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POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Cell Phones

Recommended Service CarriersText MessagingPower and Battery Life


Cell phone coverage is generally excellent because our routes generally parallel major highways and pass through many populated areas.

Although we do not require you to have a cell phone to participate, if you do not have a cell phone, get one for our events. If you don't want to get a cell phone long term, we recommend either borrowing one for the event or getting a pay as you go type phone plan.

Above and beyond anything else, having a cell phone could save your life should a life-threatening medical emergency arise. You can save precious time and contact emergency medical services directly yourself rather than relying on us if you don't have a cell phone, which could literally mean the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.

You should carry your cell phone with you at all times. This includes while you are riding, at the rest stops, and in our stopping towns. It is quite likely that we, another participant, or someone else not participating in the event will need to contact you directly while you are participating in the event, especially in case of an emergency.

You should have your cell phone turned on and at both the maximum ringer volume and on vibrate if possible so you can both hear and feel your phone, considering there will be such background noise as wind and other people, among other things. You should keep your cell phone located where you can easily hear and/or feel it, such as in your jersey pocket when you are riding or in your pants pocket when you are not.

Recommended Service Carriers
For service carriers we recommend using either AT&T or Verizon. Our staff will use AT&T and since AT&T customers get free in-network calling neither you we will use any minutes to communicate. If you prefer, Verizon supposedly has the best coverage across Illinois from what we've heard, but we have yet to verify this ourselves.

Don't choose T-Mobile since their coverage is lousy along our routes from our experience. We haven't had any significant experience with any other carriers, and can't give any other recommendations. If you have had any experience with any other cell phone carriers across Illinois, good or bad, and would like to share your experience for the benefit of other participants we would greatly appreciate hearing about it!

Text Messaging
To account for unlikely but potential lapses in consistent cell phone coverage you can also send us a text message in case you are unable to call us directly. Text messaging has proved very useful in the past since text messages will sit in a queue until there is an adequate signal for them to be sent and don't require a long consistent signal, as opposed to trying over and over again to talk to us only to be cut off from poor coverage. Please try calling us first before texting though since direct voice communications are by far the best way to communicate and we and you both may have to pay for each text message sent and received. We will not be responsible for any charges you incur as a result of us sending you a text message.

Power and Battery Life
It is very important that you remember to charge your cell phone at night before the ride the next day.

Relatively short battery lives can be a major issue with cell phones, particularly smartphones. By far the most common way a cell phone will fail on the road is simply running out of power and is best prevented through proper personal planning beforehand.

  • Click Here for more information about personal electronic device power sources and how to be personally prepared against running out of power for each type.

If your cell phone runs low or out of power on the road, you will be able to charge it as long as you need to at any rest stop location that has operational electrical outlets.

  • Click Here for more information about on road support for personal electronic devices.

Using Your Smartphone as a GPS Navigation Device

P.O. Box 8454 • Chicago, IL 60680 • (877) TOUR-ILL [868-7455]
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