how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gate?

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how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gate?

Postby bennetthaselton » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:09 am

What is the most straightforward way to fly in to Reno, pick up a bicycle somewhere, and get to the gate?

Usually with something like this, there are several different options that all sound plausible to a newbie (reserve a rental bike in town? just buy one once I get there? look for a rideshare in the back of someone's truck that has room for a bike? buy one from a vendor near the gate who sets up just to sell bikes to burners?), and ONE of those options is overwhelmingly better than all the others, for reasons that are not obvious to the newbie, and that's the one option that all knowledgeable people take. So I just want to know what that one is :)

I know about the Burner Express shuttle service from Reno to the gate:
https://blog.burningman.com/2013/07/new ... rock-city/
but they don't say anything about making a stop to let people pick up bikes. (This seemed odd because I assume most people arriving from the airport will not be arriving *with* bikes, and they'll need to get one somewhere along the way.)
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby Sham » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:45 am

If you don't know anyone going to BM, you might rent a car and bring all your own supplies as well as a bike. You won't have to worry about any of the above issues and you can come and go as you please.
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby bennetthaselton » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:55 pm

I do know some people going, I'm in a camp. However they're all driving in and setting up early before the gate opens to the general public.

I could still rent a car in Reno and use it to bring a bike in, however since after I get through the gate I have no way to return the car until the event is over, so it would seem awfully wasteful to rent the car for the whole week just for that short trip. Unless I rent the car, use it to get the bike to Burning Man, then drive the car all the way back to the rental agency and take the Burner Express or some other transportation back to BRC. But I'd rather make one trip instead of three :)

What would an experienced burner to after flying in to Reno, to pick up a bike and get it to BRC?
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby JayBobBoy » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:24 pm

If renting a car is an option...rent the car.

Even for the short trip. You'll thank me later!
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby Boijoy » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:37 pm

agreed. rent the car. it is your "escape pod"
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby bennetthaselton » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:43 pm

"Escape pod" to leave BRC during the week? Do lots of people end up wanting that badly to leave BRC and come back, halfway through BM? Of all the people I'd talked to about the BM experience, that's not something anyone had mentioned as being very common...
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:57 pm

It's an intense experience. You're likely to have a strong reaction. It may not be a strong positive reaction. If my legs hadn't been chopped off, making me a little overwhelmed with the idea of international travel, I wouldn't have returned after I put some of my husband's (he was the family's real burner) in the man...
My colleague's wife left early last year. Not yet clear if that was the pregnancy, or if she's just done with the whole event.
And how many people spend their time grabbing people randomly and telling them to not go to burningman? Most people who talk about it are going to tell you to go... Confirmation bias of a sort.
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby danibel » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:01 pm

We had some campers last year that left Saturday morning, no, they did not come back. My first year I camped with some old timers and most of the camp was gone by Saturday as well. It's not about leaving and coming back, it's about leaving plain and simple.

Who knows why people leave? Dust, heat, noise, no sleep, or whatever, they want to go, so they go.

As for the OP - if you can rent a car. read the threads about car rentals and cleaning. You will have to leave it parked for the event, which is fine, a lot of people do that. In fact, after unloading and parking, just don't even open the door or trunk. It will make the cleaning after a lot easier.
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby C.f.M. » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:05 pm

I'm reading that you're only problem is a bike.

To get a ride, post all over. Eplaya, the official Rideshare list, etc. Or take Burner Express.

To get a bike, find someone that'll transport one for you. Lots of people transport for pay. Hope that camp that "rents" bikes is back. Utilize green bikes.

There's no way I'd go through the hassle and expense of renting a car, just to get a bike there.
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby danibel » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:15 pm

Well, he/she asked for the most straightforward way to get a bike there. A rental car seems like the answer.
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby delle » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:19 pm

But wait. Couldn't you look for a bike that's close(ish) to the airport -- rent the car for just the day (or find someone at the airport who can bring you for a "price", or fandangle a taxi that can accommodate a bike) then just take a later bus? There's more than one bus!

Seems to me the trouble and time involved with the to-and-fro is enormous (don't forget having to clean up the vehicle properly before dropping it back) compared to just taking the bus in.

And I don't really believe that having an out is a good thing... because the bad moment is likely to evolve into extraordinary wonderful ones if you let it. You don't want to miss that!!!
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby danibel » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:31 pm

delle wrote:But wait. Couldn't you look for a bike that's close(ish) to the airport -- rent the car for just the day (or find someone at the airport who can bring you for a "price", or fandangle a taxi that can accommodate a bike) then just take a later bus? There's more than one bus!

Seems to me the trouble and time involved with the to-and-fro is enormous (don't forget having to clean up the vehicle properly before dropping it back) compared to just taking the bus in.

And I don't really believe that having an out is a good thing... because the bad moment is likely to evolve into extraordinary wonderful ones if you let it. You don't want to miss that!!!


There is not just the matter of getting the bike there. If you fandangle a taxi or find another ride, please ensure you have a way to get the bike off the playa as well. Perhaps you will find someone that wants it and has the way to get it home. But do make sure it doesn't end up as moop.
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby Elderberry » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:36 pm

bennetthaselton wrote:"Escape pod" to leave BRC during the week? Do lots of people end up wanting that badly to leave BRC and come back, halfway through BM? Of all the people I'd talked to about the BM experience, that's not something anyone had mentioned as being very common...

My first year I flew into Reno on Wednedsay. I was actually surprised at how many people were trying to change tickets and get out of there. They just couldn't take it. Too hot, too windy, too dusty, just plain too too and they hated it and couldn't wait to get out.
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby pink » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:42 pm

Last year people were fleeing by Tuesday. I have friends in Greeters and they reported on loaded vehicles on the way out.

The easiest way to get a bike up ther? You're with a camp. Ask someone to bring up an extra one. I do for my friends that fly in.
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby Boijoy » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:12 pm

I camped with a guy that came in from overseas rented a car, arrived on the playa with the flu. He suffered for a day, tried to beat it & ended up leaving. I felt bad for him.. but at least he had an "ESCAPE POD" !!! :D ( I've know people to ride out dust storms in their cars as well )
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:21 pm

I don't advise the latter without plenty of water. That's how I ended up in the med tent, then Reno in 2005.
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby mudpuppy000 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:29 pm

Bikes are nice to have but I wouldn't spend a bunch of money to rent a car just to transport a bike out there. It is a good point about having an escape pod, but aren't the burner expresses running back and forth all week?
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby bennetthaselton » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:32 pm

@mudpuppy000 actually the Burner Express buses don't start running *out* of Reno until August 30, according to http://www.burnerexpress.com/
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby gaminwench » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:40 pm

playa bike repair camp will rent you a bike pre-playa, for pick up on the playa.
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby Elorrum » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:41 pm

Geting to Reno is the easiest part. the other parts are tricky.
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby bennetthaselton » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:44 pm

Sorry, I meant to say that the Burner Expresses don't start running out of **Black Rock City** until August 30th. So as far as using that as an "Escape Pod" option, that would only apply if you can hold out until at least August 30th.
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby JayBobBoy » Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:55 pm

Hi Bennett,

Forget about the escape pod comment for a minute. It is a valid point, but only a small one. Consider this...Once you pick up your car, you are on your own schedule. You can be creative and get a bike to bring, sort your gear and go shopping all on your own schedule. You can invite a friend...or not. The point is, once you get your car, you become radically self reliant and you won't need anyone's help to join the party. You can also camp wherever the hell you want because you won't have to lug your shit all around the playa. And then you get to decide when to leave, whenever that might be!

If you take the bus, you are at the mercy of others, and on their schedule. Then you're dropped on the playa to fend for yourself.

If you have the means to make it happen, there should be no rational reason you would even consider the bus.

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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby dragonpilot » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:00 pm

Renting a car just to transport a bike to the playa and then turn around and exit the event to return the rental car then take one of the Burner bus services back to the playa which will take about 24 hours round trip because you'll miss the last bus heading back out to the playa and have to stay in a hotel in Reno overnight and then make it to the playa the next day and then figure out a way to get the bike off the playa at the end of the event and also get all your stuff off the playa if you don't have a ride from someone else...

Dude, is your life outside of Burning Man like this?
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby Thecatman » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:05 pm

I didn't read all the comments to the OP. But a lot of car rental agencies frown on their precious vehicles going to Burning Man and returning with a load of playa dust. The ones that do allow their vehicles on the playa charge super-list-plus-ten, only during this event :? . Same with motorhome/rv rentals.

If it wasn't for the fact that I'm gonna be out of town that week, I'd volunteer to pick you up at the airport and drive you there myself, or let you ride with me since I'd probably been going if it weren't for previous plans.
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby bennetthaselton » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:16 am

@JayBobBoy - well http://www.burningman.com/on_the_playa/playa_vehicles/ says that I would not be allowed to get around *at* Burning Man using a rental car. So basically for a week's rental, I would be paying about $300 for the privilege of being able to arrive and leave BRC on my own schedule -- and, still using the standard clogged entry and exit lanes, if I arrive and leave at busy times.

Compare to the Burner Express buses, which would be $120 round-trip, and which get to use the priority entry and exit lanes.

I mean, you're the one who's been there before, but -- what am I missing? Is it really worth $300 just to have the option of driving myself out early (as opposed to hitching a ride with someone else who's leaving early, which according to what people have been posting, there always will be)? (You'd mentioned the convenience of being able to pick up food, etc. -- so that would be true for a single camper, but I've already paid dues to a camp that's taken care of all of that. And in any case the Burner Express option includes a one-hour stop at Save Mart for loading up on food.)
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby gaminwench » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:29 am

Bennet(t),

If you pay for the larger luggage allowance on the Burner Express, you can take a bike;
arrange to purchase/acquire one at the shopping stop.
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby graidawg » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:38 am

OK a few points, first you don't "need" a bike. they are great if you want to get to a particular thing, much less chance of wandering off somewhere else because it's shiny. most playa journeys on foot take much longer because they are basically via Every, Single, Shiny/Burny object on route often you won't even get wherever you wanted to go in the first place.
next, the playa Yellow bikes (which are actually green) are free and available whenever you see one not being ridden. though to be honest they seem to get horded and hidden quite quickly (I only saw a dozen or so last year, but i wasn't looking for them) or your camp mates will have bikes and may well lend you them if you ask nicely and promise to lock the damn thing up

finally getting rid of it after you leave, you have to get it off playa (which will be as difficult as getting it there) and of course find somewhere to dispose of it, now I am sure there are facilities for that (I've never bothered looking, i like to walk) but again it needs to be done.

now on to the "escape pod" this is my first year not driving myself and tent buddies to the playa, there is no way in hell i would have gone my first year not having the option of saying "had enough now" and leaving without having to get someone to take me.
We all talk about how amazing BRC is, but it is a lot to take in your first year so a few hundred bucks for you with just your bag will be a sound investment IMHO for piece of mind - you could even offer someone a ride to BRC to help defray some of that cost or take some treats for your camp mates as they are taking all your food and water and take some trash out with you when you do leave
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby bennetthaselton » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:42 am

@gaminwench yes I did see that option but in order to take a bike, you have to get a bike :)

I had looked at the option to pay $5 extra for a Burner Express that will make a one-hour stop at the Save Mart, because
http://www.burningman.com/preparation/t ... Bikes.html
says that you can pick up a bike from Black Rock Bicycles at the Save Mart locations. However
http://www.blackrockbicycles.com/F_A_Q_s_s/1864.htm
appears to say that of the bikes which are still available for sale, you can only pick them up at the Black Rock Bicycles store location, which the Burner Express does not stop at.

And in any case at that point the price is almost the same as renting a bike from playa bike repair camp like you suggested.
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby JayBobBoy » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:30 am

once you get your car, you become radically self reliant and you won't need anyone's help to join the party. You can also camp wherever the hell you want because you won't have to lug your shit all around the playa. And then you get to decide when to leave, whenever that might be!


This is what's most important to me. If I could afford it, I would pay the $300 to have the freedom to do the event any way I wanted. You will make the decision that is right for you, and it will be ok.
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Re: how to fly into Reno, pick up a bike, and get to the gat

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:33 am

The difference between $120 for the bus and $300 for the car is only $180.

Cheap for peace of mind and freedom.

If $180 is going to bust your budget you may be going on the wrong vacation.
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