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  1. #1
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    Riding by yourself?

    Just outta curiosity, how many of you girls hit the trails alone? And if you do, how often? I've been riding a lot on my own lately, and one thing I notice is that the time I come upon other women on the trail, they almost always have someone else with them, usually a guy.

    For me it's about 50-50. Half the time I'm usually with a friend, and the other half of the time I like to go on solo-adventures.

  2. #2
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    Usually I rode with my life partner and sometimes we ride with the guys, but to be honest I'd much rather ride alone. When I ride alone I don't have to worry about keeping up or holding someone up. I can also take my time with technical stuff and do it over and over if that's what I want.

    Today my partner went road riding so I went out to the trails alone and had a really nice ride.

    Riding by yourself?-uploadfromtaptalk1355622380647.jpg

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  3. #3
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    I ride alone 1/3 to 1/2 the time but I don't like it. I'm able to ride during the day, during the week, when most people usually aren't available.

    Well, when I am more familiar with a place, or the place is well traveled, I don't mind it as much, but I feel much more vulnerable to predators and creepers when I'm by myself. I don't want to end up in a newspaper article, "body found believed to be that of 37 year old woman.." I didn't grow up in nature though, it's kind of a new thing for me.

    I try to stay super aware of my surroundings, make sure someone knows what trails I'm riding and when I'll be back, and I rock a bell because I like to increase the likelihood I don't sneak up on the animals or hikers. I should carry pepper spray but I don't.

    When I feel more prepared, and familiar, I really do enjoy the sensation of riding alone. But more often it's fun to have a rabbit to chase...

  4. #4
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    All the time... in a week I maybe ride once out of six rides with other people. This goes up when the bf is around, but for the past few months he's been away at training for work. I guess I just find it easier to ride by myself, particularly when i'm doing longer rides. I even night ride by myself... not sure that's the best idea, but I do it anyway.

  5. #5
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    I ride alone during the day but get sketched out if I'm coming back a little after dark. Dark parking lots in the woods by a big lake probably aren't the safest places to hang out regularly. In OKC there have been a few car break ins etc.
    Last edited by EyeLook@Rocks; 12-15-2012 at 09:38 PM. Reason: Qualify my statement
    If its not a bumpy ride, I'm not interested.

  6. #6
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    I use to ride all the time with my boyfriend, but now our schedules don't always coincide so I ride by myself I would say 95% of the time, both mountain and road. Sometimes I do worry what would happen if I got hurt. I carry my phone, and I have that app on the iPhone that has live GPS tracking so my boyfriend can see where I am, and I always say where I am riding as well in a text message.

  7. #7
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    I take the term 'solo' to a whole new level. I like the solitude, and when I retire I want to become a hermit I do ride with my dog most of the time... so I guess I'm not totally alone.

  8. #8
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    80% of the time I ride with my husband. We have similar schedules and interests (including photography and trail building) and we like our company.
    20% of the time I ride with my husband and friends
    0% alone.
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  9. #9
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    Most always alone, whether bikecommuting or trailriding. I do enjoy the company of a couple good traildogs that I sometimes dogsit.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christieland View Post
    I ride alone 1/3 to 1/2 the time but I don't like it. I'm able to ride during the day, during the week, when most people usually aren't available.

    Well, when I am more familiar with a place, or the place is well traveled, I don't mind it as much, but I feel much more vulnerable to predators and creepers when I'm by myself. I don't want to end up in a newspaper article, "body found believed to be that of 37 year old woman.." I didn't grow up in nature though, it's kind of a new thing for me.

    I try to stay super aware of my surroundings, make sure someone knows what trails I'm riding and when I'll be back, and I rock a bell because I like to increase the likelihood I don't sneak up on the animals or hikers. I should carry pepper spray but I don't.

    When I feel more prepared, and familiar, I really do enjoy the sensation of riding alone. But more often it's fun to have a rabbit to chase...
    Kinda sums up me. I love riding alone (mostly ride with husband and son). We all started riding about the same time 2 years ago. Kiddo probably has best innate skills and attacks much harder stuff- esp. involving air (would hope so, he's 13, I'm 52). I am in the middle as far as skills, but have most endurance. Riding together is great, but I push more, go longer alone.

    But there's that uneasiness Christieland mentions. Also wonder if its due to not growing up in nature. Heck, outside of Girl Scout camp during elementary school - I have never tent camped. I have no fear on days when trails are well populated. Keep wondering if I should throw some pepper spray in pocket or hanging from camelbak in addition to the bell and whistle, mostly for peace of mind. But I'd probably spray myself in a panic. The ironic thing is I have no problem wandering around the street of Chicago and other big cities in the evening alone (granted more populating, nicer areas)

    I know that I want to do more races next year - which means more training, longer rides. And hopefully, more solo outings balanced by the family rides.
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  11. #11
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    I didn't mention it, but I always wear my road id when I ride alone. It won't protect me, but gives my emergency contact and medical info if I were hurt. Of course, I also have my cell and let a couple people know where I'm going.

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  12. #12
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    Sadly, creepers can turn up anywhere, but I think you're at as much risk going to the supermarket as riding. Getting injured on a desolate trail is also a risk, but one I'm willing to take. This was brought home a couple weeks ago on my trail commute; I noticed that the only tracks in the snow on my way home at 6 pm were my own from 8 a.m.! As long as I'm not knocked out I should be able to phone for help - or crawl.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    Getting injured on a desolate trail is also a risk, but one I'm willing to take.
    Yup.
    Having some weekdays off when most folks work M-F means I ride alone a lot. I like the solitude, and being able to choose the trail, pace, breaks and turns without it having to be negotiated or discussed. I get a lot of good thinking done and turn off the endless chatter of day-to-day life.
    I like to ride with others, too. The BF is my best and most reliable riding partner.
    Group rides can be a pain in the butt to arrange, and it drives me nuts when people sign on then bail at the last minute. So usually if I ride with company it is one or two people at most and arranged on pretty short notice.
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  14. #14
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    I do most of my riding alone, though I tend to ride the road more. Trails tend to be kinda sparse in this area, but when I lived in a trail-rich environment it seemed more enjoyable with 1 or 2 others. While fear of being taken advantage of is a factor, the disorientation or mechanical issue factor is higher in my mind. Normally I am a resourceful person who can fix many things(and usually other's bikes) but I have had times where it was beyond means and it made me feel better to know I wasn't stranded.

  15. #15
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    I have a great pack of friends but love riding alone too. Here's a pic from yesterday, just me and the pupper...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Riding by yourself?-ktrail-resize.jpg  


  16. #16
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    Love the cactus!

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  17. #17
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    99% of the time, I ride alone. Places I ride include anything from inner city, suburban, and rural roads and trail systems as well as some trails in Arkansas that are miles from civilization. There's some risk involved with the "middle of nowhere" trails, but as far as the "creeper factor" goes, I think that those are the safest.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by thekarens View Post
    I didn't mention it, but I always wear my road id when I ride alone. It won't protect me, but gives my emergency contact and medical info if I were hurt. Of course, I also have my cell and let a couple people know where I'm going.

    Sent from my Galaxy S3
    I have a Road ID as well. Haven't been wearing it lately since the laser etching has worn off and I need to get it warrantied, however. But definitely a very neat accessory, regardless of why you wear it!

  19. #19
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    I used to ride alone 95% of the time, but now I have more friends to ride with so it's more like 25% alone, 75% in a pack. I love both.

    I live in central Maine- crime is pretty rare around here. I always take my cell phone with me in case of injury, and hubs has a pretty good idea of where I am.
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  20. #20
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    Me. The days, not so much because i always seem to have a riding buddy (i'm meeting more people) but as a noob a few years ago, i was going out almost half the time alone. It was the only way i could build skills so that when Sunday group rides came, i wasnt so far "behind". I wouldnt do the night thing alone again, though i have done that in the shallower portions of the woods. It still makes me nervous, rightfully so.

    either way, the best way to become a better rider is time in the saddle. if alone-time is all you have, then take advantage!

    Edit: i DO always ride with my dog, though i realize if a creeper came up to me, she'd just happily sniff his crotch. She's large, so maybe a deterrent. i know animal attacks are rare, but i still worry about it.
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  21. #21
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    I regularly ride in a location where an 17 year old girl was kidnapped, raped and murdered just off the trail. She was a very fit, strong athletic girl. I realize the chances of this happening are pretty slim but ladies follow your instincts. Let someone know where you are, mix up your routine and if somebody gives you the creeps ride like hell and tell somebody.
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  22. #22
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    Most of my riding is alone. On the weekends I can sometimes get a ride w/ husby, but other than that:
    - I'm slow
    - My schedule is weird
    - I'm not spending my extremely limited available time waiting for someone to show up
    - Aloneatherapy keeps me from setting the planet on fire *protectively hugs my red swingline stapler*
    I'd worry a bit more about riding alone in urban areas, but IMO the human a-hole factor goes down exponentially once there's actual effort required to get there, and our local terrain means you have to actually WANT it. Bears just run away and I've handled a cougar tangle-up before. Brainz and tools should cover the rest. Phone is there to take pictures for FB I guess, lol.

    Funniest trail encounter came at the end of season 2011... I heard a gun blast somewhere out there within a mile or so and noted it, but that's nothing particularly unusual around here. Then I saw a dude walking down the dirt road I was on with a shotgun and shorts, which seemed a little incongruous.

    Turned out he was a local hero with a 12 gauge doing everyone a favor by taking out the massive yellow jacket nests that had emerged near the trails that fall.
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  23. #23
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    i was thinking of getting pepper spray. Anyone else do that? i guess it's better than nothing
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    i was thinking of getting pepper spray. Anyone else do that? i guess it's better than nothing
    If you're worried about humans, I guess....

    If you're worried about dogs, cougars, bears, etc. I would recommend one of those little boating air horns. It probably would have solved that cougar incident post-haste, and works like a champ on dogs chasing... my sister has had to use one quite a bit while jogging and reports 100% success.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by verslowrdr View Post
    - Aloneatherapy keeps me from setting the planet on fire *protectively hugs my red swingline stapler*
    I'd worry a bit more about riding alone in urban areas, but IMO the human a-hole factor goes down exponentially once there's actual effort required to get there....
    Alone therapy...yep. A big reason I love riding alone. You also hit on why I'm comfortable alone on some of my favorite trails (Muir in WI and Brown Cty in In), and uncomfortable on the Milwaukee county MTB trails. The city-ish ones are easily walkable and while you may not be able to tell while riding sit in the middle of a very urban area.

    Like others I wear a road ID ( always when trail riding, not just when alone), tell others where I'm going, when, etc. I also feel a bit more comfortable if I'm using a tracking software , ESP one that allows live tracking. NOT so the masses on social media can track me ( DO NOT want that), but so that hubby could in theory see where I am if necessary. I like the mountain bike app from runtastic. Kinda like find my iPhone, but with added benefit of tracking my ride, elevation change, distance, speed, etc. but I'm a data geek at heart anyway.
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  26. #26
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    Solo rider here. I too enjoy solitude, but sometimes I'd like to find someone to go on a ride.

    There seems to be no interesting mtb bike meet-ups.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    i was thinking of getting pepper spray. Anyone else do that? i guess it's better than nothing

    This is interesting, if you were to go the pepper spray route.

    Kimber America | Pepperblaster | The most powerful pepper defense system

    I worry about my wife being out and about by herself. There's lots of wolves out there.

  28. #28
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    Mostly Solo

    I ride mostly solo due to husband and my work schedules not syncing very well. I grew up in the outdoors and feel that I am fairly confident and prepared for most stuff. The human creepers sometimes get to me. Especially the traihead parking lot thing. I went OTB on a ride a couple of months ago. Chewed my arm up pretty bad but no breaks. Got lectured by my son about riding alone.....sigh. I had my cell phone.

    Things in nature, at least here, that concern me are a rattlesnake hit and being attacked by bees. But I still go...the odds are in my favor.

  29. #29
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    I had a suspicious creeper incident as I rode home at night this week on a desolate section of dirt road. A car came by and slowed right next to me, then pulled ahead some but kept slowing down over and over until I had to slow down to keep from catching up to it. I'd slow even more at a curve hoping they would give up on this weird cat and mouse game, but no, there they were around the corner. This continued for at least a mile. I was getting pretty worried and had the phone out, but finally had to pass to make my turn. It was then I learned it was a woman trying to be "helpful", as she yelled "Did the car lights help you?" as I passed. Apparently she thought I could not find my way home without her help.

  30. #30
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    ^ Glad that was the case - I can imagine how unsettling it would be! I prefer to ride with others because I enjoy the company and camaraderie. I have learned a lot by following others' leads and their encouragement can sometime be just the ticket when attempting something new.

    This year, however, I've also come to embrace some alone time on the trails. I am only comfortable doing so, though, at a local state park where I don't feel so isolated on the trails. That's not to say the trails are heavily trafficked - most days, they aren't - but I just don't feel so isolated or far from potential help when I am there. Like others have posted, I wear a road id, carry a cell phone, and always tell people where I am going and for how long I expect to be gone. And, oddly enough, "company" has come in the form of a camera. I find that when I'm concentrating more on trying to get a cool action shot, I am concerned less about the fact that I am out there alone.

  31. #31
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    Solo night riding

    Probably not the smartest thing to do... but I can't help myself!
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  32. #32
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    I have gone solo night riding once. It was the most fun and most scary ride I have done.
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  33. #33
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    Ladies (and gents)...try not to ride alone.

    Too many horror stories have hit my ears about downed riders laying stranded on a trail for an hour or so before someone could get to them to help. It may seem great and you might be super careful but you just have no idea what could happen.

    Just recently there was a story in my local area of a guy who went out on the road with a huge group. They hit some ice on the road and one of the guys skidded out and into a tree. He died even with immediate medical care due to the people in his group calling 911.

    I know road and mtn are different but in some ways mtn has just as many hazards as road. Just stay safe...take someone with you (girl, guy, whoever) whenever possible. You just never know what can happen.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayseakay View Post
    Ladies (and gents)...try not to ride alone.

    Too many horror stories have hit my ears about downed riders laying stranded on a trail for an hour or so before someone could get to them to help. It may seem great and you might be super careful but you just have no idea what could happen.
    Obvious from my posts, I'll have to respectfully disagree...

    In my opinion anything worthwhile is not without risk, but that doesn't mean you can't manage that risk. Ride with a cell phone so you can call for help. Let people know your itinerary. Know the conditions. Know your limits. I backcountry ski as well as and never ride alone (not to say I never will) and this if even more important.

    Know and manage your risk... but don't be afraid!

  35. #35
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    ^^ I have to agree with Kinsler here. After all, it's not safe at home either. I could trip down the stairs and someone might not come looking for me for a few days.

    Don't you hate how every mention of backcountry now becomes a link?

  36. #36
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    Agree with both Kinsler and mtbexplorer- don't live your life in fear and don't let others tell you that you should.
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  37. #37
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    I just started riding this past summer, and could only get out with my husband once a week so I did go out a few times on my own. The first ride I was a bit apprehensive. Mostly worried of having mechanical problems or getting lost. There was also the fear of getting hurt since I was so inexperienced. After the first ride I mapped out a nice little route that circled around so no fear of getting lost. I then travelled that trail at least 4 times a ride and the next time made it a bit longer and rode it over and over. All in all, I think it was good as I became comfortable with the ride and pushed myself to go faster. With that said I do prefer to ride with my hubby as I bust it to try and keep up but he's patient enough that he doesn't seem to mind waiting if I do have to go slow or walk. I hope the day will come where he doesn't have to wait!

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    ^^ I have to agree with Kinsler here. After all, it's not safe at home either. I could trip down the stairs and someone might not come looking for me for a few days.

    Don't you hate how every mention of backcountry now becomes a link?
    I'm a nurse, and you wouldn't believe how many patients I end up taking care of at my hospital because they fell at home and laid there for 16+ hours before someone discovered them (and they're not always elderly). So you're right, things can happen anywhere. My basement stairs are stupidly steep and narrow, and I have fallen down them...

    Take the necessary safeguards you need to... phone, let people know when/where/time, etc. You can't live your life worrying about the what if's.

  39. #39
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    I agree that accidents can happen anywhere. I guess just consider your own safety. Just because it could happen anywhere doesn't mean that you should necessarily put yourself in a position that places you at more risk.

  40. #40
    Slothful dirt hippie
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayseakay View Post
    I agree that accidents can happen anywhere. I guess just consider your own safety. Just because it could happen anywhere doesn't mean that you should necessarily put yourself in a position that places you at more risk.
    More risk that lying in a house for 16+ hours? Jeez, I'd probably have someone find me sooner lying on the trail, and ours aren't even that heavily used...

    The average US women's life expectancy is I believe just over 80 these days. There's a heck of a lot of randomness along the way of course, but there's also a fair amount of choice involved in how we fill that time between now and then. And I'm willing to bet $100 right now that I won't be sitting in a retirement home saying "gosh, I wish I hadn't ridden my bike so much...."

    Riding vs not riding because you can't find anyone else? I say just let someone know where you're headed and get going. The days will come soon enough when the decision will be taken from us, and then we'll have to be content with the memories.

    Just ride.
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  41. #41
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    I ride by myself pretty much all of the time because my partner doesn't have a bike yet and my best friend only rides a handful of times during the year. I've tried getting some of my other friends to go on a bike ride but it's 50% doesn't have a bike and 50% doesn't feel comfortable riding for more than an hour at best.

    So, I head out by myself. Luckily, I haven't had any creeper moments and anyone I've encountered on the trail (whether on foot or on a bike) has said hello and gone on by with limited chitchat. I always leave a map of my route and where I'm going at home with my partner, carry my cellphone, and generally use the gps setting on my phone to track my route (for purely nerd reasons, not for the detectives to figure out what happened to me after finding me), and carry a repair kit and first aid kit (I've only used it for others so far *knock wood*). The closest I've come to a bad encounter was a car full of idiots who drove slowly ahead of me and then would brake suddenly but it was on a residential street. I rode up onto someone's driveway and got off my bike just as the home owner drove up as well. He asked me if I was alright as the idiots drove off. He saw what the idiots were doing and wrote down the plate number for me. It never happened again.

    It is quite nice riding on my own because I don't have to worry about anyone. My bestie rides a bike too big for her and she mostly rides with her fingers barely touching the handlebars. It's stressful watching her. I've begged her to get a shorter stem because she can't buy a smaller bike. But I'm working on her!
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  42. #42
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    Solo mission

    Here's a few self portraits from a quick weekend trip to Big Bend. I first drove out to Comfort, TX to race a mtb marathon then drove to Big Bend NP to camp and do a "rest" day hike. The next couple days I spent camping on the shores of the Rio Grande and mountain biking in Big Bend State Park. It was a solo mission, although I wish my boyfriend (who is out on the east coast for training) could have been there.
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  43. #43
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    To quote a favorite:

    "Who wants a life imprisoned in safety?" - A. Earhardt

  44. #44
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    My work schedule permits midweek solo rides that I truly enjoy. It was on one of these solitary spins that I met my first mountain lion. She ran off leaving me feeling more exhilarated than afraid. I draw the line at solo night riding; I tried it once and every little twig snap filled me with dread.
    Last edited by LadyDi; 02-05-2013 at 10:01 PM.

  45. #45
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    I have actually been considering making a thread on this very subject!

    I ride alone 100% of the time. Most bikers around here are road bikers or seasonal. They are also better shape than me. I don't want to hold people back. Besides, I have a nice little trail system a couple miles from home. The biking/ walking path to it always has people, though it isn't heavy enough to be a problem to ride on. The bottom on the trails see heavy use by other people from the neighborhood who use it for mostly jogging, light hiking, and dog walking, but the trails are wide enough and the area is open enough so there is never congestion. There is a nice little picnic area at the 'top' of the easy trails with tables, canopies, and water fountains. People use it on occasion, and it is very well kept. I usually only go a couple miles past the top of the heavier trafficked 'easy' trails, though I plan on going much further in once I upgrade and my bike can handle the gnarlier stuff. The area is a desert, very open. Even when you get into the harder trails, as you go up, you can still see everything below. I have seen some dangerous desert areas, and this is not one of them. There is a trail system leading pretty far back, in addition to single track bikers have made around the sandier sections. I rarely see bikers, but I know they are there because of the well placed single track detours

    Anywho, I get TONS of shocked reactions when people hear/ see me going up there alone. People ask me if I am worried or scared, and I frankly don't know what I am supposed to be worried or scared about. The area is too heavily trafficked with humans and their dogs for the coyotes to come down from the mountains, where they have plenty of room to hide. Same with the mountain lions. And the bighorns. I have never seen any of them. I have seen evidence of snakes, I have seen bunnies and roadrunners. I know how to avoid rattlers, I grew up in areas with them. They are the easiest kind of snake to avoid... There is no dangerous flora unless I go looking for it. Pretty much all scrub brush, the cactus is well off trail. Nothing poisonous. Jagged rocks and sand are my biggest enemies, and are predictable since they don't move. Never seen anyone I would classify as a 'creeper' up there either, though they do hang out along the heavily trafficked paved bike path... Even so, I am on a bike, and most people aren't. So there's that... The most dangerous thing in the deserts around here, hands down, is the heat. It is winter, so it is in the 70s with highs of 80s right now. Beautiful. And I am not stupid enough to go up there in July and August when it is 114. I have my phone, repair tools, lights, and a hydration bladder with plenty of water. Reception is only mildly spotty, and when you get far enough in where signal does drop out completely, you can always get it back by hiking to a high point 10 feet away... There are water fountains all along the bike/ walking path and at the foot of the trails.

    What are people so worried about? Am I missing something, or are people around here just really paranoid? I get the shocked reactions so often, it has made ME paranoid. As a kid I often hiked alone in mountains, so why should I be worried about biking in the desert?

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikemaya View Post
    What are people so worried about? Am I missing something, or are people around here just really paranoid? I get the shocked reactions so often, it has made ME paranoid. As a kid I often hiked alone in mountains, so why should I be worried about biking in the desert?
    Because society is uber paranoid now? I really have no idea... have you thought that it's maybe gender specific thing? In my area no one bats an eye at the thought of a male biking solo, but I tend to get a bunch of "oh, you could be assaulted and kidnapped!" comments from friends and family. I have a hard time believing someone is hiding in the woods waiting for a solo female mountain biker to come along so they can kidnap me... When I road ride, I actually find that motorists are actually nicer to me, at least it seems so. I guess a girl on a pink bike on the road isn't as bad as a dude in the same spandex, haha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    Because society is uber paranoid now? I really have no idea... have you thought that it's maybe gender specific thing? In my area no one bats an eye at the thought of a male biking solo, but I tend to get a bunch of "oh, you could be assaulted and kidnapped!" comments from friends and family. I have a hard time believing someone is hiding in the woods waiting for a solo female mountain biker to come along so they can kidnap me... When I road ride, I actually find that motorists are actually nicer to me, at least it seems so. I guess a girl on a pink bike on the road isn't as bad as a dude in the same spandex, haha.
    Unfortunately it's not as safe today. I mean it's really not. Everyone can sit there and say that "oh it's just everyone being paranoid" and maybe it is. But you can't explain away that fact that near and on a trail I ride often two girls were abducted, raped, and killed. One was walking home from school (in the suburbs, with tons of traffic, near houses) and another was jogging on a well traveled small lake path that sees tons of foot traffic and bike traffic a day (not to mention...it's by a freeway and a mall). Another girl was attacked while running but she punched the guy in the face fast enough and got away. Yeah...being on a bike helps. It's harder to take down a person on a bike. But there are sickos out there. It's not stupid, insecure, paranoid, or dumb to be concerned about riding alone at night or riding alone period.

    And the whole gender specific thing...yeah...of course that comes into play. Not many women go out and rape fully grown men? At least not that I hear of in the news. That's just the way it is. For what it's worth...I worry about my guy friend that rides mega mileage every week alone. He rides twisty mountain roads and I pray that he never blows a tire or something of the like and goes down and can't call for help. It's not out of the realm of possibility at all.

    Cycling is amazing and cycling's amazingly fun but it doesn't have to be something that you do without considering the risks involved. And yeah...there are risks involved in everything. You can die in a car crash, hell you can fall down some stairs and break your neck. But do you actively put yourself in positions where you can be in danger or possibly get hurt? That's not being brave and not paranoid...that's recklessness.

    Don't freak out every time you go alone. It's not the end of the world and it isn't the MOST dangerous thing you can do. But it IS risky. It's not completely paranoid to think that something could happen. Don't dwell on the risk...but be smart.

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    There definitely is an advantage of being a female rider; everyone is SUPER nice! Smiles, waves, most people move to the side of a trail for me with a smile. Drivers seem very aware of me, and give me the right of way even when they have it and I am giving it to them (I know/ follow all the traffic laws, I don't just ride nilly-willy through the streets).

    Seniors seem to get the biggest kick out of seeing me take off through the desert. A few times now, there has been an older lady at the foot of the trails, or huffing and puffing up the easy stuff, who stop me to basically tell me 'You are going up there with a BIKE?! Good for you!' It's cute I figure it is just a generational thing where dirt bikes were always boys' things, and girls just rode their cruisers down main street.

    My mom thinks I am nuts too, but is happy I found a sport I love My dad just rolls his eyes cause it is yet another 'boy thing' I am into... and better than him at. When I was little, he has a few shining years as the 'expert' in bikes (a tire kicker kind, if you know what I mean ), and well, the 'expert' in everything. I am also am better with computers and technology than him. His pride stops him from ever asking me for help with them, and he always pays someone to fix something I could have walked him through, or tried to fix it himself and made things worse (oh, like the time he was looking for spyware remover, and managed to instead find some scareware that attached itself to both his harddrive and bank account, and refused to let go ). He looked very lost and confused when I told him about bikes, and couldn't understand why anyone would pay more than like $500 for a bike. He was totally hung up on how much I was spending on my new build, and thought THAT was more nuts than the fact I was mountain biking. I laughed and told him some people pay over $20,000 for bikes, so $1200 is just a drop in the bucket Another generational thing, I think. He probably has only ever seen a rigid mountain bike and thinks suspension is a gimmick wally world invented for newbie bikers wanting to be comfortable, and it isn't a feature on a REAL bike.

    Haha, sorry about the 'daddy' tangent. *stomps foot* I ain't a princess, so quit trying to pigeon-hole me into only girly interests! *pouts* I have a feeling I am not the only female rider who sometimes gets the eye-rolls because they are doing something that is 'meant for the boys'. Girls seem to stick up for each other much more consistently in that regard than some boys who are card holding members of the 'He-man wumunz hayterz club'. But, overall, even if the respect some people give is merely an eye roll and pat on the head, there does seem to be a lot more general friendly attitude towards female riders instead of 'get offa my lawn you damn hooligans!' kind of way of looking at us.

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    My mom thinks I'm nuts, too, but my dad thinks it's pretty cool. He's super happy that I found something to get me off the couch and active. He's concerned about the money I spend, but he realizes it's something good in the long run. I use to drag race cars and most of my friends are guys, so I've always done more "guy" things anyway. My parents get a little worried about me riding alone (for both psychos getting me or me getting injured reasons), but I always assure them that my boyfriend knows I'm riding, and that I have that "Find My Friends" app turned on in my iPhone so he can track me.

    Funny you say people yield to you more on the trails. I find it to be the opposite most of the time, even when I have the "right away" (going uphill, for example)! I don't know if guys think I'll be timid and just pull off for them or what. I've really had to learn to stand my ground better, especially on long climbs where I don't want to stop. I'm sick of always yielding for everyone, haha.

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    I think the biggest reason people yield to me is how *few* bikers there are. There isn't that pretentious cult attitude when there aren't popular biking trails, you know? The bikers on these trails seem to mostly be weekend warriors or polite, well behaved kids noodling around on their BMXes. I have gotten many noses turned up at me by passing road cyclists who can see me from the street, but people riding casually on the same trail as me are really nice. I have only had a nose turned up at me by a mountain biker a couple of times, and I recall them being young. It seems that boys stop maturing by the time they turn 14, and begin to mature again around 35

    Come to think of it, just on the paved path to the trails, I do get the occasional crabby old person going for a walk/ jog/ dog walk who get visibly incensed about moving over. One person was coming uphill, and saw me approaching DOWNHILL, and stopped in the middle of the path the fix her shoe. Her partner was trying to drag her out of the way, and she wouldn't budge. I had to come to a dead stop and wait for two people to quit hogging a path that is wide enough for a car to drive down... Some people also grab their little dogs like a set of pearls, but I can understand that since some dogs will want to chase/ run right at moving vehicles. I slow down when I pass dogs for this reason.

    The people on the actual *trails*, however, are very well behaved and friendly!

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