If you are only going for two weeks it is
better to hire a bike over
there rather than take your own. Customs clearance
for your own bike is not
straightforward and bikes have been known
to be refused entry on the basis
that they are contaminated. Some american
hire companies are very good at
adding extras to your bill!
There are some fantastic roads in the States
- ride Pacific Coast
Highway from LA to San Fransisco or take the
whole of Route
66 from Chicago to LA (about 2500 miles done
in two weeks). If you are worried about doing
it on your own,
come ride with us this September on the holiday
of a lifetime!
Check website: www.dhs.gov.us-visit for entry
requirements. UK citizens will enter the States
on the waiver programme by signing a declaration
(no visa necessary).
Do not mess with the immigration guys they
have the power to send you
straight back home. Note that any criminal
record may result in refused entry. There
is zero tolerance on any convictions for drugs.
You will see spaniels sniffing the queue for
fresh food (not allowed) or drugs. All foreigners
are routinely finger
printed and photographed by immigration officers.
Check that it includes riding a motorcycle
above 125cc and any adventure type activity
in which you plan to participate. Do this
in the UK so you will not
need the personal accident cover offered by
the bike hire company.
If you hire you must have an upper limit of
at least $3000 to cover the crash
damage waiver (CDW) and the security deposit
for your hire bike. Tell your credit
card company of your plans! Tip: Use a Nationwide
credit card they give the best rate with no
foreign transaction costs.
Bank ATMs (hole in the wall) machines are
everywhere. No need to take travellers cheques
or big wodges of cash!
Many gas stations require you to prepay for
fuel - card or cash.
Highway Patrol appear from
nowhere. Use a posh English accent and do
EXACTLY what they say. Patrolmen are no-nonsense
guys who expect you to obey
instructions. Drink driving (DUI) and excessive
speed are not a good idea.
You are allowed to turn
right at intersections on a red light but
you must give way (Yield) to traffic from
Unmarked four way intersections
operate on a first come first served
basis. It's all very polite.
Buy a Garmin GPS and install
City Navigator for the USA before you go.
It's awesome and will save you a lot of time
and trouble getting lost in busy cities. It
also helps you to stay in the correct lane
on the interstate highways.
Pass either side on the
freeway but be careful of getting sideswiped.
Lane splitting (filtering) is illegal in most
Take a drinking water container