Kasia Niewiadoma’s Tips for Hitting the Road Solo

By Kasia Niewiadoma

I’ve spent a good part of my life pedalling around the world on two wheels. Today, I want to share a bit about my experiences travelling solo as a woman and some practical tips for those of you itching to hit the road on your trusty bike.

Travelling solo as a woman has been one of the most empowering and eye-opening adventures of my life. It’s not about proving anything but about discovering your strength and resilience. From navigating unfamiliar roads to finding hidden gems in remote places, there’s something incredibly liberating about solo travel. So, here’s my guide to making the best of it!

Know that preparation brings peace of mind

I still feel a hint of fear every time I embark on a solo journey. Yet, it’s those moments when we embrace that fear and press on that indeed strengthen us, both mentally and physically. Every trip is a teacher, a chance to grow. For me, the cornerstone of preparation is having the right equipment: lights, spare tubes, a charging power bank, and some basic bike tools. Riding in the dark without reflective lights or high-visibility gear on the road is a situation best avoided.

Should the unexpected occur, my go-to strategy is to focus on breathing and zoom out of the situation. Often, discomfort and fear magnify circumstances, making them seem more life-threatening than they are. Being well-rested and having enough food on hand can make the ride smoother and less stressful.

I like to equip my bike with frame bags or handlebar bags stocked with plenty of food and some spare clothes. Having these essentials ensures I’m ready for anything the journey throws at me. Knowing your bike is crucial, too. You don’t need to be a pro mechanic, but being able to change a flat tire or adjust your derailleur can be a lifesaver. So, don’t forget your tools, tubes, and lights!


Remember how enriching connecting with local communities can be

Meeting new people on the road is one of my favourite parts of biking. I often find it easier to connect with older folks who are patient and eager to share their knowledge. Exploring local foods and traditions adds a layer of appreciation to your travels. When encountering fellow cyclists, remember to respect their goals and reasons for riding. Some may want to race, while others prefer a friendly chat.

Take baby steps if you’re new to solo riding

For those new to solo adventures, my most important advice is to start slow and choose routes that are challenging yet allow you to seek help if needed. Solo trips don’t have to be massive overnight journeys or weeks of riding across countries. It’s about stepping out of your comfort zone and gradually extending your rides.

Be open to exploring the unknown

Sometimes, the best trips are spontaneous and unplanned. I encourage you to embrace the unknown, whether it’s a 30 km lap or a 100 km ride. Know your terrain and learn about your surroundings. Starting with a friend can provide companionship and support during challenging moments. Begin slowly and, as you gain experience, make your adventures more extreme or difficult, but always ensure you can trust yourself.

Have some basic bike maintenance skills at your disposal

Before embarking on a solo biking adventure, it’s essential to master basic bike maintenance. Trust me; these skills can be a lifesaver on the road. Knowing how to change a flat tire, adjust your brakes, and handle minor mechanical issues can make a huge difference in keeping your journey smooth and stress-free. Plus, it gives you that extra sense of self-reliance, knowing you can handle unexpected challenges that might come your way. So, take the time to learn these skills; they’re like a safety net for your solo rides.

Allow yourself to embrace the freedom of the open road, and don’t obsess about pictures

For me, bike trips are a way to disconnect from the world and immerse myself in the simplicity and tranquillity of nature. There’s something irresistible about becoming invisible to the demands of daily life. Riding my bike, finding a place to sleep, and enjoying a meal – it’s a beautiful rhythm that needs no constant documentation. While part of me wishes I had the motivation to capture every moment, the absence of that urge allows me to fully inhabit the present and see the world through my own unfiltered perspective. So, as you set off on your biking adventures, remember that sometimes the most profound experiences happen when you let go of the need to capture them all. Enjoy the journey, and live it one pedal stroke at a time.