When a big, fat bald man who looks like a Potato says "hey do you want to join up for a while and pedal through the Middle East and into Africa?" my first thought as a solo female traveler is well Mr. Potato Head always was a fun activity and great company on a rainy afternoon. In the basement as a young little whipper snapper, I used to spend hours making up long traveler's tales of epic journeys about Mr. Potato Head, the optometrist off to smell the world with his huge nose. Monsieur Potato Head when he visited France, would always wear his mustache, formal top hat and scarf and say "oh la la" as the rain cascaded off the basement window cell throughout a long afternoon. Mr Potato Head on a business trip at the international optometrist convention in Singapore would bring his suitcase, extra glasses and stethoscope and wear his travelers cap. Mr Potato Head, an impressive world traveler for such a stout round fella who always seems to wear such uncomfortable shoes. A glorious soul full of nomadic voyeuristic ambition and great company for the solo female traveler. Therefore, Me and Mr. Potato Head, an easily entertained fellow cyclist and avid reader of this website will be joining up and heading through the middle east and into Africa.
How To Find Your Mr Potato Head and Cycling Companion?
On the Road
South-East Asia, the loop of Thailand, Lao, Cambodia and Vietnam is a popular destination for bicycle touring. I met many cyclists there; I shared many a meal and headed north out of Vietnam into China with a fun kiwi fellow that I met on the road.
Mongolia, my favorite country has far more bicycle tourist then you would think. I spent several days camping with some new Italian friends I met cycling through central Mongolia. I also shared cycling maps with two German fellows and spent some time sharing stories with a Spanish man who was pedaling west out of the capital city of Ulanbatar, down the road I had just cycled.
New Zealand, the south Island of New Zealand is such a popular destination for bicycle travel that there is plenty of company here is you want it. My favorite people that I met were a family of bicycle tourists who were towing there super smiley baby in a trailer. The family had come 3000km (1865 miles) by bicycle on their family vacation.
On The Internet
Crazy Guy On a Bike is a website that serves as a resource for bicycle travel. There is a classified section that has a cycling partners section. I have met a few people here. Also, I met people who posted their bicycle travel journals on the site then later while travelling posted 'a looking for other cyclists' request through their journal. They formed a group of seven cyclists to share the costs of permits for the Tibet region.
The Lonely Planet travelers forum has a 'On Your Bike' section dedicated to bicycle travel and up to date information on road conditions. Several people I have met have connected through the forum and pedaled together.