I know the cynics on the forum would disagree, and I know this worldview seems to conflict with my former profession, but people in general are decent pretty much everywhere you go, to the extent that they're not going to harm you and they'll help if you get in a jam. I've been all over the place on the bike, and if I'm pulled off along the road and I'm there long enough, someone will invariably stop and ask if I need a hand, or at least slow down and give me the thumbs up to see if I'm OK. I'm not saying the world is full of sweetness and light; I'm saying that most people don't have any urge to actively harm others. For every horror story I've heard about a "Trip Gone Wrong", I've heard ten times (or more) as many stories of people who've traveled around the world on two wheels and met really great people everywhere. And not just great as in "he didn't murder me in my tent", but great as in "invited me to share a meal", or "went out of his way to help me fix my bike", "let me stay in his guest house", or whatever.
And yes, bad things happen. Glenn Heggstad wrote a whole book about how he was kidnapped while riding in Colombia. And unfortunately, books like his get remembered because they garner huge headlines ("American kidnapped by rebels in South America, film at 11!!"), while the experiences of Ted Simon or Elspeth Beard or Ed March go largely unknown, because what's exciting about someone traveling the world on a bike and having wonderful experiences?