Virgin rideshare paranoia

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Virgin rideshare paranoia

Postby maladroit » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:18 pm

I'm doing this for the first time, after years of yearning and schemes. Will be packing what I believe is a pretty complete kit into my Cherokee and driving from SF Peninsula starting early Tuesday.

The coveted Shotgun seat is available...maybe enough extra space for a pack or two...but I have a concern. While the company on a long drive could be extremely welcome, my sole purpose in life is to get through that gate. A semi-unknown person in my vehicle could derail that.

My main horror scenarios: traffic stop, somehow it is discovered that my rider is carrying a kilo of whatever non-CA police will be uptight about. Jail, but more importantly no playa. Or, we arrive at the gate, some other contraband or ticket sketchiness is discovered, we are sent away.

I'm not concerned about my own safety, as a 6'3" guy who has seen the occasional Jason Statham movie. Just wondering how to manage this rideshare situation in the most mutually beneficial and non-disastrous way.
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Re: Virgin rideshare paranoia

Postby C187 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:42 pm

Tickets...
Have the person hitching a ride with you show you their ticket. If the don't have a ticket, have them show you their will call pick-up email. If they don't have that, then don't give them a ride. Every now and then it's not a bad idea to play the ticket showing game with your rideshare right before leaving a gas station.

Other Holdings...
It's your car, so ask the person if they are bringing anything like that with them. If you don't want it in your car, then don't let it in. You would think that most people would be honest about it, after all we're all going to burning man. But if you get a sketchy answer, and they know your not a snitch, then you'll likely not want them in your car to start with.

Since you have the ticket part covered by knowing up front the person has a ticket. We're left with the things you shouldn't bring in. Like before, just ask. Plus it's not like you wont be helping load the other persons stuff in your car.

So relax while waiting in line to get in, and try to spot all the cars that had a long drive while playing the license plate game (triple score for Hawaii!). Since you've covered everything before you left. :D
I have a little bit of Savannah with me. Shhh...
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Re: Virgin rideshare paranoia

Postby plantmandan » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:40 am

Do what you can to meet your potential travel mates TODAY, not the day before you embark. Trust your instincts. If you don't find a good match for you, go alone. As far as being stopped goes, just use common sense and you'll be fine. Be sure your car lights all work, have valid registration and insurance, drive sober, and drive the speed limit and not a mile per hour faster (especially in Nevada).

In addition, I would strongly recommend camping in the same place as the person you travel with. That will make your life much easier on the day you pack up and leave.
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Re: Virgin rideshare paranoia

Postby offarock » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:04 am

Last year I gifted a ride to the playa to a European Virgin (Eurovirgin) whom I got in contact with through a Euro-centric Burning Man message board. As he had just arrived via air from Europe in to SFO when we met up, I was pretty sure he was not carrying anything that would get our ride in to trouble with LE. TSA and Customs did the checking for me I figured.

This might be an option for you. I see a post on Eplaya right now for a person arriving from outside the US who needs a ride. Even without a face to face meeting beforehand (naturally the best option) I was able to get a pretty good spidey-sense from our phone and Email conversations prior to the face to face meeting for the long ride.

Nothing is 100%, but in my case my instincts were proved right.

Just a thought.
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Re: Virgin rideshare paranoia

Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:23 am

plantmandan wrote:Do what you can to meet your potential travel mates TODAY, not the day before you embark.


THIS.
Please to visit PAGE TWO.
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Re: Virgin rideshare paranoia

Postby maladroit » Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:13 pm

All really good advice and reassurance, thanks!

I would also not want to ruin someone else's plans by promising a ride and then getting a mistaken sketchy read...will definitely either grab coffee a couple weeks beforehand or find someone flying in (the first valid use for TSA and Border Patrol I've ever seen!). Minimize risk since I don't know if this might be my last chance!

In the future I'm sure I'll have a better grasp of the core culture or know people in the area already.
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Re: Virgin rideshare paranoia

Postby Savannah » Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:51 pm

I don't blame you for being careful. My rideshare and I show our tickets to each other every year (or will call confirmation number AND I.D.), and have had the contraband discussion, which almost went without saying, really, but . . . I'll bet he's glad to hear it.

Strangers should be just as careful, if not more so.

One more tip if you have any doubt about the person with you, or even if you don't: Don't speed. The speed limits as you approach the area can be very strict in some areas. If you're going to get in trouble with the law on the way there, that's the most likely way to get pulled over, and things could get worse from there. Read the part in the Survival Guide about law enforcement and know your rights, la la la. :)

Folks also sometimes crack a beer during the line to get in. Don't do that either.
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Re: Virgin rideshare paranoia

Postby gyre » Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:06 pm

When you post for rideshare, be specific about drugs.
I do, because I am aware of how long it can take to retrieve a car from the government.

Save a copy of this thread.

You could even ask someone to sign an agreement to this effect.
I never have, but it can't hurt.

And yes, don't get stopped, don't consent to a search, etc.
Don't mark your car for burning man.
Don't make yourself a target.

If you don't know, learn how to deal with law enforcement.
I've locked my car during stops and still had a pleasant encounter.
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Re: Virgin rideshare paranoia

Postby Rice » Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:16 pm

I did the rideshare thing my first three burns. I live in Canada, so, we had to stop at the US Border, do customs, etc. Paranoid does not even begin to cover it. Any law troubles might prevent me from ever going into the USA again...

I met some really good people, never had problems getting into the US. (Even got stopped for speeding, again, no issues.)

Do not mess around, be blunt. Ask direct questions. ("Do you ___?" , "Are you carrying any ___?", etc.) Honest. If necessary, state consequences. I had one rider say "Well, that is my last ___ till I get back here", which really increased my confidence in their honesty...

It certainly helps to actually know everyone you are travelling with. I made it a point of getting to know every rider, trusting my instinct. Of course, we only had a 24 hour drive 1 way. So the homicidal thoughts were infrequent :)

If it does not feel right, it probably isn't. . . .
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Re: Virgin rideshare paranoia

Postby Rice » Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:16 pm

I did the rideshare thing my first three burns. I live in Canada, so, we had to stop at the US Border, do customs, etc. Paranoid does not even begin to cover it. Any law troubles might prevent me from ever going into the USA again...

I met some really good people, never had problems getting into the US. (Even got stopped for speeding, again, no issues.)

Do not mess around, be blunt. Ask direct questions. ("Do you ___?" , "Are you carrying any ___?", etc.) Honest. If necessary, state consequences. I had one rider say "Well, that is my last ___ till I get back here", which really increased my confidence in their honesty...

It certainly helps to actually know everyone you are travelling with. I made it a point of getting to know every rider, trusting my instinct. Of course, we only had a 24 hour drive 1 way. So the homicidal thoughts were infrequent :)

If it does not feel right, it probably isn't. . . .
Love Rice

Roach: "I feel like in this day and age, every girl should know how to build a flamethrower."
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Re: Virgin rideshare paranoia

Postby some seeing eye » Sat Jul 28, 2012 3:17 pm

You are in one of the most fortunate virgin burner situations imaginable for ridesharing.

Second picking up an international participant at SFO. We are an international network for better and you will likely meet people you might visit in the future in the world outside Cali. Check the rideshare or eplaya threads.

If not that, and in any event, connect to Burning Silicon, the burningman regional in your area. Does your peninsula rider have as much at risk? Then a match. And your camp may need participant transport. I found one of my greatest camp experiences by offering transport to some who were already connected to a camp and joined them for a few years.

Much easier to transport people in your camp or village - finding+dropping and coordinating loading out is much more difficult if you are not within a block.
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