Kiki Bikes Across America


Estimated expenses prior to the trip:

This was my attempt at generously estimating expenses prior to the trip. This was just to give me a ballpark figure to start saving for the trip. I found other cyclists who spent anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000+ on their trips for approximately the same time. All varying from hotel/motel touring to camping and cooking every night. I thought one motel a week would be a maximum allowance for comfort and food at $20/day seemed low, but do-able. I based the camping fee at $20/night simply because as you move out west it appears campgrounds get more expensive. Plus, I calculated based on single-occupancy, not sharing with anyone, as I didn’t know how long I’d be riding with people or what may happen along the way.

I figured, I would just tell myself it’ll be more and hopefully it’ll actually be less. Bike maintenance was just a rough ball-park figure and I allotted myself $500 to get home after the trip simply because I didn’t know for certain if I would fly and then have to pay $150 to take my bike or what. Also with booking a flight only a week or two in advance, I knew they would be more expensive. I knew though that I wanted to ride the train back if I had enough time! Lastly, I decided I wanted to have at least $1,000 over my estimated budget as a back-up for any emergencies that went on during the trip – fly home for something, end up in the hospital, need to relocate elsewhere on route, etc.

These are my general pre-trip estimated expenses, aimed at being higher than desired, but to give me some idea as to what it could actually cost if I don’t benefit from riding with one or more cyclists and sharing costs along the way.

  • Food: $20/day x 90 days = $1800
  • Accommodations: $100/night x 10 nights = $1000
  • Camping: $20/night x 50 nights = $1000
    • the other 20 nights are anticipated to be spent while visiting friends and Nat’l parks or staying with locals
  • Bike Maintenance: repair/tubes/tune-ups = $150
  • Transportation: plane or train back from west coast = $500
  • Health insurance for 3 months: $120/3 months
    • Short-Term (90 days) with Anthem: this was very basic for only major-medical problems. My main concern was finding insurance that would cover seeing a chiropractor, but that was impossible as it was a “pre-existing condition” – I opted for the cheaper premium in order to counter balance things and pay out of pocket for each chiropractor I would need to see over the course of the trip.
  • Chiropractor visits: $60/visit x 10 visits = $600
  • Any other unexpected expenses (medical, etc.): at least $1000 just in case

Total estimated expenses for 3 months: $6,170 (it is a large figure, but better over-estimate than under-estimate)

Actual expenses were:

  • Accommodations: $100.60
  • Food: approximately $1,400
  • Bike repair/maintenance: $123
  • Health insurance: $120/3 months
  • Medical expenses: $474 (6 chiropractors + hospital stay)
  • Transportation: $193 (train ticket) + $8 bike insured and sent on train with me

Total expenses: $2,418.60
(in reality, it was a bit more, but the major expenses are included in this figure)

Complete expenses for trip (gear included)

Trip expenses (approx. $2,418.60) + gear (approx. $3,202.0) = $5,620.60