Author Topic: cost per day to tour  (Read 12259 times)

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Offline Ty0604

Re: cost per day to tour
« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2023, 12:25:49 pm »
I did my first cross country tour for about $10/day when I rode from Oregon to Maine in 2016. I spent a lot of nights camping behind fire stations, in city parks, behind churches and occasionally used WarmShowers. Since then I’m at about $25/day. I like the comfort of developed campgrounds with hot water and showers and I now prefer to be alone after a long day of touring. I expect to spend about $20/day next month when I ride the Katy Trail since most campgrounds are $5-$10/night.

I don’t eat a ton while I’m on the road. Oatmeal/coffee for breakfast, fast food when available for lunch, noodles or something of the such for supper.

Sometimes when I have a layover in a city I’ll volunteer at a soup kitchen. For a few hours of work they’ll feed you at the end.
Instagram: tyjames0604

WI—>WA—>CO

Offline froze

Re: cost per day to tour
« Reply #31 on: July 18, 2023, 11:30:51 am »
I did my first cross country tour for about $10/day when I rode from Oregon to Maine in 2016. I spent a lot of nights camping behind fire stations, in city parks, behind churches and occasionally used WarmShowers. Since then I’m at about $25/day. I like the comfort of developed campgrounds with hot water and showers and I now prefer to be alone after a long day of touring. I expect to spend about $20/day next month when I ride the Katy Trail since most campgrounds are $5-$10/night.

I don’t eat a ton while I’m on the road. Oatmeal/coffee for breakfast, fast food when available for lunch, noodles or something of the such for supper.

Sometimes when I have a layover in a city I’ll volunteer at a soup kitchen. For a few hours of work they’ll feed you at the end.

I eat more when I go bike camping not less!  I eat less when I'm at home and not doing any type of physical activity.  Do most, or maybe all Fire Stations allow bike campers to camp out on their property?  How do you get permission from them?  City parks where I live won't allow it, I thought most didn't, so how do you get a city park to allow it?

Offline kd_ca

Re: cost per day to tour
« Reply #32 on: July 18, 2023, 01:56:02 pm »
I did my first cross country tour for about $10/day when I rode from Oregon to Maine in 2016. I spent a lot of nights camping behind fire stations, in city parks, behind churches and occasionally used WarmShowers. Since then I’m at about $25/day. I like the comfort of developed campgrounds with hot water and showers and I now prefer to be alone after a long day of touring. I expect to spend about $20/day next month when I ride the Katy Trail since most campgrounds are $5-$10/night.

I don’t eat a ton while I’m on the road. Oatmeal/coffee for breakfast, fast food when available for lunch, noodles or something of the such for supper.

Sometimes when I have a layover in a city I’ll volunteer at a soup kitchen. For a few hours of work they’ll feed you at the end.

I eat a lot more on the road as I noticed on my recent cross country (San Francisco Bay Area to Maine) in 66 days (completed a few days ago).  Based on my recent trip,
1) Firehouses are becoming iffy on allowing you to camp behind the firehouse.  Twice I have been suggested to go camp at the local walmart (small town).

2) Due to homelessness epidemic, cities (small and mid-size) are becoming stricter on overnight camping at city parks.  While some parks may not have a sign stating "No Overnight Camping", the police use the Park Rules of "Park Closes at Sunset" to enforce no overnight camping and make you move on.  Happened to me a few times, e.g., Canon City, CO & Yates Center KS. At Yates Center, cop woke me up at 1am, ran my ID, and told me he was giving me a pass for the night.

3) You must have access to better camping resources than I did on KATY trail.  The cheapest I could find was in Boonville MO at $10 night at a mosquito infested place with adequate dog poop in the primitive / tent camping area and quite a distance from any stores since there is no drinking water at campground, Herman MO at $15 night and that was a nice town park.  Nothing in $5 range that my resources indicated.



Offline Ty0604

Re: cost per day to tour
« Reply #33 on: July 18, 2023, 05:17:19 pm »
I eat more when I go bike camping not less!  I eat less when I'm at home and not doing any type of physical activity.  Do most, or maybe all Fire Stations allow bike campers to camp out on their property?  How do you get permission from them?  City parks where I live won't allow it, I thought most didn't, so how do you get a city park to allow it?

I definitely eat more at home cause I’m bored a lot. When I’m touring I’m too busy to eat as much. I usually email the cities ahead of time and ask. Or I just roll in and set up camp and take my chances. Haven’t ever been asked to leave. Sometimes it’s better to ask for forgiveness later than ask for permission as they say.
Instagram: tyjames0604

WI—>WA—>CO

Offline Ty0604

Re: cost per day to tour
« Reply #34 on: July 18, 2023, 05:21:32 pm »
1) Firehouses are becoming iffy on allowing you to camp behind the firehouse.  Twice I have been suggested to go camp at the local walmart (small town).

2) Due to homelessness epidemic, cities (small and mid-size) are becoming stricter on overnight camping at city parks.  While some parks may not have a sign stating "No Overnight Camping", the police use the Park Rules of "Park Closes at Sunset" to enforce no overnight camping and make you move on.  Happened to me a few times, e.g., Canon City, CO & Yates Center KS. At Yates Center, cop woke me up at 1am, ran my ID, and told me he was giving me a pass for the night.

3) You must have access to better camping resources than I did on KATY trail.  The cheapest I could find was in Boonville MO at $10 night at a mosquito infested place with adequate dog poop in the primitive / tent camping area and quite a distance from any stores since there is no drinking water at campground, Herman MO at $15 night and that was a nice town park.  Nothing in $5 range that my resources indicated.

The KATY Trail Guidebook from Pebble Publishing and the website are great resources. Several spots along the route that are $5-$15/night.

Haven’t had any issues camping at fire stations or parks and I’ve done so as recently as last year. Keep in mind I’m not doing this in big cities but smaller towns. I usually avoid bigger cities unless I know someone there who I can stay with. It’s pretty easy to tell the difference between a homeless person and someone who’s on tour.
Instagram: tyjames0604

WI—>WA—>CO

Offline ray b

Re: cost per day to tour
« Reply #35 on: July 18, 2023, 11:40:59 pm »
1) Firehouses are becoming iffy on allowing you to camp behind the firehouse.  Twice I have been suggested to go camp at the local walmart (small town).

2) Due to homelessness epidemic, cities (small and mid-size) are becoming stricter on overnight camping at city parks.  While some parks may not have a sign stating "No Overnight Camping", the police use the Park Rules of "Park Closes at Sunset" to enforce no overnight camping and make you move on.  Happened to me a few times, e.g., Canon City, CO & Yates Center KS. At Yates Center, cop woke me up at 1am, ran my ID, and told me he was giving me a pass for the night.

3) You must have access to better camping resources than I did on KATY trail.  The cheapest I could find was in Boonville MO at $10 night at a mosquito infested place with adequate dog poop in the primitive / tent camping area and quite a distance from any stores since there is no drinking water at campground, Herman MO at $15 night and that was a nice town park.  Nothing in $5 range that my resources indicated.

The KATY Trail Guidebook from Pebble Publishing and the website are great resources. Several spots along the route that are $5-$15/night.

Haven’t had any issues camping at fire stations or parks and I’ve done so as recently as last year. Keep in mind I’m not doing this in big cities but smaller towns. I usually avoid bigger cities unless I know someone there who I can stay with. It’s pretty easy to tell the difference between a homeless person and someone who’s on tour.

There are a few communities with parks for free camping along the KATY in the more western sections. If there is any question about whether a community park is available for overnight camping, I check in with local law enforcement. They have always been accommodating, though I have had the impression that a couple of campsite visits were made to try to distiguish me from a vagrant - as Pat has previously noted, not always an easy distinction at first glance.

Everyone already knows this, but worth repeating - never a bad idea to check in with a local general store or diner. Amazing how many churches, back lots and showers are quietly available to semi-presentable cyclists. (I noticed some years ago, as I looked more mature and established, that the number of local, free accommodations seemed to increase. Of course, I also started carrying the emergency deodorant stick in the handlebar bag.) Not for everyone, as many of us are on the road to be by ourselves, but another option to explore during one's adventure on the road or trail.
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline Ty0604

Re: cost per day to tour
« Reply #36 on: July 19, 2023, 03:41:56 pm »
There are a few communities with parks for free camping along the KATY in the more western sections. If there is any question about whether a community park is available for overnight camping, I check in with local law enforcement. They have always been accommodating, though I have had the impression that a couple of campsite visits were made to try to distiguish me from a vagrant - as Pat has previously noted, not always an easy distinction at first glance.

Everyone already knows this, but worth repeating - never a bad idea to check in with a local general store or diner. Amazing how many churches, back lots and showers are quietly available to semi-presentable cyclists. (I noticed some years ago, as I looked more mature and established, that the number of local, free accommodations seemed to increase. Of course, I also started carrying the emergency deodorant stick in the handlebar bag.) Not for everyone, as many of us are on the road to be by ourselves, but another option to explore during one's adventure on the road or trail.

While riding the ACA’s Route 66 in 2018 we stopped at a hotel/restaurant in the middle of nowhere California to grab dinner. While eating we asked about camping nearby and the hotel let us camp out back for the night. Gave us access to a room to take showers and the gas station across the street had 24 hour restrooms. Didn’t charge us for the shower or camping.
Instagram: tyjames0604

WI—>WA—>CO

Offline Kelly Iniguez

Re: cost per day to tour
« Reply #37 on: August 18, 2023, 10:53:44 pm »
I'd like to present another type of touring. We have reached the stage where motels and restaurant meals are appealing. We are self supported, and plan our tours in advance to be sure of a bed at night. We do not carry a tent, etc in case of an emergency. We have gradually expanded tour length up to ten weeks. It can be done, if you are dedicated to the idea of a pillow and walking barefoot to the bathroom at night.

We tour mostly in the western USA. This is either prime tourist territory or the backwoods. As a general statement, we allow $150. a night average for lodging. This will usually give us a hot breakfast included. Lunch is typically snacks on the road. Dinner is occasionally grocery store deli food, but more typically we eat at a local restaurant. Dinner for two is usually around $50., before tip.

Credit card touring is our one indulgence, we enjoy the heck out of it.

It seems most cyclists here prefer to camp, but just in case you are interested in a non camping perspective - here you go!

Offline ray b

Re: cost per day to tour
« Reply #38 on: August 18, 2023, 11:29:24 pm »
I'd like to present another type of touring. We have reached the stage where motels and restaurant meals are appealing. We are self supported, and plan our tours in advance to be sure of a bed at night. We do not carry a tent, etc in case of an emergency. We have gradually expanded tour length up to ten weeks. It can be done, if you are dedicated to the idea of a pillow and walking barefoot to the bathroom at night.

We tour mostly in the western USA. This is either prime tourist territory or the backwoods. As a general statement, we allow $150. a night average for lodging. This will usually give us a hot breakfast included. Lunch is typically snacks on the road. Dinner is occasionally grocery store deli food, but more typically we eat at a local restaurant. Dinner for two is usually around $50., before tip.

Credit card touring is our one indulgence, we enjoy the heck out of it.

It seems most cyclists here prefer to camp, but just in case you are interested in a non camping perspective - here you go!

Yes, there's a tendency on the forum to make sure everyone knows we walked uphill both ways to school. And depending on mood and where we are touring, we look like the moneyless, homeless bumbs we try to be.  And yes, I enjoy that type of touring because it's a long way from what I do in a coat and tie on a daily basis.

But..., that doesn't mean that once in a while we shouldn't go the easy route for bed and showers every night on good roads with light loads and fast tires. What a blast! I used to do a lot more of this when time was limited and I was closer to my racing speed.

Hint - when I "credit card tour," I rack up a lot of points and free nights on hotel chains. Even this year of inflated service prices, I have usually paid less than $100/night. Best Westerns are well represented in small towns and cities and are locally owned. If you want to go cheaper, run with Choice Hotel (Comfort Inn and such.)

Yes, I also have a higher end Marriott account for work, and I recall grabbing a free night in a luxury hotel in suburban Phoenix a couple of years ago, where the members-only late checkout allowed a little extra rack and spa time in what felt like heaven to a cyclist..., but the Hiltons and Marriotts tend to cluster in bigger cities along bigger roads (interstates) that we try to avoid.

And yes, there's a great argument for supporting the mom and pop operations of small towns - especially when the price comes in under the chains.

Have fun out there.
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline hikerjer

Re: cost per day to tour
« Reply #39 on: August 19, 2023, 05:33:32 pm »
It depends entirely on where you are and your personal style of riding. No correct answer on this one.

Offline BikeFreak

Re: cost per day to tour
« Reply #40 on: August 30, 2023, 06:54:00 pm »
I just finished biking from Alaska to Arizona. It was crazy expensive. On average groceries are +100% more expensive than groceries in Scandinavia where I am from - and Scandinavia is considered expensive in Europe. Meals at restaurants are the same price as Scandinavia. Most expensive USFS campground was 34 USD - I was shocked. No option for hiker biker sites. In southern AZ motels are the same price as private campgrounds/RV parks.

Biggest wish: Adventure cycling will tour the routes and ask fire dept's, churches, community parks, sheriffs, if cyclists can have a free spot to sleep in town. Its killing us.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: cost per day to tour
« Reply #41 on: August 31, 2023, 09:25:58 am »
I just finished biking from Alaska to Arizona. It was crazy expensive. On average groceries are +100% more expensive than groceries in Scandinavia where I am from - and Scandinavia is considered expensive in Europe. Meals at restaurants are the same price as Scandinavia. Most expensive USFS campground was 34 USD - I was shocked. No option for hiker biker sites. In southern AZ motels are the same price as private campgrounds/RV parks.

Biggest wish: Adventure cycling will tour the routes and ask fire dept's, churches, community parks, sheriffs, if cyclists can have a free spot to sleep in town. Its killing us.

Some Forest Service districts are raising (or have raised) their camping fees due to a lack of federal funding.  When I was in Rexford, MT, which is on the Northern Tier, in 2019 there was a notice posted on a bulletin board at the federal campground there about a proposal to raise rates at various facilities.  Some of those rates were to double into the $30 range.

I doubt ACA has the resources for something like that.  What people can do for ACA routes is inform the organization if they come across a nice place to camp that is not listed on the maps.  During my 2017 tour in MT, I stumbled across a delightful municipal camping area about 5 flat miles off the Northern Tier route when I stopped to pick up some last-minute food supplies. I incorporated a night there into my 2019 itinerary.  $10 with electricity, water, lush grass, covered shelters (you can pitch your tent under one if the weather is wet) with tables in one of them, and a well-maintained, USFS-type vault toilet.  The place is not only right along the Clark Fork River, but it is also right across from the local bar, general store, cafe and hardware store.  It's on the side of the river that is far away from the highway, and there are no through roads in town, so the place is quiet.  And the town's people were very friendly.  I let ACA know about it.

Heh. Looking at Google Maps, I can see that there have been improvements since I was there in 2019. Both shelters have been replaced by larger, nicer ones, and I believe a second toilet has been added.

https://www.google.com/maps/@47.9958143,-115.7818575,3a,37.5y,2.63h,92.62t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sEnHLH2d0lVHwtgyfTvCQjQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?entry=ttu