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  1. #1
    jon bon stovie
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    how many hamiltons?....

    all costs of equipment aside, i am curious how much it cost people to ride across the u.s.? just ball park prices are fine, also if you credit carded, camped, moteled, stealth camped, any repairs, food (restaurants or cooked yourself). i am trying to get an idea for a touring budget. thanks.

  2. #2
    fks
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    I did it in 2001 (W>E) and my budget was $30 per day. I did a fair bit of stealth camping ( much easier in the west than east of the Mississippi) and asking people if I could camp in their front/back yard.Camping costs were my major expense($25 for a campsite in Maine ARGH!!!). Always have a reserve for bike repairs, I had to get my wheels rebuilt in NH as the spokes in both front and back wheels were starting to pop by then .

  3. #3
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Might help to give the general route you have in mind and for that matter the time of year. The South can be pretty cheap as long as you can stay out of trouble.

    If cost is a big concern planning can make a huge difference. Often cheap campsites exist, but you have to know in advance where they are, you can't be searching for them on the bike.

    Once you have a basic route you might want to ask for both local info and perhaps even try to line up some places to spend a night. You might even land a night in a real bad with a shower for free or perhaps some company for a few days on the road. Having possible help/places to stay would be a huge plus if it turns out you need to have the bike in the shop for a while like a previous poster.

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I don't know about the US, but I spent 3 months cycling around Australia, two years ago, and spent approx. $30 per day.

    During that trip, I stayed in hostels about once or twice a week, I stayed with friends quite a few nights, I camped in real campgrounds most of the time, and I stealth camped several times.

    That $30 per day included my accommodations (if I had to pay for them), my food, my alternate transportaion (I rented a car for 3 days, took the bus 3 times, and took city trains a few times), some repairs (including a $75 hub replacement), and sight-seeing (like a cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef to name one of several similar sorts of things).

    However, I would guess, based on my very recent travels through the US, that $30 per day might not be adequate.

    Campgrounds in the eastern US in particular were surprisingly expensive ... a whopping $30/site for a plain, ordinary tent site in one rather run-down commercial facility, and the campground guides I have indicate that there were several others much more expensive. The State campgrounds were better value for the money, but were still around $20/site. They did seem to be less expensive in the middle of the prairies though.

    Australian campgrounds were fairly inexpensive in general, but if you rode anywhere near the main roads, they had rest areas. In the US, the rest areas are great for short stops (picnics, toilets, etc.) but you can't stay overnight in them. In Australia, the rest areas allowed you to camp for free for up to 48 hours. And in remote areas, stealth camping was easy.

    As for hostels, Australia had hostels in pretty much every town I went to ... and most were very nice - well-kept, clean, quiet, etc., and they ran for about $20/person. However, in the US, there aren't very many hostels, and the quality can vary widely.

    And hotels/motels can get expensive. I found I was paying approx. $60-70 per night in all the locations across the US where I opted to use a hotel. The grottiest and the cheapest of all of them was about $60 in a small dot-on-the-map town in Montana.


    As for food ... if you acquire all your food from restaurants, your cost will be much higher. However, if you buy your food from grocery stores, and opt for store brands, etc., and cook your own food, your food costs can be fairly low.

    In Australia, I ate at a restaurant probably about once a day for about 30 of the 90 days I was there. Fortunately, I discovered Australian hamburgers. For about $8.00 I could get enough french fries (wrapped in a newspaper) to feed an army, and the Australian hamburger, which was a complete meal in itself!! Each hamburger consisted of: bun, usually two large patties of meat, cheese, a fried egg, a thick slice of beet, a thick slice of pineapple, lettuce, a thick slice of tomato, pickles, and a bun to top it all off. I can to take it apart to eat it!! MMMMMMMmmmmm!!! One of those a day, and I was good to go for the whole day! But, unfortunately, we can't get those sorts of things here in North America, so we have to buy food from a grocery store to save money.

    So basically what it boils down to is this ... if I were planning a trip across North America, I'd aim to have somewhere around $50 per day available to me. If you don't need it, that's OK, but if you do need it, it's there.


    Incidentally ... I'm not sure what you are referring to when you say "hamiltons" ... I'm guessing money?? But when I first read your title, I thought you might be asking how many Hamiltons (towns, cities, villages, etc.) there are in the world. That might be an interesting tour ... cycle to all the Hamiltons in the world!! I can think of several, in several different countries.

  5. #5
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    <snip>
    Incidentally ... I'm not sure what you are referring to when you say "hamiltons" ... I'm guessing money?? But when I first read your title, I thought you might be asking how many Hamiltons (towns, cities, villages, etc.) there are in the world. That might be an interesting tour ... cycle to all the Hamiltons in the world!! I can think of several, in several different countries.
    Machka, Alexander Hamilton’s portrait is on the U.S. $10 bill. It is just slang for “money”.
    Last edited by thomson; 09-23-06 at 08:35 AM.

  6. #6
    wheezer geezer
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    How Many Hamiltons? According to Google 149,000,000.

  7. #7
    Hooked on Touring
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    All right all you Americanos out there - -
    Who is on the Canadian $10 bill?
    And the $20?

  8. #8
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    QEII and QEII?

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    The correct answer if you are a proud Canadian is "I don't know", and "I don't know". For those in danger that some Canadian like Alex Trebec might ask; the answer is MacDonald on the 10, QEII on the 20, Laurier on the 5 (as it should be).

  10. #10
    mountain troll deadly downtube's Avatar
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    i did coast to coast, (SF to NY), and spent less than $1,000.. of the 71 days on the road, the 3 of us got a total of about 5 hotel rooms when we were in dire need of rest.. and we all shared a single room, so 30-40 bucks divided 3 ways... a very good price! all the other days we "stealth camped" (never heard this term until coming to this forum).. or we made friends who then helped us with a nice place to camp (like their porch or front lawn or couch for instance).
    i felt like i spent my money lavishly, and it all went to my favorite, food!

  11. #11
    jon bon stovie
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    thanks, deadly downtube.

    this is the exact type of information i am looking for. i was estimating more than 1000, but i figured that it could be done very cheaply as well.

    anyone else?

  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadly downtube
    i did coast to coast, (SF to NY), and spent less than $1,000.. of the 71 days on the road, the 3 of us got a total of about 5 hotel rooms when we were in dire need of rest.. and we all shared a single room, so 30-40 bucks divided 3 ways... a very good price! all the other days we "stealth camped" (never heard this term until coming to this forum).. or we made friends who then helped us with a nice place to camp (like their porch or front lawn or couch for instance).
    i felt like i spent my money lavishly, and it all went to my favorite, food!


    $14 a day? What year was this?

  13. #13
    One less car Jay H's Avatar
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    I'm guessing money?? But when I first read your title, I thought you might be asking how many Hamiltons
    Hmm, I was thinking blood transfusions! (tyler hamilton...blood transfusions...)

    Jay

  14. #14
    mountain troll deadly downtube's Avatar
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    haha Jay...

    Machka, did that tour in 2004, june to august. I would call it hobo style touring... our avg miles a day were 88... the lowest mi days were like 60mi, the highest was 175mi across illinois with a gale at our tails, we were coasting at 20mph for a couple hours.. 100mi a day was our typical good day..
    touring gave me a brief eating disorder... food was turned into my primary object of desire and felt like i'd imagine getting a good heroin fix would feel like... it was not uncommon to devour a loaf of bread and peanut butter on the curb of the super market, and feel like dozing off into a coma for 8 hours, lol...

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