DETAILS FOR GARBAGE RUN USA 2020
** TRIP NOW FULL FOR 2020 **
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The date proposed for flying out to the US is Saturday 22nd August 2020, collecting the bikes from the airport on Monday 24th. The trip would be approximately 4 weeks in total with an anticipated trip end date of Friday 18th September. Participants would be free to fly into New York at a date of their choosing but it would be suggested to arrive no later than Saturday 22nd, if only to acclimatise to the time zone change. The weekend in New York we spend sight seeing. Final destination would be San Francisco, with bike drop off on the Friday and participants free to fly out at their convenience beyond that.
Price includes bike transport to and from the US. The plan is to airfreight the bikes into New York, notionally Newark airport, and at the end of the trip sea freight back from San Francisco, bikes arriving approximately 9 weeks later. Bikes are sea freighted back rather than air freighted due to the significant cost increase of air-freighting out of America.
Ahead of the air freight to the US, bikes will need to be at the Heathrow based depot of MotoFreight approximately 10 days before. You will be responsible for getting your own bike to the depot. Bikes will be packaged and travel complete with luggage and minimum fuel onboard. Aerosol cannisters and other pressurised containers are not permitted to travel with the bike. Helmets and all riding gear can go in with the bikes.
You can choose to insure you bike whilst in transit directly through MotoFreight, working out a fee of 1.6% of the value plus freight one way and 2.6% both ways. Airfreight has an excess of £250 per bike and seafreight £500 per bike.
Ahead of the trip all riders who be required to apply for their own EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) exemption letter. This is free to acquire and constitutes the only destination specific documentation you need for taking a bike into the US.
Bikes will take approximately 8 weeks to return to the UK after the trip, with pick up from near the depot near Heathrow.
All riders will need an ESTA travel visa in order to enter the USA. These are available online from https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas.html for a nominal fee and generally easy to acquire. The only limitation is if you've had prior convictions - no matter how trivial or how far back - or even been arrested but never charged. If this is the case then you will have to apply for a formal travel visa in person at the embassy in London. If this applies then it may be worth investigating further prior to booking on the trip.
The participation fee for the 2020 run - inclusive of bike shipping - is £2900. This is an increase from the 2018 rate due to the air freighting rather than sea freighting the bike out to the US.
This covers participation in the trip and guidance both before and during the trip, plus the cost of shipping as well as the customs charge levied against each bike in the US.
A total budget of £6000 is suggested, inclusive of the participation cost, with your total budget dependant on how you choose to travel and your preference for accommodation - camping/motel/hotel etc.
OTHER COSTS THAT FORM PART OF THE SUGGESTED BUDGET
Air fare - Using Skyscanner to get a multi-city flight, first into New York and then out of San Francisco, it would be prudent to budget £600 for your airfare
Travel insurance - No rider will be permitted on the trip without sufficient holiday insurance. I've historically used Navigator Travel who fully understand the requirements for motorcycle travel. Budget approximately £80
Bike insurance - The situation is constantly evolving with the insurance cover for bikes. GDPR caused a big ripple back in 2018 for anyone wanting to ride their bike in the USA, the solution we found back then by means of a Mexican broker, which is still proving popular with US bound travellers but does only cover you third party. A more comprehensive solution is also now in place with a suggested price of $400 per bike, with an update on the policy due to come through in October. This would be for each individual to choose the cover right for them and to arrange separately based upon on up to date information nearer the time.
Accommodation costs - the nature of Garbage Run allows all riders to cut their cloth to suit their budget. Camping for the most part is always an option, as are motels or hotels. The cost difference is usually a multiple of 3 and obviously makes a big impact on the required budget for the trip.
A sensible daily budget for the trip would be around £70. Historically I've found this sufficient to cover food, fuel and lodging. What you spend on top of that is down to you.
There would be no additional fee for a pillion rider as there would be no extra expenditure incurred by me.
Within reason any bike is suitable, although I would advise bikes above 500cc are most suitable for some of the road speeds we'll be encountering. Bikes should be reliable, well maintained and sensibly set up to carry luggage. Some of the route will take in dirt tracks in which case an adventure style bike would be best suited. You wouldn't need knobbly tyres as the terrain wouldn't be overly taxing, mainly compact dirt. If you don't have an adventure style bike or want to ride on dirt roads then this would be an opportunity for you to navigate yourself by way of road and meet us on the other side. There is never any obligation to ride roads/dirt roads you don't feel comfortable on.
HOW THE TRIP WILL RUN
Garbage Run is neither guided trip nor self guided trip. It lands in the middle with the idea being that there's enough flexibility to make the trip your own. I can't keep everyone happy, neither with the speed we travel, the places we go or the route I take. This is where I expect participants to make their own decisions, to detour if they want to, to ride their own pace, to form smaller groups. I will always be there riding the trip myself and always happy to have a group with me, but, if you want to do your own thing for a few days or an afternoon and meet up later, then that's what you're perfectly entitled and encouraged to do. To that end I ask that anyone coming on the trip brings their own navigation device and is not completely reliant upon on my guiding them. This is better for you. It makes you independent and hopefully gives you the confidence to have the trip that you want to have. No one gets left behind. There will always be 'back-up' - even though there is no back up vehicle - and through the powers of WhatsApp everyone has the ability to keep in contact and plan as we go.
Accommodation isn't pre-booked, bar two nights; one set a week into the trip, and another set a further week along the line. This gives us a rough structure. The days in-between we negotiate and plan as we go. This means we have a fluid adventure rather than a prescribed holiday. In America, with the magnitude of accommodation options readily available, this never proved a problem on the 2018 run. All I ask of those participating in the run is that they bring a good degree of flexibility and good willing to the trip. To see it as adventure and to go with the flow.
The route will largely be a re-run of the 2018 trip, mainly because it's the most - for me at least - interesting passage across the US. We start in New York, we head west briefly before dropping down to the top of the Appalachian Mountains and the start of Skyline Drive, following by the Blue Ridge Parkway. This runs us all the way south into Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama. On the way we'll ride the famous Tail of the Dragon, amongst other great riding roads. We cross Texas as swiftly as possible as there's not a great deal to see, before working our way up through New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and finally into California, where we'll ride the iconic Route 1 up the coast to journey's end in San Francisco. Daily distances will range from 100 to 200 miles.
Some of the highlights:
Blue Ridge Parkway
Longest remaining stretch of Route 66
Million Dollar Highway
A summary of what to expect.
WHAT I EXPECT OF PARTICIPANTS
In the first instance I expect you to be honest with yourself and be realistic about what you want from a trip. If you want a pampered fully guided motorcycle trip across the USA then this isn't for you. I expect riders to work for their adventure, to make their own decisions and use their common sense. Don't be asking me where we're going to have breakfast on the 5th day or where the toilets are at the petrol station we've just pulled in at, because I simply won't know. Riders will need to accept a certain amount of uncertainty. That's the nature of the trip but a feature that means it will be a unique experience to this group and to each rider on it.
I also expect common decency and sensible behaviour. If you like to ride like a maniac then this trip isn't for you. I expect everyone to ride within their limits and exercise due diligence both for themselves and for the group. Good manners is also appreciated, both to fellow riders and to people we meet along the way. This is a great chance to meet and interact with citizens from everyday America. They are on the whole warm and friendly people and respond well to people who act the same.
BEFORE THE RUN
In February 2020 I shall set a date for a get together where we can all meet up at a central location and go through some of the shipping details and paperwork. It also gives everyone chance to get to know each other. Maximum number of riders on this one is 14.
WHAT TO DO NEXT?
If you're still interested then please contact me direct on and brief me with your riding experience and what you hope to get out of the trip. Riders don't have to be overly experienced or speedy, but I just want to make sure it's the right trip for you.
I am taking a £500 deposit to secure your place and as of 15th August just one place remains.