So this is the post that is not easy.
Bleh! Bikepacking/racing/riding is not cheap. No, I am not dropping a car payment's equivalent just to participate, but as any logical person can see, the travel costs and shuttle logistics can be extensive. And self-supported while racing means that those loaded aid station oases are merely mirages (pretty sure my hallucinations just before Picket Post in 2012 included a few). Luckily, a great vibe exists within the bikepacking community as far as carpooling, shuttle help and stacking as many people and bikes into a vehicle as possible. Take a peek at the forums and there are tons of people looking for options, each with different travel plans, work restrictions, money considerations (!!) and camping/lodging needs.
I need some support to get me and my bike to the Mexican border for the start of the AZT 750. When I travel anywhere for any reason, trip costs are always a determining factor of plans. This is no exception. I have come up with some options calculated out to the dollar that are in front of me. I have been so hesitant to post about money and the costs but yesterday, deep in bikepacking dreamland, the question came to me: "Why, Jill, why is is so hard to talk about money/to request support that you truly, desperately need?" "Are you scared?"
Gulp. Deep inhale. Deep exhale:
Ok, maybe a little...or a lot....
Screw fear. There is no person out there who wants to do something big that has not been in my shoes at one time or another. Some may remember lying awake at night wondering how to cut costs, bring in more money or travel cheaper to afford their dream. And then, some may not, or don't care. But, some may completely understand my world at the moment. I also venture to guess that many reading this may have no idea what is life is like in this little cult of weirdos that strap bags to their nice bikes and push them up hiking trails. I pretty much decided to write throughout this whole year not only for myself to document this journey, but to open up and talk about some of the parts that don't make everyone's "WOW, LOOK AT ME RIDE THESE SUPER AMAZING TRAILS" blog.
My options look like this: (start is 04.11.14)
1) 04.08.14: Fly Denver to Tucson. Arrive 10:30 pm. Sleep in the airport. Either find a shuttle to Parker Canyon Lake or the border, or ride 92 miles. Camp Thursday night, wake up, ride. My shuttle budget is $25.
Total Cost: Airfare $95+$75 for bike=$170
Shuttle max ($25)
$195 with shuttle
$170 if I ride
2) 04.10.11 Fly Denver to Phoenix. Arrive early AM. Find shuttle to Parker Canyon Lake or border. Camp, wake, ride. Riding from PHX is not feasible.
Total Cost: Airfare $66+$75 for bike=$141
Shuttle cost (?)
3) Drive. Least appealing option due to time off work, finding someone to drop me off and return my car to Denver. Even at 37-40 mpg, its still $200 in fuel costs round trip. Last resort and by far, the most undesirable choice.
Which one is going to work?
Luckily between yesterday and now as I am getting ready to post this, I found a very kind soul who is going to take time off work to shuttle a few of us down on Thursday. I just booked my flight and arrive late Wednesday. I will be the sleeping yard sale of gear and bike parts tucked somewhere in a corner of TUS.
Now then, guys, its going to take a village to get this little idiot from Mexico to Utah:
Do you have relatives, friends, connections traveling to AZ that may be willing to take a bike? It would save massive amounts of hassle (and money!!) as far as bike box shipping, etc.
And then there is the pickup at Stateline Campground. Can you help? Any options you may see? Anyone want to drive my car from Denver?
Anyone I met in AZ on my previous races that has kept in contact or followed this blog....Any connections? Any ideas?
Thank you all in advance for supporting my Dirtbagonomics model.....contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details, suggestions, comments or anything else.