) at arrivals at T1 (look for the signs).
The consignia will charge 5EUR per 24hrs. After 2 weeks it’s goes down a little. After 28 days it drops to 1.25EUR per day. Max stash is 1 year.
But here’s the catch – you must pay up front, and you must show your passport as they need to scan it to print out your receipt etc.
My recommendation is to do what I did and book it in overnight. Then when you get to your hotel in Madrid ask them if they are OK to look after your bike box whilst you are away. If you’re lucky they’ll happily agree. You’ll then need to get the metro out to the airport consignia the next day and collect it and bring it back on the metro. This saved me about 125EUR.
Beware: Technically a bike box is considered too large by the metro security folks. Even though the turnstiles at the airport metro are wide enough to drive a tank through they still don’t like you getting onto the metro in the centre of town with a bike box.
The day before I was due to leave I took the bike box back on the metro to book it into consignia, again overnight. Getting on at c/Savilla metro I was hit by security who stopped me. I had to beg before they let me go and I think it was because I told them I was taking it to the airport - which changed their minds. My recommendation is to take bike box onto the metro during high siesta (~14:30). At this time the security at the entrances of metro are likely to be asleep or out at lunch!

Steve Mabey, September 28, 2010

The real deal of bikes on Spanish trains - SPAIN

After several years of cycling in Spain I thought it would be useful for other fellow cyclists to get a heads-up on this topic. This may not be 100% correct or definitive, but is what I found based on 1st hand experience.


Cycling is a joy in Spain, esp. when off the main roads and you have got time on your hands, however, the time comes when, for whatever reason, you may need to break up your journey by putting your bike onto a train, or bus. Doing so is not as straightforward in Spain as in other countries, as there are so many different rules/exceptions to be aware of.


Fares for bikes: No Charge

Types of trains: Look at the timetables on display to determine the type of train going to your destination. The type of train is usually an indication if your bike will be accepted.


Your Bike: If possible, it is a good idea to remove the pedals before getting on board. In big cities always ask at the booking office before you buy your ticket if it’s OK to take a bike on board.


TALGO or AVE trains:

These are the VIP/hi-speed trains and you cannot put a bike on these trains. I’ve tried, begged, pleaded, but unless you can put your bike in a box you are not allowed to take your bike with you.
For instance, all the long-distance trains from Malaga heading north are TALGO’s. If you do manage to get past the security Train-Police, and the guy at the booking office ensures you you can put your bike on the Cordoba-bound train you’ll be refused at the gate. Proceed to booking office for refund.


Inter-City Trains:

You cannot take your bike on these trains unless in a box. However, if it is a “sleeper” train they do allow you on with it. As it is a long-distance sleeper you’ll be sharing a bunk bed car with 5 others, and it has to be booked 24 hrs ahead, and you’ll get to your destination in the dead of night, very tired.

For instance: There are 3 trains a day from Barcelona to Bilbao. I was told I couldn’t book a seat with Bike for the next day’s schedules unless it was the night train, which got me into Logrono at a surreal time of 04:50.


Regionales:

These are the savior for the biker. The Regionales are often long distance trains, they are the cheapest and slowest and often stop at every hamlet on route, yet these are ideal as you can drop off in any small town on route, rather than being sucked into a large metropolis.
The deal is this: On the platform, as the train pulls in, yell “donde?” when you see the guard alight, he’ll indicate which carriage he wants your bike in. If you don’t see the guard try heading for the front or back, when he finds you he’ll tell you if this is OK. You won’t be thrown off, but you may be asked to put it somewhere else at the next stop, which is a pain.

Often the regionales have a bike-carriage with room for a gaggle of bikes, with tie up straps etc. As the train pulls in look for the familiar Bike Symbol on the carriages as they pass by.
Other regionales you just wheel them onto any center space of any carriage.


- The Andalucian Express – just throw it on board. Once I’ve had the guard direct me to the rear section where I was asked to strap it up vertically in a kind of locked enclosure!

- The Coastal train that runs between Barcelona and Tortosa has absolutely no restrictions and bikes are allowed on any carriage.

- On the electric train in/out of Malaga, which also connects to the airport – it is forbidden to take bikes onto the train, or platforms, in either direction.

- The train between Cadiz and Jerez – just wheel it onto any carriage.

- The amazing narrow gauge train that plies between Denia and (almost) Alicante, not only is a fabulous ride (until it gets closer to Benidorm) welcomes bikes.


The Cercanias:

These are the local commuter trains in/out of some of the major towns (Madrid, Valencia, Alicante/Murcia, Barcelona, Seville, Malaga, and Cadiz). In the cities they generally leave from the same station, but check. These are a great way of getting out to the suburbs and surrounding villages without having to battle through horrid city traffic. They’re also useful for short hops between villages. Also useful if you are approaching a city. Many Spanish cities are ringed by evil freeways with no minor entrance roads to cycle into town. Often picking up the cercanias at a nearby village is far less stressful than battling thru a sea of evil freeway traffic, (which is often illegal to cycle on anyway). My bike has never been refused on one of these.

The Cercanias are usually very low-riding trains too so getting Bike on or off is not a struggle as is often the case with the other trains.

- To escape Malaga northwards without cycling there is a Cercania which heads up the Malaga Valley running every 30mins. Last stop is Aloha, and bikes are welcome. No service at w/ends or fiestas.


Airport trains:

Malaga – Forget it! Only recourse is to remove front wheel and pedals and hussle a taxi. You can attempt to cycle to the airport but I ended up with a mangled bike and an overnight stay in hospital whilst I was stitched back together.

Barcelona – A dream! Train connects with Estacion Sants and bikes are welcome on board.

Seville – No trains, but the bus has never failed me (in both directions)


Hope this helps!

Steve Mabey, April 05, 2010

Travel recently on BA from SFO to Spain? packing a folding bike

Hiya and thanks for your time. I am desperately seeking info on how to pack my SWIFT folding bike into a cardboard box to take on Brit Airways in a month. I am moving back to Spain, taking my limit of checked baggage and will be paying excess for bringing the bike with me. This is a o/w travel and flying on two connecting flights. Most of the info I've been finding online is waay old, BA or anyone doesn't answer their phones and I'm TRYING to pack all my stuff/gear to get my butt outa here. If anyone has traveled recently (within last 2mos) I would really appreciate any tips/etc regarding flying w/bike to Spain fm SFO, Heathrow, to BCN then finishing in Sevilla. I have already wrapped it in a roll of corrugated board and taped it up, and with strap it with rope to hold it together and offer a handle so it won't be a bother to the baggage crew. I have the impression like this it won't be accepted. HELP!! I've called several packing places for boxes but nobody seems to know of cardbrd boxes for bikes and in MY case: a folding bike. I don't have $$ to buy a shipping box/bag.

Tony, February 10, 2010

Easyjet to fly bikes

I've used Easyjet to fly my Claud Butler Hybrid to a variety of European destinations - Prague, Berlin, Nice, Barcelona and Rome and they have been ok - no danmage and easy enough to book in a nd recover the cycle. All I do is remove the pedals, turn in the handlebars, half pressure the tyres and wrap the machine in gash cardboard. They seem ok with that.

jim boam, January 30, 2010

Bikes on Spanish trains

I managed to get a bike back from Santiago in Galicia to the UK. You can't go on fast trains so either you have to take the night train and book the whole compartment, or you have to take two regional trains, changing at Leon. This is easy, but takes all day. Then it is unofficially possible to take bikes on the "Trenhotel" from Madrid to Paris: you probably need a bike bag, and you need to have fellow travellers who are reasonable and travelling relatively light, because even in a bag the bike takes up most of the space in the overhead rack. As long as you are lucky there, the Eurostar is easy to take bikes on for 25 euros.

Ali Cavalla, September 16, 2009

Portugal & Spain Rental and Delivery

Cycling Rentals offers top quality bikes and totally flexible services to meet all your requirements; we can even plan a bespoke, tailor made trip for you, deliver your bike to your door and transport your luggage for you - or we can just give you your bike and let you be on your way.

We will deliver your bike to you anywhere in Continental Portugal & Spain. By special request we can also deliver to the Islands.

Cycling Rentals can also provide you with extra cycling gear, bike racks and maps or itineraries, or even arrange room bookings and luggage transfer at your request.

We have joined forces with CP, the Portugal national rail service, to offer you the cleanest, greenest and least expensive way to enjoy Portugal.

If you find our services of interest please tell your friends! Even if you are planning on bringing your own bike, why not email us for some useful information on where to go and what not to miss.

Cycling Rentals, June 18, 2009

Air Europa bike fees

Air Europa charges 40 euros per flight for bike up to 20kg, then additional 9 euros/kg over that - not too bad considering what some of the others are charging

Andrew, April 07, 2009

Iberia bike charges

Iberia is now charging up to 150 euros each way to bring a bike on European flights. The policy started last fall when oil prices had doubled. Policy was 150 euros each way, but the ticketing agent gave me a "deal" and only charged me 75 euros. On return flight from Italy to Spain, I once again was charged 75 euros to bring the bike. And this was with just one check-in bag and one carry-on computer bag, so it's an across-the-board policy regardless of number of bags checked. Low-cost airlines such as Ryan Air and Easy Jet charge much less, usually between 25-35 euros for bikes each way.

Andrew, April 04, 2009

bike rental Malaga

bike rental in Malaga / Costa del Sol / Spain

vlad, March 28, 2009

Biciclot - Bike Tours and Bike Rental in Barcelona

We offer Bike tours from the beach, Bike tours for groups, bike rentals, Bicycles for kids and family, maps, helmets… and more. Ride from the magic beaches of the Mediterranean, to Gaudí‘s modernist buildings through the medieval atmosphere of the Gothic Quarter, and get to see the highlights of the city in a different way!

Biciclot- Bikerental and Biketours in Barcelona, January 26, 2009

Portugal & Spain

Traveling by bicycle can make for an unforgettable holiday - but getting there can be just the opposite.

Expensive overweight charges, careless handling and downright impracticality of lugging a bike around a foreign place can all be enough to ruin the enjoyment of your vacation

Cycling Rentals offers truly top quality bikes and totally flexible services to meet all your requirements; we can even plan your entire trip for you, deliver your bike to your door and transport your luggage for you - or we can just give you your bike and let you be on your way.

For any assistance in planning your bike trip in Spain or Portugal, just send us an email or give us a ring, we will be happy to help in any way we can!

If you are already in Portugal, and just want to hop on a bike, look up our Day Trips!

Martin Thompson, January 25, 2009

Ferry deals between England and continent

cheap
ferry ticket
to France, Spain and more online - Ferrycheap.com
Chris, February 24, 2008

Excess Baggage charges

At Lanzarote they only weigh the luggage going into the hold and compare this with the allowance on your ticket i.e. your 6Kg hand luggage allowance will not be taken into account, so maximise this by physically taking up to 6Kg as hand luggage.

Richard Clarke, February 07, 2008

How we did it!

Aer Lingus from JFK to Barcelona. Bikes (2) checked thru. No extra charge. Not the case if you boarded in Dublin to Barcelona. Fun interlude...While waiting for transfer in Dublin we are paged. It seems there is a problem with the bikes, sir. Oh boy, here we go..It seems they x rayed and wanted the CO2 canisters out of the boxes. So, we un- tape the boxes (big bore) get the canisters out after my protestations that they made it thru NY security, so why...here they are, OK? I gave them 3 and put the rest in my pockets! Since we had been escorted around security this was not a problem going back to the gate.

Boxes. Get them from a Trek dealer free. Their high end bikes come in really great boxes. Pack them full of extra stuff. Remember you'll want to get your luggage weights so no one piece is over. Go to IKEA and buy straps for them to save time by using less tape . Bring your own tape and tie downs, but not in carry on!

Leased a car for a little over a month. Huge hassle trying to figure out the roof rack situation.It seems hard to believe but American Thule and European Thule racks are not compatible! Thule does sell a kit called a "Ride on Adapter" that permits you to put your Thule rails on generic cross bars. Purchased factory cross bars (they only fit a 407 Peugeot!) as part of the lease but you own them when your done (anyone wanna buy mine?)and brought my rails.

We were in the Pyrenees but then needed to drive to Chamonix in the Alps. Wanted to do some some sight seeing so it occurred to me that I might be more practical to ship the bike across France and save some money on fuel too. The car was a lot slower with two boxes up there. The most convenient way (or so I thought) was to go to the local post office in town. Very inexpensive. But can't insure them for very much. Well, 48 hr delivery turned out to be a cruel farce. The bikes left together. One arrived 4 days late, the other 9 days late. Ouch. Good thing I speak French or might still be waiting.

Flight home was from Geneva. With out a doubt the worst airport to return a car to. We flew on Air Qatar to Newark. A little touch and go with the weights but in the end they let us slide. My brother flew home on Air France. Do not tell them its a bike. They will charge you big bucks. He went back later and just said it was sports equipment eh voila! No charge!

Was it worth it? Yes!

Fred Gilbert, January 16, 2008

Mountain Bike Tours on Tenerife

We are a new business specialising in showing our customers the best riding that the island of TENERIFE has to offer. We can arrange your accommodation or if you wish, simply add some riding to your previously booked package holiday. We offer top quality full suspension bikes to our customers (Currently Cannondale, soon to be replaced by Orange 5's).

Our service starts from the moment you make your initial enquiry where we will discuss the type of riding you are looking for and give advice on preparing for your visit, through to picking you up from your hotel or apartment on ride days. Some rides include lunch at a local bar. before returning to your accommodation.

We look forward to welcoming you to TENERIFE the island of eternal spring time.

Darran, July 20, 2007

Iberia - baggage and bike allowance

I flew from Brussels (Belgium) to Madrid, and from there to Granada, in July 2007. Baggage allowance 20kg, hand luggage 10kg. No flat fee for bikes. Only my bike, bike box, back pack and objects not allowed in hand luggage got to 27kg ... so Iberia obviously wanted me to bike naked! My mistake, so many airlines have a flat fee for bikes ... I just assumed Iberia had as well. I won't be flying with them anymore when travelling with my bike; ended up paying 130euro for the excess luggage. One way.

Minna, July 09, 2007

Tournride 2007 Spain: Why would you walk?

Dear friends:

Hi, i'm Alberto Pampin from Tournride.com. We are a company dedicated to bicycle renting. At Tour'n'Ride you will find a team of experienced, helpful, informed and friendly people. We passionately believe cycling can and should be experienced by everyone, from small children to young adults, from teenagers to our elders. We're in Santiago de Compostela (Spain) and are specialists on Camino de Santiago (Road to Santiago).

We designed new products for this year visit our website an you will see new travels in a few weeks. E-mail or call us for a complete information.

Thanks for your time.

Best regards,

Alberto Pampin

Alberto Pampin, July 01, 2007

Practical Information about Cycle Touring in Spain

Looking for information about cycle touring in Spain? Want information about traveling in Andalusia, doing the Camino de Santiago, exploring wine country or coastal areas? Look no further than SPANISH CYCLEPATHS, the FREE online magazine for people who love cycling...compiled and written by people who love cycling and love Spain. Information on transit, routes, bike shops, hotels and more!

Patricia Dawn Severenuk, May 20, 2007

Trains, Spain, Madrid -Algericas-Madrid

May 2006 night train leaving near midnight only train heading to coast that would allow bikes. Their solution was to have it stored under the bunk, and let everyone step on it as they climbed in and out of thier bunks. (6 bunks to a room, zero room) you have to go out of the room to change your mind.
Paid conductor $20. and my bike got locked into an empty room.
Was a much better deal as I had no worries the entire trip.
Knowing better on return waited to be last on train, had money ready and again bike got stored in empty room for duration of ride.

Christian , January 21, 2007

bmi baby east midlands to palm 2006

28 Nov 2006 tljones
KeyWords: Airports, Airlines, Since, 9,11, Europe, Spain
Three of us went to majorca with BMIbaby from East Midlands to PALMA two weeks ago .I thought some people might like to know about the flights with bikes.
Before I travel I always crave specific information.There's nothing like an awkward train guard or check-in girl for spoiling your day.

The only instruction I could find said 'bicycles must be appropriately packed' which is as vague as could be. Other airlines give much more rigorous instructions.

The other two bikes were packed as in past years, with a bottomless cardboard box from the LBS (thus it pays to keep on good terms with the LBS) and the saddle and bars poking out, bars turned and pedals off. So it looks like a bike and the handlers can wheel it about. You could hardly say they were protected, but not likely to cause oil smears. They went through both ways without damage and were seen on the top of the luggage piles both ways.They were unceremoniously chucked on the conveyers into the planes, but not harmed.

So there may be something in the theory that if it is very like a bike it will get more careful treatment.I am told only two bikes damaged in 9 years of doing this in groups.

I packed mine like that but being a 25inch frame it looked rather exposed and I was afraid of being sent away from the check-in desk to try better, especially with the recent airline luggage fuss. So I took the wheels off, pedals off, carrier bag round the rear mech and chain and put it all in an Argos 25gbp unpadded bike bag with a couple of pieces of cardboard between wheels and frame. My chainwheel was rather vulnerable at the bottom of the bag.It seems someone banged it down on that rather hard because the outer chainring got bent.I rode on the inner only until finding just the right rock to beat the outer ring back to shape with.

At least with this method I was sure of not being turned away.

The panniers and backpacks went through without comment. I put each of my two pieces in a garden litter plastic bag, string tied the top wrote on the bags and tied on cardboard labels. Thus the straps and little pockets were contained in a smooth package. James Bond does not do this, because he is too self-conscious.

In the luggage hall we set up the bikes in 20 minutes. The cardboard wraps and my bag rolled up and were laid across the panniers.

I would say do not take a very valuable bike, do not take cheap allen keys, and take more than one set in the group, protect the chainwheel and rear mech (or remove them, but then you will take ages to get away from the airport). A big pump is a blessing. Travel very light. Take string and bungies. Buy a litre of water in the departure lounge.

If you're still awake let me add that cycling in Majorca is brilliant, at least off season. July/ august is probably different. Weather perfect, roads very quiet except in PALMA, drivers outstandingly careful except for the usual mobile phone problem. Our leader had a really good map from Stanfords.

terryj, December 01, 2006

BMIBaby East Midlands to Palma 2006

Three of us went to majorca with BMIbaby from East Midlands to Palma
two weeks ago .I thought some people might like to know about the
flights with bikes.

Before I travel I always crave specific information.There's nothing
like an awkward train guard or check-in girl for spoiling your day.

The only instruction I could find said 'bicycles must be appropriately
packed' which is as vague as could be. Other airlines give much more
rigorous instructions.

The other two bikes were packed as in past years, with a bottomless
cardboard box from the LBS (thus it pays to keep on good terms with the LBS) and the saddle and bars poking out, bars turned and pedals off. So it looks like a bike and the handlers can wheel it about. You could hardly say they were protected, but not likely to cause oil
smears. They went through both ways without damage and were seen on the top of the luggage piles both ways.They were unceremoniously chucked on the conveyers into the planes, but not harmed.

So there may be something in the theory that if it is very like a bike
it will get more careful treatment.I am told only two bikes damaged in
9 years of doing this in groups.

I packed mine like that but being a 25inch frame it looked rather
exposed and I was afraid of being sent away from the check-in desk to
try better, especially with the recent airline luggage fuss. So I took the wheels off, pedals off, carrier bag round the rear mech and chain and put it all in an Argos 25gbp unpadded bike bag with a couple of pieces of cardboard between wheels and frame. My chainwheel was rather vulnerable at the bottom of the bag.It seems someone banged it down on that rather hard because the outer chainring got bent.I rode on the inner only until finding just the right rock to beat the outer ring back to shape with.

At least with this method I was sure of not being turned away.

The panniers and backpacks went through without comment. I put each of my two pieces in a garden litter plastic bag, string tied the top wrote on the bags and tied on cardboard labels. Thus the straps and little pockets were contained in a smooth package. James Bond does not do this, because he is too self-conscious.

In the luggage hall we set up the bikes in 20 minutes. The cardboard
wraps and my bag rolled up and were laid across the panniers.

I would say do not take a very valuable bike, do not take cheap allen
keys, and take more than one set in the group, protect the chainwheel
and rear mech (or remove them, but then you will take ages to get away from the airport). A big pump is a blessing. Travel very light. Take string and bungies. Buy a litre of water in the departure lounge.

If you're still awake let me add that cycling in Majorca is brilliant,
at least off season. July/ august is probably different. Weather perfect, roads very quiet except in Palma, drivers outstandingly
careful except for the usual mobile phone problem. Our leader had a really good map from Stanfords.

tljones, November 27, 2006

Flying Stansted to Malaga with Easyjet

In May 2006 I arrived at Stansted with the bike, handlebars turned, pedals off, chain and gears protected with cardboard as I'd flown with RyanAir in Nov 2005. No they said. It had to be boxed and no I couldn't let go of my bike or the trolley with panniers to search for a box. I missed my flight and had to pay for another 6 hours later. Eventually I left the bike and bags in left luggage (2 items) caught a bus to a nearby village, got a box. The bus returning to Stansted wanted me to fold the box, but I didn't. I stuffed the bike in but had no tape, they said they'd secure it, but didn't. I arrived at night in Malaga, the airport bus had left and ordinary taxis wouldn't take the box so I had to get a grande taxi. It was a nightmare.

Jill Lundmark, November 03, 2006

Flights to Tenerife

I've spent a lot of time working out which airlines fly to Tenerife airports (TFS and TFN) from around the world... and also their baggage allowance policies specifically relating to carriage of bicycles. You can find all the information on my webpage:

http://www.tenerife-training.net/Flights.html

I've also included some other links to enable you to find super cheap flights. Thanks.

Dr. Leslie Brown, October 11, 2006

Quality Bike Hire & Guided Rides in Tenerife

We offer guided cycling tours on the Island of Tenerife. Here, you can cycle with us along the spectacular mountainous & coastal roads of this very unique Spanish island! We'll show you the real parts of Tenerife, which are not frequented by tourists. Here, the weather is perfect for cycling all-year-round.

We offer rides of various difficulties & duration, suitable for cycling enthusiasts of intermediate fitness - all the way to elite athletes. All of our rides are offered on a daily basis, for the independent traveller - or else we can offer you substantial discounts for multiple rides.

We also have a selection of quality road and MTB bicycles available for hire! (our rental bikes are also available for hire separately)

We strive to provide a personalised, flexible, friendly and economical service. Our motto has always been: "Challenging Rides, Great Bikes, Specatcular Location!"

Please visit our website www.tenerife-training.net for more information.

Thankyou
Leslie

Dr. Leslie Brown, September 13, 2006

TENERIFE (CANARY ISLANDS) MOUNTAIN BIKE TOURS

Our company is devoted to plan Mountain Bike routes across Tenerife Island. We provide several routes all along the island, with great diversity of landscapes and different difficulty levels to adapt ourselves to a wider range of users. Our supply includes all the services needed to make the customer feel well cared since he leaves the hotel with our transfer until he comes back.
Our company offers a whole service to sportspeople and Mountain Bike enthusiasts to make them enjoy active holidays in Tenerife. We are in charge of picking our customers in South area hotels (check for other areas), of the transfer towards the trip starting point, of renting bikes, of guides, assistance and basic material.info@tenerifebike.net

Toni, September 05, 2006

Bikes on night trains in Spain

We recently travelled from Madrid to La Coruna on a night express train (Trenhotel) which is the ONLY train that accepts bikes between Galicia and Madrid (or so we were informed by Renfe in Madrid). The service was good but the information was difficult to sort out. We were told both "yes" and "no" by various people at Renfe. The only way to do this is to reserve the whole sleeping compartment, two beds or four beds according to your party. There is no space for bikes in the tourist class seating section. Renfe's website says the bikes have to be dismanteled completely and put into "special" bags so they will both fit under the bottom bunk. Impossible, as there is less than 2 inches of space under the bottom bunk, not enough room for anything. We were allowed to board with our bikes only partially dismantled, as they were for flying (handlebars turned, pedals off, front wheel removed, in a plastic sack form Air Transat). Two bikes fill the entire space between the wall and the beds, but by standing them up on the back wheel and attaching the forks to the clothes hanger in the corner with a bungee, we could squeeze into the compartment and into the bunks. The cost was 300 Euros round trip for two, which is double the price for a tourist class seat on the same train, and about the same as we would have paid for a plane ticket if we'd bought it in advance. During the middle of the night on the return trip we started thinking the plane was a pretty good idea!

Our experience on other (regional) trains in Spain was much better; no dismanteling the bikes, no extra charges, just a regular seat, no reservation and away we go. We used regional trains from Vigo to La Coruna and from La Coruna to Santiago without a hitch. However, Renfe's printed information says you cannot take a bike on R-598 trains. This is not true. We did, twice, with no problem, and put them in the space on those very trains specially reserved for bikes (complete with a place to attach them to the wall)!
Happy travelling!

Robert Lambert, August 03, 2006

Box on EasyJet

In 2004 I flew from Luton to Mallorca on EasyJet with my road bike in a trico hard case with no problems and no added charges going and returning. In addition to removing the handlebars,wheels ,seatpost,I had to remove the pedals but assembling and disassembling wasn't difficult.I marked the places where I wanted for fit. I believe that I could have just packed the bike in a bike shop shipping box and padded it with foam and other material. It's not rocket science !

Gerald Adams, July 23, 2006

Bicycle padded airline Bag

Still the best product out on the marketplace is the Bicycle Travel Bag from ROME Bike Bags, CA 310-791-6366, they ship the same day for procrastinators like myself who needed a bag in a hurry. The bag was used for a trip to france and was easily stored in a locker at the train station when I was riding. ***** Great price $129, give them a cal, I think the website is www.bikebags.com ask for Sandy.

Brian, May 26, 2006

Drop Bikes Barcelona

My girlfriend and I visited Barcelona recently for the first time, and we rented bikes from www.drop-bikes.com, a cool shop near the Ramblas. The bikes were really good quality, and they were really comfortable. They speak English there too, the guy who served me was from Essex, and was really helpful.

John wilson, May 07, 2006

camino de santiago

my wife and I did the camino starting in St. Jean-Pieds-de-Port, France. Upon arrival in Santiago we found out that the Spanish railways will not transport bikes, but the Spanish Bus system ALSA will transport bikes on your trip at no extra charge as long as they have two days notice. Bikes don't have to be boxed. We took a night bus back to the French border near Biarritz and the bikes were fine. To get back to our car we had to take local trains as express trains in France do not take bikes unless they are in a bike bag. then you can take them into your compartment with you. The camino is one FABULOUS trip, and we will do it again.

ferdinand lauffer, January 09, 2006

New bike transport service in Europe

Hi,

We - the company Bike Packers (www.bikepackers.com) offer a completely new transport service for bikes in Europe. We send the bike in advance, the cyclist travels without the bike.

How does this work?

We have a network with hundreds of bike dealers throughout Europe. The cyclist goes to a dealer near his home and gives them his bike. The dealer packs it correctly. From this dealer we send the bike to another dealer in the town where the cyclist wants to start the tour.

The way back is the same. This facilitates biking in Europe enormously. cyclists can now easily reach regions far away.

Best regards

Franz Hitzelsberger

Franz Hitzelsberger, January 05, 2006

MADRID - BARAJAS AIRPORT

MADRID BARAJAS AIRPORT (June 2005) - With the new addition of a pedestian overpass at the airport, it is very easy to navigate on bicycle to the center of Madrid. These directions will take you to Puerta del Sol, which is close to the two main train stations, ATOCHA and CHAMARTIN, the museum PRADO, and the central historical part of the city.

SERVICE ROAD - From the International Terminal (Terminal #1) baggage claim, exit the doors, turn right and go about 100 yards to a very small roundabout (carrefour; traffic circle). You will be going counter clockwise on the circle. Take the second exit on the circle; this is the airport service road. The traffic circle is right by the "CONSIGNA - BAGGAGE LOCKERS" building. Follow the service road for .7 (7/10) miles. You will pass by many, many taxicabs queued on your left.

OUTER ROAD - The service road will take you to a blue, pedestian/bicycle overpass. It is the only overpass that is painted the color BLUE. It will be on your right. Go up the ramp, cross over the main highway. Go down the ramp at the end of the overpass on the other side of the main highway, continue straight for 2.2 miles along the outer road. The outer road changes names, three times in this stretch; 1st - "Ave de Hispanidad", 2nd - "Avenida de America", and 3rd - "Ave de Longono". There is a shoulder on the road and a sidewalk. There are street lights along the outer road. Along the way, you will pass through two traffic circles and approach your next exit at a bus stop and another overpass. Caution - Cars entering the outer road from the main highway have the Right-of-Way!

You should be about 3.0 miles from the airport. There is a bus stop and pedestrian/bike overpass that takes you back across the main highway to CALLE ALCALA (city street). This is the city street that takes you into the center of Madrid at Puerta del Sol. CALLE ALCALA is a busy thorough fare, but I would consider it bicycle friendly. In the busiest stretches, you can ride the bicycle safely in the lanes reserved for taxicabs and buses. It is six (6) miles from the overpass to Puerta del Sol on CALLE ALCALA. You will pass by the bull fighting stadium along the way. There is a metro station at the overpass if you wish to take the subway into town instead. It is Metro stop CANILLEJAS.

PHOTOS - If you have a compass, you will be traveling in a south western direction. If you need a hotel close to the airport, there are several hotels along the 2.2 mile stretch on the outer road. If you would like photos of this route, contact me by email and I will forward them to you.

SAFETY - Riding your bike "IN" Madrid is fairly safe. Riding your bike "OUT OF" Madrid is death defying. Suggest you take the train to get out of the city before starting your trip.

BIKE BOXES - Air France is the most probable airline that will have a bike box for your return trip. Start with them first. They currently charge about 6€ for a box. It is smaller than other airline boxes. You may have to remove the front wheel to get the bike to fit into it. Bring your own tape to seal the box.

BIKE STORAGE - You can store your bike at the CONSIGNA - BAGGAGE LOCKERS building. The daily charge is 6€. If you leave the bike at 6 pm and pick it up the next day, it counts as TWO days.

Best Wishes on a successful tour of Spain.

Bruce Northcutt
Raleigh, NC
bruce_northcutt@ekit.com



Bruce Northcutt, July 29, 2005

Air France - good but issues

Just flew Air France from SFO to Paris-CDG and onto Bordeaux, then Barcelona to Paris-CDG and return to SFO. The good news is that the bikes travelled without extra cost and arrived with us in good shape. But we had some issues on both ends.

SFO: Air France at the airport said they did not have any boxes and sent me to the 'Airport Travel Agency' to get them. The 'Airport Travel Agency' at SFO in the International terminal is a service company that boxes items to go on planes and provides other passenger services. They do not have bike boxes. The owner directed me to try Delta an United, trying the baggage service centers of each. Delta had boxes but I had to go up and stand in the ticket line to purchase. The boxes were large - large enough to handle a bike with just bars turned and pedals removed. The Air France agent balked at the size of the boxes and then turned to the agent next to her to ask, in French, how to handle it. He was obnoxious and told her they were too large and we would have to pay a surcharge [why do they think we do not understand them if they speak a language other than English?]. She relayed the information, I balked and sent the issue to the supervisor who said no problem, no charge, all they needed was the weight of each box.

Barcelona: We have an early flight, too early for the train to the airport (only 40 minutes from scheduled arrival of first train to flight departure), but we arrived in Barcelona 3 days ahead of schedule. I called Air France's Spain office and the Barcelona office and got permission to check in the day before the flight. But when we showed up at the airport they refused. Their only options were to try the first train and hope we arrived in time to box the bikes and check-in, or to store the bikes overnight in the storage lockers in Terminal B then taxi out early to box and check-in. Lockers were far too small for a bike. The airline folks at the airport were fairly non-sympathetic and not willing to provide what their office managers had already approved. We had to box at the hotel and get a large taxi to take us and the boxed bikes to the airport.

Rick Warner, June 08, 2005

Barcelona to airport caveat

As someone else posted, it is easy to get to the Barcelona Airport from town via the Airport train. But there is a caveat. The train does not run from midnight to 06:00.

The first train from the city arrives at the airport at about 06:30. This makes the train unusable if you have a flight that departs before about 08:00 or even a bit later. Also, the only storage at the airport is in lockers in Terminal B. Those lockers are far too small for any bike other than a folder so leaving a bike overnight is not possible.

We found the only options for early flights is either to ride to the airport very early, or box the bike beforehand and arrange for a taxi large enough to carry the boxes to the airport.

Rick Warner, June 07, 2005

The trains in Spain - as of April 2005

I just returned from a month-long tour and brought my bike on 10 different trains with absolutely no problems. However, there are some caveats to this. I did a lot of research in advance and knew which trains on which routes would take bikes and targeted specific trains that I planned to use on specific days. If you cannot plan what days you might want to use trains for in advance, you should at least check the routes you might want to use a train on, look to see if there are any that take bikes and what time they run daily - and which days, if not every day. It is relatively easy to do this on the RENFE site.

All of the trains I used were of the Cercanias or Regional types, which generally have no restrictions on bikes, although the Cercanias (commuter) trains may not allow bikes in the main direction of travel during rush hour. Only about the 10 largest cities have Cercanias lines - select this option on the RENFE site main page to see which cities these are. From each city, you can see where their lines run. I used these trains in several different ways: to get out of central Madrid to a southern suburb for my ride to Toledo; to get me into Sevilla when I tired from strong headwinds riding from Cordoba; to get me from Sevilla up into the Sierra Morena mountains for a day ride in the mountains, cycling back into town (very scenic train and bike rides); to quickly get into Murcia so I could catch a later train to Valencia. In the two hours between trains I rode into town and had a great time exploring this wonderful city, my favorite of the larger cities I was in.

There are two ways to find the Regional trains. One is to select this option from the main RENFE page, which presents these trains by regions of the country. I think the better way is to plug in your from and to cities/stations and get the list of all trains on that route. What you want to look for is a Regional Express train, or a train that is Class 2. There are some other class 2 designations, such as TRD (which I did not have occasion to use), but my understanding is that they will take bikes as well. Note that there will be NO regional trains on some routes, such as Madrid-Cordoba, and other routes will only have one train a day, sometimes at odd hours - such as the middle of the night.

Both types of trains will usually have dedicated spaces for bikes, which are indicated by bike symbols on the last door at each end of the train, or end cars if multiple 3-car sets. What varies greatly is what these spaces are comprised of. Sometimes there are seats that fold down from the wallls that you can lean your bike against, while other times there's no specific accommodation even though there is a bike symbol on the door. On my Valencia-Barcelona train I had to lean the bike against the left side doors. Almost all station stops were on the right, but there were a few on the left and I had to go make sure no one outside opened the door (doors do not open automatically - only if someone inside or outside uses the handle). I do recommend bringing a bungee or perhaps using a cable lock to help secure the bike so it doesn't fall over - these trains tend to ride roughly. There was never any extra charge for the bike on any of these trains. Lastly, I rode a train from downtown Barcelona to the airport, which was simplicity itself, cheap and fast.

Charles Hansen, May 05, 2005

Easy and fast access to Barcelona airport

I just returned from a month-long tour in Spain and had an incredibly easy trip to the airport for my departure. RENFE runs a Cercanias (commuter) type train direct to the airport from Plaza Catalunla (top of the Ramblas) or the main Sants station.

I got on at Catalunya and was glad because a ton of people got on at Sants and it would have been much harder to bring a loaded bike on board - at least politely. Unlike the Metro, you can bring a bike on this train (R-1 on system maps)at any time.

The cost was 2.15 euros and the trip took 22 minutes. From the airport station it's a quick walk (or ride) on an overpass to terminals A or B.

Charles Hansen, May 04, 2005

Spain - trains vs. buses

I used both trains and busses on my tour. I generally prefer trains for a number of reasons (better scenery, you can get up and walk around, etc.), but there is an additional one in Spain - the buses do not have toilets on board. When I had to take long bus rides (2-3 hours) I just made sure I didn't have anything to drink for an hour or two beforehand.

The buses I used were generally more local ones and there was never an issue with the bike, although I had brought a plastic mattress bag to put it in just in case. I have heard of bikes being refused on buses and suspect these are the more elegant, long distance buses between major cities. However, I gather that the way to approach it is to get there early, be very polite to the driver and be prepared to cover your drive train (at least -if not the whole bike) so it won't get luggage dirty. Also, on the long intercity runs I think the buses will stop every 2 hours or so at a rest area.

Charles Hansen, May 04, 2005

Santiago airport + bus to

We took the bus to the airport from the main bus station just outside the old city. I would recommend checking out times and the location the day before, especially if you have an early flight. We were very glad we took the bus vs. riding as it was a long, hilly, ugly drive with traffic. No problem taking the bikes - they're used to it.

As of June 2004 there was a new scanner being used for bikes at the Santiago airport. This required that at least the front wheel be removed and also the seat post, to fit it through. We were under the (mistaken) impression that we had to box the bikes. There is a commercial company there (which also shrink-wraps luggage) which charges 14 euros for this. The cheap boxes (poor quality cardboard) they had were too high for the scanner, so the guy doing it had to cut them down at the corners. Many more cyclists arrived behind us and became anxious about making their flight, so I started helping him with the taping operation to speed things up. Others report that the box isn't necessary, but then you might want a bunch of zip-ties to keep your front wheel and seat with the frame - my impression was that the bike cannot be reassembled after the scanning. Check the Santiago_Bicicleta Yahoo group for current info/experience cycling the Camino. Our bikes and panniers didn't arrive in Boston until some days later and we were told that it was due to delays in rescanning at Heathrow, even though we spent the night in London to break up the return. The Iberia staff in Santiago were not nearly as pleasant/professional as BA. I prefer BA for all Euro flights as bikes go free and don't need to be boxed. I recommend printing out their regulations and bringing them to the airport with you to convince staff that may not know the policy. They supply a large clear bag and tape.

Charles Hansen, March 02, 2005

Bilbao airport to the old city (Casco Vieho)

The airport is generally not very busy and it is no problem riding out on the exit road. Take the very first right for the town of Derio, which you will quickly reach. You will find the train tracks (narrow gauge) for the EuskoTren blue line. You have to poke around a little, but their are ramps down to the ticket office. However, as I recall you will need to carry the bike up to the platform, but there may be a ramp.

You want the train signed for Deusto. We got off at Casco Vieho, as our hotel was nearby. We selected that location since the train station for San Sebastian was nearby. We took that and then "El Topo" to Hendaye and biked to Bayonne, taking the railcar to St. Jean in the morning to start our camino.

I don't know how much a taxi would be but I do not recommend biking into town, as the hills are tough. The train connection is very easy for bikes.

Charles Hansen, March 01, 2005

Madrid: Rental bikes, bike city tours and excursions

Have a look at our web site. We provide bike rental at down town, city tours by bike and biek excursions to some of the best places around the city. Also bike tours in Spain, information about hotel for cyclists, and city tours in other cities.

Pablo, January 28, 2005

General Rules: Travelling in Spain by BUS and TRAIN

About bicycle transportation in buses:

Nowadays transporting bicycles in buses is still not very popular. Generally speaking it very much depends on the good will of the driver. A piece of advice: There are several companies that allow the transport providing a 500 pts payment (Euros: these are: ALSA, Alsina, Auto Res and Portillo (Malaga). But here again they ask you to speak first to the driver. In the case there is room in the baggage compartment they will allow you, otherwise they will not. But do no despair, follow these pieces of advise and you will avoid trouble. - Do not travel in groups of more than five, in the same bus. Even if there is enough room the driver may not feel at ease if he sees too many bicycles. - Try to board the bus at the beginning of the trip. On the contrary they may not allow you to step in. - Arrive a bit early. lf you are one of the first, you will have the chance to place your bicycles properly when there is still plenty of room. - Use a bicycle cover. Otherwise use big plastic bags, but cover the bicycle properly so the driver is not concerned with the bus being dirtied.

USE THE UNDERGROUND

Most people do not know, but you are allowed to carry your bicycle in the Madrid underground at NO COST.RULES TO FOLLOW WHEN TRANSPORTING BY UNDERGROUND: 1 . Underground users can transport a bike on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays between 6:00 and 16:00 hours. 2. Only one bicycle per person will be allowed. 3. The access to the underground will only be permitted through the corridors attended by the station personnel, whom after verifying the ticket will give you access through the gates. When leaving, you shall do it in the same way. 4. There will be times in which access will be denied, such as rush hours, a break down, or any other type of circumstance. 5. You should always ride near the driver's cabin, allowing only two bicycles per wagon. 6. lt is not permitted to ride the bicycle inside the stations, corridors etc. 7. The use of escalators or moving platforms is not permitted either when carrying the bike. 8. The owner/user of the bike will be at all times responsible of the safe keeping and custody of it, always avoiding any trouble or discomfort to the other passengers. The Madrid underground is not responsible for any damage the transport of bicycles may inflict other passengers. 9. These rules can change whenever necessary for a better transport and use of the underground.

ABOUT THE TRAIN AND BICYCLE USE What kind of trains can you use for bicycle transportation? Short distance trains (Cercanias) admit one bicycle per platform / wagon, two in a very needed case, which makes a total of eighteen per train. Sometimes we have even placed three per platform, but one can have difficulties with the conductor, and in some cases he may invite you to leave. Hours in which it is allowed to carry bikes: Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays: All day. Monday to Friday: Until 3 pm.

There are three different types of regional trains: UT440 (the oldest) with a large wagon, 592 with a small and medium one and those used for Regional Express 444. In all these, there are no problems to fit the bicycles properly arranged.

Long distance trains admit bicycles at no extra cost as baggage if: You are traveling in a sleeping wagon, there are no more than two bikes per compartment and it is situated under the bunk beds.

Nowadays under RENFE regulations, a regional train may transport up to five bicycles without any problems. lf the group is larger you will need to ask for permission as more people may be getting on during the journey.

In order to get this authorization it is necessary to phone Regional Trains of RENFE, this not being needed for short distance trains. When asking for these permissions have in mind asking for one or two more bicycles, just in case. Call at least three days in advance and for round trip tickets.

GETTING THE BICYCLES ON BOARD

Try to be at least 20 minutes early, before the train departs in order to buy the tickets. lf the group is larger than 7 it is better you buy a 10-trip ticket (for short distance trains). In Regional trains there is a special fare with a 20% discount when 10 or more are traveling. lf when buying the ticket, the ticket seller does not know about it tell him it is fare number 179.

According to RENFE, the way of placing bicycles is always at the rear wagon, if all do not fit in one then you will have to use the next. lf the wagon is not open, you will have to get in contact with the supervisor that normally will be in the train front cabin.

In the big wagons (UT440 and 444) place the bicycles parallel to each other, on both sides, allowing enough room in between them to get through. In the middle sized and small ones, place them against the walls and fix them, front wheel resting on the wall, with ropes, as they are liable to fall. You will be able to fit up to five, in such a way, making a total of 20 in the train. Try and be quick when going up and down, without bothering the rest of the passengers, but carefully. Try and make yourselves be seen in order to avoid the train from starting until you have all finished.

RENFE at no time is responsible of damages, thefts etc. therefore we suggest you lock them up.

ANY PROBLEMS?

Should you have any problem with the supervisor, the conductor (asking you to leave the train without a reason) or the ticket seller (who may not want to sell you a group ticket) ask for the claim sheets that are available at all stations.

Enjoy SPAIN by bicycle

Hasta pronto

Pablo, January 28, 2005

Jerez airport access

Flew into Jerez De La Frontera with Ryanair in May. Nice, tiny airport but bike access initially seemed a problem. The airport only seems to be served by an autovia (on which we thought bikes weren't allowed) so, on arrival, we took what we thought was an alternative small road paralleling it towards Jerez. After a couple of k's the road came to an abrupt end and we spent a happy(!) hour or so ploughing through a muddy field and scrambling over hedges and autovia barriers to find civilisation again. Don't be tempted to follow our example. Coming back we took the autovia and nobody seemed to mind.

Andy Lewis, August 26, 2004

Leaving Madrid airport

Leaving Madrid airport is a bit of a problem -- all the roads seem to be motorways; it's hard to find a map that includes the airport as well as the rest of the city; and in theory the metro doesn't take bikes except at weekends. But in practice the people on the metro were really understanding -- arriving by plane in the latish afternoon of a Friday in July 2004, the guys at the ticket desk had a chat amongst themselves and allowed two laden bikes onto the train with no problem. Change of line went ok too, and hten off to the train station, where bikes were accepted on a long distance train without charge.

Bronwen

Bronwen , July 18, 2004

Boxes at airport in Spain

I flew back from Santiago Airport in Spain. The airport will sell you a box for your bike: cost 14.50 euro.

The guy who boxed my friend's bike was very helpful, and your luggage can be shrink wrapped for 8 euro. I also had my my folding bike, an Airnmal, shrink-wrapped in its bag and took it on the plane as hand luggage, the wheels in their bag and my panniers went the usual way.

Brian Offord, July 12, 2004

Airnmal folding bike

I have just returned from a 1200km trip to Santiago from France with a fully loaded bike camping kit etc. The Airnmal was great -- gave me no problems only one puncture -- what else can you ask for.

Brian

Brian Offord, July 12, 2004

Revised access from Madrid Airport

To cycle from the terminal buildings, avoiding motorways, face left as you exit the terminal, walk left against the traffic flow for about 200m, towards a group of red brick flats in the distance, past a 2 storey car park until you reach a traffic island with 4 exits.

From here a ramped footbridge gives easy access to the service road for Madrid.

Do not try to cross roads in other ways as barriers have now been raised to prevent access across the roads

Helmetless, May 28, 2004

Air Canada to Spain

I brought my bicycle on a flight from San Francisco to Madrid (returned from Paris), via Toronto for no extra charge.

I wasn't required to box it - only to loosen the handlebars and remove the pedals. I went to various information booths at the airport in Madrid, asking in my gringo Spanish, "Busco mi bicicleta," only to finally find it on the normal luggage carousel...

kevin mcauliffe, March 30, 2004

Barcelona

My experience riding into Barcelona last summer was nightmarish. Getting out was much better: I took a local train to Ripoll ;-}! While Spain's non local trains don't take bicycles, local ones do. Each car has a place for a wheelchair which bicyclists can use for their bikes. If you can get from the airport to a train station, perhaps by taxi or shuttle, you'll be fine.

I rode in from the south on a road that became an Autovia. That was OK until it merged with another Autovia. The two merged expressways combined into two lanes with the shoulders blocked by construction barriers. I had to merge from the left and take a lane in very heavy traffic. I got out as soon as there was a break in the barriers - half a mile? - by lifting my loaded bike over the guard rail and walking my bike across a field to an agricultural access road. I survived because Spainish drivers are kind...

By the way, the old city of Barcelona is definitely worth seeing, so I'd recommend getting into the city before getting a train to get well away from the city. There is a train/subway station just outside the old city.

Mark
http://www.cs.unca.edu/~boyd/bicycling.html>

Mark Boyd, February 14, 2004

Bike Rental Barcelona + delivery to your hotel

Bike rental in Barcelona plus delivery to your hotel, hostal or pension. Get to know Barcelona in the most fun way with our bikes.

Prices start from 9.99 € - delivery included

Gerald, November 19, 2003

Storage for your stuff in Spain

Short & long term storage for your stuff in the center of Spain with optional pick up & delivery sevices.

Calle del Correo, 4, 3rd floor, office 9 (Metro: Sol)
Monday-Friday: 9am-11am & 5pm-8pm or 24hrs by appointment.
Contact us at info@spainstorage.com or tel. 669-804-530 for appointments.

Spain Storage, October 20, 2003

Shipping Services, Worldwide

Hi folks,

From Chile and to Chile, Also to Bolivia, or through my Agents in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Perú, etc. I can help you Shipping your staf worldwide. If your comming to Chile on tours, Biking, etc. Just e-mail me, I was a Traveller and have helped friend from USA, Australia, New Zealand shipping their bikes, etc.

Francisco Herrera Barnachea, May 27, 2003

Folding Bikes on Spanish rail-trails

Folding Bikes on Spanish rail-trails http://www.gfarnsworth.com/Famazine/BikeTrips.cfm

George Farnsworth, May 24, 2003

Barcelona

I have biked around Barcelona airport last year, and though there is a lot of traffic and it feels like you are biking on the highway, this is for a short time and soon you are in town and you should be able to find a bike route in Barcelona itself. I am saying it is do-able.

West of the airport there are lots of campsites (commercial ones, with pools, tennis courts and what not) to rest from jet lag and get used to the climate. I have felt comfortable riding in Barcelona, but that is me... Depends on your level of comfort in traffic situation.

Have a wonderful trip. 🙂 Kati

Kati Debelic, April 18, 2003

Munich, Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona

(MikesBikeTours.Com)
Cruise the streets of Munich in ultimate style on an exclusive Beach Cruiser, with big fat cushy seats!
The price to rent is 10Euros per day and everyone speaks English. They also give bike tours in English that include a trip to a fav. beergarden. They have a wonderful group of people with lots of good energy.

noelle, March 26, 2003

Roobsta Offroad Cycle Touring Alps & Pyrenees

Difficult offroad routes through the Alps and Pyrenees crossing France/Spain/Andorra and France/Italy/Switzerland/Germany borders

Roobsta, February 13, 2003

Trains from Santiago, Spain to Bilbao for ferry

Returned from Santiago to UK by train and ferry in 2001.

You can only take bikes on local trains These are very comfortable and clean with proper spaces in carriages for bikes -- wide gateways and lifts on stations. No charge for bikes.

Over sixties get a reduced fare on portions of this journey. Ask at station about this. Local trains stop every few miles so it took two days to Santander and three to Bilboa, staying in hotels overnight. Nice way to unwind after a long hard ride.

Bilboa has good cycle paths and facilities plus you can take your bike on local trains and the underground (metro) free. Ferries to UK very expensive and the "service" and food, etc very poor.

Peter A Thompson, January 20, 2003

Iberia Airlines: Returning from Santiago de Compostela

Returned as a pilgrim to Heathrow UK from Santiago Spain in 2002.

Airline photocopied my Compostela (Proof of Pilgrimage) Gave me reduced fare -- with no charge for bike, panniers and camping gear.

Bike not boxed, just deflated tyres and turned bars parallel. Airline staff labelled everything and took it away. Several bike pilgrims on flight. All bikes OK at other end.

Detailed description at http://www.fastload.net/two/pages/return.html. Site also has some info on returning by rail and ferry in 2001

Peter A Thompson, January 20, 2003

Bike Rental in Portugal

Hi there
Last April, I ((Patrick van der Meulen) went to Portugal for a 10 day trip. Around Evora, I was looking for a place to rent bikes. The renting venue that LP mentions, Bike Lab, could not provide me one on the day I passed by, and they didn't seem very eager to do much effort to book one for me either ("Come back tomorrow, maybe they will have returned the bikes.") By questioning some Dutch people on the market place about where they got their bikes,

I finally came into contact with Didier from "BikeIberia", which has a local "hub" at the Monte da Serralheira farmhouse (cf. "Places to stay" in Evora). He rented me a fine and very lightweight mountainbike for two days and gave me great advice on intresting itineraries. My encounter with Didier was a very pleasant experience, and from every detail, you could feel his large experience and great love for biking around, and his desire to share that passion with others. Also, Didier spoke fluent English, which was a relief after all those days of trying to explain yourself the best you could...

From their website www.BikeIberia.com, I learned that they provide guided tours all over the Iberian peninsula. Since the LP guide on Portugal doesn't mention them, I wanted to let you know this.


Our company is a small yet genuinely local one!
We would appreciate your visit to http://www.BikeIberia.com
We believe you will bring BikeIberia website up on your listings for both Portugal and Spain under Bike Rentals and Tours.

BikeIberia - Experience the Best of Portugal and Spain by Bike.
A site for those seeking an experience of the Iberian Heritage, Landscape and Culture while travelling on a bike. This local company offers: Bike Rentals and fully supported Mountain Biking and Road Biking Tours, since 1999.

Special: Bike Rental (Touring and Mountain Biking) anywhere in Iberia
Your bike will be delivered / collected* at the hotel you are staying anywhere in Portugal or Spain! The only thing you must do is straighten the handlebars and tighten 2 screws on the headset before you start riding!

Bikes will be delivered anywhere in Portugal/Spain (e.g. to your first hotel) in a bike case, after you take the bikes out we will forward the case to your last hotel (anywhere in Portugal/Spain) where you will put the bike back inside the case to be returned to us!
Didier, November 18, 2002

trains in andalucia

Our experience (200210) is that it is really hard to take bikes with you on train. After having cycled from Malaga-Ronda-Acros-Vejer-Algeciras we decided to finish our trip with a few days in Cordoba before returning to Malaga. After ahving spend almost one hour on the phone with renfe (there is a phone number where they speak english, check http://www.renfe.es/ingles/index.html). We manage to take our bikes with us.

Bottom line is:
- Only *some* trains will take bikes and they were all at very unconvenient time (Algeciras-Cordoba; 1 out of 2 possible trains; 21H35 to 01H58) (Cordoba-Malaga;1 out of 20 possible trains; 06H40-9H25)
- You have to buy a litera (bunk bed) place, wich is more expensive. This is a *small* compartment with 2 stack of 3 beds. There is a central alley of about 0.75x2.5 meters between the stacks of beds.
- They told us that we could store the bikes under the beds. This is only possible by removing pedals, weels, handles, paniers racks etc... *and* there is no other baggages there...
- It is possible to store a maximum of two bikes the central alley (BTW: I could not close the door with my bike in) Note that this will block access to the beds. Not cool for others (remember there is 6 beds per compartment...)

So we dismantled one bike, stored it under one of the bed (the other had baggages under it). We left the other in the central alley, removing pedals, and had to use one of our beds to store all the paniers.

Benoit Girard, October 23, 2002

Malaga airport

Biked across Andalusia 2002-10 from/to Malaga. Road access to the airport is by highway only, which is very dangerous as there is but a narrow shoulder covered with broken glass. Local train is also possible but not recommmended as you will have lots of steep stairways to negociate... Best way we found to get out/to the airport is by taxi. Ask unitaxi (tel. 925333333) and specify that you haves bikes to be transported. They were very kind, fast and cheap (12 euros for me, my girlfriend our 2 bikes + all paniers, from downtown Malaga to the airport.)

Please also note that the airport do not offer short term storage (we had two huge hockey bags + some clothes that we wanted only for our return trip back home). You will have to take the train to the central Malaga train station were they have storage boxes for around 3 euros/day for a maximum of 15 days.

Benoit Girard, October 23, 2002

Tours in France, Norway, Italy, Austria, Spain, Chile, and the Easter Islands.

Hi,

My name is Dainius Lukosevicius, I am the managing director at Brindisi Biking and Hiking. We provide guided biking and hiking tours in France, Norway and will add Italy (Tuscany in 2003), Austria, Spain, Chile, and the Easter Islands.

You may call me toll free in North America. 1 888 849 9474, 1 514 849 1187 You may view our site at http://www.brindisi.ca

Regards....Dainius

Dainius Lukosevicius, August 19, 2002

trains in andalucia

Posting this as a warning to those who may get the impression from other posts that putting a bike on a train is Spain is now easy. Sometimes it isn´t. I made the mistake of assuming that I would be able to put my bike on one train or another. My experience in Granada is that only one train out of a dozen or so leaving from this station daily, will accept bicycles. This is the so-called Andalucia Express - running from Algericas to Linares Baeza. I´ve been told NO regional train of the type known as TRD (very common in this area) will take bicycles, neither will the longer distance trains from here to Barcelona. The RENFE web site is hardly helpful in this respect giving no specific info on bikes for specific trains.

alex, August 15, 2002

deflated, inflated, boxed, whatever

Also on the Pyrenees tour, each of us called Air France customer service and got various stories about how to pack the bikes (boxed, no box and tires inflated, handlebars sideways, pedals off), whether or not we needed to make a "reservation" for the bicycle (the plane to Biarritz was relatively small) and whether we could get a box from Air France in Barcelona.

To be on the safe side we got boxes from a bicycle store in Barcelona. We took public transportation to the airport, which was not easy since there are a lot of stairs in the metro.

April Chung, June 18, 2002

Where to get a bike box in Barcelona

PROBIKE
186 Villaroel
Telephone: 934 197 889

we just completed bike tour in Barcelona and these guys were great - they gave us three nice boxes for free.

Evan Tick, June 17, 2002

Bike on Spanish train

Recently took my bike on train from Figueres to Barcelona. It was very civilized: no extra ticket needed, the bike just travels on train with you, in a storage room in last car.

All trains should be like this!

Evan Tick, June 17, 2002

Touring Bicycle Rental in Spain (Barcelona)

Found on: rec.bicycles.rides

In Barcelona, you can try

http://www.biciclot.net/

34 93 221 97 78

Good luck!


Correcaminos, April 20, 2002

Bravobike trips in Spain and Switzerland

Dear George,

With great interest we have been looking at your website and we would like to be included in your directory offering our fantastic bicycling tours combined with cultural visits as well as an introduction into the Spanish lifestyle, tradition and gastronomy.

We kindly invite you to visit our website www.bravobike.com in English.

Kaspar Winteler
The Bravo Bike Team
Bravo Bike .com the cycling experience in Spain
New address and phones:

  • BRAVO Bike. Calle Montera 25/27.20013 Madrid.
  • Tel: 00 34 91 559 55 23 / Cell:00 34 607 448440.
  • info@bravobike.com
  • Bravo Bike S.L., March 23, 2002

    Mallorca, Spain

    Found on: eurobike@eGroups.com

    Mallorca was simply excellent. First, the contrast of the weather between Berlin airport ridden by a snow blizzard and landing in Palma with 20 degrees temperatures, fruit trees in a full blossom and radiating green grass. I guess this time is probably far more pleasant there than the summer when the heat makes it much more of a moon landscape.

    And ... the cyclists. I have never seen such concentration of roadies in one place in my life ! And it still isn't the peak which as I was told happens around Easter time. For five days I had a perfect, sunny weather, although with occassional strong winds.
    [...]
    It's easy to bring your own bike, Palma airport even has special trolleys for bikes. And if you don't want the hassle, the bikes rented at spot are OK - that's what I did. The hotel I stayed at had a bit odd mixture of characters - 30% of bikers, triathletes - you name it, and the rest were German pensioners with average age of approx. 120.

    Cheers,

    Milosz


    Milosz Wisniewski, March 12, 2002

    Iberia Airlines: Returning from Santiago de Compostela

    Pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela in Spain by bike, who have obtained the official proof of having done the pilgrimage the right way, returning by plane with Iberia, don't have to pay extra for their bike on the flight home, nor do they have to put their bike in a bag or box, if they show their "Compostelana" at the booking of the flight with Iberia.

    You just have to let the air out of the tires and put the handlebars lengthwise.

    They also can fly at 50% of the normal price (year 2000)

    Andre Van Steenbergen, February 01, 2002

    The Train in Spain

    Found on: touring@phred.org

    Because of the large number of bikers ending the Camino Pilgrimage in Santiago, RENFE (The Spanish Railway) sends bicycles from Santiago by truck (road). Many Dutch, English and Spanish Pilgrims fly from Santiago to home because the Spanish Airline will take a bike as baggage wrapped in plastic with the pedals off and the handlebars turned. (and give a Pilgrim discount on the air fare). We had our bike Fridays and they were in their suitcases for the train ride.

    John and Marty Volz
    Santa Rosa CA
    Pilgrims '96 Pamplona to Santiago and '00 Paris to Santiago

    John Volz, March 25, 2001

    Spanish RR & Bus

    Found on: touring@phred.org

    I have used the regular train from Cordoba to Sevilla last summer, in 1997 took a bus from Sevilla to Lisbon, and this summer also took a short one hour day trip bus ride near Malaga. My experiences were all very favourable.

    The buses are extremely prevalent, inexpensive, and are usually top drawer, most are modern Mercedes Benzs, air-conditioned and have lots of stowage space - don't be shy of them. On the Sevilla Lisbon run I believe that they charged me an extra ~$10 Cdn for the bike (6 hour trip). The cost of bus trips as far as I can ascertain is approx. $0.09 Cdn per kilometre (yes about 9 cents/Km). You can ballpark a trip cost from there -make it 0.10 for round numbers.

    The one train trip worked out very close to the same perKm cost and my quick perusal of other fares indicated that to generally be the case. As to rail passes, estimate your Km usage and you can compare costs. I suspect for a couple of point-to-points that it may not be worth it. Another thing to consider is that you may wish to make (bicycle or no) excursions to some smaller towns which are not serviced by trains - they did not seem to be as prolific as France or Britain. Buses on the other hand seem to go EVERYWHERE.
    Other things to consider: Sunscreen - even if like me you are reluctant - Spain does Sunshine with capital S, real well! Coastal temperatures will be in low 30s (or more) - 100Km inland you can assume another 10C. Once outside of big urban cities do not count on much English being spoken. ¿Hablas español?

    As I looked over my message I realize that I had made errors and since your postings are specific to issues dealing with bicycle transport, they should be corrected you may wish to augment or replace with the info below.

    1) The $10CDN transport fee was for a bus ride from Lisbon to the North of Portugal which we took at the beginning of the trip. It was about a 3-4 hour bus ride. As a side note, the buses in Portugal were of similar calibre and price to Spain.

    2) On the return - Sevilla to Portugal, the bike rode free however I was faced with conflicting information. The buses had an English language info line which the day before had told me that there would be no problem taking the bike. However when I arrived at Sevilla station I found about 3 different bus lines - and of course the one going to Lisbon had a woman selling tickets who took one look at my fully loaded bike - shook her head and dug her heels in. It was only after removing all the panniers etc. and having some nice third party intervention that she relented slightly and said that it would be up to the driver. The driver of course was most amiable - he didn't even flinch - just said "No Problem"

    3) My third experience was last summer for a day trip near Malaga - I didn't bother asking the ticket person, just wheeled out to the platform, parked my bike against the wall and asked the driver at loading time. No problem. The trick seems to be - Pick an uncrowded bus - this may mean off-peak hours. Make the bike and/or your load tidy and reasonably clean. Find some plastic or paper to cover your chain, derailleur etc if possible - simple courtesy. Remember, your bike is travelling with other peoples' baggage.

    4) Finally - regarding the train - the "regular" train means in contrast to Spain's equivalent to the TGV which runs from Madrid down to Sevilla - via Cordoba. I believe that the high speed trains will have different rules. On the regular train for a 1.5 hour trip, the station conductor merely let me walk my bike on board and keep it near me. This particular train was however pretty basic - a sort of a commuter type with almost metro type seating etc.

    Happy travels, g

    Graham North, March 24, 2001

    Renting a road bike in Mallorca

    Found on: rec.bicycles.rides

    Try http://www.huerzeler.com. You'll find about 1000 racers in Alcudia, prices between 50-100$ per week. Bikes are in excellent condition. And maybe you'll find a group to join. I hope weather will be o.k. then, we've been there end of February and it was cold & rainy.

    Cheers Ulrich


    Ulrich Blasberg, March 18, 2001

    Madrid, Spain

    Found on: touring@phred.org

    I found the ride from the airport to downtown Madrid pretty easy; only had to stop and ask directions once. The trick is getting to the access road. If I'm remembering well from last summer, I headed right from the airport entrance, running on foot across the merging lanes. Then it was a very short ride on the right side of the expressway to where I could hop over a barrier curb to a gas station and the slow access road. (I'm sure there's a safer and more graceful way, but I couldn't figure it out.

    Once you're on the access road, you ride it until it splits into a sharp right or a left over the expressway. You take the left over the expressway, soon afterward turning right onto Alcala. From there it's a straight shot except that the major circles get a little confusing. Traffic was heavy when I did it, but the cars were no problem. The scary part were the little motor scooters that would pass on either side and seem to come out of nowhere.

    Chris Craig, February 15, 2001

    Spain, RR vs Bus

    Found on: touring@phred.org

    [MADRID AIRPORT] It is possible to ride by streets, better than outer roads (cars go slower). We recommend to access to Barajas village (take care, 1 km. by a crowed road), and then by street Av. logroño or M-110 towards calle Alcalá.

    [TRAINS] In Spain, buses work better than trains carrying bicycles. You may take a train from Madrid but you need to book before a special seat. We recommend to take buses wherever you want. You'll need in some cases to wrap the bicycle with plastics. Feel free to contact us if you need.

    ---------------------------------------------------
    BravoBike.com the cycling experience in Spain
    Av. Menorca, 2 E-28230
    Las Rozas (Madrid) Spain
    Phone/Fax: +34 91 6401298
    E-mail: info@bravobike.com


    BravoBike, February 15, 2001

    High speed trains in Spain

    Having read the helpful hints in this website before travelling to Spain, we were delayed but not barred from taking our boxed bikes from Madrid to Cordoba-Seville on the high-speed trains. The ticket seller said it was OK but the conductor almost barred us (three people) saying "don't do it again." There was an empty baggage car but the conductors don't do baggage. The real reason is that these trains keep a tight schedule and you get your money back if a train is more than 5 minutes late. AVE is a high-speed train over 100 mph. We were told the regional trains were more forgiving about bikes.

    Madrid cab drivers take boxed bikes but negotiate your price first.

    James Spears, November 22, 2000

    Renting a road bike in Mallorca

    Found on: eurobike@eGroups.com

    In the Alcudia area there is a big vacation group called HOTELPLAN run by Max Hürzeler. The rental location is at the Hotel Playa de Mauro.

    The bikes are aluminum frames, Shimano equipped and rent for about 120 to 140 Swiss Francs per week. You probably can arrange for daily rentals.

    The Hotel is on the main coastal road running south from Puerto Alcudia and is about 4 km outside town.

    Jack Cohen

    JACK COHEN, November 13, 2000

    Travelling on the night trains in Spain with Bike.

    I've a promise to keep: last June I travelled with a friend and two bikes from Madrid to Cordoba (the trainway is called Grande Lineas). As I mentioned in my previous mail, we had to rent a room and had also to pay for two seats. Well, seats were nowhere to be found, only the restaurant had seats.


    With two bikes in a tiny little room (one bike on the bed, the other near the beds) there was not room enough for two people (to sleep for instance). My friend did sleep, I was sitting in the restaurant part of the train. If you want to travel a long distant in a short time AND you are prepared to pay a lot of money (approximately 10.000 peseta's or more) you certainely can take this sort of trains, else: go with the Regional Express, a lot cheaper, but it takes more time to get where you want.


    We hadn't done the dismantling of the bikes, as prescribed by RENFE, we didn't get the time to do so and no space in the trains. So it might be to blame ourselves we didn't have room enough, but the rooms are indeed verry small. It was a nice experience but I don't know if I'll do this again, depends on the trip. A positive thing at least: you get notified approximately half an hour before arriving on your destiny !


    Greetings, Theo Smeele

    Theo Smeele, July 30, 2000

    Madrid, Spain

    I have twice flown into Madrid with my bicycle and each time cycled away.


    Though it CAN be a bit scary at times, one can cycle to a nearby
    camping--only 20 minutes from the airport. I was in contact with a Spanish
    cyclist who kindly sent me the route and faxed a map to the camping.....If
    anyone wants further information I can be reached at my email address.

    Corinne, June 05, 2000

    Bicycles on Trains in Spain

    Hi George,

    I have lots of experience in cycling in Spain. I have used different trains, and as already mentioned on the page: with the Regional Express (R.E.) trains of RENFE you may take your bike with you. Just like the FEVE most trains have a mail-room in wich you have to put your bike, it is mostly a tiny room, so only one or two bikes can be parked in there (but I've travelled even with more people, and elsewhere on the train was room enough, so we could all travel together).

    On the homepage of RENFE you can get all the time tables, with a railmap to look up where you want to go). On the long trips with modern trains there is even space reserved specifically for bikes: a picture indicates that you can put your bike there.

    The attachment points on the floor and the wall are solid as a rock. Seats accompany this space, so you can sit near your bike. Verry good ! The train I've seen it on was the Castilla y Leon-Express (Merida to Madrid). This year I learned about the possibility of the Grande Lineas, travelling with the sleeping train. Even in those trains it is possible, but with restrictions .

    First and foremost: it cost a lot more than travelling without bike, or travelling with the R.E..: you have to rent a chamber. You have to dismantle your bike (steerer turned 180 degr., pedals off and the bike must be enveloped in box or plastic (as in an aeroplane). I 'm going to use such a train in June, after that I can tell you my experience.

    The link used in the article of Ken Nielsen doesn't work anymore. Beter read the FAQ on the site of the RENFE. So far a bit of my experience. Let me know if you receive anything more about Spain (I love the country and the people).

    Theo.

    Theo Smeele, May 07, 2000

    Bicycles on Trains in Spain

    FEVE don't have a website but I have found their timetable out of Santander on the city's site..

    Trenes FEVE . Departures and Arrivals
    Bilbao 8,50 - 13,35 - 18,35 (daily)
    Marrón 6,30 (working days and working days after fiestas) - 19,35 (working days Mon - Fri)
    Oviedo 9,05 - 16,10
    Bezana, Torrelavega y Puente San Miguel. Working days: every 30 minutos de 6,00 a 22,15
    Cabezón de la Sal * Working days: hourly from 6,15 a 22,15
    Solares y Liérganes. Working days. hourly from 6,15 a 22,25 (21,15 last train to Liérganes) Saturdays and Fiestas: hourly from 7,15 a 22,45 (21,15 last train to Liérganes)
    Maliaño y El Astillero Working Days: Every 15 and/or 30 minutes from 6,15 to 22,15 Saturdays and Fiestas: hourly from 7,15 a 22,25

    I have never had a problem taking my bike on board, even when there were a gaggle of us off the ferry from England. There is a large storage area at the end of each carriage with folding seats where the bikes go, but there always seems to be space to sit with the bike. *Cabezon de la Sal is the best stop for the Picos. VASCONGADAS go from Bilbao to San Sebastian. Narrow gauge as is EL TOPO from San Sebastian to Irun. Haven't had problems there either but it is a few years since I took that one.

    All the best, Dan

    Dan Gregory, April 18, 2000

    Spanish RR

    Found on: rec.bicycles.rides


    FEVE and the other narrow gauge railways which run along the Northern coast of Spain from Irun at the French border, to San Sebastian, Bilbao, Santander, Oviedo and beyond, all let you take your bike on board with you. There is space at the end of each carriage, so you can sit near it. Great way tto get out of the cities particularly into the Picos de Europa from Santander.


    All the best, Dan

    Dan Gregory, April 10, 2000

    Spanish RR

    Found on: touring@phred.org


    I can only give my direct experience for transporting bike on trains.


    Spain: it seems that since the 90's the transportation of bicycles on the trains it is much easier. Not every train will allow them (you should check on the time table), but in most cases they accept it as a normal piece of luggage if it is correctly packed.


    Portugal: to tell the truth I've never been there with my bike, but since I hope to do it some day I've asked some information directly to the Lisbon railway station. They answered that bicycles are allowed on certain trains (it is necessary to ask which ones), but the girl at the information desk seemed not have ever been asked such a question or seen anybody wishing to load one. Not many bikes over there!


    Ciao Valter FUMERO

    Valter Fumero, March 15, 2000

    Spain -- Laws

    Found on: rec.bicycles.misc, etc


    Dear cyclists,


    Today, I received a message from Hildegard Resinger, Amics de la Bici, member of Coordinadora Catalana d'Usuaris de la Bicicleta and ConBici. E-mail: deritja@pangea.org


    It is a disappointing message, as it will frustrate cycling, and thus cycling tourism, in Spain.


    Spanish law should be changed back!


    Leon Poels Fietsersbond enfb, afdeling Maastricht (Dutch Cyclists' Association, division Maastricht) The Netherlands


    xxxxxx forwarded by Leon Poels xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx


    Dear friend,


    Best thanks for your support to cycling in Spain. I'm sorry to say that we don't need Kafka, our politicians are better. Recent good notice about helmets is already out-of-date.


    You can read (in Spanish) what was said in Parliament when voting definitively the anti-cyclist law last Thursday, and also the text that has been approved. Go to http://www.congreso.es, then click Publicaciones, then Busqueda en las publicaciones oficiales de las Cortes Generales. From there, if you want to see the session minutes, select Publicación Diario de Sesiones - Sección Congreso de los Diputados - Serie Pleno y Diputación Permanente - Numero 270. This brings you to a pdf document of 103 pages. The anti-cylist law is on pages 29-36 of the pdf. The approved text is not yet online, but it is the same as was published in June, when it entered Senate for last amendments. To see this, after clicking Busqueda en las publicaciones ... select Publicacion Boletin Oficial de las Cortes Generales - Seccion Senado - Serie III A Proposiciones de ley del Senado - Numero 13, then look for index (d) dated 7 de junio de 1999.


    Below, I have written a piece of information to summarize in English what has happened.


    ++++++++++++


    Dear friends,


    As I informed you very briefly last week, the Spanish Parliament has passed the anti-cyclist law that has been in debate for over two years. Please help us fight it, and distribute this message.


    Yours,


    Hildegard Resinger, Amics de la Bici, member of Coordinadora Catalana d'Usuaris de la Bicicleta and ConBici




    NEW SPANISH TRAFFIC LAW ENDANGERS CYCLISTS


    On November 11, 1999, the Spanish Parliament definitively approved a law to adapt traffic regulations to cycling. It is meant to protect cyclists and promote cycling, but these aims do not go beyond the preface. Most of the articles are restrictive, even to the point of creating situations where cyclists will have virtually no other choice than fling themselves off the road or get overrun by a car.


    In seven articles, cyclists will Art. 1) be allowed to ride 2 abreast under some circumstances to be developed by decree, most probably only bicycle lanes and hard shoulders; Art. 2) be banned from freeways, except when the authorities decide that there is no other alternative; Art. 3) lose right of way in most ordinary traffic situations, except on bicycle crossings and bike lanes and under some other circumstances, when a car turns left or right; Art. 4) be the only responsible for providing their vehicle with lights and reflectors, and also have to wear reflective clothing when riding on road under poor light conditions; Art. 5) have to wear a helmet outside town, as will be detailed by decree Art. 6) be specifically obliged to submit themselves to alcohol controls Art. 7) learn a new definition of mopeds (no joke).


    During the past two years, the law has gone twice through both Chambers of Parliament. Over 50 amendments have been presented to the handful of articles. Some of them made much sense, such as defining what is a bicycle way or giving right of way to cyclists on bicycle crossings and bicycle ways. Others denoted thorough ignorance of cycling and the traffic law in force, asking cyclists to carry red reflectors on the back side of the pedals or obliging drivers of vehicles AND bicycles to submit to alcohol controls. Other proposals were only made at a preliminary state and did not enter the process. This is the case, e.g., for better protection of cyclists when motorists overtake on road.


    The law has remained nearly unaltered since the first proposal, and the outcome is utterly diasppointing. Bicycle advocates from Spain, from the ECF and from all over the world have campaigned against such unjustified restrictions and for cycling promotion. So far, they have achieved that the law has not passed inadvertedly or even widely applauded by the motorist society. It is controversial even among politicians of the same party in Upper and Lower House (who voted against each other's proposals), and it has raised social debate. One of the main promotors of mandatory helmets, socialist Javier Paniagua, has even been forced to admit publicly that bicycle helmets will not reduce the accidentability of cyclists - only to continue that they are life-savers anyway.


    90% of cyclist road accidents are impacts of motor vehicles, 75% of cyclists suffering an accident were not infringing the law, about 2% of traffic fatalities in Spain are cyclists. Most cycle accidents happen on weekends, with fine weather and on broad roads, when cyclists are disrespected by motorists who overtake them at only a few centimeters or even less, simply don't see them or claim that the cyclists have come over them inadvertedly.


    At the very last moment, when only the last amendments approved by Senate in plenary session (no mandatory helmets, no freeway ban, no special mention of cyclists among vehicle drivers obliged to submit to alcohol control) were to be accepted or refused by Congress, thus passing the whole law definitely, Mr. Paniagua also recognised that the loss of right of way for cyclists may create situations of additional risk and danger for them at any crossing or roundabout. By the day of the votation, at least the president of Congress and all spokespersons of political parties knew about this situation. Parliamentary procedures would not permit further amendments. No steps were undertaken to postpone votation, and on the morning of November 11 all Senate amendments were rejected with 293 votes, with only 3 votes for the amendments and 17 abstentions. All big political parties were in a hurry to make helmets mandatory and tell the automobile lobby that cyclists will be specially fined for drinking. Afterwards, emergency measures may be undertaken to fix the fatal prescription of losing the right of way.


    Such cycle-unfriendliness in a tourist destination may make you change your holiday plans and keep off Spain. We can only advise you to do so and tell all your friends about it, BUT also tell the Spanish authorities (embassy, tourist board, Ministry of the Interior, etc.) of your decision and the reasons for it. And if possible, send a copy of your letter to:


    ConBici, Coordinadora en Defensa de la Bici

    E-mail: amicsbici@pangea.org

    Tel/fax: + 34 93 431 53 79

    Postal address: Demostenes, 19 - E-08028 Barcelona - Spain


    Leon Poels, November 15, 1999

    Spanish RR

    Dear George,
    Just returned from a cycle tour of Spain and Portugal. All trains used in Spain whether they be RENFE or FEVE were easy to use, with bikes always going free. However our experiences in Portugal were more variable.

    Hope this may be of some use.
    Yours Ian and Maggie

    Ian Rostron, August 24, 1999

    Spanish RR

    John wrote:
    > Please explain the rules for transport of bicycycles on RENFE, both regional and intercity services.

    Got this response from RENFE the Spanish Railroad Company.
    Subject: Re: Bicycles on RENFE
    Date: Mon, 22 Feb 1999 10:01:16 +0100
    From: "M. Eugenia Fernandez Hermos" (efernan@renfe.es)
    In regional train is possible, the transport of bike is free except in train TRD, in intercity not possible ( only train Grandes lineas (long distance) in train with beds.) I send information for Grandes Lineas. http://www.renfe.es/largo/ivarios.htm

    Ken Nielsen, May 18, 1999

    Mallorca, Spain

    Please Note: the all new Mallorca Airport has no left luggage/deposit facilities that I could find. I stowed my packing wrap and tube foam in bushes at a roundabout/rotary near the airport. There is a small bike track to Palma that is hard to find on the way out. The main road is prohibited for cyclists. On the way back in I could not find the track again, so had to ride the illegal road margins into the airport.

    martyn.evans, April 30, 1999

    Santiago de Compostella (Spain)

    I flew from Santiago de Compostella (Spain) to Amsterdam with SPanair to Barcelona. Bike no costs, no box required (handlebars turned pedals off tires deflated) and with Easyjet also no charge from Barcelona via London to Amsterdam. This was the cheapest deal I could find (appr $250) compared to the companies like Iberia that charge more than double for the same trip.

    Magnus Johansson, January 04, 1999

    Barcelona, Spain via British Air

    From: David Greene
    > I'm going to be hauling my bike to Barcelona (yea!) so I'm boxing it to go via British Air... Once I get to Barcelona, I've got a bike-in-a-box to get to the hotel... I'm wondering if I'll find a cabbie with a wagon or roof rack that could handle the box?

    Many cabs in Barcelona have roof racks. There is fair respect for racers so you may get lucky and find someone who will haul it. Hotels do NOT run their own shuttles to the airport. It's about 20 minutes or more from the Prat to most central hotels. There is subway service from the airport which could also be used to haul a bike. I suggest you leave the box for safekeeping at the airport for your return flight and just take the bare bike into town.

    It's a great city, but NOT a great place to ride. Keep your eyes wide open for cars and motorbikes.

    jjohnson

    Jeffrey Johnson, May 30, 1997

    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    No problem at Rio de Janeiro International Airport and at Madrid Airport. no charge for bike transportation.

    Traveling long distance in Spain by train, you should buy a a cabin (with bed) ticket, and put the bike with you. Train clerks are friendly, and no problems.

    Eng. Aurelio Moreira da Silva, July 26, 1996

    Gerona, Spain

    Gerona, Spain (for Pyrenees) - Quiet roads, very limited facilities (for washing/changing)

    Mike Froggatt, April 13, 1994

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