Question on solo travel

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by kruzuki, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. kruzuki

    kruzuki Gear in the Machine

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    872
    Location:
    Thornhill & Thornbury, ON
    OK, so I have 3 weeks off in August.

    Me & the G/F are going to do an 8 day road trip to Boston/Rhode Island (You know, Bed & Breakfast, nice hotels, restaurants & all that crap. Rule #1: Gotta keep her happy).

    Then I'm doing a 5 day camping/road trip with my son (13yo) to Pennsylvania (he wants to smuggle firecrackers back to Canada). We'll camp in the Allehgheny Forest, maybe catch a Phillies game.

    This leaves me with an entire week free. Yipee!!

    I decided that I want to do a 4-5 day solo trip. Yes, I do have friends and yes, I could get one of them to go with me, but I think I'd like to do away with the part of the trip that has me tolerating my friend's personality quirks & vice versa.

    Throw the camping gear on the bike & go from Toronto, to Deal's Gap & interesting roads in between. Try out some proper BBQ, meet some fellow travellers on the road.

    Have a lot of inmates here done solo trips?
    I'm an experienced bike traveller, but is there anything unusual to look out for when travelling solo?
    #1
  2. Uglyprimate

    Uglyprimate UglyPirate

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,950
    Location:
    Fort Whine Indiana
    Bikes have a solo seat for a reason.

    I'd guess NOT being solo would be quite the minority.
    #2
  3. ManitouMike

    ManitouMike Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    424
    Location:
    Manitou Springs
    I prefer to ride alone and so does anyone that rides with me:D Try it I think you'll like it, especially for only 4 or 5 days.
    #3
  4. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    809
    Location:
    The City that Care Forgot
    I don't think so except it is a different experience.

    I get more satisfaction out of the solo ride than the group, however small. You won't know until you do it. Some people do not like it, but that is the exception, I think.
    John
    #4
  5. timk519

    timk519 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,093
    Location:
    Kitchener Ontario, Canada
    I've spent about 9 months on the road - by myself - since 2006, and I really can't see myself traveling any other way. :D

    It can get a bit hair-raising from time to time - and that gives you opportunities to learn how to think on your feet. :deal
    #5
  6. 243Win

    243Win Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    736
    Location:
    Port Orchard, WA
    For a trip that short, solo is a great way to go. Wave at the folks in the next campsite over, they will probably invite you over for a beer and have interesting stories to tell.

    Solo, you'll meet new folks. Travel with friends and you stay within the comfort zone of your "pack" more often than not.
    #6
  7. rufusswan

    rufusswan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    962
    Location:
    Branson MO
    Yes, You'll have the opportunity to meet and chat with more folk, if you want to. It's also nice to not have to 'run' each decision past a partner. Stop, start, and goof off on your own. It will give you a chance to think.
    #7
  8. Pelicanglider

    Pelicanglider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    231
    I always ride in a small group of three - me, myself and I. We enjoy each others company, laugh at the same jokes and we anticipate each others' moves, sometimes even before we make them. Scary!
    <input id="gwProxy" type="hidden"><!--Session data--><input onclick="jsCall();" id="jsProxy" type="hidden">
    #8
  9. rob1313

    rob1313 Still learning

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,482
    Location:
    Canada
    I do far more solo rides than group rides. Truth be told I've been known to avoid rides of any real distance with others. I like stopping when I want to stop, not stopping when I don't want to and going wherever my mood dictates.

    Do yourself and your loved ones a huge favor, buy and use a spot tracker. it's peace of mind for you and the people who care about you. I know when I'm on the road I've got at least a few sets of eyes on me through out my days
    #9
  10. TastyPants

    TastyPants Harasshole

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    241
    Location:
    San Francisco
    I just did my first solo trip for about 7 days. What everyone else here says is true. You meet people, you go where you want to go, stop when you want to stop. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be doing a lot more solo riding.

    +1 on the SPOT tracker. I borrowed one from a friend and it was a fun way for friends and family to join in (and you don't have to deal with them for a few days). Plus it was peace of mind if anything terrible happened and I got myself stuck someone was watching those dots or I could push the help button.

    You'll notice that when your alone you are more approachable too. More people felt like it was OK to talk to me since I was by myself. Must have heard "I'm so jealous/envious" about 20 times from another guy while chatting it up at gas stations etc. Met tons of fellow bikers as well.

    Nothing special about it compared to group ride except you don't have anyone to help carry communal gear.
    #10
  11. kneeslider

    kneeslider Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,394
    Location:
    Southeastern Xenophobia
    I have always believed that..

    "A man who travels alone goes at his own pace!"
    Author unknown
    #11
  12. SCQTT

    SCQTT Zwei Kolben

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,626
    Location:
    Mike's Sky Rancho
    I prefer alone.

    I have noticed that other people prefer that I reavel alone as well. :D

    Just let people on ADVrider know your loose plans and you'll be surprised how many dinner invites you'll get. You get compnay for an hour or two and some good advice what to see in each area.

    If you and your son are in northern WV be sure to check out Dolly Sods.

    Have fun.
    #12
  13. dfishman

    dfishman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    173
    Stop by Willville Bike Camp in Meadows of Dan,Va.It is a great campground for bikes only.Great roads & great people.It is off the Blue Ridge Parkway on HWY 58.
    #13
  14. LeftCoastMan

    LeftCoastMan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    488
    Location:
    Motorcycling State of California
    Any "hair-raising" adventures you'd like to share? Could be lessons for the rest of us. Or it could scare the holy shit out of us. :eek1
    #14
  15. LeftCoastMan

    LeftCoastMan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    488
    Location:
    Motorcycling State of California
    And when you fart in the tent, no one complains.
    #15
  16. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    25,130
    Location:
    out and about
    This reads as a dichotomy...:D
    #16
  17. bostonsr

    bostonsr Just weight

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,402
    Location:
    NYCff
    try to end up in nyc on a tuesday and have dinner with all of us at once.

    but yah, definitely travel alone...only caution is to not attempt remote/offroad stuff or charge down roads you don't know. you just have to ride much more conservatively because when a biker crashes and nobody's around...you might not get found, ever.

    wave to the amish, stop for amish teens, they'll think you're the coolest thing ever.

    stop and take pics...or just don't bother trying to explain the cool stuff you see.

    abe
    #17
  18. timk519

    timk519 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,093
    Location:
    Kitchener Ontario, Canada
    Most of it was due to either ignorance of the Western climatic conditions (I'm a life-long mid-easterner), a case of "get to my destionation-itis", or combination of the two.

    • Going from Flagstaff AZ to Sedona to Phoenix AZ, and thinking I could do it in my sleep. Let me tell you, arriving in Phoenix - in the middle of summer - at 4:30PM - in full black MC gear - is an experience. You haven't lived until your body tries to cope with desert heat, and riding at speed doesn't help you cool off.
    • Arriving in "Colorful Colorado", only to find out that the air at 5,000 ft and higher is a bit harder to breath than it is at sea level.
    • Heading across MT and learning the hard way that "big country" means towns (and services!) can be hours apart. (Where I live, you can't go 30 min in any direction and not run into human habitation.)
    • Getting w/in 9 miles of my destination for the night, running into a sign advising motorcycles "to take an alternate route", deciding to ignore said sign, and winding up taking a heavy cruiser down 9 miles of soggy dirt road covered with mud the consistency of snot.
    • Having my bike get taken over by an MC version of "Christine" which eventually left me at the side of the road. A passing commuter stopped, gave me a boost, and followed me to my next destination! :clap
    • Finding out that squiggly feeling I was experiencing at speed was my rear tire going flat...not having a clue what to do about it, and being introduced to the mysteries of awl and caterpiller plugs by a passing group of MC riders on the way to a ride of their own.
    • Having my lane encroached on 5 times before getting out of Canada. Once by an ambulance.

    While I may've never wrecked the bike at speed, or found myself dealing with a life & death situation, I was seriously out of my 'comfort' zone a number of times, and found out it wasn't that bad after all!

    And the rewards - ohmygoodness - like watching this approaching storm:

    [​IMG]

    and fighting dragons:

    [​IMG]

    or finding a land-based battleship:

    [​IMG]

    and meeting a real American hero - this well-dressed gentleman survived the Bataan Death March:

    [​IMG]

    and wrote a book about it:

    [​IMG]

    A must-read if ever there was one. Particularly for grumpy teen-agers who think any form of work is unfair. :evil :deal

    Oh geez..... now you've all gone and done it... this trip down nostalgia lane is making me want to stop saving my nickels and start planning my next trip! :lol3
    #18
  19. timk519

    timk519 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,093
    Location:
    Kitchener Ontario, Canada
    I've been seriously thinking of getting a PLB (personal locator beacon) for that very reason.
    #19
  20. a2ronm

    a2ronm Ti-6Al-4V

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    461
    Location:
    Somewhere North of Charleston, SC
    Last month I finished a solo 18 day / 4,900 mile cross country trip. Was able to pick my own route (good or bad) ride at my own pace, stop where I wanted, eat where I wanted, saw and did what I wanted.....maybe selfish but I know I saw more, talked with more people, and had a great experience than if I was 1+.

    The only downside was in those locations where there was really no one else around in case I got into trouble (e.g. bike wise, not people wise) I had to rely on a truthful assessment of my own abilities to self-rescue if I needed to.

    I only turned back once from an exploration because of this..... before cellphones, EPRIB's and SPOT we used to call this good sense.

    I did wear a dogtag so that my body could be identified post mortem and I sent daily text messages to those concerned giving them my daily progress and location to ease their concerns but that was pretty much it.

    Go for it, if you don't like it alone, don't do it again.
    #20