REsources for FEMALE bicycle travelers
I figured there should be a list of all the goodies, maps, nonprofits, and for-profits that help us adventure by bicycle. So I made one.
Some of these aren’t women-specific, but some definitely are. If you know of further resources, please Contact Me so I can add them here!
My Number One, go-to resource for all things bicycle touring. Need advice on camping, cooking, eating, and laundry while on tour? They have an extensive Blog. Looking for a partner or group to ride across the country with? Check out their “Companions Wanted” page. And of course, if you want the best maps in the entire nation, which are tailored to bicycle tourists and provide updates on your mobile phone if there’s a road closure or landslide or forest fire… look no further: Adventure Cycling Association makes the best maps ever.
Prepare to have your mind blown. “Women on Wheels” is an online community of hundreds of women around the world who’ve traveled by bicycle (usually really, really far). You can even purchase their online e-book that’s chock-full of women’s adventure cycling stories.
Basically the “Couchsurfing” of the cycling world. Warmshowers.org is “a community of bicycle tourists and those who support them,” which means cyclists hosting each other, for free, around the world. It’s an incredible resource, but it does take some planning ahead and you still need to keep your wits about you: staying in strangers’ homes can be a little freaky, as illustrated in this interview with Emily Loberg. (But after staying with nearly 100 Warmshowers hosts myself, and completing over 30 interviews with cycling women, Emily’s is the only horror story I’ve heard. So I still highly recommend Warmshowers, as your chances of having a positive experience are more than 99%, and we can’t let the creeps keep us from enjoying a really good thing.)
A women-only bicycle touring company! If you’d like to try bike travel but prefer that someone else handle the preparation and planning, consider signing up for a guided tour with WomanTours. I first learned about them in my interview with Anna Barton, who’s one of their tour leaders!
I’ve interviewed dozens of women about overcoming fear to pursue adventure. Use the search bar at the top of the page to find specific topics: Search “TransAm” or “TransAmerica” to find interviews about pedaling across the USA, search “Alaska,” “North Carolina,” or “Florida” to find stories of women bike-touring in those states, and search “boyfriend,” “brother,” “partner,” or “solo,” to find advice on how to travel by yourself or with others. Sky’s the limit!
Even slow-pokes like me can learn from the hard-core distance cyclists. This website was recommended by an interviewee, and I’m happy to add it here! Just use their search bar to navigate the abundant information.
Fellow adventure cyclist Alissa created this website to “share practical knowledge and impractical inspiration” about outdoor adventures, including bicycle travel. Helpful articles include “What Should Women Wear on a Bicycle Tour in Southeast Asia?” and “Cycling the Wild Southern Half of Chile’s Carretera Austral”
Our Favorite Apps
Here’s a list of reader favorites! I’m not much of an app person myself… but even I’m tempted to try these on my next tour.
iOverlander - An app to help you find camping spots and destinations in almost every country on earth.
Maps.me - An app that allows you to download and view maps offline… very helpful for traveling in areas with spotty reception.
My Favorite Adventure (& Bicycle Touring) Memoirs
Going Somewhere by Brian Benson is the gritty, beautifully-written, unflinchingly-honest account of one couple’s bicycle journey across the USA.
Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart by Carrot Quinn is exhilarating at the beginning, monotonous in the middle, and heart-breaking at the end… just as thru-hiking the entire Pacific Crest Trail by yourself would be. If you want to know what it’s like to backpack alone for months until you fall apart and have to put yourself back together again, read this epic memoir. It’s the closest thing to actually hiking the PCT.
This Road I Ride by Juliana Buhring is a memoir of setting the Guinness World Record of Fastest Woman to Circumnavigate the Globe by bicycle. Juliana can pedal 175 miles in a single day… and she can write a decent book, too.