Author Topic: Advice about Unique Bicycle Touring Company  (Read 6145 times)

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Offline readysetsew

Re: Advice about Unique Bicycle Touring Company
« Reply #30 on: November 18, 2010, 05:06:22 pm »
quote]
One other thing that can have a major impact on your economic analysis.  Have you factored in the cost of the RV itself?  A Class A motor home capable of accommodating 7 or 8 people (6 riders plus the driver and cook/mechanic) in reasonable comfort and with the amenities you propose is going to cost over $100,000, probably WAY over.  Will you be able to set your rates to recover that investment in any reasonable time?  Also consider maintenance costs like tires, oil changes, etc. aren't free, particularly on something the size of a large RV.
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Those are good points. The rig I'm looking at will sleep only five or six riders, plus driver and mechanic and is $65,000 (5th wheel). The answer is no, I can't recover the cost in a reasonable amount of time, but I'm going to buy the rig anyway for my own travels, so its purchase won't be strictly for the business. The business would just be a way to get back some of the costs and to enjoy a kind of rolling bed and breakfast side business--definitely not a full-time business. It's not a motorized RV, but the costs of engine maintenance will, of course, be transferred to the enormous truck required to haul this beast. And then there are costs of maintaining the rig's air-conditioning, refrigeration, plumbing, etc. And, of course, liability insurance as well as other insurance.

The main problem I'm facing, I feel, is knowing in advance whether I can target 5 or 6 riders who are willing to live in a dormitory situation; there would be four bunks and up to two double beds available--one being the master bedroom. As one member pointed out, snoring can be a real problem. On the other hand, I've slept in a tent for Ragbrai, and you can't get away from snorers even in a campground. Fortuntatly, most riders are tired enough to sleep through anything!


Offline GRich

Re: Advice about Unique Bicycle Touring Company
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2010, 07:41:08 am »
You might try having it availible for cyclist wanting a place to stay while traveling through your area, rather than planning a travelling tour.  Your expenses will be much lower, and the problem of being confined with a group for an extended period will not come into play.

I'm just getting into cycling at age 54, and was delighted to find this fourm, and appreciate all the advice from all the members here.

Offline FeetFirstFella

Re: Advice about Unique Bicycle Touring Company
« Reply #32 on: January 01, 2011, 06:57:13 pm »
Quiet, privacy, and personal space trump everything for me, and I'm willing to work (set up/take down tents, etc.) or pay (moderate motel prices) to get it.  However, the prospect of ultimate comfort in a natural setting with a small group does appeal to me.  Motels many times mean spending the night in commercial/suburbia districts, and tents may mean a commercial campground with kids/families or a 'tent city' on organized tour rides.  Your concept could offer the natural setting where there may be no other accommodations, and would be attractive if the quiet, privacy, and space issues are resolved.  Maybe a caravan of smaller camper trailers?  Other ideas?

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Advice about Unique Bicycle Touring Company
« Reply #33 on: January 02, 2011, 03:07:36 am »
I sounds Ok for those who could afford it. But, and I think this is a real big BUT, that is not really experiencing America by bike in its fullest. It's like cycling across the continent to avoid certain realities. Why not get out there and experience the realities? all the realities of it? I see CGOAB by ACA maps the same way. They travel well known bicycle routes and are met by friendly, welcoming, people many of whom have their own commercial / financial interests in mind, who know their town is on a cycling route, and who know the cyclists will be keeping  track of encounters and posting them on a well-known forum. Of course they will put the best foot forward in transient situations like those. The cyclists stay in motels, many of them, and eat in fine restaurants.

How about camping out and scrounging around for a place to lay it down for the night? How about pulling into some town where long-distance cyclists are rare, and getting a load of some attitudes you encounter from people who stand nothing to gain or lose by how they regard you? How about stopping in at some small campground or trailer park and asking to pay for one little ten minute shower, and being answered like you are some kind of terrible person who should be gtten rid of ASAP?

I have cycled across the USA several times, and I love doing it. However, and I can say this with absolute certainty, the lowest and most disgusting parts of cycling across the US are the attitudes of the people you meet by happenstance. I have cycled extensively in Europe, China, and elsewhere, and I have never had to put up with anything like it anywhere. I don't fully understand what is  wrong with Americans, but something is very definitely wrong.

However, it is a very good idea to use good cycling maps.

There is nothing wrong with the kind of touring company the OP is talking about. I am just saying that if you cycle across the USA, why not learn more about the USA and its people, and not bring la la land and back home on the block along with you when you go? Get out there and see what is really out there. Catch some of the attitudes. I started innocent conversations with strangers, and got attitudes and answers that I would not give anyone unless they had committed some serious crime against me or someone in my family. That is no kidding. If you want to insulate yourself from certain realites, that's OK, but in a sense it sort of defeats one purpose of getting out there and experiencing the world by bike travel. For example, one thing cross-country cycling in the US has taught me is this. Now I understand better why there are so many more people in prison in this country, and why there is so much more violent crime here than in other countries. With those kinds of attitudes so extant, how could it be otherwise? Several times I have walked into restaurants or stores for refreshments and a little harmless conversation, and walked out completely disgusted and repelled by the crummiest attitudes. I even work outside the country because of it. I come back because I have  young children in the US. Nowhere except in the former Soviet Union have I encountered such attitudes. I love cycling across the USA, but as for many of its people, you can have them.

You can do a transcon cycling tour any way you like, but if you stay in motels all the time and are rich and such, when you talk about cycling across the USA, you and I will not be on the same page.

Offline DaveB

Re: Advice about Unique Bicycle Touring Company
« Reply #34 on: January 02, 2011, 07:39:38 am »
Westinghouse, I found your posting interesting but, since I've read so many reports from cross country cyclists who have taken off-beaten-path trips and still been receive and treated well by people who had no vested interest in being helpful or nice, I wonder about you. 

Either you've built up the few unfortunate encounters or neglected to mention the good ones or something in your approach engenders their hostility.  Even in my local and daily rides, for every jerk I come across, I've been given courteous treatment by many more people. 

Offline reed523

Re: Advice about Unique Bicycle Touring Company
« Reply #35 on: January 02, 2011, 03:33:33 pm »
I like your idea.  Seems like it might morph into some sort of "home base" with some sleeping inside and some out.  Utilizing such a  service would be beyond my budget but i have lots of friends i would love to introduce to touring and this seems like a nice gateway to do that.  I would think hosting a small group in conjunction with an organized tour would give you lots of immediate exposure. A handful of happy customers can spread the word pretty quickly around a group of 800 or 900 riders!  I know several groups in our state ride (Oklahoma Freewheel) do something similar with there own RV's and i thought it looked like fun.   Good luck with it!

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Advice about Unique Bicycle Touring Company
« Reply #36 on: January 29, 2011, 01:22:26 am »
"When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous," he said. "And unfortunately, Arizona, I think, has become the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."  Quoted from Clarence Dupnik, Sheriff of Pima County, Arizona.

I have run into quite a lot of what the sheriff was talking about while solo-touring across the USA, and it doesn't matter how you approach them because they approach you. What a world of difference I noticed between cycle touring in western Europe and in the United States. The hostility is observable right away as soon as you get back to the US. The contrast is there and easy to discern. There is something seriously, attitudinally wrong in the USA that one simply does not encounter in some other modern, advanced countries of the world. Perhaps the insulated tour would be the better way to go where the USA is the matter.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Advice about Unique Bicycle Touring Company
« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2011, 01:36:46 am »
Westinghouse, I found your posting interesting but, since I've read so many reports from cross country cyclists who have taken off-beaten-path trips and still been receive and treated well by people who had no vested interest in being helpful or nice, I wonder about you. 

Either you've built up the few unfortunate encounters or neglected to mention the good ones or something in your approach engenders their hostility.  Even in my local and daily rides, for every jerk I come across, I've been given courteous treatment by many more people. 

I follow what you are saying exactly. There have been many very good encounters with people. But I cannot understand why there are so many hateful, spiteful, offensive people who feel it is perfectly alright to dump their frustrations and hatred on a perfect stranger. That's all. I never experienced this even once in all my extensive touring in western Europe, but in the USA it was a regular part of the journey. If walking up to someone and asking them where I can find a cafe is a wrongful approach, I guess I am guilty, but I am quite sure it is not myself.