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Ride Rating System

The BAC has a Ride Rating system that can tell you what to expect while on one of our rides. Learn more...

Ride Across Spain Part 2: Madrid to San Sebastián

  • Arrival
  • 5/9/2023
  • Departure
  • 5/26/2023
  • Ride Coordinator
  • Roxan Kraft
  • Tour Company
  • Iberocycle
  • Starting Location
  • Madrid, Spain
  • Finishing Location
  • San Sebasti├ín, Spain
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $3750
  • Deposit
  • $1000
  • Number of Riders
  • 30 (min. 12 /max. 30)
  • Space Available
  • 0
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 0

Ride Rating

3B  Warning - Read the Description Carefully

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† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $85 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

Ride Description

This BAC ride, which together with “Ride Across Spain Part I: The Mediterranean Tarifa to Madrid,” provides the opportunity to cycle the length of Spain, coast to coast.  It’s designed for strong experienced riders who will have a good base of challenging riding leading up to the start of the tour. You are welcome to sign up for either ride or both!  This combination of rides was last done in 2017.

This ride begins on May 9, 2023 in Madrid, the Capital of Spain, and takes us through the geographically and culturally diverse regions of Castile-León, La Rioja, Navarra and the Basque country (Spanish and French!), ending on May 25, 2017 in the luxurious resort city of San Sebastián on the northern coast of Spain. Departure will be after breakfast the morning of May 26, 2023.  Most of our riding will be along roads with little traffic and excellent surfaces. The ride crosses Spain’s high plain, the Meseta Central, with its windmills, rolling fields of grain, and cattle ranches; includes a portion of the Camino de Santiago; and takes us through the lush hills and valleys of northern Spain before we cross the Spanish Pyrenees for a brief dip into the French Basque country before heading for the Bay of Biscay.  Ancient archeological ruins, ornate cathedrals, quaint remote villages, vast vineyards, excellent red wine, and delicious tapas are abundant in this part of the Iberian Peninsula.  On this trip we’ll have the opportunity to visit four (4) UNESCO World Heritage Sites in San Lorenzo del Escorial, Ávila, Segovia and Burgos.  

Ride Rating: 3B!  This will be a challenging ride! There are 13 required riding days and 3 rest days. The daily average distance will be 41 miles with distances ranging from 29-50 miles. The average daily ascent will be 2601’ with daily ascents ranging from 1665-4185 feet, including 2 days that exceed the 3B rating:

  • Day 2: 38 miles with 4070’ climbing
  • Day 15: 48 miles with 4185’ climbing

For avid riders there will be optional longer routes with additional elevation. Although most routes will be along well paved, lightly traveled back roads, the ride out of Madrid and into San Sebastián may include some heavy traffic.

For a detailed itinerary with daily distances and climbing contact the Ride Leader. Cue sheets, maps and GPS files will be provided for all rides.

Weather:  Average temperature in Madrid in May is 59F and average number of days with precipitation is 7. Average temperatures in San Sebastián is 63F and average number of days with precipitation is 13.

Lodging & Meals: Seventeen nights lodging including one night each in Madrid, San Lorenzo del Escorial, Ávila, Sepúlveda, Peñafiel, Lerma, Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Estella, Pamplona, St-Etienne-de-Baïgorry, and San Sebastián, and 2 nights in Segovia, Burgos and Laguardia.  Daily breakfasts will be provided and we’ll have 5 group dinners. Lunches will be on your own.  Lodging will be mostly at 3-4 star hotels.  Several will be Paradores which are marvelous properties consisting of restored Castles, Monasteries, Convents, Fortresses, Manor Houses, Palaces as well as some exceptional modern properties.  A detailed list of hotels will be provided.

Logistics: This tour starts in Madrid on Tuesday, May 9, 2023 at the traditional BAC happy hour, and ends in San Sebastián onThursday May 25, 2023.  Departure is Friday, May 26, 2023 after breakfast. Ride participants can book an open-jaw flight arriving in Madrid (MAD) and departing from Bilbao (BIO), the closest airport to San Sebastián, or for those who prefer to fly in and out of the same city, there is bus and train service between San Sebastián and Madrid. Transportation from the Madrid airport to downtown Madrid is available by bus, metro or taxi.  Transportation from San Sebastián to Bilbao is available by bus.

Iberocycle will transport bike boxes from Madrid to San Sebastián where they’ll be stored during the ride.  They’ll also transport luggage between overnight locations and provide emergency sag support for anyone who has significant health or mechanical problems that prevent them from riding during the trip.

If you wish to rent a bike for the duration of this trip, contact Iberocycle directly to make arrangements.  

  • Cube Carbon - 195 Euro
  • Trek Hybrid - 135 Euro
  • E-Bike - 280 Euro

Ebikes and Tandems are allowed with ride leader approval.

If bringing your own bike consider slightly wider tires for variable terrain such as 28-30 mm tires on road bikes.

Cost and Administration: In addition to the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee, the estimated tour cost is $3750 based on an exchange rate of $1.20 = 1 Euro and a minimum of 12 participants.  The estimated cost includes: 17 nights lodging with full breakfast; 14 days of BAC social hour with beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages and snacks; 5 group dinners; luggage van & emergency sag support; storage of bike boxes during the trip with transfer to San Sebastián; maps, cue sheets and GPS files; ride leader expenses; and a 5% contingency. Once you are accepted onto the ride, a deposit of $1000 is due within 2 weeks. The 2nd payment of $1375 is due by October 31, 2022, and the final payment of $1375 is due by February 28, 2023.  The final payment may be adjusted depending on the number of riders beyond the minimum as well as the exchange rate at the end of December 2022. The single supplement of $830 for those who do not wish to share a room must be paid by a seperate check when the 2nd payment is due.  Any funds remaining after the trip will be refunded to participants.

Singles & Solos Policy:  Single participants are welcome on this trip whether sharing a room with another single or you may choose to pay the $830 solo supplement for a room of your own. If you plan to share a room with another single, please let the ride leader know the name of that person. It is recommended that singles who want a roommate try to find their own. However, after receipt of the initial deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until October 31, 2022 to find a roommate. If they are unable to find a roommate, they will have the option to receive a full refund (minus the BAC fee and payment processing fee) or pay the $830 solo supplement and stay on the ride. If a single pays the supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary. The Ride Leader will assist by attempting to match singles who apply for the ride. 

Solo supplement payments need to be sent to the BAC office by October 31, 2022.  Checks should be made out to “BAC” with a notation of the tour name included on the check. They should be mailed to: Bicycle Adventure Club, PO Box 23998, San Diego, CA 92193 

CANCELLATION POLICY: The BAC ride registration fee and payment processing fee is not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled due to participation below stated minimum requirements. Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and on costs that can be recouped. The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations. If the cancelling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time. If the cancelling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed. If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped the cancelling roommate may also be liable for the solo supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour. BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance.


  • All participants must be fully vaccinated including booster shots if applicable and be prepared to present vaccination documentation for viewing by the Ride Leader if requested.

If we still have a Covid 19 risk, we will follow all the necessary rules, and change activities as needed to remain Covid compliant, and can keep the tour as safe as possible. We will invite participants to a Zoom meeting approximately 90 days prior to the tour start date to finalize our COVID protocols. You may be asked to wear PPE in public, maintain social distance in public and limit social gathering in public according to the state's mandate.

RIDE PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITY:  Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support. Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles. All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour. We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from Ride Leader. While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks such as happy hour preparation and clean-up. Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour. Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special request you may have and respect the Ride Leader’s decisions.

Before participating in any BAC tour, members should review their medical coverage and assess whether what you have is sufficient. If it isn’t, you should purchase additional travel medical coverage. BAC maintains a policy that provides coverage for expenses related to medical emergencies and repatriation when members are on tours outside the US and their home country. The policy ceases to be applicable if a member makes a personal deviation (e.g., makes a side trip not related to the planned BAC tour), has limits on expenses covered for family members and only applies for 45 days following departure from home. None of the policies maintained by BAC will cover costs associated with self-quarantines that may be government mandated. Members should also ensure that vaccinations are up to date (e.g., annual influenza, tetanus, etc.). If travelling outside your home country you may wish to consult with a travel physician or nurse to ensure that the appropriate vaccinations are up to date.

Sign-Up: To submit a request to join this ride use the "links" displayed above this Ride Description. When you are accepted, the Ride Leader will move you from the Waitlist to the Pending List. At this time you will receive an email notification to login to the BAC website to sign the release of liability form and pay the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee and the initial tour deposit $1000 by credit card. As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List. To contact the Ride Leader, "click" the name at the top of this Ride Description.

Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510

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