Author Topic: Woman Cycling Alone  (Read 3376 times)

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Offline Kelly Gardner

Woman Cycling Alone
« on: March 02, 2012, 01:23:19 am »
Hi,

I am a 32 year old Australian woman who is looking to cycle the Southern States of America (Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee etc) around May.

I have bike toured fairly extensively around the world and had no problems. A few well traveled friends mentioned that some parts of these States can be dodgy. I tend to think most people exaggerate how dangerous a place can be, but want to be prepared none the less.

Any comments or area's worth avoiding?

Cheers
Kelly

Offline John Nelson

Re: Woman Cycling Alone
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2012, 10:52:29 am »
I tend to think most people exaggerate how dangerous a place can be
Me too. You'll be fine. I don't think there's anywhere you need to avoid, except possibly some pockets of a few of our very largest cities at night. None of those cities are in the states you mention.

Offline pmac

Re: Woman Cycling Alone
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2012, 03:09:04 pm »
I live in Mississippi and have spent alot of time in Alabama and Louisiana.  There are certainly some relatively small areas in large metro areas like Jackson, New Orleans, the Miss/Ala Gulf Coast Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Tupelo,  Memphis and others with high crime rates.  However,  have always felt comfortable in those cities as a whole and they all have alot to offer.  The same situation exists as in any part other of this country or anyplace else with large urban areas.  Don't let the fact that crime exists everywhere discourage you from visiting the Sunny South.  People throughout the South tend to be very friendly, the food is great, if a bit unhealthy at times, the backroads are scenic, the hills are generally not too bad and the weather in May is generally great. 

Just like you would be doing anywhere else, be aware of your surroundings and keep you eyes open when you're i.  You will have fun.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Woman Cycling Alone
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2012, 02:40:41 am »
Lots of women have cycled long distances alone without being bothered. In fact, it's a matter of chance. Just be careful. You should be safe.

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.398045477937.196939.586797937&type=3


 

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Woman Cycling Alone
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2012, 02:56:33 pm »
One thing. The USA does have much more crime per capita than other countries. The state of California has more people locked up than six European countries plus Japan combined. With a population of some 300,000,000 we have more people in prison than China with some 1.3 billion people, and our system keeps right on generating more and more criminal activity.

You should be safe cycling alone on the ST. Just remember there are many problems. Largely, people in jail and in prison are there because of DRUGS. Hint hint. You know what to avoid in any potential social situations.

About 35,000 people have been murdered in the drug war in Mexico in a few years or a bit longer. That's many more than all Americans killed in war in Iraq and Afghanistan in ten years. It's kind of scary when you think about it. Think twice before allowing any strangers trying to lure you across the border to have some fun in Mexico. You have to use your own judgement.

You shouldn't have any trouble. I think the main risk is still the traffic, drunk drivers, young inexperienced drivers, or somebody just not paying attention and texting, etc.

Offline bigsurcyclist

Re: Woman Cycling Alone
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2012, 12:22:13 pm »
I don't know if this response helps any but I'd like to see craigslist create a category entitled "Bikeshare" (the bike counterpart to "rideshare") so cyclists going the same route can connect.  I submitted my suggestion to craigslist but got ignored... 

Offline staehpj1

Re: Woman Cycling Alone
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2012, 12:53:48 pm »
I tend to think most people exaggerate how dangerous a place can be
Me too. You'll be fine. I don't think there's anywhere you need to avoid, except possibly some pockets of a few of our very largest cities at night. None of those cities are in the states you mention.
+1
I am recently returned from a trip through there and think the concerns are not all that serious.

Offline adventurepdx

  • World Traveler
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  • Riding bikes in and around Portland, Oregon
Re: Woman Cycling Alone
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2012, 01:29:00 pm »
I don't know if this response helps any but I'd like to see craigslist create a category entitled "Bikeshare" (the bike counterpart to "rideshare") so cyclists going the same route can connect.  I submitted my suggestion to craigslist but got ignored...

Crazy Guy on a Bike has a "companions" section in their classifieds:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/classifieds/categories/?o=1&category_id=5&page=1&sub_locales=1

And so does this very website!
http://adventurecycling.org/mag/companions.cfm

Offline Susan

Re: Woman Cycling Alone
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2012, 07:23:28 am »
Kelly,

I'm a 63 year old woman from Germany and have ridden the Southern Tier twice, half of the Northern Tier and the Sierra Cascade Route as documented here:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=1&doc_id=7457&v=oe

Since I want to go at my own pace,  I have always toured solo and felt very comfortable doing so, including in the area where you plan to ride.  You actually meet more folks when you are riding alone and it's heartwarming to experience how kind, generous and helpful people are. 

Have a wonderful trip!
Susan


Offline csykes

Re: Woman Cycling Alone
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2012, 02:33:05 pm »
The currently-featured journal on crazyguyonabike.com is by a young woman who crossed the counrty solo after graduating from grad school.  I have not read it completely yet, but you may find it interesting as it is about a solo tour by a woman.

Offline gypsysue

Re: Woman Cycling Alone
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2012, 03:23:50 pm »
I've done a few tours alone, including the Natches Trace across Mississippi both directions, two years ago.  I stayed out of cities like Jackson and just skirted them, and I found the people of Mississippi to be some of the nicest people I've ever met. 

I felt safe on those rides, even though I would have ridden with someone if I could have found anyone who didn't think of the whole thing as racking up miles in as short a time as they can!  :D  I'm out there for the adventure and my bicycle is just the tool to take me on the journey.

Offline Ronn

Re: Woman Cycling Alone
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2012, 08:10:02 pm »
 :)You,ll Do Fine out there, theirs alot of women old and young out there with no complaints, Just use your common sences if it don,t feel right to u move on intill it does :)  Good Luck To YA 

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Woman Cycling Alone
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2012, 12:57:00 pm »
The currently-featured journal on crazyguyonabike.com is by a young woman who crossed the counrty solo after graduating from grad school.  I have not read it completely yet, but you may find it interesting as it is about a solo tour by a woman.

I have read her journal completely.  She had no actual security issues, but she did encounter people that she found creepy. 

As others have said, common sense prevails.  When in doubt, the universal solution would be to call 911 on a cell phone, and let the responsible police force sort things out.  The 911 dispatcher always knows who has jurisdiction.
Danno