Monday, July 12, 2010

How to Be a Mountain Bike Bum for a Week (Or Longer)

Bike bumming my way through Jackson Hole, Aug. 2008.
There are some mountain bikers out there that can afford to spend an inordinate amount of money on a riding vacation.  For them, a plane ticket to British Columbia, a 5 star hotel in Whistler, and 10 days straight riding the lifts at the Whistler Bike Park is an annual affair.  I am not one of those people.  Rather, whenever I want to get away for a trip focused exclusively on riding, I've had to "bum it." Over the course of this series, I will give you some solid advice from my own experience about how to take a grand mountain bike vacation while spending as little money as possible!

Not this kind of bum. (From here.)
Now, being a "bum" for a while isn't reserved only for the chronically homeless. These bike bum tips can be useful for a person who:
  • is unemployed and wants to ride for a while
  • is in college, and getting away during one of their school holidays
  • wants to escape from the pressures of everyday life (people, technology, etc.)
  • is on a budget
  • or anyone who just doesn't have a whole lot of money.
So follow along as I explore this topic over the next 3 days, and give you tons of tips and stories about mountain biking on the cheap!

The Series:
Your Turn: Raise your voice and give some advice below!  What tips would you give someone looking to travel with their mountain bike while not spending very much money?


Daniel July 13, 2010 at 9:48 AM  

Good timing. My current job is going to last maybe another 6 weeks and Im unsure of what the next one will be. But I am pretty positive there will be about a month of ‘Me time’ in between them- am thinking of dividing it between Tahoe, Moab/Fruita, St. George and Flagstaff. Ive had a lot of experience the last few years of road tripping around and riding on a budget- its not easy. The key, I believe is keeping it simple, and just how many luxuries you need to have while out there on the road. Look forward to reading the rest of your series here and will compile a list of my own trick to share-

Ellen July 13, 2010 at 3:37 PM  

A few of us just returned from a 4 day/3 night trip to Crested Butte for some incredible riding (Hartman Rocks, 401, Reno/Flagg/Bear/Deadman Gulch, Monarch Crest Trail). We had a great condo for $40/pp/per night ... could've easily slept six to make it $20/pp/per night. Nice to have a kitchen to keep food costs down, and a hot tub to keep the legs loose :) So, if you have friends who you like to travel/ride with, you can live large for little $$!

Ellen July 13, 2010 at 3:42 PM  

I should also say that I've done riding in CB just camping, using dispersed camping sites. Jumped in the cold East River after every ride and cooked dinner under the stars each night. A lot of fun, cheap, but am enjoying riding with friends and splitting condo costs a bit more as I get older :)

eastwood,  July 13, 2010 at 11:07 PM  

Work conference, basically get paid to ride! My job sent me up to Vermont for a 3 day conference so I brought my bike. Now, I'm not skipping out on the conference to ride, but I came up early the first day to get a quick ride in and hit the trails again today after the conference. If the weather holds out I'll be on the trails after tommorrow's workshop as well. So I'm up here, put up in a hotel for free and I get to ride some new territory, good deal!

Greg Heil July 14, 2010 at 4:41 PM  

@Daniel, I'd love to hear more from you on tips and tricks. You've probably got more experience at this than just about anyone!

@Ed and Ellen, I was wondering how the trip went... sounds like it was a success! I tackled lodging in the next post... if you've got the money and people to split a condo, that'd definitely be the way to go. But if you're operating on a minimalistic budget, bumming it is the premium option!

@eastwood, Even better than spending little money to ride: make money and ride! Awesome dude!

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Greg Heil is the Editor in Chief for He's been writing and publishing online since before blogging existed.

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