solo travel

Adventures Resources for Women Riders

Oh Hai! Are you thinking of taking yourself on your first long, solo ride? YES! YOU CAN DO IT.

Oh Hai! Are you thinking of taking yourself on your first long, solo ride? YES! YOU CAN DO IT.

Women have been traveling solo on two wheels since almost the invention of the motorcycle. Personally, I have many female riding friends who’ve ridden everywhere from Chile to Mexico to Mongolia to Vietnam and everywhere in between completely by themselves. 

If you’re a woman rider who’s new to solo adventuring or traveling on two wheels, I want to give you some inspiration and resources to help guide you along the way. Because there will *always* be someone whispering in your ear (sometimes it’s just you, but that’s a story for another time) that “it’s dangerous”, or “a big mistake” or “a terrible idea”. 

These women have ridden across almost every continent and they have exciting and sometimes scary stories to tell. But if you ask each and every one of them if they’d have it any other way, I think you’ll be interested to hear what their answers would be. 

So here’s a list of resources that will hopefully give you a combination of confidence, inspiration and motivation to travel anywhere you want to go on two wheels, all alone.

Friends/Sheroes: 

Some of these are friends that have inspired me to do my own long distance solo rides in the US. I know that if you sent any of them a message via social media that they would be happy to answer any questions you might have about their solo travels.  And some of these women are simply cool, amazing sheroes that I have found crawling thru Instagram’s hashtag feeds.

Alisa Clickenger IG @motoadventuregal

Porsche Taylor IG @porschetaylor

Cristi Farrell: IG @moterrificmedia

Brittany Morrow IG @brittanymorrow 

Rachael @fuzzygalore

Anna Greschishkina @anna_grechishkina

Sinje Gottwald @sinje.gottwald

Egle Gerulaityte  @eglegerai 

Motobird Adventure @motobirdadventures

Shruti Singh @girl.on.himalayan

Sarah Moreau @seccret_cross_country_rider

Maryam Talaee maryam.talaee.1/

Momma D @mommadandherfreedom

Web / Social Media:

  • #solowomentravel Follow this hashtag (on any platform like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram) or simply enter it in a google search and you’re going to find women traveling any way they can to see the world. I know that motorcycling has its own challenges, but we can always find inspiration from eachother, especially when we’re all trying to achieve the same travel goals. 

  • HorizonsUnlimited.com - This is a global meetup that takes dplace all over the world, I highly, highly recommend attending one of these events in your area. This is the one place you’ll find at least 10-20 women in one place who’ve ridden quite literally, around the world solo. It’s also a highly comprehensive online resource for anyone looking for help planning their journeys around the world.

  • Facebook.com/groups/WomenAdventureRiders/ - If you’re a facebook fanatic, you can find this public group (membership does require approval) with thousands of likeminded women who are out there riding solo right now

  • Facebook.com/groups/MotorcycleConfidence.ByWomenForWomen/ - “We're here to support and encourage all lady riders with an open heart and adventurous spirit.”

Moto Books:

Lois on the Loose. By Lois Pryce.

Please keep in mind, these are NOT Top 10 Lists or meant to be ranked in any way, shape or form. It’s simply a list of women that I either know or have found searching online that I thought were worth sharing.

Please feel free to add your own inspirational women adventurers or travelers that you love or follow.

Ride Report, Solo Ride through West Virginia and Virginia

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During the second week of May this year, my plan was to spend 8 solid days on the road, but unfortunately mother nature decided otherwise. It was the high 40s, low 50s and raining on and off. So I left on a Tuesday instead of Sunday as planned. It was still chilly and raining off and on the entire day.

Since I really had zero plans other than meeting my wonderful friend Tamela Rich in Roanoke VA on Thursday, I had plenty of time so I took the long way down and stayed off highway, went around DC and ended up my first night in Front Royal, VA.

Front Royal is basically the starting point of the Blue Ridge Parkway. As much I as I enjoy the scenery of the parkway, it’s a fairly limiting road due to the speed limits and traffic. But I did do an obligatory portion of the top of the parkway so I could snap a few pics. And do a little scenic, casual riding.

One of the many well paved roads I found in WVA.

One of the many well paved roads I found in WVA.

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We went riding the following morning and ended up on one of the many unpaved backroads that VA is notorious for. For the ADV folk out there, it's a dreamy place to ride. But for us, particularly me and my smooth tires, it was a nailbiter. I've been on 3 death grip dirt roads in my illustrious 15-year riding career. This one was one of the worst.

A single lane, dirty, steep, gravel-filled road with no room to turn around. Something about riding uphill on this kind of road terrifies me when I'm on a sportbike. All I could see was my rear wheel spinning so fast and hard, losing traction and then flipping over. My bike has so much torque and can send so much power to the rear wheel, even at 1,000rpm that I didn't foresee this going very well.

My friend Tamela on her dirt worthy F650GS

My friend Tamela on her dirt worthy F650GS

This is why many sporty folk fear the dirt. We can lose traction so very quickly. I know that if I were on a cute KLX250 with knobby tires that I would've tore up that hill like it was a smooth, paved track. 

Luckily I remembered what my friend Nancy from Streetmasters told me a long time ago; smooth and steady in 2nd gear. So up I went. It was only a mile or so but felt like 10. This was really the most exciting part of my trip. Otherwise, I had an uneventful trip with an awesome friend whom I missed very much. We have

Sometimes getting out of my comfort zone can be painful. But afterwards, it feels so good knowing that I did it!

Trip planning post, if you want to see what gear and luggage I used

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Trip Planning for a Multi Day Solo Ride

One of the maps I created from my last solo trip several years ago down to NC

One of the maps I created from my last solo trip several years ago down to NC

I’m going to be riding this week somewhere. Initially I was thinking of going back South, towards the Carolinas, Virginias and Tennessee. I really love the riding down there, so I guess I just am drawn to going back there. I’m open to going North instead, but I don’t honestly know much about the riding in that direction.

Unfortunately the weather this week has hampered my leaving on time because if I don’t absolutely have to, I would rather NOT ride in the rain all day for 2 days. So I will leave as soon as the weather lets up tomorrow, or Tuesday morning if need be.

Someone asked me about my trip planning and what / how I am going to plan for something like this. Well, for me, it’s not going to be too much work, but I will be thinking about the following things.

But I won’t know exactly what I’m doing until I sort out all the people that i want to meet up with first. I know people have lives, so I certainly don’t expect everyone to meet me on my schedule. I will likely play a lot of my day to day destinations by ear.

Me and my friend Tamela meeting up 4 years ago in West Virginia. That was a fantastic trip!

Me and my friend Tamela meeting up 4 years ago in West Virginia. That was a fantastic trip!

Who Do I Want to Visit? Who Wants to Meet Up, and Where?

I’ll be looking a routes and using an online planning tool, Furkot.com. It’s my favorite tool for long distance planning because it takes in to consideration your mileage per day, hours you want to travel, breaks, gas stops and hotel stops. I can also take the route and import it into my iPhone app, InRoute. It’s freaking amazing.

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How Many Points Do I Have for Free Hotel Nights?

(I’m NOT a moto camper, this queen needs a real bed and shower)

Who can say no to free hotel rooms? I have some points with Holiday Inn Express so I will likely route some nights onto those if I’m not staying with a friend. We’ll see.

What’s My Daily Budget?

Of course, doing a trip like this costs money! Hopefully between the free hotel nights and 1 or 2 friend’s couches, I will only have to pay for my food and gas. Not too bad. I’m a huge Waffle House Fan so i will be looking for those as much as possible. :D

Am I the only one who LOVES Waffle House while traveling? #smothered #covered

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What Gear?

For this trip, I’ll have to take my trusty Revit Neptune GTX Suit. It’s a full multiseason suit with two removable liners; one is waterproof and the other one is thermal. So since the temperatures are going to be cooler from the high 40s/low 50s at night to mid 70s in the afternoon, depending how high the elevation is I’ll need something very versatile. I know that it’s going to rain on my way out of Philly and possibly coming back in next Monday. #firstworldproblems

I also will be taking my cool weather, waterproof Rukka Gloves, and my Dainese Torque Out boots. I do have Daytonas for when there’s heavy rain riding but if I’m only going to be in light to moderate rain, I don’t mind my Dainese because they’re water resistant and that’s good enough. The majority of this trip is dry and cool, so I can easily make those work. Daytonas are so bulky and heavy, it’s hard to go back to that kind of touring boot when you wear lightweight sport boots so much .

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I’ll also be wearing my Shoei RF-1200 because I need a quieter helmet, and my Bell is SO LOUD (even with earplugs). It’s also so tight, that for 8 hours a day it’s just too much. That’s really my summer, light riding helmet. I decided not to spend money right now on the Cardo Freecom 4+ headset that I’ve been drooling over. I will probably wait until Summer.

The reason I want to convert is because of the JBL speakers and the jogdial! Oooooohhhh. It has a very low profile, just like my current Sena 10R. But with these two vastly different features, I think it’ll jut be a much better headset overall. And the fact that it’s waterproof is a HUGE bonus.

What Luggage?

With my Triumph, I always use my Kriegas. They’re simply the best traveling luggage for low profile, waterproof, non saddlebag-hanging luggage with maximum volume. For trips like these, I have 40 Liters of packable space which doesn’t include my little Cortech tankbag.

Emergencies?

For emergencies, I’ll have my AAA membership and my AMA membership handy. I’ll also find the closest Triumph dealers and metric line dealers that might be able to help me if I have to get something fixed or serviced. My bike is in pretty good shape, so I don’t anticipate any issues but if I do, these will be my main lifelines.

I’ll carry just a few things might come in handy as far as tools and supplies:

  • Antigravity Microstart Power Supply with me in case I need a jump

  • a tire gauge

  • zip ties

  • folded duct tape

  • folding leatherman

  • allen key tool because pretty much everything on my bike can be tightened/loosended with 4 metric sizes

And that’s it! I can’t prepare for everything, so I’ll do my best and know that I can call for help if I need it. I’m mostly going to stick to paved, highway roads and will let my husband know what I’ll be doing every day so if I’m alone, someone knows where I’m headed.

Episode 21 of Moterrific: New Riders, More Advice

New Rider Interview! Meet Rebecca, a brand new rider with a great set of questions for us to discuss.  Click here for the blog post with all the details.  (Quicktime should load automatically)

Ways to Listen:

  1. Install the Quicktime Plugin to listen above
  2. iTunes 
  3. Stitcher.com or Stitcher App
  4. Moterrific.com

Horizons Unlimited 2012 - Cambria, CA

Horizons Unlimited Cambria California 2012

Last week I went to my favorite annual motorcycle event, Horizons Unlimited Travelers Meeting in Cambria, CA. It's truly one of the most special group of riders you'll ever meet.  

It's the only place that people who have traveled all over the world come together and talk about you guessed it, motorcycle travel. 

Although this was only my second year, I had a fantastic time and a great seminar. I was able to help a few women out and let more women know that there are gear options out there for us. There are always options and men's gear should be a last resort (after you've talked to me!). 

What HU really is, is an opportunity to gather with a bunch of likeminded motorcycle people and hear amazing, inspiring stories about riding motorcycles everywhere / anywhere they want to go. Alaska, China, Latin America, solo, with families, with significant others, via motorcycle tours. Basically every method possible to accomplish their dreams. 

I wish I had enough courage to get up and just travel solo for a month or two in difficult terrain, unfamiliar cultures, camping, breaking down on the side of the road, in extreme weather conditions and more. I really think adventure travel like this is a lot like people who run marathons. They're a part of a very small group of people who've accomplished something incredible. 

And that's the best part about HU. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. HU takes place all over the world, including the Eastern US, Western US, Canada the United Kingdom and Latin America and more. 

If you're even thinking about taking a trip on two wheels, I highly recommend finding one near you and planning an excursion to a meeting soon.  

If you didn't make it, here's a list of all the vendors/speakers you missed: www.horizonsunlimited.com/meetings/California2012.php