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Single female planning 2 wk cycle in yucatan in August

Single female planning 2 wk cycle in yucatan in August

Old Jun 29th, 2012, 01:10 AM
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Single female planning 2 wk cycle in yucatan in August

having read comments online it sounds like cycling will be a great way to tour the region,but is it fairly easy to rent a bike there (don't want to take my own) and is it relatively safe as a lone female?i'm pretty well travelled in Africa and India but S.America is new for me!Also concerned to hear that August may be too humid/hot for cycling...opinions please!
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Old Jun 29th, 2012, 12:00 PM
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Where have you been reading that cycling is a great way to tour the region? I've never heard or read that before.

The weather is extremely hot and humid in August, plus it's the rainy season!

Lastly personally no I do not think cycling alone along the highways of Mexico is safe for a solo female (more about traffic, road conditions, etc. than about personal safety).
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Old Jun 29th, 2012, 12:11 PM
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I really think you need to do some research before making this decision and asking here is a good start. Cycling? Yes. Solo as a female? No.

There's some really great archeology in the Yucatan, but much of what is not already a big tourist site is back in the jungle and worth the search.

The towns are rather spread out in the Yucatan, which is in Mexico, part of Central America, not South America. There are long expanses of highway and/or two lane without a soul in sight, but there ARE people there. Many of the indigineous peoples live off these roads in small communities without anything commercial nearby. We really haven't seen much of an option for someone who might want to camp en route between cities, so that would also require some research.

Keep in mind that August also has the risk of hurricanes. Expect daily afternoon drenchings of tropical rainstorms. Heat is heat and if you've encountered this kind of heat in Africa and South America, I'd be less concerned about that.

Not to scare you, but have you seen the movie, "And Soon the Darkness?" It takes place in Argentina, but it's not that far-fetched as to apply to Mexico.

Finally, I don't want to discourage you, which is what I've managed to do in the last paragraphs and that was not my intent. We LOVE travelling in the Yucatan and have travelled there since the early 80s, but would not do it solo as a woman.

Let us know how your planning goes!
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Old Jun 29th, 2012, 03:42 PM
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I travel solo in the Yucatan, either by car or bus, and have had no safety issues. But being on a bike alone is completely diferent. You need rotes that offer support if you or your bike need it. And that is NOT the Yucatan.

I just came from a week in Yucatan on the Ruta Puuc. It is hotter than heck now, and this is from a woman who spent 30 yrs in Houston- I know heat. August will be worse. It rained heavily every late afternoon.

Late last week while I was there, the storm that eventually became Debbie churned off the Yucatan coast and then came inland, crossing from Cancun and Playa del Camen in Q. Roo,and on to Valladolid and on to Merida and right into the rest of the Yucatan where I was. I have never seen such torrential rains. I drove through it for 5-6 hrs on the way back to Q. Roo from Yucatan. I have been through hurricaines and this storm packed a LOT of rain, and there was not much news to prepare us for it down there either.

There is no way I would bike across the Yucatan solo. As previous poster said, there are LONG stretches of highway that run through very very remote areas, where you will see nothing and no one - the small scruffy villages are off the main roads. And frankly, those pueblas are not appealing, they are dusty and desolate, not a good place for travelers. If something happens to your bike out there or to you, good luck, bc you are going to need it and a long lift back to Merida or some larger town for help.

When I went to see Uxmal, I had made reservations in the largest town in the area, called Ticul. The town turned out to be very depressed and well, I hesitate to say this but it is how I felt (and I love Mexico, have traveled there for over 35 yrs)-- it was a real pit, frankly. Couldn't wait to get out of there, that night was very depressing and long. I should have coughed up more pesos and stayed in one of the nicer hotels close to the ruins.
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Old Jun 29th, 2012, 03:47 PM
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I should add that I DID see some small groups of bikers as I was driving across Quintana Roo and in some parts of Yucatan(around Valladolid and around Chichen Itza). The roads are very flat. There were always 3-5 of them together. They did not look prepared to stay overnight anywhere, they looked to be out on day bike trips.
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Old Jun 29th, 2012, 03:50 PM
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If you have not already done so, you might want to go over the Loney Planet's forum, Thorntree, and ask this over there on the Mexico forum also. Lots of good insight into this kind of question there too.
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Old Jun 29th, 2012, 04:39 PM
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I've cycle-toured solo in Costa Rica/Nicaragua just before the monsoon; and across Argentina, into Chile, in the summer. I wouldn't care to repeat the experience. The local people were great, but the heat and humidity were brutal, and the rains, when they came, torrential. I had only minor security issues, but then I'm a six-two, 210lb male.
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Old Jun 29th, 2012, 05:35 PM
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I'm another woman who travelled through the Yucatan alone, but not by bike and not in August. It's a fascinating place to visit, and I'm very glad I went, but I didn't even like driving there alone very much - I was very aware that if I had a problem with the car, my options for getting help were limited. (Most of my travels there were by bus, by I did rent a car to see the Ruta Puuc and nearby area.)

The good news is that it is fairly easy to travel the area as a solo female if you are willing to use the buses - or even an occasional rental.
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Old Jun 29th, 2012, 10:28 PM
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Check out the Women on Wheels Wall to find women that have cycled solo in that area. http://www.skalatitude.com/p/wow-women-on-wheels.html

Read about Helen Lloyd's solo cycling travels in Mexico and South America. http://helenstakeon.com/the-great-am...falling-rocks/

Two great articles - Adventure Cycling Association

2012 article, The Wondrous Yucatan by Charles Lynch. 16-day, 450-mile, solo bicycle trek to the Yucatán http://www.adventurecycling.org/reso...ure2_Lynch.pdf

Cycling Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula by Cindy & Todd Ross
http://www.adventurecycling.org/reso...cosyucatan.pdf

Another great resource are the forums at crazyguyonabike, lonelyplanet and reddit.

Enjoy your summer trip!
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Old Jul 2nd, 2012, 05:17 AM
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My wife and I are avid bicyclists, and have biked in the USA, Canada and Europe. We have visited the Yucatan (mainly along the Caribbean) many times on vacation. This is one part of the world we have no desire to bike. True the roads are flat, and usually not busy, but unlike places like Canada and Europe, there is no 'biking for enjoyment' culture there. You will on rare occasion see some tourists doing a day ride, or locals pedaling to work, but bike shops are few and far between, and many of the roads are in bad shape. The Yucatan is one of the safest parts of Mexico, but enjoy it in a car or a bus.
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