Author Topic: Woman riding by herself  (Read 4233 times)

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Offline jills2fast4u

Woman riding by herself
« on: January 03, 2012, 10:02:19 pm »
The dream is to bike across the US using the southern route.  I am going by myself in that I really want a true adventure.  Man I am getting nothing but "not a good idea"  "too dangerous".  As bikers yourselves is it stupid to ride by myself
thanks for the advice

Online John Nelson

Re: Woman riding by herself
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2012, 10:53:13 pm »
The short answer is no, it is neither dangerous nor ill-advised for a woman to tour alone, despite the fact that almost everyone who hasn't done it will tell you so. Don't listen to them. I would guess that thousands of women have done it, with great results.

Here's a paper that was written for the ACA about this. It's not quite enough to convince the skeptics, but it might help some:

http://www.adventurecycling.org/resources/momworry.pdf

Make a list of everything that you think might go wrong. Then ask your nay-sayers to supplement the list. Then investigate how often that any of these things have actuallly happened (outside of horror movies). Then develop a plan of what you would do in each case.

Next, go over to crazyguyonabike.com and search for journals of women who have toured alone. There are many. Here's just one good example:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/circumtrektion

You can also search this forum for this question. It's been discussed here many times, and you'll find a lot of reassuring comments.

Go! Have a great time! Don't worry, and don't let the worries of your friends and family dissuade you. This will be the experience of a lifetime.

Offline nthabiseng

Re: Woman riding by herself
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2012, 11:37:26 pm »
As a 60 year old woman, I wouldn't hesitate to tour alone.  I haven't done so yet, having only toured with my husband.  But if he ever decided he didn't want to go with me, I wouldn't worry about it for one second.  Go, and enjoy!!

Offline Tandem4Rider

Re: Woman riding by herself
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2012, 07:11:22 am »
Good advice so far.  The conventional wisdom apart from cyclists about cycling is that much or most of what we do is dangerous.  At one level it is true, but then everything we do has an element of danger to it.  For example, roughly the same number of people die from choking each year as compared to bicycle related deaths.  Yet the same people who may weigh in against cycling for its 'dangers' do not correspondingly attempt others to avoid eating.

Common sense, in my ever so humbled opinion, must rule the day.  If you are considering a tour on your own my guess is you do other things on your own as well.  Make your decisions in like manner.

Above all - enjoy the ride!

Offline staehpj1

Re: Woman riding by herself
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2012, 07:31:10 am »
I have met plenty of women happily touring alone.  Use good common sense and you will be fine.  The biggest danger is traffic and I figure that is an acceptable risk.

Offline waynemyer

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Re: Woman riding by herself
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2012, 08:08:11 am »
I wonder how many of Jill's contrary friends have actually embarked on any kind of adventure? Crabs in a bucket, I tell ya! Our culture of fear has us afraid of all the wrong things.
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Offline bogiesan

Re: Woman riding by herself
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2012, 08:23:20 am »
The dream is to bike across the US using the southern route.  I am going by myself in that I really want a true adventure.  Man I am getting nothing but "not a good idea"  "too dangerous".  As bikers yourselves is it stupid to ride by myself
thanks for the advice

I cannot think of anything a solo woman would do any differently than anyone else. There are some maintenance skills and riding techniques you want to master before you hit the road on a trip that long. Have fun buut know what you're doing.




I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline staehpj1

Re: Woman riding by herself
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2012, 08:27:08 am »
I am going by myself in that I really want a true adventure.
I forgot to mention that on busier routes many folks wound up meeting and either riding with or camping with other riders for some portion of their tour.  I find that when possible that doesn't make the ride any less of an adventure and I definitely find it a plus.  I am not sure how often that happens on the Southern Tier, but on the Pacific Coast and the Trans America it is very likely.  In the Sierras and on the Santa Fe Trail I think it pretty unlikely.  I am guessing the ST is somewhere in between.  I guess I will find out in February, since I am starting the ST 2-11-2012 from San Diego.

Offline Bry

Re: Woman riding by herself
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2012, 09:05:34 am »
Trans Am. and Trans Can. are just two tours on my short list of epic adventures. In my cycle dreams I'm always solo, never with a group. My wife, co-workers and friends all think I'm nuts to even consider such a tour without "safety in numbers". Clearly, these non-cyclists think cycle touring is dangerous regardless of gender.

Prepare well, do your "homework", and have a great time. Florida to Calf. is not Cairo to Cape Town and I'm sure I read about a woman who did THAT tour solo.. oy vey!

Bryan
Barrington, RI
And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillion infidels.

Walt Whitman

Offline tonythomson

Re: Woman riding by herself
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2012, 03:08:54 am »
I've toured all my life alone, and still people are saying "what! On your own?  Isn't it dangerous?  "don't do it" etc  you must be mad"  Don't listen to them.

 Take the same precautions you would in your daily schedule to stay safe.  If a situation doesn't seem right move on.  Listen to your gut reaction.

Have great time and you will meet plenty of great people.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline Moni

Re: Woman riding by herself
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2012, 07:50:21 am »
Jill, just do it.  You will be a much stronger person/woman after.  I have toured solo.  At first, not my choice, but my buddy was hurting and needed to go home.  I still prefer to ride with him, but I do tour on my own too.

Then there is Linda.  Check out her journals.  During her latest tour, I got to meet her.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/6743

Usually people tell me to be careful, even here, at home, on my short ride to work (3.3 miles).  My smart alecky answer is, I hope the people in cars are careful, course I always are.  :)

Moni

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Woman riding by herself
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2012, 10:48:04 am »
Take the same precautions you would in your daily schedule to stay safe.  If a situation doesn't seem right move on.  Listen to your gut reaction.

I think Tony sums everything up.  Be safe, not paranoid, and have fun!

Offline Mag in NH

Re: Woman riding by herself
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2012, 06:32:53 pm »
Thanks for starting the discussion, Jill. I'm going to do some solo overnights this spring and work up to a longer tour this summer. My plan is to work them around special events, like the Maine Bike Rally, so that I can have a mix of solitude and company.

Offline valygrl

Re: Woman riding by herself
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2012, 12:55:45 am »
Yeah, it's fine, go for it.

I guess I would feel a bit more uncomfortable in the south - both the deep south and the border areas - as a woman alone than I have in other areas.  But honestly, I choose not to ride those places even if I have someone to go with me.

I have found that places where there is a lot of poverty and alcohol abuse are a little sketchier, and a few times I've decided to take a motel room rather than camp somewhere that seems dangerous.

It's worth being aware of your surroundings and keeping the "radar" on, but not worth skipping your trip or riding with someone whose company you don't enjoy.  Just keep your wits about you, if something feels wrong take that seriously and change the situation.

Offline forrest

Re: Woman riding by herself
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2012, 05:17:56 pm »
when are you going and which route...