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  1. #1
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    Do you think it's stupid for a female to tour across U.S. solo?

    Hi there,
    Honest opinions, do you think it's stupid for a woman to do a cross-country tour solo? Meaning, unsafe/dumb? Any ladies out there who have done it? Any tips for a solo rider, particularly female?

    Thanks much! I'm just trying to get my feelers out on this.

  2. #2
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    Nope, not stupid at all. Just keep your radar on, if something feels sketchy it probably is, so take evasive action.

    I rode XC a few years ago, started with a guy who's Adventure Cycling companions ad I answered - we parted ways after only a few weeks - and I was much happier solo. I met lots of cool people along the way, had only a couple of slightly uncomfortable people encounters, compared to dozens of great ones.
    ...

  3. #3
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    No, it's not stupid. Stay aware of your surroundings, just like you would in any strange place, and get out of any situation that feels uncomfortable. You'll be fine.

    P.S. I am assuming that "country" means US. Does it mean something else?

  4. #4
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    Nope, you're right. U.S. trip.

  5. #5
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    For anyone touring solo, it's less risky to camp with other groups of people - like in a campground. Avoid being alone with a stranger or a group of strangers who all seem to know each other but you don't know them. Being among mixed sex groups that don't know each other is the safest. I think that if putting yourself in this latter situation becomes second nature to you, there would be no reason not to tour alone. You're not likely going to get snatched while you're riding your bike.

  6. #6
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    I second all the comments above, but can't offer much more in the way of relevant experience (being a guy....)

    But to help in your voyage of discovery, read up on the journals at CrazyGuyOnABike. Here's a great one to start: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/circumtrektion

    -- Mark

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  8. #8
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    While we're at it, here's the one that inspired me to take my first solo tour, also to new zealand
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...&doc_id=93&v=0
    ...

  9. #9
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    I agree with the others - go for it! Although I now tour with my husband and kids, I toured solo before I met hubby and it was fine. I did have a couple of dicey situations arise, but all turned out well in the end.

    One day I was pedaling along and saw this guy out of his car standing on the side of the road. I went out and around and continued on. A little while later, I saw him again - again out of his car standing there watching me. I went out and around. This went on four or five times - we played leapfrog down the road. It was starting to get dark and I had no idea what to do - I was afraid he was waiting for me to set up camp and then come in for the attack! Finally, when I had just passed him so knew I had 5 or 10 minutes to do something, I entered into a residential neighborhood. I turned off the main road, then turned again, and again, and again. Once I figured I was way back off the main road and he couldn't find me, I stopped and explained my situation to a woman with a fenced in backyard who happened to be outside. She allowed me to camp in her back yard.

    If I couldn't find an organized campground to sleep in, I stopped and knocked on a door to ask permission to camp in people's lawns. They were almost always fine with it - and many times invited me to sleep in their guest rooms!

    Mostly - just be aware and have fun!
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  10. #10
    rwp
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    Quote Originally Posted by nancy sv View Post
    I agree with the others - go for it! Although I now tour with my husband and kids, I toured solo before I met hubby and it was fine. I did have a couple of dicey situations arise, but all turned out well in the end.

    One day I was pedaling along and saw this guy out of his car standing on the side of the road. I went out and around and continued on. A little while later, I saw him again - again out of his car standing there watching me. I went out and around. This went on four or five times - we played leapfrog down the road. It was starting to get dark and I had no idea what to do - I was afraid he was waiting for me to set up camp and then come in for the attack! Finally, when I had just passed him so knew I had 5 or 10 minutes to do something, I entered into a residential neighborhood. I turned off the main road, then turned again, and again, and again. Once I figured I was way back off the main road and he couldn't find me, I stopped and explained my situation to a woman with a fenced in backyard who happened to be outside. She allowed me to camp in her back yard.

    If I couldn't find an organized campground to sleep in, I stopped and knocked on a door to ask permission to camp in people's lawns. They were almost always fine with it - and many times invited me to sleep in their guest rooms!

    Mostly - just be aware and have fun!
    I've no idea what the story on this guy was but when I was younger and drove older cars, more than once I had cooling issues that forced me to drive a few miles, then wait for the engine to cool, drive a few more miles, etc. until I got home.

  11. #11
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    I've seen CGOAB journals of women touring solo but as a father and husband I just can't see my daughters/wife traveling solo.

  12. #12
    It's true, man.
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    Chi from Dallas? If so, we should talk.

  13. #13
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    I don't think it's stupid at all - here are links to my two favorites from cgoab, both by Heidi Domeisen:

    Eat, Sleep And Ride The Divide:
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...oc_id=998&v=q2

    North to Alaska and Back Again:
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...oc_id=430&v=QI

    She not only rode all over the US, she also added Canada and Mexico to the mix as well.
    Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.
    -- Will Rogers

  14. #14
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by andydreisch View Post
    I've seen CGOAB journals of women touring solo but as a father and husband I just can't see my daughters/wife traveling solo.
    How about your wife and daughters touring together? One of the posters here does just that with her daughter.

  15. #15
    Neil_B
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    It's refreshing to read all the positive comments in this thread, compared with the 'women ride in fear' junk the last time. I hope the OP goes on tour and has a wonderful time.

  16. #16
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andydreisch View Post
    I've seen CGOAB journals of women touring solo but as a father and husband I just can't see my daughters/wife traveling solo.
    I don't think my wife would want to, but I can definitely see my daughter doing touring alone. I know that she has good instincts, has the required skills, and is responsible so I would encourage her. I also would worry about her the whole time anyway, since that is what parents do

  17. #17
    Just Out for a Ride
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    I take long motorcycle camping trips all the time alone. I decided many years ago that I will not let fear stop me from living. So far, all I have had are good experiences.

    -Sue

  18. #18
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    Hi all, thanks for your thoughts on this one. I've done some solo travel to Thailand and stuff but 2-3 months on the road by myself would be a really different kind of adventure for me. It seems like I've just gotta do what I would do for any kind of big trip, do some planning, be prepared, follow my instincts, and err on the side of caution when it calls for it. I'm just getting into the world of bike touring and have been truly inspired by people's blogs about their cross-country experiences. It's becoming something I just HAVE to do!!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Neil G.'s Avatar
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    On my last tour, I crossed paths with seven other touring parties. They included:

    1 family (man, woman, child)
    1 ex-couple (man, woman)
    1 temp-group (solo man and solo woman riding together for a few days)
    2 solo men
    2 solo women

    In all, 5 men and 5 women, and an equal number of solo men and women. So at least from my vantage point on that trip, bike touring appeared to be a completely gender-neutral activity, which I thought was pretty cool (even if it might not hold true with a wider sampling).

    And none of those solo women I saw appeared to be particularly stupid.

    Neil

  20. #20
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumblebeeChi View Post
    Hi all, thanks for your thoughts on this one. I've done some solo travel to Thailand and stuff but 2-3 months on the road by myself would be a really different kind of adventure for me. It seems like I've just gotta do what I would do for any kind of big trip, do some planning, be prepared, follow my instincts, and err on the side of caution when it calls for it. I'm just getting into the world of bike touring and have been truly inspired by people's blogs about their cross-country experiences. It's becoming something I just HAVE to do!!
    Best of luck with your touring. I am sure you will have a great time if you use reasonable caution.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil G. View Post
    On my last tour, I crossed paths with seven other touring parties. They included:
    ...
    1 ex-couple (man, woman)
    ......

    And none of those solo women I saw appeared to be particularly stupid.

    .....

    except maybe that one? just kidding
    ...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    How about your wife and daughters touring together? One of the posters here does just that with her daughter.
    Hadn't considered this. I'd have fewer worries if they were traveling as a pack, for sure. I s'pose, then, it's the solo aspect of it that I have problems with.

  23. #23
    Senior Member lighthorse's Avatar
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    If you search the Crazyguy site you will find several females who have crossed the country alone and can pick up tips from their experiences. If you are going to follow an Adventure Cycle route at a popular time of the year, you will find others to share the road with.
    Suntree, Fl.
    Burley Hudson (n+3)
    Scattante CFR (n+2)
    LeMond Buenos Aries (steel)(n+1)
    Trek 7500 (n)

    crazyguyonabike.com/lighthorse

  24. #24
    Senior Moment Member jagraham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    How about your wife and daughters touring together? One of the posters here does just that with her daughter.
    Yes, but I've found myself riding alone more often this year. Lib got a summer job and it's kept her busy. Touring for her became a low priority - below reenacting and band. I'm trying to break in a new touring partner, but his availability is limited. So I fly solo a lot.

    I don't think it's stupid, unwise or unsafe to tour across the US alone. I'm hoping to do just that in a few years. I prefer to keep my own schedule, with few time constraints. That's nearly impossible in a group, and not always possible with a partner.

    I know that Jeff worries when I'm on an adventure -- whether I'm biking, driving or hiking. He knows I have a penchant for exploring off the beaten path, into areas without cell coverage (yes, there are still areas here in PA without service). I check in when I can... sometimes I'm unable to tell him exactly where I am ("after I left the paved road... along a ridgetop... only bottomed out twice in the car... "). He also knows that I am very resourceful, carry emergency supplies and can look after myself.

    I asked Jeff what the difference would be if the trip was 500 miles or 2000 miles. He could only come up with "the total time away from home, exposed to the unknown". Sounds like an adventure to me

    Judy

  25. #25
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    There's always potential for danger wherever you are and whatever you are doing; you can get beaten or raped trying to get to the grocery store just as you could on a tour. My advice is to carry pepper spray (mostly for dogs) and learn some self-defense. I recommend Krav Maga because it's brutal, pragmatic and takes little time to become proficient in its use.

    Know yourself: are you the type of person to just scream when in danger and curl up into a ball or do you spring into action? The latter is preferable but even if you are the former person you need to ask yourself if the relatively small potential for trouble is enough to make you stay home. Touring can be a beautiful experience that can teach you things about yourself you wouldn't otherwise learn, it can change you completely and if you don't do it or you do it with a partner or a group you will always wonder "what if?". Don't be that person, just as you must prepare your bike for contingencies/emergencies you must also prepare yourself. Good luck and I hope you make the leap.

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