You have a dream. You want to ride your bike across your state, your country or even the whole world.
But along with the excitement of that dream, there are the butterflies doing loops in your stomach. What about this? What if that?
It’s normal of course to have some concerns, whether you’re an experienced bike tourist or a beginner, and we’d like you to share them with us. Let us know what your biggest worry is by participating in the poll below. Is it dealing with traffic? Getting lost? Or something else altogether?
In a few weeks, we’ll tally up the responses and offer tips for dealing with those challenges.
Update: The poll is now complete. See what bike tourists are most concerned about.
Your top bike touring concern is….
- Getting hit by a vehicle
- Finding a place to sleep at night
- Loneliness (touring solo)
- Becoming ill on the road
- Planning (routes, what to pack)
- Safety (being robbed, harassed, monsters in the night)
- Failing to finish the trip
- Riding in bad weather
- Reaction of family / friends
- Not having enough money
- Getting time off work
- Bike breakdown
- Getting lost
- Bike getting stolen1
- Going back to home / work at the end of the tour1
- Fear of the unknown1
- Companions who whine when the above happens1
- Chronic injury1
- Losing control on big descent1
- Realising your plans are holding you back1
- A sore bum1
- Being attacked by a dog1
Total Votes: 182
Started: November 25, 2009
1 = Added by a guest
25th November 2009 at 12:04 pm #
If these questions were multiple choice I would have checked them all :-[ BTW: the house in our neighborhood is still for sale – price is negociable. :-)All the best for U!
25th November 2009 at 12:14 pm #
Yes, there’s a temptation for me too to say ‘all of them!’ but I think if I have to pick one then it’s definitely traffic. Give me neon yellow clothes, lots of them…
25th November 2009 at 2:33 pm #
Dealing with unknown situations can be quit stressful to me. But not knowing where to sleep at night is awful.
25th November 2009 at 11:22 pm #
For this touring couple, my wife (touring partner) is the less resourceful and self-confident. Yes, there are many inconveniences — on tour, or in life — but they’re nothing in the face of flexibility and resourcefulness. I’m constantly aware of her comfort level and energy level. I guess you could say that my only real fear is not recognizing hers, and adapting immediately. (This is a “committed couple” situation, not the same as “fear of a complaining tour partner”.)
25th November 2009 at 11:45 pm #
Very true Mark! I think flexibility, resourcefulness and perhaps patience are the 3 most important things you can take on a tour 🙂
26th November 2009 at 1:21 am #
I think my biggest fear is being vulnerable….especially at night. But, I am a 35 yr old woman. I am just getting started and this has been the biggest thing holding me back. I’m much happier alone but not alone at night!
26th November 2009 at 5:55 am #
Jennifer, do you mean being alone while wild camping or just generally? I certainly shared the wild camping fears when I first started. It took me about 6 months to get over them!
26th November 2009 at 8:06 am #
Nice list! I’ve added one – realising that you made a huge plan but your ambitions have evolved, then trying to figure out your commitments. Finishing what you started, or accepting the fluidity of the travelling life? For me it’s been by far the most difficult thing to wrangle with.
26th November 2009 at 9:44 am #
Mark raises an important issue: Traveling as a couple. It has always annoyed me when I pedaled far behind my husband and had to go to my performance limits. Partially, I was traveling alone. It’s depressing and discouraging. The solution is that the man follows one rule: always remain in sight. This also means that he has no sporting challenge. By the way I did the navigation and he normally disappeard just before a junction. 😉
18th January 2011 at 11:12 pm #
My personal rule regarding riding with another (if I’m the strongest rider) is always stay with the weakest rider. It encourages them, and I can support them much easier from behind or next to them. I don’t mind riding slower or less vigorously to keep everyone together. And I get to visit with someone I (hopefully) like.
26th November 2009 at 6:04 pm #
My biggest fear is the same while cycling at home – getting hit by a car driven by someone who’s not in control – drunk, stupid, senile, not paying attention, etc. But I keep riding because my life wouldn’t be as worth living if I didn’t – same with touring. I could get killed similarly when driving my car or walking down the sidewalk.
I don’t worry so much about mechanical breakdowns in the middle of nowhere anymore. You’re never really in the middle of nowhere. There are always ways to get help eventually. Plus, I’ve learned to fix almost anything, and carry tools and a few spare parts.
You didn’t list grizzly bears. When I’m in the Rockies, I can’t help but worry.
27th November 2009 at 2:58 am #
Hi, I think it’s a good idea to split the poll into two categories: those who have done a tour and those who haven’t.
That way we could see real fears actually seen or felt on the road vs. the myths.
Well, I put “hit by a car”, though my may concern is getting hit by a lorry.
27th November 2009 at 9:36 am #
Hi Thomas, I like your idea about splitting the poll up. A bit late for this one but I will see if I can add an ‘experience’ category for future polls. Thanks!
29th November 2009 at 10:55 pm #
I want to leave a comment for Ingrid … one tip we learned about travelling as a couple, is that you should be equally tired at the end of the day. If you husband still has energy at the end of the day and you don’t or he is screaming up hills well ahead of you, he should be carrying more of the gear (or at least all the heavy stuff).
6th December 2009 at 3:51 pm #
Travelling Belgium this summer was grand, but very annoying was the lack of B & B’s and accomodation generally. Thinking of taking a very portable sleeping bag in future. Any ideas where to winter cycle in Europe?
18th January 2011 at 11:19 pm #
My biggest fear is not enough money. I’ve never toured for more than overnight so far. And I’m getting ready to jump in the abyss of bicycle vagabond for as long as I can (years?), hopefully in Europe. I’ve got my gear together, and have little else to do. But I’m not rich and have no big pile of savings to speak of anymore. How do I generate money for food, repairs, etc…?
That’s my biggest freak-out.
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