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Commonly Asked Questions
 
Besides the cost of the tour and registration fee, what will my other costs be?

There are very few other costs you will incur.  You are responsible for transportation before and after the ride, which starts and finishes in Portland.  We recommend (but do not require) that individuals flying to Portland purchase trip cancellation insurance, in case something unforeseen happens on either your part or ours.

You can arrange to bring your bike on the trip, in which case getting it to and from Portland is your responsibility (if you have it shipped to Portland, we ask you ship it to a bike shop in town we work with, in which case you.ll have to pay them to reassemble it . or you can do it yourself).  Instead, we can arrange for you to rent a bike from a local bike shop, possibly a less expensive option  . we will discuss this with you personally.

Finally, some individuals may need additional gear to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.  Please see our recommended gear for further information.

What will I need to bring with me?

See our recommended gear list.

I.ve never done a bicycle tour before.  Is this a problem?

Absolutely not!  The vast majority of riders on our tours have never done a tour before.  These rides are not races, and we encourage riders to take their time and enjoy the scenery . that.s half the point of a bike tour anyway.  We have found that riders with minimal riding experience can quickly become capable of doing 50, 60 or even 70+ miles per day.

Will I have to carry all my stuff with me?

 Nope.  We have a full Support and Gear (SAG) that carries all your personal gear along with group gear . food, camping equipment, bike repair equipment, and more.  You just carry anything you would need on the road . water, camera, snacks, and anything else you might like to have with you.

What about meals & camping / housing fees?

We provide three healthy, nutritious meals daily that are mostly organic, locally sourced, and vegan.  We also cover the costs of camping or other accommodations.

I understand organic and locally-sourced food.  But why vegan?

Several reasons.  All else being equal, a vegan diet is more sustainable than a non-vegan diet: the amount of food required to feed animals to obtain the same quantity of food in meat, dairy, or egg form is far greater than were that same amount of food consumed directly by humans.  In other words, it might require 10 lbs of grain to produce three lbs of food in the form of egg, dairy, or meat.  In its vegan form, more food (10 lbs) is available for consumption, reducing the ecological footprint.

In line with one of our ten values (link), we interpret .ecological wisdom. as inflicting minimal damage on living beings.  Non-violence is another value towards which we strive, interpreted here as minimal violence against other living beings.

Meat is a luxury for many of the poor of the world, for whom basic plant foods provide the primary sustenance.  In recognition of this imbalance, we act in solidarity with those individuals in our dietary choices.

Veganism is, for most Americans, a deviation from the normal diet.  Since this trip is largely about exposure to alternatives, providing all-vegan meals accomplishes this for many participants.

The trips seem very expensive?

We fully understand, however if you look at other tours, you.ll find that ours are competitively priced.   This is a unique experience, unlike that offered elsewhere.  A great deal of planning and costs have gone into providing you with an incredible, safe, life-altering experience.

Unlike some other tours, we provide meals and snacks, limiting both your expenses and time costs while on the tour, increasing your ability to enjoy your experience uninhibited.

We encourage you to be innovative and creative in your payment of the tour!  Fundraising can allow you to actually pay little or nothing out of pocket.  We have a fundraising guide we will share with you that lists many ways of raising the required funds . some obvious, some unique.

What about the carbon dioxide emissions from the flights to and from Portland?

Great question!  Airline flights are, in fact, one of the largest sources of CO2 emissions.  There are, however, a few ways to deal with this problem:

Don.t fly.  This is obviously more practical for some than for others.  Consider Amtrak or Grayhound or, depending on your departure location, carpool.

Consider planting a tree or donating to an organization that will do so on your behalf, to make your trip.s net impact carbon-neutral.  Click here to calculate the total carbon dioxide emissions from your flight and suggestions for further action.

Recognize that, in order to take five steps forward, it is sometimes necessary to take one step back.  In his flight to Portland from San Francisco in 2005, a Sustainable Energy in Motion participant generated CO2 gases; however, over the course of the trip, he discovered the health, environmental, and ethical benefits of an alternative diet and has converted to an almost exclusively vegan diet, along with converting to a bike commuter.  Who.s to say that this long-term vegan diet and transportation choice will not balance the environmental damages from his flight to Portland?

Road or mountain biking?

Primarily road.  There may be some short gravel sections along roads with lower traffic volumes.


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