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Thread: Other riders who prefer to travel solo?

  1. #16
    BearDog
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    Quote Originally Posted by royce View Post
    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.
    I hear ya! I will put the packing list together tomorrow. Plan to camp a bit but I'm not as young as I used to be. We'll see how it all goes and how the mix of camping vs lodging all works out. So, you think that a tank bag and a credit card is all I will use next time? Wouldn't be surprised!
    Robert
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  2. #17
    Registered User ItsPhilD's Avatar
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    I've never done anymore then a day trip with a pillion or another bike. I like it that way. Don't have to ride down to someone else's bladder and butt tolerances. If ya know what I mean :-)

  3. #18
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    Some very interesting replies. Some of you are the type of folks I really enjoy talking with out on the road.

    With regard to packing, in about 32 of traveling on bikes I take even less today than I ever have. Modern fabrics have made it even easier to pack light and take less. In a few weeks I am riding from my home in eastern Washington to Venice Louisiana and then following the Great River Road north to the headwaters of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca Minnesota. I will be on the road a few weeks and travel in 22 different states. I will be riding a GS Adv with the aluminum panniers and top box. Even with my rain gear, Gerbings liner, etc., I will use less than 1/3 of my storage capacity. I am going to be using motels this trip, but even when camping two up everything fits inside the boxes unless I take a tent that is too long to fit inside a box and strap it to the top of a box. For me, traveling with less makes the trip even more enjoyable a few different ways.

  4. #19
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    My wife is only vaguely aware of motorcycles in the driveway.
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  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    My wife is only vaguely aware of motorcycles in the driveway.
    Nice! Then she probably won't notice some new ones.

    I am lucky that my beautiful wife doesn't grumble about two of my favorite passions, motorcycles and guns.

    I see these ads on Craigslist from time to time where a bike is for sale and it says "the wife said it was her or the bike". Some guys have made an unfortunate choice of mates.

  6. #21
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    There was an ad floating around the web sometime ago that I thought was to the point. After listing the virtues of his almost new motorcycle in a classified ad the seller said. "Must sell. Evidently when my wife says, 'Do whatever the #@&*! you want to,' it doesn't mean what I thought it did."
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  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    There was an ad floating around the web sometime ago that I thought was to the point. After listing the virtues of his almost new motorcycle in a classified ad the seller said. "Must sell. Evidently when my wife says, 'Do whatever the #@&*! you want to,' it doesn't mean what I thought it did."
    Now THAT is funny!!!

  8. #23
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffkruger View Post
    Nice! Then she probably won't notice some new ones.
    True story. As long as they are the same color.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

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  9. #24
    Riding where it's hot! AZ-J's Avatar
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    I have the BMW tank bag on the bike. When I need them for a long trip, I can attach the BMW saddlebags, and the small rear bag. They hang in my garage, ready to be attached. But I almost never need them around the town.
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  10. #25
    BearDog
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffkruger View Post
    Some very interesting replies. Some of you are the type of folks I really enjoy talking with out on the road.

    With regard to packing, in about 32 of traveling on bikes I take even less today than I ever have. Modern fabrics have made it even easier to pack light and take less. In a few weeks I am riding from my home in eastern Washington to Venice Louisiana and then following the Great River Road north to the headwaters of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca Minnesota. I will be on the road a few weeks and travel in 22 different states. I will be riding a GS Adv with the aluminum panniers and top box. Even with my rain gear, Gerbings liner, etc., I will use less than 1/3 of my storage capacity. I am going to be using motels this trip, but even when camping two up everything fits inside the boxes unless I take a tent that is too long to fit inside a box and strap it to the top of a box. For me, traveling with less makes the trip even more enjoyable a few different ways.
    Sounds like it is gonna be a great trip. I'll do my very best to keep all the gear to a minimum. Not sure I can keep 2/3's storage empty but ya never know. At least it's an objective. All the best...
    Robert
    2013 R12GSW

  11. #26
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    Interesting question...

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffkruger View Post
    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.
    Jeff - I'm another who more often than not finds myself traveling solo. Circumstances, self-reliance, preferences, practicalities all play a part.

    I have friends who have different traveling philosophies than I, so it makes it hard for me to travel with them. For example, I'm not at all interested in the "mileage-hounds", those whose conversation is all about how many miles they can ride in a day. I'll leave that to them. Although I may travel 500-600 miles on a long day, I'm just as likely to choose not to. I like for it to be my own decision.

    I like to eat three meals a day and I like to occasionally stop and take photos. Both can slow down some riders or groups.

    Other riders often count on sharing a motel room in order to minimize the cost of travel. I have a wife with whom I share at home, but I may not want to do so with friends or casual acquaintances traveling together. I've lived in dormitories, barracks, and on-board construction vessels and simply don't have to do that any more. I figure if I can afford a new BMW GS, I can afford my own room.

    I've ridden alone across Europe and Central Asia, to Alaska, and in much of the continental USA. No real problems. The one accident I've had was due to fatigue, at the end of a long day, which had been extended due to circumstances of the other riders in our small group. Of course I was fortunate to have them with me when I went down, but in my head the root cause was related to not being on my own and calling my own shots. I should have stopped earlier and not been pressing on.

    I do like to visit with people I meet along the way, other riders, and am not really much of a hermit. I do tend at times to be a loner since I'm OK with making decisions and knowledgeable of the places I travel.

    Again, interesting conversation, so thanks for starting the thread.

    Mike

  12. #27
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    Extremely interesting reply Mike. You and I share very similar reasons for riding solo and you said it very well.

    "Eclectic" seems to be a buzzword. My tastes and desires can probably be more accurately described as "spastic". There are times I don't want to get off the bike and racking up some miles and just enjoying the bike are what makes me smile. There are other days where I may have an idea of a destination for the day in mind. I may get 100 miles down the road and find what I think is a great spot and stop for the day. That doesn't work with companions.

    A lot of folks seem to want to say " I've been there and have the T-shirt to prove it". I tend to avoid most big tourist attractions and the crowds. I love back roads and avoid interstates. I have a rule about not eating at a chain place when on the bike. I tend to like things like Yelp to help me find places the locals like.

    Like you I enjoy pictures. I recently got a Gopro and put some mounts on the bike and am enjoying playing with it a bit. I used to haul a big pro body DSLR and several lenses and filters but don't so much any more. Pictures from past trips still put a smile on my face.

    Every now and then I get a really enthusiastic wave from another rider. Often they're also on a GS. In my mind I always figure they are someone like you that enjoys going it solo on the roads less traveled.

  13. #28
    Riding where it's hot! AZ-J's Avatar
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    Me too, eclectic. Wife rode when I rode the R50/2 years ago. Then 1st child came, and she stopped.

    Every bike I owned since then had a back seat cover, save this one. This one has no back seat, and no rear pegs.

    I can add them if I want to, I just don't - why would I!
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  14. #29
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    All of the above!

    Jeff,

    We travel in much the same way. Like you, when I see another GS-er on the road and wave, I suspect he's similarly motivated.

    I also play with a GoPro and photography and like to make a montage now and then to record and be able to share the trip. People have a short attention span, so I boil down video and photos to just a few short minutes.

    Here's a short film about my first big solo trip when I was living in Europe. It set the scene for all the travel since: https://vimeo.com/76221629

  15. #30
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    I enjoy both modes. Yes when alone, I tend to wander more, stop to take more pictures, and maybe a few more roadside naps. But I have a lot of fun riding with some select friends too.

    It is a hoot riding with a few equally skilled and like minded riders, charging up and down twisty mountain roads. Eating habits mesh, road preferences mesh, and the comradery is nice at the end of the day. The problem is finding those riders that are compatible.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
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