When last we talked, about how this is done, I was explaining the basics of my bike and how I navigate. Today we’ll talk about money and food – two essential topics to any along any long journey.
The original objective with my partner Tom Landes was to do this trip as inexpensively as possible (aka, cheap). It looked promising as we could share the expense of a room anywhere. Also, Tom fancied himself as a good impromtu cook. If you know Tom, you know we would be saving as much money as we can on everything. That would give me the discipline to stay cheap also. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not just the money for me, but the game of doing this cheaply.
Where to Stay
When Tom dropped out after the first week, things changed. Not only was it tough to save as much as Tom could, but I found myself wanting to enjoy some of the places and temptations along the way.
We started the journey favoring airbnb places. Basically, our requirement was a semi-private space in a house near a 50-mile destination ahead. Our first night in Plantation, outside of Fort Lauderdale was fine and cheap at only about $50 for the room with 2 beds. However, the next night I traveled to Key West while Tom chose to go in the north direction. We agreed to catch up in a few days. Now, lodging was an individual cost until we would meet up again. Long story short, when we met up a day later Tom gave up and returned home. Now, I was faced with lodging costs alone.for the rest of the trip. The only other alternative I had was camping – but more on that another time.
At the quality level of our lodging we would expect to pay $50 to $100 (sometimes more). While that seems like a minor expense in the scheme of things, that amount gets substantial the longer you are out on the road. That is an incentive to finish faster.
Airbnb it turns out is a great alternative to a motel. While prices can be similar to a basic motel, you have the advantage of understanding more about the place you will stay, quick, simple and reliable booking and the advantage of interacting with regular people (although that can be disadvantage at times).
I’ll blame it on psychology, but the harder the day is the more you feel like spending on a good dinner and drinks and enjoying the experience of the places you go to. So, what started as a $75 daily budget soon grew to $100 – between lodging and meals. If you multiply that times the number of days – 30 to 60 – the trip becomes expensive even at the frugal level we had planned.
Ya Gotta Eat
The only thing driving my engine at the end of the day is food. I do not spend time figuring out how much to eat or of what variety. Usually, I can go on a light breakfast and either do a brunch or lunch. Dinner is usually around 6-7 p.m.
I started thinking I would follow a very strict diet of good carbs and protein. That hasn’t happened, mainly because it’s not always convenient to do so. There are days I will simply go to a super market (usually called Red Lion around here) and buy a variety of things at a reasonable cost. Unfortunately, when I go I’m usually hungry and end up buying more than I need and often leave things behind. I just can’t carry much excess on my bike.
If I go out to eat which is 2 out of 3 days, I’ll get a couple of beers and a burger, tacos or entrée which will cost $30-$40. The prices seem somewhat the same no matter where you go or what type of food.
Of course, this being the eastern coast, seafood is the preferred choice. I’ve eaten hogfish (can only be gotten in the Keys) to lowlands shrimp, to oysters and conch. Everything is so delicious and fresh. And, of course, I’ve dabbled in the unique cuisines of Key West, Savannah, Charleston and the Chesapeake. I can confirm that North Carolina has great barbeque.
Well, I’m on my way home and have only another week or two left. I don’t expect expenses or my diet to change as they have gotten me this far.
It’s hard to figure the importance of a good place to stay or the what the proper nutrition is for the type of activity I’m doing where you are expending thousands of calories a day.
All I can say is I’m feeling great and my body is probably burning off more calories than it has ever done in this period of time. Rest comes easy most days between the physical exhaustion, mental challenges and the substantial food and drink I consume.
I wonder what it will be like when I get back to my normal life?