Author Topic: Is it ok to travel solo...  (Read 6720 times)

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Offline tonythomson

Re: Is it ok to travel solo...
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2010, 12:12:02 pm »
Ahh how things  have changed - sorry if this off thread but all this talk about GPS  SPOT etc made me think about "the good old days"  ::)
and I remember crossing China using two maps one in English and the other in Chinese this enabled me to cross ref sign posts etc. 

But more to the point all these electronics are great but I would always recommend taking a good map not just the ACA (which are brilliant) but a larger map enables you to see what you are close to as in a bigger town etc just in case you need to make a detour. And check out your route on Google Earth which will also enable you to add information to your ACA maps.  Great for looking at road conditions also.

There not too stuck in the past :)
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline Tourista829

Re: Is it ok to travel solo...
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2010, 08:31:23 pm »
Here Here Tony, I still believe in maps. I still use them when I ride. Even though I did much of my flying in IMC conditions, I use to love to fly, using Pilotage and Dead Reckoning. In good visibility take a sectional (flight map), draw a straight line from point a to point b and marking off intersecting distance lines over an intersection of two landmarks. Mark the distance between them and the time it took between intersecting lines. Then calculate the time it took you to fly and convert it to your ground speed. Doing it in a Piper Cub* at 65 mph, with the doors off, was devine. We called it flying low & slow, there is something to be said about back to basics. *Although, I always wanted to go to the UK and fly a Tiger Moth. Are you back in Florida?

Offline merzperson

Re: Is it ok to travel solo...
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2010, 03:00:24 pm »
I successfully completed the TransAm just this past summer (2010) and set out solo. I'm 20 years old and this was my first tour, although I had done a bunch of backpacking and cycling before the trip. I had the absolute time of my life, and you will too. You will learn more than you can imagine, especially if you are open-minded about trying new things.

Also, if you're on a popular route (like the TransAm) there's a very good chance you'll run into cyclists riding the same way as you. I was lucky enough to meet with a group halfway through my ride that was my age going the same way at about the same pace so we rode together the rest of the way. It was an amazing experience meeting people this way, and I developed a very close friendship with the group I rode with. Don't get high hopes that this will happen for you, but regardless I would have still had an amazing trip if I ended up doing the whole thing solo.

If you are inexperienced at camping you should seek advice from someone you might know who has experience. You should be prepared for weather (both very hot and fairly cold) and bugs. Sometimes it takes a bit of searching to find a safe and practical spot to camp. I camped every night while I was riding solo, and never once payed. Sometimes you just have to pull off the side of the road and set up tent behind a bush. I'd advise not camping on private property without permission. Also keep in mind that you learn the most when things go wrong. Just remember that you'll never be less than a day's ride from a town of some sort, and the longest time I went without cell reception was probably about 4 days in Idaho (AT&T).

Believe me, when it comes to asking someone if you can set up your tent in their yard you will have no problem doing so. I have always been very reluctant to asking strangers for help but I found no problem during my trip. People were more often than not very eager to help. Sometimes (in Kansas mostly) people even came up to me and asked if I wanted to set up my tent in their yard!

Do it! You'll have the time of your life.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2010, 03:04:11 pm by merzperson »

Offline knolltop

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Re: Is it ok to travel solo...
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2010, 04:58:32 pm »
merzperson .... GREAT post!
:thumbsup:
And welcome to the forum.
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Offline litespeed

Re: Is it ok to travel solo...
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2010, 07:34:52 pm »
Over 99% of my bicycle touring has been solo and I like it that way but I admit that I am an inveterate, lifetime loner. Just make sure that you have good equipment - a quality touring bike with good tires (Schwalbe), a good tent (North Face, Hilleberg), comfortable shoes and a comfortable seat (very important). Don't skimp. The unhappy touring bicyclists I have encountered have all been victims of bad (usually cheap) equipment or woefully insufficient funds.

Offline peterharris

Re: Is it ok to travel solo...
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2010, 12:14:54 pm »
I know squat about touring although I'm learning and am beginning to yearn for an opportunity to do a cross-country tour (it is on my bucket list). I've done one credit-card tour and now I think I'm hooked. I've read this post with great interest since I'm likely to find myself in the same position that most of you have been in ... just who the heck do I know that would want to do this, too, and that I could get along with for that much "togetherness"?

I'll echo merzperson's comments:

... if you're on a popular route (like the TransAm) there's a very good chance you'll run into cyclists riding the same way as you. I was lucky enough to meet with a group halfway through my ride that was my age going the same way at about the same pace so we rode together the rest of the way. It was an amazing experience meeting people this way, and I developed a very close friendship with the group I rode with.

Think of the Appalachian Trail and the people who thru-hike the entire 2,179 miles. I've not done it but know several who have. Some start out with a friend, significant other, or spouse but end up doing and finishing most of it solo; most, however, do it solo from the get-go. When you ask them what the "best" part of the hike was, invariably you'll hear them talk about the people they met and hiked with along the way; and then there are the "trail angels" - total strangers who lent a helping hand in some hour of need. I know doing a cross-country tour will be very different in many ways but in my mind's eye I think the experience would be somewhat similar to that of a thru-hiker.

Offline dw12345678

Re: Is it ok to travel solo...
« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2010, 07:13:20 pm »
Ronnie

I cycled London to Istanbul a couple of years ago. The first 3 weeks I was with a friend and the last 3 weeks I rode solo, including through some dodgy parts of Eastern Europe. The whole trip was amazing and I would do it again, accompanied or on my own.

I'm also looking to ride across America in summer 2011. Basic plan is LA - San Francisco - New York from end of June to end of August, 100 miles / day, mainly camping. If this sounds appealing drop me an email. If this route or time doesn't work or you've now set your heart on braving it alone then go for it! Good luck.

Dave

Offline ezdoesit

Re: Is it ok to travel solo...
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2010, 11:59:53 am »
+1
Think of the Appalachian Trail and the people who thru-hike the entire 2,179 miles. I've not done it but know several who have. Some start out with a friend, significant other, or spouse but end up doing and finishing most of it solo; most, however, do it solo from the get-go. When you ask them what the "best" part of the hike was, invariably you'll hear them talk about the people they met and hiked with along the way; and then there are the "trail angels" - total strangers who lent a helping hand in some hour of need. I know doing a cross-country tour will be very different in many ways but in my mind's eye I think the experience would be somewhat similar to that of a thru-hiker.

I have Thru-Hiked the entire trail.
Remember it's mind over matter
you don't mind it doesn't matter

Ride more Drive Less

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Is it ok to travel solo...
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2010, 12:38:38 am »
There have been a few times I wished I was riding solo due to attitude or conditioning issues with a partner.  I've ridden both solo and in groups of various sized and like doing it both ways.  Solo does give and enormous feeling of independence and freedom.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline lindagould

Re: Is it ok to travel solo...
« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2010, 06:14:39 pm »
I am a 70 year old woman who has soloed on the Underground RR , the Danube River in Europe, Netherlands, the northern tier from NH to Rochester, NY, From Missoula to Washington state, and around Lake Champlain.  The only thing to fear is fear itself.  I am not a great athlete just a regular sort of person, but you have to trust people, have faith, use common sense and intuition and it is ok. It is good to know how to change a flat and maybe have a credit card or some cash  as money can always get you a taxi.  I fear dogs the most. People are the best part. A good map helps me.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2010, 06:17:57 pm by lindagould »

Offline ronnie421

Re: Is it ok to travel solo...
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2010, 12:41:10 pm »
Its been a short while since my last post.  My dream of riding across the country, solo or with someone, just died for me.  I lost my father just recently to heart attack. He left his business to me, hoping that I could eventually transfer it to my mom.  But, I am now having to move my trip further into the future.  I am showing my mom how to handle the business and all of my dads contacts for the first year or so. My plans to ride across the country in 2011 just changed.  The summer will be and has always been the busiest time of the year for my dad. I cant leave my mom to handle it alone so soon.  Its almost Christmas and only a few short weeks away from crunch time.  I will have to be by my mom at least during her first summer of heavy activity in the biz. I must reschedule my ride to 2012.  She should be good-to-go on her own by then. But I have read all of your posts and I am happy to hear that some of you have actually done it alone and had a great time.  I'm sure that I will have a great time too... in 2012.  Thanks, everyone, for the advice. I'll be back soon. I'm not done YET!!!!!
« Last Edit: December 13, 2010, 12:44:11 pm by ronnie421 »

Offline tonythomson

Re: Is it ok to travel solo...
« Reply #26 on: December 14, 2010, 09:17:55 am »
Ronnie - sorry to hear your news and I'm sure all on this forum feel for you and your family.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline ronnie421

Re: Is it ok to travel solo...
« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2010, 08:10:08 pm »
Thanks, Tony.

       I still plan on riding, just not so much right now.  But I really cant wait. It sounds like a fun and very rewarding experience. 

Offline Shane

Re: Is it ok to travel solo...
« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2010, 10:27:57 am »
Ronnie,  good luck with your new challenge, but keep your cycle trip in your sights, dont let it go into the "forgotten dreams" draw,,,,,

Shane

Offline Alex W.

Re: Is it ok to travel solo...
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2011, 05:34:01 pm »
Ronnie,
I completed the TransAmerican route Aug. 2nd.  It was, without a doubt, the single most spectacular time of my life!!!! I rode with a couple of folks I met online at the adventure cycling site.  However, my mentality, from the very beginning, was to pack and prepare as if I were riding solo.  I was fortunate to enjoy the company of my fellow riders, yet I was prepared to go it alone. Because you have a year until your ride, maybe you can find a group, but be prepaired, if necessary, to ride alone. 

Before my ride, I assesed my weaknesses.  My sense of direction is atrocious.  I honestly believe I could get lost in a paper bag! I ordered the Adventure Cycling maps, studied them before I left, and found my way without worry.  Also, I'm from Houston, so my camping experience is limited.  I did research, bought a one man tent, practiced setting the thing up in my room, and all worked out well.  As far as limited riding experience, well, go ride, you have a year.  I considered the first ten days of the trip as training and allowing my body to adapt.  I say go dream and don't be afraid to fail.  As a cancer survivor, I have discovered a healthy urgency to life.  Now saddle up and go grab a handful of adventure.  I wish you well.