So sue me. I realized I had more to talk about and I hit the “write post” button. I finally bit the bullet and called an old aunt of mine. It was one of the best moves I’ve made in a long while. We had a long chat and it was our first since the new year began (I think). It’s amazing how absence does make the heart grow fonder on both sides. I definitely intend to keeping in touch and M & I are now talking about the possibility of a road trip!! It’s only about 10hrs to my aunt’s place and we could literally be there in a day! This led us (M & I) to discuss the pros and cons of taking our car vs. renting vs. Greyhound bus transportation/Air/Train, etc. Being a cheap skate, I immediately vetoed any flights because I dread losing my luggage or undergoing any TSA hassles and the obvious expensiveness of taking any air flight these days. At Delta Airlines website, it’ll cost ~ $234 per person for a roundtrip flight which is right around where I thought it would be. That’s almost ~ $500 for both of us. We are not willing to spend that much on transportation for a flight experience that will be less than fantastic. The option I’m more fond of is traveling by bus (a.k.a. Greyhound). However, I have since run a cost analysis and it seems that the Greyhound option is only ~ $100 cheaper than the air flight. Given the large number of transfers (around 2 – 3), the dinginess of the Greyhound buses coupled with the long bus ride (over 21 hrs) make this a rather unattractive option. The third and most fun option is a road trip. 😀 Now, the obvious demerits of taking our personal car on a relatively long trip (over 20hrs total) include:
- Racking up the mileage on a car we are trying to preserve (it’s at 158,000 miles right now). I’m talking a little under 1,300 miles total.
- Prohibitive gas prices may take the ‘cheapness’ out of this option. Right now, I think M gets over 22 miles per gallon. This means we will run through around 59 gallons of gas. At $5 per gallon (I suspect it might even climb higher depending on how soon we make the trip happen), the cost of fueling up the car will be the price of one person’s round-trip flight to my aunt’s state of domicile. So, our fuel budget for the entire trip will be ~ $300.
- The car might not like being stressed out so much (wear and tear). It’s got some issues, but M’s been working to straighten out the kinks. These adjustments would have happened with or without the road trip.
Nevertheless, the benefits of taking our personal ride include:
- Freedom to move around. We can rest as we please or even quit the journey without fear of losing our money. 🙂
- We will be able to explore the areas along the trip. Ideally, this will happen on our way back when we can be more relaxed.
- Our car now has a bike rack which M procured from a friend of his (Addictive Cycles). It’s a used Thule bike rack to be mounted on the roof of the car and it came with the trays to hold the bikes for a very good sum of $200. We totally got a great deal on it. I mean, if we had purchased it new, we would be talking about dropping over $500 for all the parts we got with the roof rack. Check the website out! The point of this: we sure as hell are carrying our mountain bikes for some kick ass biking while we are away from home!
As you can see, the pros outweigh the cons and as my people say, the majority carries the vote! Well, not so fast. How about renting a car? Well, for starters, no roof rack on rental cars. That’s a biggie. Additionally, check out the prices for the privilege of renting their cars:
So, the only ‘advantage’ to taking a rental car is that it will save our car from the wear and tear. However, I’ve heard horror stories about people getting charged for dents and things they are pretty sure didn’t happen on their watch. I don’t want to deal with the hassle of making sure I document every ding and stain on the car before taking it out. The point: we are willing to take the risk on our old car. 🙂
Enough about the road trip. M’s dad also got me a bike pedometer to track my speeds and mileage on the bicycle. It’s rather nifty and it’ll be good to help me accurately tell how much exercise I’m getting. For instance, my altered route yesterday was over 9 miles. I got my heart rate up a couple of times, but I was already tuckered out from some earlier expense of energy. M & I missed out on the group ride I had previously talked about and I felt pretty lousy about it. Still, M cheered me up and we made lemonade out of lemons. And it didn’t turn sour on us. 🙂 We ended up at a bike shop (The Hub Bicycles) and got me a nice Camelbak Rogue pack (for storing water and liquids on long rides). Surprisingly, the store price of ~ $50 is actually the average price I’ve seeing online and that’s a refreshing change. M ended up getting a pair of bike shorts because he finally got tired of his threadbare shorts. 😀 Alrighty, that’s enough fodder for one day. Have a great Sunday all!