Here I go again on my own with my bike as a solo tour cyclist.

Here I go again on my own with my bike as a solo tour cyclist.

I have been a solo tour cyclist in more than 40 countries. And here are a few of my thoughts about being a solo tour cyclist around the world.

I like cycling alone.

Me, myself and my bicycle. The life of a solo tour cyclist.

Me, myself and my bicycle. The life of a solo tour cyclist

For me, tour cycling is a kind of meditation. When cycling I can slow down big time mentally and this is so much easier when you do not have someone who wants you to go either faster or slower. I am in general quite happy about being alone and it does not motivate me more to cycle in a group. I prefer cycling at low speed. Being stubborn and having stamina means that I always reach my goal no matter what. So I do not need a group of people in order to cycle a few thousand kilometers.

 

I like being able to have my own weird routines.

I cycle slow and take my rests.

I cycle slow and take my rests and i can do this as a solo tour cyclist.

Some of my routines, or maybe more lack of routines that tend to make most other tour cyclists shake their heads. I like getting up late in the morning and then spending a couple of hours having breakfast, while I am reading, checking emails and such before I hit the road. When I hit the road, I am often cycling very slow and taking many breaks. But I tend to spend many hours on the road every day, so I end up cycling 75 to 100 kilometers in the end of the day. I do things a little different though. Because I don’t really like speed and my bicycle trips are not some illusion that I am on some macho trip that I call an expedition, in order to impress other people. I cycle around the world, because I think it is fun and not to prove something to the world.

 

Lonely as a solo tour cyclist? Not me.

I'm a social cyclist as well as a solo tour cyclist.

I’m a social cyclist as well as a solo tour cyclist.

I am a person who needs both my alone time and my social time. For that reason, being a solo tour cyclist is perfect for me. I spend most of the day in the saddle all by myself. Then I can be alone with my thoughts. At night I stay in a town where I head out to meet some random strangers I come across there. I am a person who likes to walk into a bar in an unknown town all by myself. Because I am good at striking up a conversation with people and am in general a very open person. I find that it’s harder to do that when you are two or more. People assume that you then want your privacy. While a guy who is on his own is easier to approach.

 

Accommodation as a solo tour cyclist.

My bicycle in a hotel room.

My bicycle in a hotel room.

I am mostly staying in smaller roadside hotels, guest houses and so on, when I am tour cycling around the world. If I am in northern Europe or in USA/Canada, then I often camp. This is because of the price of accommodation and the campsites at US state parks and state beaches, often have a hiker/biker area. Hiker/biker areas in the US are not just cheap. But usually also a very social place, where you can hang out with a few other solo tour cyclists. I am not the kinda guy who camps wild. I simply have no desire to sit alone in my tent the whole evening and talk to myself and my bike. And I am not happy to walk into town if camping wild as your stuff is a lot more at risk of getting stolen, if you camp in some unofficial place, where there is zero staff looking after the place.

 

Is tour cycling alone dangerous?

The world is fortunately a very friendly place.

The world is fortunately a very friendly place.

I have cycled tens of thousands of kilometers over the years, in countries like Syria, Mexico, Brazil, Albania, Lebanon, Cambodia. Just to mention a few places. And I have never had a situation where I thought that I was in danger because I was alone. I had one situation in Vietnam 14 years ago, where I was attacked with rocks. But that was not because I was alone. It was because I made the wrong move at the wrong time. This situation would most likely have happened even if I had been in a group. I got away from the situation though without having anything stolen. I just got a few bruises because of the rocks they threw after me, but it had nothing to do with being alone.

 

My final verdict about tour cycling alone.

Cycling the world is the best.

Cycling the world is the best.

In my opinion, it’s perfectly suitable to tour the globe alone by bicycle. But it’s all about how you are as a person. Some people need another person in order to not give up. Or not be bored on the road. And it’s the best option for these people to bike together with other people.

Talking for myself, I am really happy about touring on my own. I am totally happy if I find a girlfriend who does not care about cycling. As long as she is ok with me doing it, I will have no worries if she prefers to take the bus or the train between towns while I cycle. This is just the way I am and I’m damn happy with it.

Happy cycling everyone.

Happy cycling everyone.

Happy cycling everyone, whether you are a solo tour cyclist, or cycling with someone else :-).

If you want to read about a trip where I cycled 6800 kilometers as a solo tour cyclist, to watch 2 football games, then you can do that on this link.

4 Comments

  1. Great read, I like the solo it myself but wish I could get away more…
    Do you have a website with your tours/routes your done, would love to read

    Regards
    Thommo

  2. Payaso en bici

    Nice to read your story, I am very similar although I do wildcamping a lot. My job is very hectic and I’m surrounded by many people every day so for me, my solo touring is to relax and have some alone time. When in town you find me in the bars to have a drink and meal. After a few hours I move on and it’s just me and the bike again.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. hi Claus,
    thanks for the posts.
    do you research and plan where to sleep every night? what kind of tyres do you have on the bike ? and the kit you travel with?
    Cheers and good riding,
    Alex

  4. You are right. I on the other hand likes to drive on half to one hour before sunrise, but I could go a bit later, so the most important thing for me going alone is, that I am not a group. I am vulnerable, so people like to interact and care about me.

    The good thing about going as a team of two is, that you have someone to share with and that two set of ideas and eyes gives a lot of extra, but your companion has to be very similar to you, else it will not work.
    Claus

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