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Biking the Midwestern United States

Safety

This section is aimed mostly at women. These are good practices for men as well, but I've noticed that men don't seem to think twice about travelling solo. As for me, I know I would regret spending my life in front of the TV because it was impossible to coordinate with my friends vacation schedules or because I was afraid of the remote possibility of being attacked. There are some interesting articles available on whether women would be justified in fearing solo travel more than men.

Whereas much of women's fear of violence and sexual attack is based on perception, there are well-founded reasons why women feel fearful when venturing into public spaces alone. Around the world, women continue to be the primary victims of rape and sexual attack (World Health Organisation, 2002). ... Yet herein lies an interesting paradox. Current research in Australia shows that women's safety in public has increased over the last decade, and most of the acts of sexual violence against women are carried out by men they know (ABS, 2005). ... Studies of female travel behaviour (Aitchison & Reeves, 1998; Carr, 2000; Hillman, 1999; Jordan & Gibson, 2000) have also found that, despite their desire for independent travel and time alone, women tended to be disproportionately fearful for their per- sonal safety when travelling.

– E. Wilson and D. E. Little. "The Solo Female Travel Experience: Exploring the Geography of Women's Fear." Current Issues in Tourism. 2008.

What I gather from the available evidence is that there is some basis for women to be cautious, but that we tend to perceive more danger than actually exists.

If you want to go on your first overnight solo trip, I highly recommend the Grand Illinois Trail. You'll never be far from civilization, but it feels that way when you're on the bike paths.

Here are things I do to be and to feel safe.

Great Things about Biking Solo

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