Polish solo round-the-world cyclist Ewa Świderska is an unrepentant bike touring addict. Even if she's off the bike for just a few days, she begins to miss the simple joy of pedaling.
Along with inspiring images and intriguing travel tales, Ewa tackles head-on the top question women ask when considering a solo bicycle tour around the world: is it safe? Here are a few of her thoughts:
I do not want to get misunderstood. It is not that I feel permanent danger while travelling solo thinking that every man I encounter wants to try my femininity – on the contrary, I always say that a woman traveling alone inspires others to look after her and to help – this is what I experienced dozens of times.
Maybe someone can tell – your stories don’t convince me, nothing happened really. Fortunately, nothing bad happened, but I was not laughing. I felt fear, resentment, anger. I’m a woman traveling solo because I like to travel like this and do not want to be afraid. This, even innocent-looking situations should not take place.
Therefore – should a woman traveling alone be afraid of? My answer is, on the contrary to the prevailing positive opinions – sometimes yes, she has reasons to feel so. She should never forget that she is a woman and this little fact changes a lot. I have a few safety rules which I follow, I described them in the “For Women” blog entry and I believe that obeying them helps me to go safe.