Usually the dangers on a bicycle travel are enormously exagerated by non cyclists. They are seldom familiar with the perception and situation of bicycle traveller. This unawareness is quickly interpreted as unknown dangers which are probably life threatening. In fact as cyclist you are confronted by dangers which you won't find in your familiar environment at home. Still the highest danger for cyclists poses road traffic which do not differ from the road traffic in the average daily life.
Sometimes you have no choice but have to use a heavily used road. Often there is only one connection between two locations that is used by everyone. Narrow roads frequented a lot of vehicles with drivers in a hurry and not used to cyclists can present a high threat. The only possibility to save your life in such situations is by caution and attention.
Thieves and muggers are another dangers a traveller may come across. Groups of importuning children cause similar problems. Which precautions are necessary and which countermeasures should be taken is largely dependant of the local situation and culture in a area. Informations from local people, warnings and proposals of conduct should be taken serious and regarded. The best protection against loss of property and attacks is again attention and avoidance of dangerous situations.
Which other troubles a cyclist has to face is largely dependant on the culture and natural conditions of a particular area. Travelling through the desert during the summer time might bear dangers of overheating and dehydrating. At areas with periodical rivers you staying in dry valleys may be life threatening. To take a bath in a river or lake that is a habitat of crocodiles could be very harmful for your health. Sleeping without protection against insects may lead to unpleasant infections and complications. The best way to avoid problems is as always the awareness of the risks and knowledge of countermeasures. Each source of information should be used, especially the knowledge and experience of local people.
Equipment failures pose another danger. To avoid them the equipment must be used with appropriate attention and maintained regularly. Usual spares and tools have to be a part of the luggage. But the most important is the choice of the right quality. The quality of the equipment is for cyclists of higher importance than for other travellers which follow the usual ideas of travelling. By that if two motorised travellers meet, they will talk about “how expensive”. Cyclists won't talk about the price of equipment. They will only discuss how reliable, how durable and where to get it.
As we told some inhabitants of Wadi Halfa
about our plans to go by bicycle along the Nile they gave us multiple warnings. Some years
back a German motorcyclist was supposedly killed by a hyena in a remote part of the road.
There have been several variations of the story with more or less fantastic details. Later
we had the chance to meet a enthusiastic Sudanese cyclist and motorcyclist which inherited
the BMW of the unfortunate traveller. He gave us the most conclusive version of the events.
The German obviously haven't been familiar with the behaviour of hyenas and provoked
unintentional an attack while taking pictures of the animal.