Q: How much will it cost to be on this ride?
A: We are developing final costs and sponsorships to offset the ride costs and more importantly increase the value of the ride. That said there will be a fee for self-guided or fully-guided rides based on the number of days for a particular route. We work to strike the balance between costs and value and deliver on the benefits of a larger group ride including features and programs. Ride registration will cost between $500 and may go over $6000 per motorcycle depending on the length of the route and the level of services. Final pricing will be determined by the end of 2018, and there will be a discount for early registration.
Q: How well do I have to ride in order to join?
A: You should be comfortable on a motorcycle or you really won’t enjoy the ride. You will encounter a variety of conditions; rain (or other weather), traffic, small bumpy rural roads and typical staggered group riding formation in the guided rides. If you are not signing up for the guided ride, you need to be comfortable riding on your own or making new friends to ride with. If you are a new rider and want to set a goal, we would suggest having ridden at least 3,000 recent miles before joining us.
Q: How far do we ride each day?
A: Our largest mileage day is approximately 300 miles; mostly riding days are 200-250 miles, and the farther East we get there’s typically more traffic. We like to think we’ve achieved the perfect balance of creating interesting riding days with time for breaks, yet efficient enough to get to D.C. in a reasonable amount of time. Oh yeah, we’ve also arranged for some “play days” on or off the motorcycles along the way – ideal for taking a break, scheduling maintenance or visiting with local friends.
Q: Do I have to carry my own luggage?
A: If you sign up for the “all-inclusive” tour, NO. We’ll carry one travel bag for you, a maximum of 50 pounds. You should plan on carrying essentials with you on your motorcycle including water, medicine etc. All other riders have to carry their own luggage. Some of these riders will ship replacement clothing to hotels ahead of time as well.
Q: What is the difference between the self-guided fee and the fully-guided fee?
A: We offer pricing levels based on the services offered. The self-guided ride is designed for those who may already have the experience and tools needed to ride on a long tour. It includes essential planning services, the route scouting, access to XXXXXX some great swag and of course the arrival party. The fully-guided fees are intended to be turn-key for those who wish to enjoy the ride and enjoy a premium service. Experienced ride guides, chase vehicles, most included breakfasts and dinners, exclusive events and access and other great features. We take pride in offering a high value program without hidden fees and surprises. Please don’t hesitate to ask us about ways to increase savings, however all ride participants must at least register as self-guided riders to participate.
Q: Why is your event what it is?
A: Well, it’s a big event, which means a lot of staff, infrastructure and expense. Not to mention insurance. (Don’t get us started on that topic!) We’ve also spent more than two years planning this magnificent event for you to enjoy. We’ve done our very best to solicit as many sponsors as possible and include as many features as we possibly can along the way so that we can increase the value of your participation.
Q: What out of pocket expenses can I expect?
A: If you register for the “all-inclusive” tour, then you’ll only pay for your lunches, gas, tolls, incidentals at the hotels, alcoholic beverages, dinners on the rest days and entry into parks and such. If you register as a self-guided rider, then you’ll be paying all your own expenses: all meals, hotels, incidentals, alcoholic beverages, fuel, National Park entry fees, etc. Either way you register you’ll pay for your own bike maintenance and repairs and of course your speeding tickets. 🙂
Q: How much should I budget for fuel costs?
A: It depends on your motorcycle’s MPG and your riding style. The total maximum miles will be less than 5,000. Thus 5000 miles ÷ 40 mpg=125 gallons @ $3.00/gallon = $375.00. Your motorcycle should be tuned up and ready for a long ride. Your motorcycle should be capable of at least 150 miles per fill-up, or plan to carry an auxiliary supply for back-up if you have a small tank.
Q: Do I have to ride my own bike?
A: No, you don’t have to ride your own bike. It’s always more comfortable to ride your own motorcycle, but we’ve routed the ride such that you can rent motorcycles along the way. Ask us for a list of rental agencies if you need it. We can insert a link here when available.
Q: How do I get my motorcycle back home after the ride?
A: We hope you get to ride home, but if you’re pressed for time you can ship it for roughly $800 coast to coast. After sending in your deposit you’ll receive a welcome packet with heaps of event information including contacts for our preferred motorcycle shipping company. Some riders in the past have bought and sold motorcycles at the beginning and the end of their trips! See our blog post on how to ship a motorcycle.
Q: What happens if my bike breaks down?
A: Each route will have a chase vehicle that is capable of picking up broken bikes. The support vehicles will be following the “all-inclusive” registrants, and they’re paying more for that service. That said, at heart we’re motorcyclists…so of course we’ll stop and help you if we see you, no matter how you registered. We’ll carry you and your motorcycle to that night’s hotel or to a dealer if there’s one close by and it works within the confines of the event. If you are an AMA member, you get free towing with your membership and we’re suggesting that all riders make sure they have some type of roadside assistance before starting the ride with us. Many clubs offer this fine service as part of their features and benefits, so check with them to see if you’re covered. Many motorcycle rental companies have similar programs built into their rental.
Q: Do you have spare bikes?
A: We’re working on that but do not count on it. Spare motorcycles are a liability issue as well as a challenge for some riders to adapt to. The best practice is to ensure you motorcycle is fully prepared for the ride, check for issues daily and join the AMA or an organization that offers roadside assistance. We highly recommend being an AMA member.
Q: Do you have a suggested packing list?
A: After joining you’ll receive an information packet with heaps of information including a suggested packing list. There will be opportunities to pick up anything you may have forgotten along the way. Some riders pack minimally and choose to purchase new items along the route. You should have underclothes and supplies for a week, with appropriate riding gear for the weather conditions. Most new touring riders actually pack too much stuff that can easily be picked up along the route if it’s needed. Fully-guided riders can bring a 50 pound bag that will travel in the chase truck.
Q: Do I have to wear a helmet?
A: Yes. Insurance regulations require all registered riders and passengers to wear a legal helmet and to follow state regulations.
Q: Are you doing the boring thing and riding on highways?
A: Nope! As much as possible we’ll be on two-lane secondary roads and scenic byways. Our great sponsor Butler Maps, the motorcycle maps experts, have worked very closely with us and staff historians to create the absolute best itinerary possible for each of the 10 routes. Sometimes interstates can’t be skipped, but they are avoided as much as absolutely possible.
Q: Why do you have 10 different start points?
A: Well, go big or go home, right? Seriously, though, women’s suffrage in the USA is a history worthy of a National ride. Some riders will choose to ship or ride their motorcycles to the West Coast to have the full cross-country experience. Others may start closer to the end point or in one of the seven other starting points due to time constraints, budget and proximity.
Q: What if I want to camp and not stay in hotels?
A: Well, you’ll miss the camaraderie and bonding that happens in the evenings, and that would be a real shame. But we admire you for wanting to be involved in your own way, so we’re prepared a list of campgrounds in the areas we stay in every night. Go ahead and register and then you’ll get the camping information in that information package we keep mentioning.
Q: Why is my registration fee non-refundable?
A: While your registration fee is non-*refundable* we didn’t say it’s not transferable. Go ahead and find someone willing to take your place and we’ll substitute (even though we’ll then be sad you won’t be joining us.). If for some reason you cannot find a replacement rider, we’ll split your registration fee with our charities and will send you a letter acknowledging your donation if you ask us by email.