CPR Practical Pilgrim Day

It is always a pleasure to get with people who have shared common experiences. The Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome, as a group, is still in its infancy. Last Saturday they held only their 4th AGM since foundation, but there is obviously a very strong, committed core of support, with a membership that is growing rapidly. Still a long, long way from the dizzy heights of the success of the Confraternity of St James, but following it in its wake.

The first session, led by Via Francigena veteran Joe Patterson, provided interesting overviews of how to make your pilgrimage happen, covering all those necessary details from what boots to wear to how much luggage to carry. With several recent returnees from the VF in the audience, there was lively debate and many reflections on the ups and downs of long distance travelling.

I had been invited to fill the after-lunch slot with my presentation of a Cyclist’s Tale of my journey from Canterbury to Rome, which I had completed last September. Unlike all my presentations to date (to parish groups, Rotary and cycling clubs) I was standing before an audience who all had some experience of the VF, or were expecting to embark on their journey in the near future. I love telling the story of the journey……………and that is basically what it is………my story (or my tale). If I had been speaking to an audience of a 1000 people who had all travelled exactly the same journey, my own experience would have been unique, and so would everybody else’s. Furthermore, since the cyclist’s perspective (because most pilgrims walk) is rarely put across, I was delighted to be able to promote the use of two wheels to travel along this most ancient route.

Read more about the Confraternity.

About Frank Burns

My journeys around the world are less about riding a bicycle, and more about what happens when I get off the bicycle. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on April 4, 2011, in Canterbury-Rome 2000kms: a cyclist's tale and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. hello–I am trying to find out information about biking the VF and would love to read all you’ve written about your journey, however when I link to what appears to be the blog entries on your journey it only pulls up two days worth of posts. Is there a way I can access this information? I am having a hard time finding information on this. (For that matter would love to pick your brain so if you’re willing to chat with me please email me! thanks!)


  2. Hi Jenny,
    try this link:https://frankburns.wordpress.com/category/canterbury-rome-a-cyclists-tale/
    Remember, the posts appear in reverse order, so the last post on the topic was the CPR Practical Pilgrim’s Day. Keep scrolling down, then clicking on ‘Previous Posts”until you come to the first post, then you can follow the story in chronological order. I think there are 39 posts in total.
    I will copy this to an email for you.


  3. Hi,

    Keen to read your VF blog, but the link in the comment above gives a 404 error. Planning on riding it in June 2019




  4. Sorry about that. Can’t explain why that has happened. Try this….https://frankburns.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/cpr-practical-pilgrim-day/


  5. Perfect thanks. One other question. Did you cycle the actual walking route or did you deviate from it. Keen to understand as I want to mirror the actual route by bike and am happy to cycle off road as much as possible. If cycling the walking route means a lot of pushing because of steps or rocks then I’d prefer to detour. Any advice on how you determined whether to cycle a section or plan a detour would be welcomed. Thanks. Justin


  6. I generally kept to the road, but I did meet someone in Tuscany who was including sections of off-road. This was 8 years ago, so I’m sure the waymarking will be much improved by now, and there might be a few more pilgrim refuges. Good luck with your venture….it’ll be a memorable journey.

    Liked by 1 person

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