About the site

The name

It wasn’t meant to be called leoncarol.com. I tried registering charlesleonard as a domain, but you’ve probably already figured out we’re a dime a dozen. Carol is my name in Latin. At least that’s what it says on the “Compostela” I got in Santiago. Leon is just short for Leonard. And the two together seemed to sound better as Leon Carol than the other way around.

The pictures

There was a time when people in certain circles said that Time was the magazine for those who couldn’t think and Life was for the ones who couldn’t read. Well this is a sort of a Life Magazine type of site. The pictures aren’t as good and the print is a little more abundant but the pixels definitely outweigh the characters. I enjoy shooting more than typing.

Things you won’t find at other sites

If nothing else, I’d like to convey a true measure of the effort it takes to accomplish the journey.  Strangely enough I wasn’t able to find that anywhere.

Once the decision was made to make the trip I googled “Camino”, “Santiago” and “mountain bike”… in all ways thinkable, and was rewarded with a few dozen decent sites.  Even though I compiled quite a bit of useful information I couldn’t answer the question “is the combination of distance and duration I’m targeting realistic?” So I went and bought some books and ended up with little more than before…

Exactly how difficult is a “hard” part of a trail? …more so when you just read somewhere else that section is “unrideable”, but the weekend warrior you met last night says he sailed through the whole 800Km last year in the middle of summer and not once did he push his bike.  Either somebody is lying, everybody is lying or the most reasonable assumption is that everything is relative. A day in the park for one is an extreme sport for another.  Unless a common base is established the labels are good as meaningless.

The other aspect I found frustrating both in sites and books is that most suggestions aren’t accompanied by reasons. So you will find “do this…”, “take that…”, “choose the other…” as if reading the 10 commandments and it all has to be taken at faith.

For all you fellow skeptics I will explain the “why” of my suggestions.

The information

Unless stated otherwise, everything I mention in this site refers to what is know as the "Camino Frances" or the French Route and assumes you will be riding a mountain bike.