Earlier today, registration opened up for Glen’s Pedal the West bicyling tour. The tour looks pretty impressive. It lasts five days in late September, which everyone knows is the best time of year to travel, and goes from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. It’s a fully supported ride, including lodging, most meals, and transportation for bike and rider. It sounds like an awesome excuse to take a late-summer vacation, but sadly, the price is a little high for me. It costs $3000, in addition to airfare and the inevitable other odds-and-ends.
But $3,000 is not that bad for a tour of this scale for 57 cyclists. Consider that this year’s Ride to Montauk registration costs $195, as of today, plus $65 for the optional, but really useful, bike-and-rider return transportation from Montauk. That’s $260 for a single-day event with 1,500 riders cycling past a bunch of angry malcontents in the Hamptons.
Anyway, I’m confident that Glen will get a bunch of riders to register for his Pedal the West tour. Cyclists are, after all, a spendy bunch. For example, the upcoming Grand Fondo New York costs about $289, plus registration fee for a single-day ride that consistently sells out, likely because you get a jersey and a bottle of wine. And if you want to upgrade to the GFNY Plus package, which includes access to a VIP tent in Fort Lee, New Jersey, you’ll need to spend $1,900 (registration fee waived). Shelling nearly $2,000 for a single-day bike ride makes spending $3,000 for a five-day tour seem like a downright bargain.
Before you ask, no, I’m not riding the Grand Fondo New York. But if I were riding and were rich enough to afford the Plus-package, I would never spend $1,600 for an upgraded riding experience. Because, as spendy as my fellow cyclists are, I’m a comparative miser, and $1,600 in my mind can buy a pretty nice bike.
Disclosure: Although I have ridden the Ride to Montauk in past years for free, I’ve done so in exchange for route marking services. The opinions expressed here are my own and were triggered only by the public announcement of the Pedal the West tour. I don’t think Glen even knows who I am.