Hey, I've been planning a tour from boston to oregon from about april 1 to june 20. I know weather is a large variable, and you can see more of the plan and weather discussions if you go to my first post in the Routes section: http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=6487.0
Recently my best friend found out that he wouldn't be able to get the time off from work without losing his job, etc. Not including all of the other options like going with somebody else, shortening the trip, or changing the date to when he can go with me, I think I might want to do the trip solo. There is a very specific mood or feeling associated with this trip that I don't want to lose by going with somebody else that I don't know very well, if that makes sense. This trip would be about twice as many miles as I have ever ridden in my life and the longest trip I have ever been on was a 425 mile/6 day tour of northern New England with 0-2 other riders and a support vehicle all the way.
I think I have a fairly good idea about what a solo trip would be like, but I know that it's not nearly as valuable as actual experience. I am pretty confident that I could ride the mileage by myself, and I can always fly home from any major city. I am concerned or mindful about facing things by myself like:
-having a hard time pacing myself correctly without another (slower) rider
-getting a stomach bug while tenting alone in a remote place (i just got pretty sick so that's fresh on my mind)
-safety in terms of defense against other people/wildlife on certain parts of the route (I plan to carry some bear mace)
-injury/ nobody knowing where I am or being able to do anything to help me
-terrain i have never experienced on a bike, like flat windy grasslands, for hundreds/thousands of miles by myself
I plan to use a bob trailer and probably a handlebar bag and maybe some rear panniers for things like food. I will be tenting and cooking on a white gas stove. A motel will be a rare treat/reward/get out of the weather option. I've thought about warmshowers.org, but not much.
If any of you experienced solo tourists could shed some light on these things or at least point me in the right direction, I would appreciate it very much. I'll take any other advice you have for me as well. I'm aware that there is also info on the forums about this type of stuff, and I have been/will continue to look through as much as I can. And please ask any questions needed for clarification.