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Hi Genevieve; I have been facing the fear you wrote about, in planning my next and longest tour so far.
I have done some solo touring, and follow most of your suggestions, which I agree with. I feel bad that you got some nasty comments from people who disagree, but I guess that comes with the territory!
Thanks for sharing your "rules" and affirming many of my own thoughts on the subject.
Ride safe, have fun!


Manna
Stony Brook, NY
Monday, December 4, 2017
While there are some reasonable tips in this article—like being aware of your surroundings and watch where you park for the night, I'm not sure I can get behind some of these "tips." Don't camp or only do it at a family-friendly campground? Don't take secondary roads unless you've previously researched it and towns abound? Carry a weapon? Pray?

I understand it's a "personal list" but it's being posted on a forum to help educate women riders, so it implies a certain level of common sense and practical advice for women that are considering a solo trip. Telling me to carry a weapon and pray are neither of these. Sorry, I think this article missed an opportunity to provide solid, practical advice regarding solo travel on a motorcycle.

Suzanne
AB, Canada
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Editor Response
As it states clearly in the article, Genevieve writes, "Here is my personal list of safety tips. Yours may be different. I’d love to hear from you if have something to add."

We all have things to learn from one another. This article was meant to spark the conversation about solo travel so we can share what works for us. While carrying a weapon and praying works for many women who chose this path, we understand it doesn't work for everyone.

Many riders commented with helpful tips that vary from what we wrote about. You are welcome to take what you like, leave the rest, but we would love for you to share your own experiences and tips.
Tricia Szulewski, Assistant Editor
Hello. I have ridden bikes my entire life. A friend and I toured Canada and we spent two weeks riding through California and Arizona. I am 62 now I had to sell my bike 10 years ago because of bills and every time I see one I get excited! I need to get back out there looking good with flies in my teeth! It would really boost my spirits and I am not ready to begin knitting yet.

I took a break from riding after having a couple of accidents, but got back into motorcycles when I changed jobs and met two people who were into riding long distance. I bought a beautiful 1976 BMW 900. I put about 45,000 miles on it then I had to sell it in 2006 because of illness. My partner passed in 2011, and in 2016 I began thinking, "it's time for me to find an old BMW." I am partial to them as they are so well balanced. I will need to get a sidecar next summer.

Maybe I will see you if you decided to ride in Bend. Be safe I really like the information here.


Sharon Miller
Bend, OR
Thursday, October 5, 2017
I just rode solo from California to North Carolina and will continue this trip to Massachusettes in a few days after spending time with my newborn nephew. I pretty well broke every rule here, other then preparation. I've also solo-ed on four wheels for various long-distance and long duration trips including a trip where I only camped in the back country or a remote campsite in the middle of nowhere. I've even back countried solo for 14 days with nothing more than a backpack and certainly no concealed weapon because they are usually no-nos in National Parks. My pickup even broke down on a Blackfoot Reservation where I spent time hitchhiking to help then had to have it towed off the reservation for service. I admit, I have taken some unnecessary risks on a few occasions, but I prep and research before I go.

The fear and suspicion outlined in this article first saddened me and second angered me. The idea that as women we need to even consider this as necessary precaution to prevent ourselves from getting hurt is a sad, sad, sad statement of the world and country we live in. We have to play it safe and not do the fun routes lest we make ourselves victims and be at fault if anything happens. Of course, as any motorcyclist knows, better alive than right.

It also angers me that this is the world we live in. That we all have to live like we are prey having to avoid things we love so we don't end up attacked, injured or dead. Very few of these tips would apply to men. Articles for men about riding solo would tell them to take the road less traveled and have fun and throw caution to the wind and make is once in a lifetime trip and make memories. But now, us women get patronizing fear articles.

I am a mechanical engineer with a masters degree from MIT. I always hated the women in engineering groups that wasted my time on career balancing and making it in a man's world and how to cook fast meals for the family. I now bristle at these articles geared toward women that encourage us to go around acting like targets for violence.

Sad and Mad.

Kimi
Medford, MA
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Editor Response
Hi Kimi,
I'm saddened that you read this article, which we've gotten very positive responses to, as a "patronizing fear article." In fact, the writer's entire introduction was about each of us making personal choices, and then she outlines what she does. She never suggested that these are tips everyone should abide by. Take what you like, leave the rest.

Motorcycling itself is an inherently dangerous activity, and those of us who choose to partake even while knowing this, are then faced with the choices of how to minimize our own personal risk (or not). When WRN publishes these types of articles, it is in attempt to provide readers with information to help arm them with the knowledge and tools to minimize their risk. It's not about instilling fear, its about offering solutions and suggestions.
Tricia Szulewski, Assistant Editor
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