Author Topic: Trans Am Advice Needed  (Read 2335 times)

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Offline TimL

Trans Am Advice Needed
« on: December 27, 2009, 08:26:16 pm »
My wife and I are planning on a cross country trip this summer from west to east.  We are avid cyclist, backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts.  I have the general questions that most would have for such a trip.  A few questions to start would be:

If we were to take eight weeks to cross from west to east, what would be an average budget to stay in basic lodging and eat a mix of grocery store and dining out.  I know it will vary depending on how you eat out, but in general, what would the average cyclist spend for such a trip for two?

If we camped most of the time and cooked out 50 percent and ate out the rest and used some of the warm shower sites, what would be a good number to use for trip cost?

I am looking at the Louis Garneau Beta BB-46 panniers which are about 2800 cu.in.  Does anyone have experience with these panniers as compared to the standard higher priced brands?  We have experience with minimal weight packing so I do not plan on overloading.  We have done a lot of light weight packing having done numerous backpacking trips and a few high altitude longer duration mountain climbs in South America.

If we Fed Ex our bikes from upstate NY to the west coast and fly into the Seattle area, how does one arrange the part form landing at the airport to getting your bike to a ocean starting point?  Can we ship to a touring friendly bike shop where we can assemble the bikes and get transportation to our starting point?

These are just a few of the questions that I have at this point as we are just planning our trip. 

Any guidance from those that have done a cross country trip would be appreciated.  I used the search for budgeting and the other questions above and was not able to get specific answers.  Thanks for your time and help in advance.

Tim

Offline John Nelson

Re: Trans Am Advice Needed
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2009, 12:22:59 am »
Okay, I'm no expert, but let me give you my thoughts.

I would guess that if you camped most of the time, about $30 per person per day might be about right. If you motel most of the time, you might be looking at about $50 per person per day (double-occupancy). As you say, a lot depends on your taste in food (and drinks and treats), accommodations and entertainment. The budget allows a bit for bike repair and supplies as needed. Let's see what others think.

You should be able to FedEx your bike either to a bike shop or to the motel you're planning to stay at on arrival or to a warm showers host. If you FedEx it to a bike shop, they could put it together for you (for a fee)--that might be good or bad. You can take whatever public transportation is available (bus, taxi, shuttle, etc.) to get from the airport to where your bike is. You can then ride from there to where you want to dip your wheel.

« Last Edit: December 28, 2009, 12:24:56 am by John Nelson »

Offline Galloper

Re: Trans Am Advice Needed
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2009, 07:21:34 am »
Just as a matter of interest, I wonder if anyone has advice on shipping via Fedex, UPS etc.   I've spent about half an hour on line this morning and their web sites are so convoluted I gave up.   It seems that the boxed size of a bike doesn't fit into their shipping system.

Any help or comments would be appreciated.

Offline DU

Re: Trans Am Advice Needed
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2009, 11:41:52 am »
There is a shuttle at Seatac but it primarily goes north, it does go to Anacortes. If you wanted to start out on the Northern Tier you could ship your bikes to a motel in Anacortes and you're basically at the start. You could  ride the NT to Montana and then figure out how to connect with the Trans Am in Missoula. I imagine some here have connected the two routes.  I used the shuttle last summer for the Northern Tier and it was quite a bargain. Here is the link:

http://www.airporter.com/

I think that a lot of people who ride the Trans Am W to E fly into Portland. Some ride from Portland to Astoria. Reading bicycling journals can be very helpful, here's a very popular site.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/?o=RrzKj

Just do a journal search for the route you would like to ride. It can give you insight into what others have done at the beginning as well as along the route. Plus it will keep you excited while the snow is still flying in N.Y.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Trans Am Advice Needed
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2009, 12:05:28 pm »
When you write "Trans Am Advice" do you mean that your plan is to ride AC's Trans Am route or do you mean X-country in general?  I ask because, as one person notes, Seattle probably wouldn't be the place to fly into if you are planning to do AC's Trans Am route.  If you are talking AC's Northern Tier route from Anancortes, you can fly into Seattle and ferry/pedal to join to the route just east of Anacortes, WA.  Adds a few days to the trip.

As for shipping UPS, if you have a local bike shop near by, take your bikes there and have them bix them and/or ship them.  This summer we did a loop from Whitefish, MT.  We had our bikes shipped to a LBS in Whitefish.  For a charge the shop re-assembled them and tuned them.  The combined shipping and service was less than the $100+/bike the airline wanted each way.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Trans Am Advice Needed
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2009, 12:47:15 am »
Just as a matter of interest, I wonder if anyone has advice on shipping via Fedex, UPS etc.   I've spent about half an hour on line this morning and their web sites are so convoluted I gave up.   It seems that the boxed size of a bike doesn't fit into their shipping system.
FedEx and UPS both do ground shipment (the only thing you can get for a reasonable price) only if the L+2W+2H is no greater than 165 inches (above that incurs the much higher "freight" rates). USPS only allows L+2W+2H to be up to 130 inches (above that and they won't take it at all). Stay under these sizes and you'll get a pretty-good rate. In my calculations, FedEx is usually a bit cheaper than UPS. Rates vary based on distance, insured value (if any) and where you want it picked up and delivered (e.g., residential delivery is a bit more than business delivery, and you can save money if you take it to one of their shipping centers). Size typically affect the price more than weight.

Offline MrBent

Re: Trans Am Advice Needed
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2010, 09:38:28 am »
I think about $20/day/person is a workable figure for food that gives you some padding.  I rarely ate out, and so I think I frequently came in under this figure.  I did, however, eat a lot!  I was doing the stealth/commando camping game, so I only paid for about four or five campgrounds and four motels in over three months of cycling.

Which brings up another point:  Sixty days is a workable time-frame for crossing the country, but it is pretty fast.  You'll be doing a lot of high mileage (90+) days, I would think, to cross in that amount of time unless you are doing the Southern Tier--or a shortened version of one of the others.  With only eight weeks, you won't have a lot of time for hanging out, taking any side trips, etc.  Factor this into your planning.

Cheers!

Scott

Offline fuzzyrider

Re: Trans Am Advice Needed
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2010, 10:13:02 pm »
I only have one personal experience with shipping my bike using UPS.  But if I put in writing how I really feel about them I would be banned from this form.  I insured my bike incase something happened to it, and the box was beat up while being sent to and again on the way back from my vacation.  Yes the bike was damaged but I was never able collect a dime from UPS for the repairs.  Impossible to get a hold of, they wouldn’t take my calls, never returned any of my messages, etc…  I am told that Fed-Ex is much better, and I will find out the next time I ship my bike.  Good luck.
Fuzzy