REsources for Adventuressesses..
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.
Not all of these are 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 doing 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.
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, all over 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 get scary, as illustrated in this interview with Emily Loberg.
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 very top of my website to find specific topics: Search “TransAm” or “TransAmerica” to find interviews about pedaling across the USA, search “Alaska,” “North Carolina,” “Germany,” or “Morocco” to find stories of women bike-touring in those places, and search “boyfriend,” “brother,” “partner,” or “solo,” to find advice on how to travel by yourself or with others. Sky’s the limit! (And whenever you’re ready, I’d love to interview you: Contact me.)
Our Favorite Advice & Inspiration Websites
Ride Far: Bikepacking & Ultra-Distance Cycling - 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.
Exploring Wild: Bicycle Touring Articles & Inspiration - Fellow solo female adventure cyclist Alissa created this website to “share practical knowledge and impractical inspiration” about outdoor adventures. 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” (I also interviewed Alissa about how she travels alone while being happily married.)
W.O.W. - Women on Wheels - Prepare to have your mind blown. “Women on Wheels” is an online community of hundreds of women from 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.
Rachel Yaseen Worldwide - After living in Tucson, Arizona for 25 years, Rachel divorced her husband, gave away nearly everything except her bicycle and two small boxes of clothes, and began to travel. Rachel still returns to Tucson 3 times a year, to spend time with her twelve-year-old son, but otherwise she’s a “citizen of the world,” without a home or permanent address (I interviewed her, and it was awesome).
Our Favorite Apps
Here’s a list of reader favorites! I’m not much of an app person myself… but even I am 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 Personal Favorite Adventure (& Bicycle Touring) Memoirs
Going Somewhere by Brian Benson is the gritty, beautifully-written, unflinchingly-honest account of one young 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.
…Aaannd if You’re Into Fiction, Here’s Some Novels About Bike Touring
The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle by Christina Uss is adorable. It’s a kid’s chapter book, so I’m allowed to say that. Christina did a cross-country bicycle tour at one point in her life, and then wrote this book to share with younger audiences. The main character is an orphan raised by monks on the East Coast, and she gets a wild hare and decides to ride her bike across the entire nation… by herself. It’s not all that plausible, but it’s good fun.
Tailwinds Past Florence by Doug Walsh is about a young couple trying to save their marriage on a bicycle tour… and past lives popping up to haunt them. We’re not talking ex-boyfriends: this story involves magical realism and time travel. The novel is based on Doug’s two-year-long adventure pedaling around the globe with his wife: Two Far Gone.