Remote GPS tracking

Hello,

I need some suggestions on a new project. I recently had my bicycle stolen (was locked up, b**sterds used bolt cutters) and i am planning on splashing some cash on a new better one. But i was wondering how plausible an Arduino based GPS tracking device would be to make. The GPS part should be relatively easy, but the issue i'm having is the long range communication. I did think about using the cellular network with an Arduino shield, but that would cost for a data plan. So i need some suggestions on communication. It wouldn't be constant, maybe only on demand, or make the GPS output its position once a day which would also help on power consumption.

I did see a youtube video of a guy using walkie talkies using RTTY to send sensor data. This could be a viable solution, although walkie talkies are quite big and would be hard to hide in the frame of the bike, as well as power. It would have to be on all the time. And i know there are already some products on the market that do the functionality i'm looking for but again they use cellular network, and i prefer the DIY aspect.

The communication needs to be over quite some distance, at least 2 miles, but longer the distance the better. Would properly use an Arduino Nano in low power mode to conserve battery.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Calum.

Where would you put it? If I stole a bicycle I would look for things attached which might contain trackers and remove them or turn them off.

The simplest thing would probably be a mobile phone with GPS that would (somehow) send its coordinates to some central place. I think some phones have a "find my phone" feature that does that. But you still have the problem of hiding it, or you lose a bicycle and a phone.

This cellular dev board might be useful: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sparqee/sparqee-cellv10-cellular-made-easy-arduino-pi?ref=live

It wont be finalized until December but if you dont mind beta testing you could get an advanced copy next month.