advice on round the world cycling
I was recently recommeded to this forum for these questions so I'm new here. I'm at a point in my life where I think I want to take a year or more to cycle country to country. The only catchy thing is that I think I'm looking at doing this as a woman solo. Now, I wouldn't hesitate on the solo part if I were doing a RTW trip by planes, trains, buses, etc. It finally hit me that as I was engaging public transport travelers about the chick cycling solo concept, something wasn't translating. That something is the thousands of miles of desolate road that the other travelers don't ususally get to see hence, can't speak to. So, in this round-about way that's my questions. Can anyone speak to pedaling the world's desolate paths solo & female? I've heard of men doing it but never women. Any thoughts what-so-ever you might have would be great to hear.
Long Distance Cyclist
Here's one who has been doing it for several years:
Rode across Nevada with a nurse who cycled from Moscow thru Siberia and into China. She had no problems...Are you capable of being self contained. Mechanically and physically? Certain parts of the world as I am sure you are aware would be asking for problems. Remember running into a couple of retiring military doctors. Planned to cycle the world in like one two years time. They said they researched crossing the middle east. Gave up on the idea.
To get across the "Stans", impossible, they decided to fly. India & Indonesia was said to be just much too crowded to bike across.The wife demonstrated their new GPS to not get lost. Were hauling their huge quantity of needed stuff on a trailer.
Punk Rock Lives
Originally Posted by sueai
There are certainly stereotypical areas where 'a woman could never do it on her own;' the Muslim countries of the mideast. Still, I did run into a few intrepid ladies while I was on MY world tour (but not when I was in the latter region.)
You can always use deception, that you are not traveling on your own; and you can try to lay out in advance (using the internet, for example) a series of people/places along the way where you can check in to make sure your progress is unimpeded.
A comment on one of the previous letters: India is definitely NOT too crowded for cycling. In fact it is my favorite country to cycle in; and would be wonderful for a woman on her own since there are so many facilities and roadside areas for travellers.
If you're lucky/unlucky* then you may be able to make yourself look like a man! Dervla Murphy seemed often to be mistaken for a man and I believe that at times in the Middle East had to prove that she was infact a woman. If you don't know of her, then she cycled from Dublin to Dehli, Kenya to Zimbabwe, around South Africa twice, trekked across Ethiopia with just a mule for company,...... and was almost always travelling alone.
The Stans are certainly not impossible for many nationalities (Brits included), though obtaining visas takes a bit of planning and perseverance.
Punk Rock Lives
I can add a humorous comment on this. Many years ago i was riding back home after a few days tour and I ran into a fellow 'man' who was riding to the town where I lived and was gonna camp out nearby. He was a pretty good looking 'man' with a nice raspy voice and awesome legs, and of course being the vital, virile and vivacious gay male rider that I am, I promptly asked 'him' if he wanted to stay the night at my place instead of wild camping. 'He' said yes.
Originally Posted by amaferanga
It was not until we stopped for a break at a cafe a few miles up and 'he' removed his helmet that i realized 'he' was a "SHE." But i had already committed myself and was good to my word. She stayed the night (on the couch, of course) and was on her way the next day.
About the 'stans': These countries are still in the old 1970s 'shake down the tourists for visas and currency exchange' mentality. I avoided the 'stans on my world tour for this reason.
You need a new bike
I suggest you read "A Bike Ride", by Anne Mustoe. Ms. Mustoe set off on a solo round the world bike tour at about age 50 with virtually no experience. Since then, she has pedaled around the world three times, and ridden across many third world countries. She has several other books on her journeys, but the one above is her first.