Biking to Burning Man 2007

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Biking to Burning Man 2007

Postby nollij » Sat Feb 03, 2007 3:32 pm

Greetings out there! I'm starting to plan now to ride to Burning Man 2007 from Novato CA (just north of San Francisco about 20 miles). In doing this, I realized the need for good maps, and even better routing from people who've done similar journeys. I've posted at Bikely.com and I will probably post to bikeforums.org as well, but I thought this might be one of the best places, as everyone here is a burner, and most of you ride bikes!

So, if you have a route that I might be able to use some or all of, please let me know. I'll be glad to post it on Bikely.com as well if you like. Crazyguyonabike.com would be another great place.

BTW, at the gate this year as I was coming in I met a guy who just pulled up on his bike... I believe he came in from Oregon. I talked to him briefly and was super stoked to meet someone who did the ride. I only wish that I'd gotten his info so I could talk to him more about it. I believe he was riding a brown Surly (possible the long haul trucker). He was part of the inspiration to do this!
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Postby phil » Sat Feb 03, 2007 5:40 pm

See if this thread helps:

viewtopic.php?t=12886
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Helps... a bit

Postby nollij » Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:28 pm

It helps... but I've contacted wildilocks via P.M for an update on how she fared, what she took, and which route she took... if she permits it, I'll post her route details here and on my blog and then when I complete the journey , my travelogue will be posted at crazyguyonabike.com and the route will get poseted at bikely.com. If anyone else has done this journey, or know someone who has, please chime in!

Also, if anyone knows the guy I mentioned in the first post, please direct him towards this as I'd love to talk to him more about his journey.

phil wrote:See if this thread helps:

viewtopic.php?t=12886
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Re: Helps... a bit

Postby nollij » Sat Apr 07, 2007 1:25 am

Well, I never did hear back from wildilocks, but several people on bikely.com stepped up to the plate and drew me some maps. I also found the adventure bicycle association has a national route called the Western Express. I'll be using it from Vallejo to Carson City, at which point I'll be using THIS route, though THIS route is an option. Total distance from Vallejo to Carson City is about 245 miles. From Carson to Gerlach appears to be about 138 miles. Total should be around 400 miles. I'm shooting for doing it in 6 days, which averages out to about 67 miles a day, or about 8 hours 20 min RIDING time at 8mph average per day. Anyone else interested in doing it with me? My wife has offered to do the Vallejo to Davis section with me, but I'm doing the rest solo. Anyone who has previous experience on this route on a bicycle is encouraged to speak up, as I have currently only ridden a few miles of this route!

nollij wrote:It helps... but I've contacted wildilocks via P.M for an update on how she fared, what she took, and which route she took... if she permits it, I'll post her route details here and on my blog and then when I complete the journey , my travelogue will be posted at crazyguyonabike.com and the route will get poseted at bikely.com. If anyone else has done this journey, or know someone who has, please chime in!

Also, if anyone knows the guy I mentioned in the first post, please direct him towards this as I'd love to talk to him more about his journey.

phil wrote:See if this thread helps:

viewtopic.php?t=12886
[url][/url]
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Postby SunshineSuzy » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:01 pm

Just want to drop a note and say Good Luck. I still have to buy a bike, and even though I don't know if I could ride the 10 miles to school and back. ;)
xoxo
Luck, love and light to you,
-Suzy
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Postby BAS » Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:55 pm

SunshineSuzy wrote:Just want to drop a note and say Good Luck. I still have to buy a bike, and even though I don't know if I could ride the 10 miles to school and back. ;)


Ten miles is a nice distance to bike. I used to do that regularly, before I let myself get so fat and lazy. :? (Darn! I really do need to get back into shape... I don't know as I could go the ten miles there and back any more....)


B. :oops:
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Postby SunshineSuzy » Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:02 pm

[quote="BAS"][quote="SunshineSuzy"]Just want to drop a note and say Good Luck. I still have to buy a bike, and even though I don't know if I could ride the 10 miles to school and back. ;)[/quote]

[color=green]Ten miles is a nice distance to bike. I used to do that regularly, before I let myself get so fat and lazy. :? (Darn! I really do need to get back into shape... I don't know as I could go the ten miles there and back any more....)[/color]


[color=blue]B.[/color] :oops:[/quote]

Yeah, I gotta buy a bike too. I found one on Craigslist, hopefully I can buy it.
xoxo
Luck, love and light to you,
-Suzy
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Thanks

Postby nollij » Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:08 am

Thanks SunshineSuzy! This is the longest bicycle trip I'll have ever taken, so I'm excited and nervous as well. I know it's going to feel pretty good to roll in the gate and be able to pass all the cars and RV's stuck waiting. No celebratory brewski will ever be as sweet...

Inre: craigslist. Keep looking if the one that's up there now doesn't work out: bikes come up on Craigslist all the time (well, they do in the Bay Area; are you in the bay area?)
I wouldn't advise spending more than $100 on a burning man bike: playa dust THRASHES bicycles, especially if you neglect them once you get home. I'm going to have to tear mine down, clean everything and then reassemble it when I get home b/c I'm riding out there on one of my better bikes ( I don't trust a beater to hold up for a 400 mile ride carrying a full touring load).

Inre: 10 mile commmute. Is that 10 each way? 5 miles each way is pretty easy unless it's all uphill. Give youself plenty of time the first few times you do it so you don't stress out that you're going to be late and you can take it easy.

SunshineSuzy wrote:Just want to drop a note and say Good Luck. I still have to buy a bike, and even though I don't know if I could ride the 10 miles to school and back. ;)
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Re: Thanks

Postby SunshineSuzy » Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:30 am

[quote="nollij"]Thanks SunshineSuzy! This is the longest bicycle trip I'll have ever taken, so I'm excited and nervous as well. I know it's going to feel pretty good to roll in the gate and be able to pass all the cars and RV's stuck waiting. No celebratory brewski will ever be as sweet...

Inre: craigslist. Keep looking if the one that's up there now doesn't work out: bikes come up on Craigslist all the time (well, they do in the Bay Area; are you in the bay area?)
I wouldn't advise spending more than $100 on a burning man bike: playa dust THRASHES bicycles, especially if you neglect them once you get home. I'm going to have to tear mine down, clean everything and then reassemble it when I get home b/c I'm riding out there on one of my better bikes ( I don't trust a beater to hold up for a 400 mile ride carrying a full touring load).

Inre: 10 mile commmute. Is that 10 each way? 5 miles each way is pretty easy unless it's all uphill. Give youself plenty of time the first few times you do it so you don't stress out that you're going to be late and you can take it easy.

[quote="SunshineSuzy"]Just want to drop a note and say Good Luck. I still have to buy a bike, and even though I don't know if I could ride the 10 miles to school and back. ;)[/quote][/quote]

I'm in Redondo Beach. :) Yeah, the one I found looks pretty good, and it's only $35 bucks. I'm pretty excited, but the girl said two other people were coming to look at her bike tomorrow, and I can't come look at it til Monday(I don't have a car here.), sop I hope she still has it by then.


It's ten miles there, ten miles that. Mostly all straights, a little hill in the begining but nothing major..
xoxo
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-Suzy
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Postby gyre » Fri Apr 13, 2007 2:02 pm

Make sure the frame is the right size for you.
You will probably spend more time on it than you would think.
You need a lock too. I suggest the cable Python for the playa.

(If you enable BBcode your quotes will work. see your profile.)


...I had to walk ten miles to school.
In the snow.
It was uphill.
Both ways.

Once I killed a grizzly bear with a loose leaf notebook.
"Everything is more wonderful when you do it with a car, don't you think?"
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Postby BAS » Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:41 pm

I got sprayed by a skunk once on the way to work. I don't think my co-workers ever forgave me.


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Postby wildilocks » Wed May 09, 2007 6:55 am

Hey Sparky,

Just found mention of your post via Googling my name: haven't been to the ePlaya in months!

Unfortunately I didn't end up riding to BM in 2006: I got too many negative responses, and didn't speak to one person who'd done it. Americans are generally quite bike-phobic... certainly for touring, and not being familiar with the area, I was concerned I might be letting myself in for too much, especially with it being my first burn.

HOWEVER!

I am not quite sure if I will be coming over this year, but there is a reasonable chance I will - and if I do, I would like to ride out to the Playa, probably just from Reno, but possibly from SF, on an electric bicycle. I'm eminently confident this will be not only possible, but quite enjoyable, as 2 weeks ago I completed an electric bike ride from Melbourne to Sydney with about 20 other people. I have a blog up about my experiences at http://www.ebikeblog.org. That was a much greater distance than from SF to BRC, over 500 miles!

If I do come over for BM2007, I can't imagine any other way of getting out there. The good thing is, some more adventurous types who might want to get to BM by bike but find the distance a bit daunting may go for it on an electric bike. No training required, only need a spot with a power outlet to recharge the bikes each night, and I would look into getting a group together for a bulk purchase of bikes [probably World GSE's from Schwinn] for the trip. Depending on numbers, some support vehicles would be required to carry water etc, and could carry some bikes out too for the weary after BM. I would love to keep in contact with you and anyone else who plans to ride even part of the way.
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Postby gyre » Wed May 09, 2007 12:15 pm

An electric bike is great on the playa.
Some of the roads going there can be dangerous for bikes though.
Let us know how it goes.
"Everything is more wonderful when you do it with a car, don't you think?"
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Postby 5x5 » Wed May 09, 2007 2:50 pm

contact this guy Legs (mark) - here's his tribe profile

http://people.tribe.net/9ac1a549-38bd-4 ... 009cb7363f

i have an email addy for him somewhere... if you can't reach him PM me and i'll give it to you.

he biked to BM, i don't remember where from, but i know he'd be happy to help you out.
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Postby EvilDustBooger » Thu May 10, 2007 5:12 pm

Just adding 2 cents to what gyre said...

The final several miles on hwy447 will be not only desert; as you know... but also very busy during the event.
...most people are in a hurry to get there, and I`ve seen some erratic careless driving by some on that route(speeding, unsafe passing, etc..)...it could be very dangerous in some spots for bicyclists.

other than that, I admire your marbles. You`ve got a solid set to take a ride like that before you spend a week in the desert...good luck.
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Undaunted

Postby nollij » Fri May 11, 2007 3:35 pm

Hey wildilocks! Great to hear back from you, though I'm sorry to hear that you didn't take the ride. Funny, the evening you wrote your reply (May 9), I pulled up at the relatively new Cafe Gratitude in San Rafael to celebrate my birthday and who should be there but a guy on an Xtracycle FreeRadical equipped Trek. Of COURSE I had to talk to him (I talk to everyone who rides a FreeRadical, since I ride one too!) and I was very glad I did: it turned out to be another strange piece of synchronicity (oh playa, here I come!) It turns out he rode to Burning Man in 2005 from Auburn, CA! His name is Mike Meng and he was further inspiration for my trip.

I am quite comfortable riding in heavy traffic. I'll be using large amounts of reflective gear and blinkers so that if I end up traveling 447 from Nixon to Burning Man I'll be readily seen. I'm considering the 445 route, as bicycles navigate a rough road far easier than cars do and are unlikely to get stuck or high centered or suffer the same problems that heavily-laden-bunrning-man-bound vehicles do. Mike told me that he traveled a "back" route that didn't have a soul on it and I'm going to create a Bikely.com route and show it to him to see if this was indeed his route. When I get it figured out, I'll post it here for anyone else interested in a more bicycle friendly route between pyramid lake and BRC.



wildilocks wrote:Hey Sparky,

Just found mention of your post via Googling my name: haven't been to the ePlaya in months!

Unfortunately I didn't end up riding to BM in 2006: I got too many negative responses, and didn't speak to one person who'd done it. Americans are generally quite bike-phobic... certainly for touring, and not being familiar with the area, I was concerned I might be letting myself in for too much, especially with it being my first burn.

HOWEVER!

I am not quite sure if I will be coming over this year, but there is a reasonable chance I will - and if I do, I would like to ride out to the Playa, probably just from Reno, but possibly from SF, on an electric bicycle. I'm eminently confident this will be not only possible, but quite enjoyable, as 2 weeks ago I completed an electric bike ride from Melbourne to Sydney with about 20 other people. I have a blog up about my experiences at http://www.ebikeblog.org. That was a much greater distance than from SF to BRC, over 500 miles!

If I do come over for BM2007, I can't imagine any other way of getting out there. The good thing is, some more adventurous types who might want to get to BM by bike but find the distance a bit daunting may go for it on an electric bike. No training required, only need a spot with a power outlet to recharge the bikes each night, and I would look into getting a group together for a bulk purchase of bikes [probably World GSE's from Schwinn] for the trip. Depending on numbers, some support vehicles would be required to carry water etc, and could carry some bikes out too for the weary after BM. I would love to keep in contact with you and anyone else who plans to ride even part of the way.
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Marbles

Postby nollij » Mon May 14, 2007 11:42 pm

Thanks EDB. I think I'm just a glutton for punishment. I wanted a real challenge this year for Burning Man; my goal is to push myself every year to do something different, new, exciting and this seemed like the best idea I'd had in years. :shock:

EvilDustBooger wrote:Just adding 2 cents to what gyre said...

The final several miles on hwy447 will be not only desert; as you know... but also very busy during the event.
...most people are in a hurry to get there, and I`ve seen some erratic careless driving by some on that route(speeding, unsafe passing, etc..)...it could be very dangerous in some spots for bicyclists.

other than that, I admire your marbles. You`ve got a solid set to take a ride like that before you spend a week in the desert...good luck.
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Bike Bag

Postby Sharky » Wed May 16, 2007 6:19 am

I am an adicted biker off-Playa and I would absolutely love to have one of my favorite rides out on the Playa, but I've seen what the Playa dust does to bikes first hand through the years.............. After reading this thread the other day, I had an idea. I'm not sure if it'd work or is practical, but it may be worth a try if you end up riding a good bike out to Burning Man.
If you sewed a large bag out of gortex with a roll down, dry bag type seal at one end, and sealed seams, you could use it for on-Playa bike storage and hopefully keep your bike dust free until the return ride home. The Gortex would breathe and at the same time keep the dust out (well, most of it anyway).
Just an idea....... has anyone ever tired this method, just curious.

Sharky
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Postby gyre » Wed May 16, 2007 8:32 am

They make bags for cars.
It seems like an effective approach.
Sometimes the dust isn't too bad.
It depends.
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Me too, maybe?

Postby brianbehlendorf » Tue May 22, 2007 3:09 pm

I'm considering biking to BRC this year too, though I'm way less ambitious than nollij. The stretch from Sparks, up the 445, then up the dirt road through Sutcliffe up the west side of Pyramid Lake, looks like something I can go for. I can't get Google Maps to give me a distance for such a route, but it would appear to be about 100-110 miles. I've driven 445 to BRC before, but not up the dirt road; I recall 445 being pretty mellow in terms of elevation from Sparks to Pyramid Lake. I'd probably be able to do it in 3 days, stopping for the night outside of Sutcliffe and Flanigan, but would be into trying to do it in two.
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Proposed Route from Sutcliffe to BRC

Postby nollij » Fri Jun 15, 2007 6:00 pm

I posted my proposed route from Sutcliffe to BRC at http://tinyurl.com/2p8rso

:?: Anyone ridden/driven this section of road? Bueller? Bueller? :?
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Postby zackalope » Sat Jun 16, 2007 5:47 am

Biking to the burn is a great idea, if you ask me.

A group of us are planning to ride down from Seattle. A couple of years ago, I skipped the burn to do this ride http://www.math.tifr.res.in/~treisman/nocal_05/ (description), http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/canby-to-san-francisco (route), and the best day was the first, which was not far from Burning Man territory.

We haven't figured out our exact route yet. Suggestions are welcome.

The folks in our camp who aren't riding will carry down most of the gear, so we won't have to ride with more than we need for the ride.

The bikes will be stashed in a dust resistant place to ensure their continued usability after a visit to the playa.
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Postby Tam » Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:02 am

Hey - Do you have a guy named Neal in your biking group? If so, I've heard of you all, and might be interested in joining up with you in Central Oregon at some point, if you're up for a tag-along. I'll be biking from Western Oregon, and wouldn't mind the company, even if it's only for a few days. Let me know what your plans are and maybe we'll see each other along the way!

Tam

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Nomad Bike Trailer Tent & A Folding Bike

Postby RideTHISbike » Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:31 pm

Just stumbled across this thread but have some suggestions.

Former Tour de France rider Tony Hoar of British Columbia makes a bike trailer that converts into a 2 man tent (the Nomad). I tested the trailer while in Portland for TrailLink 2007 (an annual bike trail conference sponsored by the Rails To Trails Conservancy) and it is truly awesome. I even towed the trailer down steep descents in the Columbia Gorge at @ 40mph + and it was rock solid!

Tony makes each trailer to order in his machine shop on Vancouver Island. They aren't cheap but they are built to last and will carry more than enough gear for the Burn.

For more info about the Nomad, I'll be posting a review and photos at RideTHISbike.com. I'd also advise you to check out Tony's site (TonysTrailers.com) or call Tony; he's a great guy and very knowledgeable. Tell him that Larry at RideTHISbike.com said "Hi" give my regards to Zoe.

By the way, a sweet combination would be to ride a folding bike to the Burn using Tony's trailer for camping & hauling gear. Once you're at the Burn, you can keep your bike folded & covered on the trailer so it doesn't get trashed by corrosion from the Playa.

Larry
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