View Full Version : touring solo

03-28-2007, 07:17 PM
I was wondering if there are any women out there who would care to share their experiences in solo bike touring? I am looking forward to my first solo trip (4 days total, 2 days riding) but would like to hear how it's gone for other women - the good, the bad, and the ugly. Any advice, any special precautions you'd recommend or tips you found helpful? I'd love to hear it - thanks, Ladies!

04-03-2007, 11:45 AM
I've done a lot of solo travel and have nothing but encouragement. 4 days is a great way to ease into it, you tend not to get too lonely or feel lost (emotionally) in such a short period of time. On longer trips there is usually a day or two of general disorientation somewhere 4-5 days in. As tough as that is it is also the greatest opportunity for growth.

Anyway, the best advice I can give is to trust your instinct. Just like riding solo here in town, always be aware of your surroundings and your what your instincts are telling you. Let me emphasize that - TRUST YOUR INTUITUION.

When I'm alone, I am careful about where I camp. In some situations I'll find the nice retired couple in an RV and camp next to them. It's easier to put up with a few hours of a generator running than being in fear of the boogie man all night. I've had a couple of unnerving nights at beautiful, remote spots with not too many campers.Oddly enough, private campgrounds with tent camping are often the safest feeling - the owners are often very accomodating to a single woman - in a good way. It may be false security but, having more people at the campsite at least makes for a more relaxing night. Also, hiker-biker sites can be great. I've made some wonderful connections with folks there - had potlucks, etc. - that make the trip.

Other advice - pack VERY light. Buy or borrow the lightest possible tent, bag, stove you can get. Don't take too much and you'll be glad.

Be prepared for folks wanting to talk to you. People are generally curious about bike travelers and when you are alone they are more likely to approach to ask questions. This is usually a good thing. Occasionally, it's the odd guy on the prowl thinking, "ooh, single women, oh boy, oh boy". You may have to be downright B+@*#y to get rid of them. And that's OK. But usually, it turns out that you are acting as a cycling ambassador and that's COOL.

I've tons more to say if you have more questions. Where are you going?

04-03-2007, 11:48 AM
I'm a big fan of bike trailers instead of panniers. If you haven't already invested in racks and bags consider buying/borrowing a trailer. For the road I like Burely's Nomad trailer. For trails - the Bob is good.

04-18-2007, 02:27 PM
OK, this is an old thread - but I just read it and wanted to chime in with a big YES for solo touring as a woman.
And I'd echo Barb is telling you to trust your intuition.

I've biked cross country solo (folowing Adventure Cycling's TransAm) and this past summer I went out to Cape Lookout SP, did an Ape Caves loop, Champoeg SP and out to Colton, all solo.
And I went to the Barlow historic homestead in Eagle Creek and the Evergreen Aviation Museum with a woman friend.

Day rides places like Larch Mountain and Bald Peak are great too!

Champeog is a great overnighter - super close and they have hiker biker sites.

I can't wait for the good weather to go places like Silver Falls, Mt. Angel and Pomroy Farm (out beyond Battleground)
You can tell I'm already making a list for this summer and I've got a few I didn't get to from last year's list.

If it had been nicer this weekend a ride down to Woodburn for the tulip festival would've been great!

And frankly, I'm so slow I really prefer riding alone - I don't have to worry about anyone else's pace. And since my cross country trip was my first real taste of touring and it was solo, it kinda formed my preference.


beth h
06-21-2007, 07:56 AM
Everything that everyone else says is spot-on. Mostly, don't be ashamed of feeling nervous in a particular situation. That's just your gut telling you to proceed with caution.

I try to get away for a few solo overnights every year. Best bets from Portland are Ainsworth State Park (just past Multnomah Falls; they have hiker-biker spots that are cheaper than the regular car spaces) and Oxbow Regional Park (Good for a quick overnight or shakedown cruise to try new stuff, but oh the hill coming out of the park...!)

Check your route carefully beforehand; be prepared to alter the route with a secondary course if possible (I had to do this on my Gorge trip a few years ago). Pack light (I like to pack like the old-school brits and put everything in a large Carradice saddlebag, with my sleeping bag and bivvy sack lashed on top). Remember to hydrate. Know how to effect simpler repairs at roadside: flat fixes, brake adjustments and the like. And be prepared to meet nice folks, because you generally do on these trips. Have fun!