I'm a 19-year-old male college student. I'm planning a bicycle trip from Illinois to Oregon with a male friend this summer. My parents are worried about my safety, and they are considering not letting me go.I rode across the country alone at age 31. Some people told my wife that she should forbid me from going (even strangers I met along the way asked me why my wife let me go). As I told her, "If you were the kind of wife who would try to stop me, I wouldn't have married you!" My only concession to the worriers in my life was to carry a cell phone, which at least was handy for making motel reservations.
Bicycle touring only scares people who haven't done it. People are so paranoid about the dangers of the world. Someone who has done ample planning and is in reasonable physical condition should be fine. Sure, bad things can happen on a bike trip (David, don't let your parents see this book), but bad things can happen anywhere, anytime. I am sure a lot of great things will happen on David's trip, and those memories will stay with him forever.
Amy gave David the right advice, basically saying, "You're 19 years old and your parents need to 'let go' and let you go." Have a great trip, David!