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Thread: Other riders who prefer to travel solo?

  1. #1
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    Other riders who prefer to travel solo?

    I am curious as to how many other riders prefer to travel solo, at least with no other bikes if you have a pillion?

    I just returned from a short trip, and am getting ready for a longer one in a few weeks. Lately when traveling I have noticed quite a few other solo riders, or just a rider with a pillion. From my perspective while there still seems to be more folks that are riding in groups of varying sizes, it seems like I am seeing more solo folks. If you are a rider that prefers to travel solo I would genuinely enjoy hearing why.

    My daughter is my favorite pillion, and she has about 60k miles as a passenger with me. I really enjoy riding with my wife as pillion as well, but she doesn't enjoy longer days on the bike like my daughter does. In a few weeks I am going to be heading out on a few week ride and my daughter (now 13) was planning on going. She is a heck of an athlete and unfortunately a team commitment is going to keep her from being able to go. While I am sad that she won't be going, I am also looking forward to being on the road alone.

    I have always preferred to travel solo on a bike. The last time I tried traveling with a couple of other bikes we ended up parting ways after a few days as our energy and outlooks were just too different. I was no doubt making their ride less enjoyable, as they were mine. I have a very flexible schedule, and an extremely understanding spouse. I consider that a luxury and like to take advantage of it and be somewhat free spirited when traveling. If a local at a gas station tells me about some cool sight off the beaten path I like the ability to just decide to go without any discussion, or worrying about making it to the days destination based on a regimented itinerary. I think I am approached by more folks while traveling solo too, and I've met some great folks and had some great conversations because of that. When my adorable daughter is riding pillion I know we get approached by more folks for sure.

    Most days I wake up, anxious to get on the bike. On other days my energy level may be different and I don't feel like a long day on the bike, or I find someplace cool and want to linger a bit. It may seem selfish or self centered, but I really like being able to easily adapt based on what I want to do, without worrying about another rider. In Mexico a few years ago I met a German tourist on a BMW and we hit it off and ended up riding together for a few days. That was really enjoyable. It was random and not planned though. I know that traveling with someone else offers some advantages with regard to safety and convenience. I think a small part of my enjoyment of going it solo though is knowing I am reasonably prepared and able to handle whatever may come up on my own, and being pretty self reliant.

    Based on what I have been seeing, I know there are others out there that travel solo, whether by choice or circumstance. I would genuinely enjoy hearing about some of you.

  2. #2
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
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    I ride solo. It might have something to do with the type of bike you ride. Some brands always seem to be in herds. Or maybe it's the type of person that buys a particular brand.
    1987 K75S
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35634 View Post
    I ride solo. It might have something to do with the type of bike you ride. Some brands always seem to be in herds. Or maybe it's the type of person that buys a particular brand.
    I beleieve there is a lot of truth to that. I have met some great folks traveling solo on BMW's, Ural's and KLR's. At least those are the three that come right to mind.

    My daughter and I did meet an amazingly interesting guy traveling solo on an HD. He had pots and pans lashed to his gear and we just had to stop and talk with him. He was about 70 and his wife had recently passed away. He got in touch with old friends all around the country and he hopped on his bike to go visit many of them.

    While there are always exceptions, there are certainly some accurate generalities. Stopped at Lolo Pass recently the leather crowd was talking about their live to ride farkles and the textile crowd was talking about where they had been or were going. I can pretty much guarantee the textile crowd had more miles on two wheels on average.

  4. #4
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Before Mary (my wife and copilot), I always rode long distance alone. With Mary now, we always travel solo. Not that we don't like other folks but we tend to like minimal compromising, independent decision making and the adventure of riding independently (we agree that we may loose a bit of a safety factor but that's part of the trade off). Besides, we do travel soooo well together - Bob
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  5. #5
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    I ride solo almost all the time because nobody is going where I want to go and the nearest riding buddy is at least an hour and a half away.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  6. #6
    TravelsWithBarley.com
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    My wife never enjoyed riding and frankly I find her screams somewhat annoying, so for anything longer than a day trip it's just me and the dog. On day trips it's just me on the two-wheeler.

    I've never found another rider whose riding style and preferences matched my own. Well, that's not entirely true. I have found a few at rest stops on lonely roads a thousand plus miles from home, but they were riding solo for the same reason. We chatted, compared notes, and went our separate ways. Curiously, I've never found loud pipes on a long distance rig.
    '07 R1200GS for solo rides
    '10 R1200GSA with Hannigan dual sport sidecar for rides with Barley

  7. #7
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    I live in a small town. Most of the local riders are not into touring on motorcycles. They do the weekend group rides. If I didn't ride solo, I wouldn't travel on the bike. My wife won't ride at all, so if I don't go alone, I don't go.

    Harry
    2003 R1150RT - Silver

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    I have ridden all over the US by myself, and I have ridden all over the US with one or two buddies. I enjoy both. I have never used any noisemakers (music or radio or CB or whatever) because I cherish the solitude of riding alone and talking with God while I ride. The actual riding part is pretty much solitude, regardless of how many are in a group, but when you stop for a meal or an overnight, that is when I miss not having a fellow rider to talk about what we saw that day. BTW, I am leaving Monday for a run around the Dakotas, and will be solo.
    Royce
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  9. #9
    Registered User dmftoy1's Avatar
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    I ride solo by choice, but usually end up doing a week to 10 days with the wife on her own bike to keep things happy at home.

    Really prefer my own schedule, routing, etc.

  10. #10
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Annie and I travel alone together. We've learned to travel well together and our riding habits mesh well. We may join one or two friends for a ride for lunch, but that is normally the extent of our group riding. We did recently make an exception and acted as tour guides for two friends for 5 days in Glacier - Banff - Jasper - Kootenay Parks. They are good friends and competent riders, but it reinforced our commitment to riding alone together.
    Kevin Huddy
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  11. #11
    Riding where it's hot! AZ-J's Avatar
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    My R1200S has one seat, I ride solo.
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  12. #12
    BearDog
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    Funny you brought up the solo issue. I will be taking a trip ('13 R1200GSW) from Georgia to New Mexico starting in a couple of weeks. The other day my wife mentioned that it was a shame I didn't have anyone to ride with. For all the reasons mentioned, I told her that it was a good thing. Good odds I will meet other riders along the way and either spend some quality time trading stories or having the opportunity to ride together for a bit.

    As far as riding two up, I might be in trouble. After testing my travel gear this morning, I'm not sure if there is even room for me.

    Robert
    Robert
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwimer1 View Post
    Funny you brought up the solo issue. I will be taking a trip ('13 R1200GSW) from Georgia to New Mexico starting in a couple of weeks. The other day my wife mentioned that it was a shame I didn't have anyone to ride with. For all the reasons mentioned, I told her that it was a good thing. Good odds I will meet other riders along the way and either spend some quality time trading stories or having the opportunity to ride together for a bit.

    As far as riding two up, I might be in trouble. After testing my travel gear this morning, I'm not sure if there is even room for me.

    Robert
    Robert, resist the urge to pack too much stuff with you.

  14. #14
    BearDog
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffkruger View Post
    Robert, resist the urge to pack too much stuff with you.
    Thanks Jeff...you are absolutely correct. I am getting a kick out of preparing for the trip and think about the Beverly Hillbillies and all their stuff. I have side cases and will use the Dryspec 38L and 28L companion dry bags on my luggage rack. Actually, everything came together so much better than I thought it would this morning. Straps came together well and I will use my tent bag and another drybag as my back rest.
    Robert
    2013 R12GSW

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwimer1 View Post
    ...I'm not sure if there is even room for me.

    Robert
    A little experience might fix that. On every trip I've ever taken, I've packed less stuff than the time before. I can now travel a week with a tank bag. But remember, I travel solo--no wife.
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

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