BRAN Frequently Asked Questions
Beginning the Ride
- How do I register for the ride?
- You will need to obtain a BRAN registration form. This will be available in the Register section on this website.
- Is there online registration?
- Yes, you will need to print, complete the minor information, sign, and mail the waiver to: BRAN, Inc., 4205 N 101 Street, Omaha, NE 68134 if you are under the age of 19 years old. The online registration link and waiver form can be found in the Register section on this website.
- How soon will the registrations be available?
- This year registrations will not be mailed out. If you want one mailed to you, contact Vickie at the above address or contact the BRAN office at 402-397-9785.
- Are teams allowed to ride?
- How many people ride on BRAN?
- The ride is limited to 600 riders.
- How long is the ride?
- BRAN is a 7-day tour. 2017 sees the first time we are also offering a 3 and 4 day option, as well as a pre-ride on Saturday, June 3rd, which has SAG support. The route varies in length each year.
- What is BRAN?
- BRAN stands for Bicycle Ride Across Nebraska. It is a once a year opportunity to test your stamina and enjoy the country hospitality of Nebraska. Proceeds from the ride are used to fund scholarships at post-secondary schools in Nebraska (Nebraska students attending Nebraska schools).
- How do I get information about BRAN?
- Information about the ride itself can be obtained here at the FAQ site, on the message board, or you can contact BRAN Central.
- Who is the ride designed for?
- This is a tour designed by bicyclists for bicyclists.
- How can I find out more information on Nebraska?
- On the home page on this website, click on the host community names, this will take you to their websites. Also, www.VisitNebraska.gov or call 877-NEBRASKA.
Beginning the Ride
- How do I get to the starting point?
- Buses are provided to take the rider, and luggage to the starting point. The cost for this is $40 or $30 depending on the choice selected for the number of days you will ride. This arrangement must be indicated on the registration form. Other riders in the past have driven to the starting point. Some riders in the past have made arrangements with other riders to car pool to the starting point. If you do not wish to ride the bus out, you can post your travel needs on the website message board or BRAN Facebook page to see if any other riders from your area are going and if you might arrange to ride with them. The individual rider is responsible for getting him/herself to the bus departure point on time.
- How do I get my bike to the starting point?
- If you ride the BRAN buses, a semi truck will take all of the boxed bikes to the starting point. If you are not riding the bus, you will be responsible for transporting your bike to that point. ALL BIKES MUST BE BOXED FOR TRANSPORT TO THE STARTING POINT. THE BIKE MUST BE TOTALLY ENCLOSED BEFORE IT WILL BE ALLOWED ON THE SEMI. UNBOXED BIKES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Many riders take their bikes to their local bike shops to have their bikes boxed. Others purchase large cardboard boxes and box the bikes themselves. We are happy to construct boxes to fit your bike without taking it apart, but you must contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your dimensions. The boxes can be purchased or rented.
- How can I keep the box my bike was transported in?
- If you aren’t from Omaha and want to save the box for the end of the ride, just write “SAVE, your rider number and name” on the side of it, put it on the semi.
- How do I get my bike to the starting point if I live out-of-state or don’t want to ride the bus?
- In the past, many riders have made arrangements with Nebraska area bike shops to mail their bikes to the starting point. Others have made their situations known on the message board and have made arrangements with other riders going on the tour. Or contact Falls City, the ride start town, and arrange to ship your bike directly to them.
- I need someone to drive my car to the starting point. Can BRAN help?
- Please post your needs on the BRAN message board or BRAN Facebook page. We have had people volunteer to help out with driving when they see those needs on the board.
- What time does the BRAN bus leave?
- Buses will load in Tekamah on Saturday, June 3rd. Loading time will be begin at 6:00 a.m. and buses will depart promptly at 7:00 a.m. Buses will arrive in Falls City with enough time to allow bus riders to participate in the SAG supported pre-ride offered on Saturday.
- Where do I park my car if I want to leave it at the bus departure point?
- There will be a designated parking for BRAN 37 participants taking the bus from Tekamah to the ride start in Falls City.
- Is there a place for me to leave my car at the first host community?
- Riders wanting to leave their car in the first host city will need to contact that community to make arrangements.
- What do I need to bring for check in?
- Your BRAN ticket and ID! Check-in is on Saturday, June 3rd in Falls City, Nebraska.
- How do I check in if I start later in the week?
- There will be a BRAN registration at the Camp Director’s RV each evening of the ride.
- Can I camp at the departure point before buses leave for Falls City?
- Yes, you may camp on the school’s grounds overnight before buses depart Saturday morning. Restrooms will be availble but no showers available.
- Is online registration available?
- Yes! The link and necessary waiver can be found in the Register section on this website.
- How much does BRAN cost?
- The registration fee for the 2017 tour is $240 for the full week or $150 for the 3 or 4 day ride option. The 2017 bus fee is $40 to ride the bus from Tekamah to the first host town, Falls City, for the Full Week Ride or the 3 Day Ride and is $30 to ride the bus from Tekamah to North Bend for the 4 Day Ride. Any private vehicles accompanying BRAN riders are also charged a fee. The private vehicle fee for 2017 is $75. Individual spending money for the tour is approximately $20-$30 dollars a day.
- Is there a daily BRAN rate?
- No, There is not a daily rate but this year we are offering a full week ride, a 3 day ride or a 4 day ride. You may elect to ride for less than those times but the registration cost will be charged at the rate you selected and contributed to the scholarship fund.
- Is registration open on the first day of the ride?
- Registration on first day is available only if the ride is not already filled to the 600 rider maximum. Riders registering after the registration deadline, April 22nd, may not receive the Tshirt, Water Bottle, Luggage Tags or other items offered to the riders registering by the registration deadline.
- How do I register the person(s) who will be driving (or riding in) my car during the tour and providing private support?
- Private support vehicles must register. All drivers and passengers must register and sign the BRAN Agreement, Waiver and Release of Liability. There is a place on the registration form to indicate car registration. Copies can be made for all individuals to sign.
- How do I know if I have been accepted for the tour? What kind of confirmation is given?
- If you registered by mail in (paper) registrations your cashed check will verify that your registration was received. Online registrants will receive an automatic email notification at the time of registration. Minors (under age 19) are required to mail in a paper copy of the waiver and they will be notified by email or mail when the minor registration is complete.
- How long does it take to receive the BRAN packet and Tour Guide after registration/fees are sent in?
- Packets are sent out mid-May.
- If I am unable to go on BRAN as planned, will my BRAN ticket and bus ticket be refunded?
- See the BRAN registration form for refund terms.
- What does my registration fee get me?
- The registration fee covers your ride registration, BRAN t-shirt, a BRAN water bottle, Tour Guide & Map book, baggage tags, baggage transportation and On-The-Road SAG support. Any ride income after expenses are used to support the scholarship fund.
- What do I do if I lose my BRAN ticket?
- What is the BRAN cancellation policy?
- You will need to contact BRAN office (email and phone listed above) no later than May 5, 2017 to cancel your ride registration. A $25.00 processing fee per applicant will be deducted for refunds requested prior to May 5, 2017.
- Do I have to carry my own gear?
- No. A semi transports your luggage/camping gear to each host town. Riders who finish the ride early help unload the semi. The luggage is lined up and riders claim their gear when they get in from the day’s ride.
- How is the gear tagged?
- BRAN supplies 2 luggage tags. You are limited to 2 bags. Please see suggested checklist.
- What about sleeping accommodations?
- BRAN is a camping tour. Each rider is expected to provide for their own sleeping arrangements. Most riders bring a tent to sleep in. BRAN arranges for riders and support personnel to camp on high school football fields or in their city parks. In the event of inclement weather (i.e. heavy rains, thunderstorms, tornadoes, snow, etc.), facilities will be provided.
- Are there any other accommodations besides camping?
- Some Host Communities offer BRAN riders Bed-A-Biker. Host will allow riders to stay in their homes. A fee is charged as part of a community fund raiser. Check with the Host Community contacts for more information.
- Some towns/cities have hotel/motel/Bed & Breakfast accommodations as well. Anyone interested in such lodging is responsible for making their own reservations.
- In the past some churches have allowed riders to stay in their basements. Again, this kind of arrangement would depend on what the host community provides. Check with the Host Community contact to confirm if they will be offering this service.
- Pork Belly Ventures/Anytime Showers provide a combination of camping and shower service. The service includes all labor of set-up, take-down, and moving your bags to and from the tent daily. The service also includes your daily hot, private shower from Anytime Showers. Click here for application.
- What time do we have to get up in the morning?
- You can wake up whenever you want to, but you are required to take down your tent and pack your gear each day. You are also required to put said gear on the truck so that it can be taken to the next town. This usually means you’ll be up before 8:00 a.m. The semi is scheduled to leave town by 9:00 a.m. DO NOT START TO RIDE BEFORE DAYLIGHT!
- How does BRAN communicate with the riders during the tour?
- Messages are written on the side of the semi. Weather conditions, any messages from BRAN crew, and messages from riders to other riders or riders to their families and vice versa.
- Is there any place to recharge my phone/MP3 player, etc?
- Yes. Most people recharge their devices in the high schools that we stay in. The parks also have electrical outlets that we can use. Remember to bring your charger. Also, BRAN has a charging station for multiple devices located close to the Camp Director’s RV.
- Where do we eat/get food on the tour?
- It’s always a good idea to check your Tour Guide for food options. The host towns will provide breakfast/dinner at a cost. Many of the churches and civic organizations plan buffets, pot lucks, etc. There are also restaurants in the towns/cities on tour. There will be a listing of where the food accommodations are for each day of the tour. There is always a city/town along the way that provides a luncheon (at cost to the rider). The BRAN SAG support also offers fruit/water and other snacks on the tour. Donations are welcomed for these supplies. There are also convenience stores along the way most days of the tour, as well as bake sales and other food booths supplied by various civic/school organizations.
- What are the bathroom/shower accommodations?
- They are provided in the high schools or parks that we stay in. The individual riders are responsible for bringing all of their own personal grooming supplies.
- Also, Anytime Showers has semi built to provide private hot showers for a fee. Showers, towels, soap, etc. can be purchased for a single shower or a week pass.
- What do we do during the day and in the evening after the ride?
- Check the Tour Guide for interesting stops on the ride. In the Host Communities, people will get a nap in after riding all day or will take advantage of whatever the town has to offer for entertainment. There are several options for grub, ranging from Potlucks to local restaurants. The evening is also a great time to meet new friends and just have fun!
- What about services for my bike?
- In the evening people also check their bikes over to make sure they don’t have any thorns/glass etc in their tires. There is a bike shop that goes on tour with us who can meet most of your cycling needs.
- Is there internet access available on the ride?
- Yes. In many of the towns, the high schools open their computer labs or offer Wifi so people can check their e-mail or send messages to home.
- Are there phones available for the riders?
- Pay phones are on the endangered species list. There might be pay phones. Most riders bring their cell phones. Be aware that some of the route might not have cell phone coverage.
- Is there an emergency phone number for people to use who have to reach someone on BRAN?
- Yes, numbers will be provided in the “BRAN Serial” at check in. Also, Vickie, BRAN Administrator, (402-397-9785) can forward important info during the week.
- Will someone wake us up in the morning?
- No. However, you will quickly learn that there is no need for an alarm. The sound of tent zippers usually wakes folks up in a hurry. However, if you are a heavy sleeper or sleep away from the main campground area, you will need a travel alarm or someone to wake you up.
- Are there any dump stations along the route?
- Individuals needing RV services are advised to check with the individual host communities for details.
- Is there a place for RVs or campers on the tour?
- Yes, there is a designated area at each campground site we stay at for RVs and campers.
- Are laundry facilities available?
- There are Laundromats in some of the towns we will stay in and some of the host homes allow riders to wash/dry their clothing. Most riders choose to bring enough clothing for the entire tour.
- Is there medical support while on tour?
- Yes. We have a nurse that can be seen at the Camp Director RV after the day’s ride to get limited medical aid. We also have a roving EMT. If a rider becomes injured on the road he/she (and their bike) will be picked up by the SAG Crew and transported to the nearest medical facility. If a rider is unable to continue the ride due to fatigue, a SAG driver can pick them up. However, we are not a taxi service. There are limits to how many times the rider can be picked up before they are asked to leave the tour.
- Is there on-road support?
- Yes. We have roving SAGs, stationary SAGs and a bike shop van that follow the riders on tour. Riders should know how to fix a flat tire and carry the necessary tools and spare tubes to fix a flat. However, if you feel that you lack this knowledge or are physically unable to do this, a support person or bike shop can help you. In many cases, more experienced riders will help you change your tire. To prevent most flats make sure tires are properly inflated and free of thorns, etc. Consider carrying your bike over grass areas.
- Are there restroom facilities on the road?
- Not provided by BRAN. There are usually small towns that contain service stations and/or convenience stores where you can take care of your needs. However, many riders use the great outdoors. You may want to carry a partial roll of TP, just in case. Folks who live on the road are sometimes agreeable to allowing riders to use their bathrooms as well.
- What can I do if I want to take off a jacket or pants that I’ve worn in the cool early morning but don’t want to carry them on my bike?
- You can give them to a SAG driver and pick them up at camp after the day’s ride. However, write down the number of the car or driver you gave them to so you can find them afterward.
- Will there be extra BRAN t-shirts on sale during the tour?
- Yes. Each year we have the BRAN Store at the Camp Director’s RV, where riders can buy extra t-shirts, and other BRAN items.
- Is there a post-ride celebration?
- YES! Please join the BRAN Crew and the Northwest Rotary Club for a Post Ride Celebration. Food/drink will be provided. This is a great time to say all of your good-byes, take photos, pick up your official BRAN poster, and say thank you to those who made the ride possible. (Donations for the food are encouraged and welcomed!)
- How do I get a BRAN poster?
- The BRAN posters will be available at the end of the ride.
- Does BRAN provide transportation back to the first host city at the end of the ride?
- No, but many other riders have the same situation. Please post your needs on the website message board or the BRAN Facebook page. (This might sound like a silly question to some people but, some riders live closer to the first host city than to the official BRAN/bus ride starting point. They like to leave their cars at the first host city, ride the tour, then go back and get their cars for the drive home.)
- Will there be shower facilities for after the ride?
- We will have this information as it comes to us.
BRAN 36 – Host Contacts
- How do I share my pictures on the Photo Gallery?
- What do I do if I don’t feel comfortable doing the upload?
- If you would prefer not to do the upload yourself, you can forward the photos, either by CD, or email (or photobucket, or some other service) to email@example.com and he will get them posted.
- Do other BRAN riders want to see my pictures?