Riding in a group can be great fun, but riding on your own can be just as satisfying. It’s easy to get caught up in weekly group rides and adventures with riding buddies. And indeed, riding a motorcycle in a group comes with many benefits. But, you can have a lot of fun riding by yourself. Riding alone can be uncomplicated, full of the peace and quiet of the road plus result in some quality “me time”. The challenge for many is stepping outside the group riding “comfort zone” and working up the motivation to ride alone. But once you’ve spent enough time solo time out there, freely leaning around your favourite corners, you’ll likely find you’ll start to crave that solo ride more and more!
Here are five ways you can pack in more pleasure and enjoyment on your solo motorcycle ride!
Stay Safe – Be Self Sufficient
The key to staying safe doesn’t just extend to good riding skills, but your preparedness and being as self sufficient as possible. This means you, your gear and your motorcycle. Some may have advised you not to ride alone, yet with all the ability to be connect, online with our smartphones, access GPS, the next fuel station – it really is super easy to ride alone. This new age of connectivity has given us the freedom to wonder!
If you’re a woman motorcycle rider, well, you’ll likely face a bit more resistance – but this too is changing. I know the exclamations I’ve experienced when pulling into fuel stations, alone, in the middle of nowhere being a woman on a motorcycle. And well, let’s face it, there are a few things you can do to crush the naysayers. So get yourself ready, put on your adventurer hat, and get out there on your own.
- Learn how to repair your own flat tire as well as other basic moto maintenance issues that you might encounter on a ride. I also believe that with duct tape and a bungee cord you can fix just about anything! So pack both of these. For a flat tire, you can purchase small tire repair kits which are easily stowed.
- Understand you bike’s fuel usage and mileage to the tank. This is crucial to avoid running out of gas. How many litres / gallons does your tank hold? How far can you go on a tank? You don’t want to be stuck in “nowheresville” late at night where all the fuel stations have closed.
- Make sure you have all the tools you need in your motorcycle on-bike tool kit. Many riders forget to check these. And don’t forget your tire pressure gauge.
- Bring some food or a snack and water. Don’t’ forget as well your identification, money (cash and credit), and a fully charged phone. You can also bring a portable phone charger with you just in case.
- Bring a paper road map as back up. If you’re just heading out to wherever the road takes you – along unfamiliar roads where cell access might be sketchy, your paper road map will serve as a great back up.
- Tell someone approximately where you’re riding to and how long you expect to be gone. If you or someone you love is really worried, you can also consider getting a phone tracking app . Friends and family, can check in on your whereabouts when needed.
- Wear a high visibility vest or add reflective tape to your motorcycle to make yourself more visible to drivers and vehicles around you.
- Don’t forget your rain suit!
Ride in Comfort
If you’re not comfortable on your motorcycle, it is impossible to have a good time. When riding solo, comfort plays an even more important role because there’s nothing to distract you. Yes, other riders are distractions too- they take your mind off the road, etc. Plus when riding in a group there tends to be quite a few more roadside stops. But when riding alone, it’s just you, your sore bum and aching throttle hand. To avoid experiencing discomfort, wear the right gear and good motorcycle gloves that fit. It’s not a good time to break in new gear.
Spend time adjusting your motorcycle to fit you. A good ergonomically fitted ride ensures you are riding capably while reducing your chances of experiencing numbness, aches, and pains. And you might also consider using an AirHawk Cushion or changing to a custom-made motorcycle seat to achieve even more comfort.
Set A Goal, Destination – Ride Somewhere New
Even though heading out to wherever the road may lead you is enlightening, having a goal or a destination can also make a solo ride more fun and bump up your enthusiasm for going on a solo ride. Try exploring a new route or road, take a ride to an awesome beach, national park or just check out that new cafe. It’s also fun to practise riding skills in an empty parking lot along the way.
Tackling new adventures on your own can be empowering, and boost your confidence.
Need a holiday? Why not pack up your motorbike and get out-of-town? You may just find that a solo vacation is good for the soul.
Capture Your Ride Adventure
When you’re riding in a group you don’t always get the opportunity to stop and “smell the roses”. But when riding solo, you can randomly enjoy anything you feel like along the way! Spur of the moment stops, hikes or roads off the beaten path. And maybe you’ll want to make a note of the new route or road you’ve just discovered. You might want to revisit it again one day.
Take in the scenery while grabbing a selfie photo with that cool rural sign that says “thanks for visiting”.
More Pros To Riding Solo
- You can go WHERE you want.
- You can go WHEN you want.
- You can STOP as many times as you want- or stop only to refuel.
- It gives you time to THINK and connect with nature.
- You can’t get left behind or feel rushed to keep up.
And remember, no matter where you ride, you’re always encounter friendly folk – certain to make friends and enjoy conversations. You’ll even come across other riders.
It’s easy to strike up conversations when you’re on your own, solo – if you want to – or not.
Riding solo, grabbing some “me time” is truly freeing, educational, and rewarding on so many levels. It’s a fabulous positive mental outlet that’ll bring you back home with way more than when you left!
Editor, founder MOTORESS; motorcycle basic, advanced and race instructor certified for over 30 years. Motorcycle On-road and race licensing examiner. Coached, taught, examined riders for European, Caribbean and North American training institutes.