chee I get asked all the time what it cost me to take a long road trip.  I use the word “long” only because anything fewer than 400 miles is a day trip in my opinion.  So what do I consider a long road trip? 1000 to 3000 miles one way as an average long road trip.  But it’s not the distance here that I want to talk about; it is the expense that seems to be the issue.  If you are the lucky ones who own a “Touring Bike” well then do what it is intended to do …. Tour.  Now that you spent the money on this road warrior and now it’s time to cruse.   Question is, in which direction, how long am I gone, and the one statement that always comes up is …. “How much will it cost me”?  Is there such a thing as a cheap road trip? Well let me shed some light on that.  Let’s see if it will cost you more today than it did back-in-the-day.  Cheap road trips were common place for a vintage biker like me.  Take, for instance the classic movie, Easy Rider; with Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson.  Although they do have some cash, they seem to enjoy the motorcycle road trip more, while being frugal.  The biker of old, riding a rigid frame Pan-head with his bed-roll tied to the fender, was a nostalgic glimpse at a man’s yearning desire for freedom.  Put 500 or more miles on before he pull off in the woods, build a fire, and fall asleep looking at the stars…And all for the price of a few gallons of gas and a PB&J. Cheap trips don’t need to be any different than they were in the 1960’s.  The Harley touring bikers of the 60’s could, no doubt, ride further on a buck than us, but let’s do some quick math.  Back then in 1969: Gas was .35/gal. a 50’s era pan-head gets, roughly 33 mpg.  After 500 miles, Fonda would have bought a little over 15 gallons of gas.  He would spend $5.30 for his gas.  A loaf of bread was .23 cents and Peanut Butter was .79 cents, so Dennis Hopper was eating for less than a dollar…if he was being very frugal.  With the occasional beer, and dining out, our 1969 bikers could easily have done 500 miles for under $10.00. Today: As of this writing gas is around $3.60/gal plus or minus depending in what state you are in, but the analysts suggest an average of $4.00/gal.  We’ll split the difference and say $3.80/gal. My big Harley Davidson Electra Glide gets 40/mpg.  That’s 12.5 gallons or $47.50. There are plenty of bikes that do better….way better.  A loaf of bread and peanut butter?   Each roughly $2.50.  Add in a couple of beers, and a bottle of water and you’re up to $65.00 for 500 miles of inexpensive road trips in 2012.  We will have to spend 6 times as much as our Easy Rider fore-fathers to go the same distance. But Minimum wage in 1969 was $1.45/hr and Ohio in 2012 is $7.70/hr…that’ 5.3 times higher.  So, considering inflation, we will almost spend the same amount on our cheap road trips as they did. The big question is how cheap are you?   Your comments and thoughts are welcomed on this and all articles we share on this site:  Be certain to join our FREE membership to receive the E-Newsletter “The Road Hawgs” and email updates on new posts and updates to this site!    Ride Safe, Hard and Smart…

From The Desk Of  The Road Hawgs

April 2013 Newsletter