Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Bikes, trikes, personal mobility and getting to/from the event - this is the place to discuss general transportation issues.
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Zerh
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Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by Zerh » Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:17 am

Hi beautiful people,

I'm a virgin looking forward to my first burn this year. I'm flying from Europe for this occasion to San Francisco.

My question is about the Burning Express :

I've seen that the BE doesn't make a grocery stop if it comes from San Francisco.
What would be the most easy ? either :
:arrow: -Coming to Reno the day before, buying a second-hand bike, then taking the bus with the grocery stop
:arrow: -Staying in San Francisco, Buying everything, food/water/bike, and getting all that to the bus (which might be very difficult, one week of water looks damn heavy).

Also, is it easy to find a cheap second hand bike in San Francisco or in Reno, a few days/weeks before the Burning man ? I'm guessing I'm not the only one trying to buy a bike.

Thank you all for your help, looking forward to meeting you on the Playa !

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trilobyte
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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by trilobyte » Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:13 am

Of course water is heavy...but you're not carrying it in your lap on the bus (passengers' gear is actually loaded onto a separate truck that follows behind the bus). If you're traveling through SF, there's no need to make a separate trip to Reno. Get your supplies in SF (there's plenty of places to get food/water/bike/etc), then take the bus from SF.

No, finding a cheap second hand bike in either Reno or SF days before the event is not that easy. As you might imagine, thousands of people are coming through both those cities, and everyone wants the cheapest bike they can get. You should probably plan your budget around the cost of a cheap beach cruiser bike from one of the big box retail joints, and if you're able to find something for less when you get to SF...bonus points.

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Elliot
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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by Elliot » Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:50 am

I second Trilo's opinion about last-minute second-hand bicycles, as they are often defective. The seller will no doubt tell you "It will be good enough", and you will be in an upbeat mood to accept that, and then you are stuck with a boat anchor.
Best of luck!

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some seeing eye
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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by some seeing eye » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:25 am

Included in all things bike is what happens after the event. I bring my everyday bike and bring it home. But fly-in transit-in participants need a plan for that bike (tent, water containers, shade structures...) after. It's important. Burners are committed to leave no trace, and that includes everything. Also a bike lock is mandatory, because it allows you to know where your bike is when you parked it.
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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by zorro sings » Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:21 am

Last second bikes in Reno? You can barely find them now.Thanks to the syndicates who set up the bike corrals in Empire and Gerlach it is getting very hard to even find a bike at local garage sales.Prices are very high as well.Never has spending $75-80 for a new made in China cruiser made more sense,
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lulu_Mou
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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by lulu_Mou » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:29 am

Hey Zerh,

I'm planning on catching the BE as well. I haven't had much luck finding a ride share as yet so I'm getting this as a back up.

I was checking out Walmart in the area of San Fran and found a cool tricycle that would be comfy on the ol' behind.... But it's a bit pricey for someone who isn't going to need it much after the event itself ..... as I don't live in that country but I thought it looked quite practical..... Then again I am a virgin myself.... This is where Elliot's expertise would come in handy :D

Good luck! I hope I see you on the BE
PEACE
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Elliot
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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by Elliot » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:28 am

I have no experience with Burner Express. But I would worry about them being able to transport a tricycle, and at what price if they can.
The tricycle itself is of course -- like most Walmart products -- of low quality, but should serve for your purpose.

I do know that tricycles are much loved by more and more burners. It's not that they are any easier on the backside, but that they never tip over, and they can carry so much luggage.

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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by trilobyte » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:47 am

As a long-term purchase, trikes are a great choice (I use one, though mine's fairly deluxe). But they're trickier to manage logistically (they take up 2-3 times more space than a bike in a truck, etc).

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Christian The Jew
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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by Christian The Jew » Wed May 14, 2014 7:20 am

So is the Burner Express going to stop for water at a designated water fill up station? I plan on bringing my own reusable 7 gallon container(s? Are two way too much for one person?).

I saw the locations for water fill up on the Burning Man website, but the BE website doesn't say anything about Water fill up.
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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by Jackass » Wed May 14, 2014 8:32 am

Christian The Jew wrote:So is the Burner Express going to stop for water at a designated water fill up station? I plan on bringing my own reusable 7 gallon container(s? Are two way too much for one person?).

I saw the locations for water fill up on the Burning Man website, but the BE website doesn't say anything about Water fill up.
http://burnerexpress.com/info/
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Christian The Jew
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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by Christian The Jew » Wed May 14, 2014 8:36 am

http://burnerexpress.com/info/[/quote]

This is what I got! LOL :lol:

"Epic 404 - Page Not Found

The page you were looking for was not found, but maybe try looking again!"
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Jackass
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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by Jackass » Wed May 14, 2014 8:39 am

I messed something up in the address the first time, please try again
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Christian The Jew
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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by Christian The Jew » Wed May 14, 2014 8:44 am

Yeah I read through it a couple times, but they didn't mention water; just groceries. Unless there is a water fill station at the grocery store. I'm looking to get some good water, nothing out of a motel bathtub, but I will if I have to. Burning man website has some listed water source sites that sound good, I was hoping we could grab water at those places.
"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely." -Revelations 21:6

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Jackass
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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by Jackass » Wed May 14, 2014 9:19 am

Yes, the Savemart on the grocery stop has a water purification system set up out in the parking lot. If you have 500 gallons to fill it's no problem, you can back right up to where they're at and fill up without loading or unloading. I believe they also have a forklift there to move the really big containers. Pay by the gallon, I believe. Well I'm all tapped out on help, back to being cynical, critical, shit talking and being generally disruptive for the balance of the day.
Last edited by Jackass on Wed May 14, 2014 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by Captain Goddammit » Wed May 14, 2014 9:32 am

Jackass wrote:Well I'm all tapped out on "help", back to being cynical, critical, shit talking and being generally disruptive for the balance of the day.
I might have to steal that for a signature line!!!!
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Christian The Jew
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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by Christian The Jew » Wed May 14, 2014 11:38 am

Thanks, Jackass!! 8)
"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely." -Revelations 21:6

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theCryptofishist
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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by theCryptofishist » Wed May 14, 2014 7:25 pm

You can always call SaveMart and be sure...
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NikkiG
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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by NikkiG » Sun May 18, 2014 12:00 am

I took the Express Bus last year, and Im taking it again this year. I would highly recommend that you get there a day early and stay at a hotel. A lot of hotels have free shuttles to and from the airport that run every hour. One of those hotels is located 7 blocks away from savemart hint hint (walking distance). You could buy your goods the day before including your bike and water then take the shopping stop on the bus and brush up on the things you missed. In my opinion, one hour is barely enough time to pick out a bike and shop for water and food..JS. Savemart sells water by the case (6 one gallon bottles per box). Each gallon was less than a dollar a piece if you bought a box. I bought 2 boxes. They also sell empty 5 gallon water jugs and they have a water jug filling machine. FYI 6 gallons weighs ~50 lbs, which is very heavy. Imagine what 12-15 gallons weigh. You might want to buy a hand truck with bungie cords that can fold down into a large suitcase with wheels. It will help you to easily transfer your water to and from the bus. I was able to fit all of my gear, clothes, and food into 2 large suitcases and a backpack. Believe me, I brought too much stuff!!! Its possible to burn with 1 large suitcase, a carry-on, a backpack and 2 boxes of water. I would suggest that you get a bike because the city is huge. Riding to center camp wore me out. Riding out into the deep playa wore me out even more. Imagine walking that distance!!! :shock:
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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by trilobyte » Sun May 18, 2014 12:19 am

@Christian - from the FAQ that was published on the Burner Express site in March...
Q. What about food and water?
A. Each bus is accompanied by a truck that will carry your gear into Black Rock City. You’ll still need to bring all your food and water with you. For an extra fee, some of the buses will stop at a grocery store in Reno for people who need to finish their shopping.

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Just_Joe
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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by Just_Joe » Sun May 18, 2014 8:29 am

trilobyte wrote:@Christian - from the FAQ that was published on the Burner Express site in March...
Q. What about food and water?
A. Each bus is accompanied by a truck that will carry your gear into Black Rock City. You’ll still need to bring all your food and water with you. For an extra fee, some of the buses will stop at a grocery store in Reno for people who need to finish their shopping.
...which, I'm assuming, would need to fit within your 2-4 item luggage allowance.

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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by The Hustler » Sun May 18, 2014 8:47 pm

I'm taking the Burner Express this year (we just booked it today) from RNO.

The last two times I went to Burning Man I took my own bike. While I'd much rather do that, circumstances dictate flying to Reno instead of making the epic drive from Austin. Renting a bike (with on-playa pick up) was much less than checking my bike on the plane.

We'll be on the BE that stops for shopping along the way.

If you can, stay at a hotel the night before and get your provisions then.
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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by hullabaloo » Thu May 29, 2014 6:11 pm

For anyone who has taken the Express before - how long did exodus take? I know there is no way to tell what will happen this year, but I'm just trying to get an idea of when I can expect to return back to Reno. From what I understand there will be a dedicated bus lane allowing the Express to bypass traffic -does that mean we won't have to wait in line or am I getting it totally wrong? I'm planning to leave BRC on the 1st at 8am (and I'm crossing my fingers that there's a chance I can get to the Amtrak station by 3pm so that I don't have to spend an extra night in a hotel).

Thanks!
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trilobyte
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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by trilobyte » Thu May 29, 2014 10:53 pm

The Burner Express does have a separate exodus lane. However, expect it to take a lot of time, once you hit the paved road there's a lot of traffic volume and it just takes a while. If you're planning on the 1st (Labor Day Monday), expect a ridiculous amount of traffic and volume. You could probably pull off same day on Saturday or Sunday, but on Monday it would be difficult to say.

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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by NikkiG » Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:56 am

I left on Friday last year via the Burner Express, and it took me 2.5-3.5 hours to make it to the airport in Reno. Times vary, so plan accordingly. A Friday exodus is much easier than Sat-Mon. I would normally oppose most opinions because I like to be spicy, but trilobyte is on point. The playa hates to see you go, expect to be held up....lol. If you must leave on the same day you are flying, give yourself 10-12 hours of leeway. The best option is to leave the day before.....JS. It cost me a oneway airplane ticket last year because they cancelled my Miami bound plane to my cruise....What an adventure!
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Re: Need veteran advice about Burning Express

Post by gustavh » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:08 am

lulu_Mou wrote:Hey Zerh,

I'm planning on catching the BE as well. I haven't had much luck finding a ride share as yet so I'm getting this as a back up.

I was checking out Walmart in the area of San Fran and found a cool tricycle that would be comfy on the ol' behind.... But it's a bit pricey for someone who isn't going to need it much after the event itself ..... as I don't live in that country but I thought it looked quite practical..... Then again I am a virgin myself.... This is where Elliot's expertise would come in handy :D

Good luck! I hope I see you on the BE
PEACE
Just FYI there really aren't any Walmarts very close to SF. It would be quite difficult to get a tricycle from a Walmart in the East Bay and bring it back to SF without a car.

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