Ever have problems riding alone?

by on July 30, 2009
in Iowa Rides

Just a quick report on the other half of this past weekend… I took a little solo ride on Sunday afternoon (I hardly EVER ride alone) just because I heard the bike calling me. Rode south again down to 92, then west a couple miles to G45, which I took South down to New Virginia. Stopped for a butt break in the bus turnout at the school, then continued west on G76 til it T’d at Highway 69 at a town so small it’s not even on the map – Medona, I think it was called.

I took 69 north back up to Indianola, where I pulled into the parking lot of the closed-on-Sundays Route 65 Harley Davidson. I love the retro look of this huge building, so I parked in the empty lot and snapped a few pictures of the bike in front of the signage. Headed on up to Highway 92, west to R63, and north to home.

This was a neat little ride, and overall I enjoyed the alone time. But, it sure was different riding alone. A few times, I was aware of bikes traveling behind me. I always thought of my pink helmet as a kind of beacon for the friends riding with me so they can keep me in view, but on this ride I was aware that the pink lid (and my bright pink tank top) clearly identified me as a girl traveling alone. Not saying I don’t trust my fellow Iowans – I freely admit my imagination gets the better of me sometimes – but you just never really know who’s behind you or what they’re thinking. Didn’t prevent me from enjoying the ride, but it did make me think a little about what I’d do if I encountered harrassment on the road. So I’m curious, fellow lady riders: have YOU ever been accosted when traveling alone on your bike? What did you do about it?

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3 Responses to “Ever have problems riding alone?”
  1. Juju says:

    You know, maybe I’m lucky, but I’ve taken many short, solo rides, and never been harassed once (where’s that wood to knock on?) Had a lot of long, curious looks, plenty of waves and “thumbs-up,” but all friendly. Having said that, how WOULD I deal with harassment while on a ride? I’ve got several strategies up my sleeve–take off going the other way, pull into a store, post office, or other handy, crowded place, and if worse came to worst, pull off and make a phone call. I’ve dealt with harassment in other situations, so I feel pretty confident that I could deal with it while riding too. Just my two cents!
    P.S. You used to know me as Wiley.

  2. mike says:

    Just wanted to say ‘sweet new bike!’. Also, I think the town you were refering to is ‘Medora’, a sleepy little hamlet. In the ’70’s we used to be able to buy ‘refeshments’at the Medora store, without being carded, and take our time on the back roads to Indianola,enjoying those refreshments, without running into smokey bear. Fun roads! Fun memories!
    I personally like to ride solo, really gets my head clear, without worring about wether I’m riding at the right pace as the rest of the group, but it is really great to be able to enjoy and share a cool ride with friends too!
    Just be aware of your surroundings, always have a charged cell phone, and be friendly! Most people are curious about our passion for bikes and like to hear the ‘road stories’ just like we enjoy having them and sharing them with family and friends.
    We as riders all know and have learned, WE need to be on the lookout for those drivers that are not paying attention, and there are ALOT of them out there.
    Be safe and have fun with the new scoot!

  3. Corn Dog says:

    Wiley, thanks for reading and adding your thoughts – I sure do remember you and look forward to hearing more from you! A few others replied to this very question on a forum where I also posted it, so I may round up their comments and do a separate “tips” post.

    Mike, MEDORA – yes, thank you! I vowed to remember the name until I got home, and then of course couldn’t – LOL… glad you clarified that, sounds like you had some fun along those roads! Your remark about keeping pace with a group is right on target – I usually lead when we ride as a group, and it felt really different not having to keep track of everyone else. I enjoyed it!

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