Travelling alone?

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by dixiethedog, Jul 27, 2015.

  1. AdvenchaB4Demencha

    AdvenchaB4Demencha n00b

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    I have to agree with TSTang above. Whether during a 9,000 km Brisbane to Darwin cross Outback trip or around Bavaria, a similar scenario plays out. Pull in, campers stare suspiciously waiting for the rest of the noisy gang to show up. When no others come and you're quietly setting up you tent, some one walks over with two VB's or BundyRum's and begins to talk. Usually it's a dinner invite, it's been invitations to their homes, offers to keep you gear during day trips, interest from their kids, though the best ever was time spent with a man who was travelling his last days before cancer totally consumed him in the NT of Australia. We started a campfire, which being visible for 50 kms drew travelers throughout the the evening. Have only met warm, hospitable and friendly people and never hesitate to ride solo. Best regards.......
  2. Nick NG

    Nick NG n00b

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    All people are different, but I enjoy riding on my own. If (when) I have troubles on the road, I feel king of the world after when I manage to solve them. I like companies either though, just the thing is that it's usually so difficult to get everybody together. I did meet some company abroad and we rode together.
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  3. SE Rider

    SE Rider Adventurer

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    I really enjoy travelling on my own, in fact my first big bike trip was back in 2006 soon after i bought my 1150 Adventure. Had just separated from the wife and had 3 weeks off work whilst in between jobs so decided i was going to pack up the bike and head south with a view that i'd go see my sister and her family in Sotogrande southern Spain. No plan was the plan and only thing booked was the channel tunnel crossing. Had an absolute blast, riding in France was fantastic. The roads were amazing, people were very friendly and couldn't do enough for me. Everytime i pulled in or stopped for fuel or some food someone would come over, admire the bike and ask where i was headed. Never felt lonely and really enjoyed the time being "present" and thinking about me and only me. Generally i don't like riding in large groups, 2-4 riders is about the max for me. Not knowing others capabilities, preferences or attitude is always a concern for me especially if i'm riding with people i hardly know...
    Every time i've been on a solo trip i've had a blast and always met some interesting people, bikers are a worldwide community with one thing in common regardless of the bike you choose to ride so there will always be someone willing to help, offer assistance, talk to or ride with. Worry not, throw your leg over and ride. The world is a great place and we are not here long enough to worry about the smaller things....
  4. Meriwether

    Meriwether Following big footprints.

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    I'm about to do myself a favour and head North for my annual winter migration. I would love to take my wife but she is not into bikes and prefers to stay home and be around the kids and grandkids anyway. She has come with me previously on a round trip from Venice to Paris and return which was great, but that was enough for her.
    When it comes to riding with other bikers, day rides are OK, but for extended trips, solo is the way to go for me. Just the pure freedom is priceless, and I love the opportunities that arise, I think more often for the individual than for a group. Things like being invited into people's homes for a night, unsolicited help with breakdowns and impromptu conversations with strangers at stops. Perhaps the perceived vulnerability of the loner encourages contact, and perhaps, I seek out contact more due to being alone. Anyway, whatever the reason, I love it.
    My next solo trip is to USA in June, where I will spend a month camping in Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico and then spend another month meandering my way up to Alaska to see a mate I made on a previous trip. If you see an old guy on a Guzzi V7, say hello, it might be me, or it might not, no matter.
    Cheers, Mark
  5. Asphalt Assault

    Asphalt Assault Been here awhile

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    I feel that there is a time and a place for everything; including both group and solo travel. Obviously different people will vary on the sociability scale somewhere between a social butterfly to a loaner. Neither is right nor wrong as we are all different. I probably fall somewhere in the middle.

    I enjoy short or extended weekend rides/camping trips with my closer riding buddies on a more regular basis. That said, I'd without a doubt go solo for anything longer than an extended weekend ride. For me, the sense of adventure, freedom, flexibility and time on the saddle to reflect and live in the moment far outweigh the negatives of solo riding. Technology such as bluetooth, audiobooks and iphones has made passing the time easier. Apps like SPOT, Revere and other GPS related apps also make solo travel less scary and offers a much greater peace of mind for the family back at home. Obviously this does not override common sense safety practices such as not riding buzzed, rushed, distressed or during the night (never worth the miles you might gain, especially is rural area's).

    Here are some shots from a 30+ day solo trip that covered a little over 7,000 miles and 23 national parks. Made my own schedule, figured out my route as I went and abolutely loved it. No issues striking up conversations anywhere I stopped or splitting campsites with others while on the road. Funny enough but I actually left for the trip the day after returning from my three week wedding and honeymoon. The timing had just worked out that way but certainly happy that my wife encouraged me to take the trip. I think making the time for things like that are important (or any activity that brings joy for that matter). The family, work and mortgage will always be there when you return refreshed again.

    Just my .02 cents, but solo travel is some of the best kind to experience. Definitely worth giving it a try a couple of times if you haven't already.

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  6. Izzo

    Izzo Been here awhile

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    That trip looks awesome and inspiring, Asphalt Assault. I'm getting ready for a 2 week solo trip cross country, Cleveland to Portland Oregon. A first for me. Plan to stay in Canada for the first half, then drop down into Montana and continue west. Camp, figure it out as I go.
  7. retroone

    retroone Long timer

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    When you make it to NM give me shout.
  8. Clampett

    Clampett Uncle Jed

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    Been 1.5 years since I posted in this thread. Just caught up. One trip solo and one with my brother during that time. Felt better solo. I do have one irritating problem when solo.
    I enjoy planning my trip and put way points in my GPS. By the 2nd day my GPS is constantly repeating the word "Recalculating, recalculating, recalculating, ..." :lol3
    I have trouble focusing on my destination.
    Squirrel!!!!!
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  9. blender

    blender Just another rider

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    Hey, nothing wrong with confusing the hell outta the GPS. The best rides happen when "I wonder where that road goes".......
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  10. Sherwin84

    Sherwin84 Adventurer

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    I think it all depends on the company and mood we're in. I've done many long solo days that I've thoroughly enjoyed. Its a trip of no limits...I don't have to stop because someone else needs a break, or ride slower/faster to stay with other riders. When riding alone we can start and stop at our leisure. I think its best unless you have a riding partner that shares your habits to a "T". I've done 10 day trips with my wife on a single motorcycle. Its as good as married life can get really. We both love making the most of our time travelling, so riding long hours isn't a problem. Our general life habits are very similar. Shes my life partner and if the option was available every time, she would forever be my pillion.

    I've done week (+) long trips with other groups and been quite annoyed because some folks like to sleep until 10am, begin riding at noon, ride till 8pm with many stops along the way. I'm the opposite. Turn the key at 7am. Stopping for exceptional sight seeing and photos, quick snacks, but be off the road before it gets too late and wildlife have to be a conscious concern. Luckily my father in law shares a similar riding habit as I do. However, sharing a hotel room leaves me begging for a solo adventure when it comes to toilet time.

    For me...alone or with my wife.
  11. Cameleer

    Cameleer Europe, three days at a time.

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    I couln't have said it better.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  12. Brian011952

    Brian011952 Been here awhile

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    I love traveling. I often invite my buddies along, but sometimes no one has the same time off and work or family time infringes on their freedom. So, since I take multiple rides throughout the year, for one to two weeks per ride, the only option left is to either stay home or ride alone. I choose riding alone, but somehow that never happens. It seems like on every alone ride I meet people, in campgrounds, in restaurants, on city streets, etc, etc, etc.

    I already saw at least one thread here that discussed this. If you travel alone and meet no one, you need to start asking people you see one question. That question is "where are you from?" With that line and other highly sophisticated communication methods like "Is there anywhere open for breakfast here?" I've opened doors to hours of long conversations with formerly complete strangers. That breakfast question asked to a man wearing bib overalls on a street in a smallish Montana town ended with that man walking me into the local breakfast spot and seating me beside the Mayor and probably half the local business owners and Town Council members. I just happened to be seated beside a machinist and mechanic and the whole group loved political discussions, so and hour and a half later as I was leaving, I was told to come back for breakfast any time I was in town, Great American Folks in that town.

    Anyway, that point has already been beaten to death. The key is to smile and initiate conversation about someone besides yourself. Guaranteed you will not be "Alone."
  13. FlatFifthFury

    FlatFifthFury Adventurer

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    I've come to believe that a road trip with a friend or two can be great but for me to truly travel, read as explore, I have to go alone. The freedom of going and doing what you want without having to hassle with someone else is simply unparalleled. I'm going on two week plus trips this summer and I will be meeting a friend on each trip and they will be following me for about two days but that's as long as I want to be tied down. I have to be free to chase fireflies whenever the mood strikes.
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  14. KevinP65

    KevinP65 Adventurer

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    Just want to say that this continues to be a wonderful thread. I look forward to reading new posts. I think that when I first visited this forum I started reading it and it lead me to return here. There are so many thoughtful and thought provoking posts that are well presented and related, openly, to strangers with one known common experience-riding a motorcycle. And shows us (well, me at least) that we have much more in common than that one thing. I find it fascinating and a great read. Thanks.
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  15. bwanacswan

    bwanacswan Team Vicarious

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    I'm very lucky to know no strangers. I get along with almost everyone and many friends and family look to me to organize and plan things. That's all nice and quite a compliment but too many times it ends up being a very stressful event.
    Too many times expectations aren't met and by the and of it nobody is happy.
    I have traveled alone many times and love it. I started riding RAGBRAI (bicycle ride across Iowa) solo last year for the first time and that was a revelation. All those years with a bunch of needy people in tow and now freedom. Never looking back.

    Motorcycling is becoming more and more something I'd just as soon do alone. I'm never lonely, never bored, and listening to people complain that I didn't meet their petty needs has left a bitter taste in my mouth.
    There comes that time when you just go your way and worry about your own needs, your own pace.
    I have one friend that I truly appreciate for not expecting much of anything out of me...sans drinking the last bit of his vodka, that I will always welcome. Sometimes you get lucky enough in life that there is that one person that never seems to upset the apple cart.
    That's something you can't buy and you never turn away.

    It's a funny thing when your give a shit wears out and you do as you please. Those people who want you to make it all happen then beat you up when things don't, have wasted enough of my life.
    There are things worse than being alone....wishing to hell you were is one of them.
  16. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

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    Or...."I wonder where I was...."

    :D
  17. Ktm Greg

    Ktm Greg Adventurer

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    Will be heading up to Dawson on 15 June I will be heading to Cour d alane Idaho and then up through Baniff and Jasper. I recently purchased a KTM 990 adventure bike I've only got two tanks of gas through it I had planned to take it to Alaska, but change my mind. I'm taking my gold wing that I'm very familiar with an has longer range!
  18. HandCanonShootr

    HandCanonShootr Been here awhile

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    I have always loved backpacking solo, a week or 10 days of solitude fine. Years ago ( before Wife, kids & property taxes) I traveled to N.Z. & Aust. for about 3.5- 4mos each. During trip planning, my NZ travels were much more planned, locations marked on a map, distant family to visit & travel with, lots to see. Aussie was 2nd, and my only planning was from talking to other travelers in the youth hostels, and while camping. As I looked back on both countries experiances, I realized that I had had much more quality interaction with others as a solo traveler. Quite a few times in Aussie I changes plans at the last min. with great results. The number of times I walked into a pub in Aust, and had interaction with locals (although usually they badmouthing Yanks), in NZ I was usually with someone.

    As I added up the ramdom experiances from this trip, my solo travel time was far more intense, the unique friends I made would have never been spoken to while with a travel partner. Those travel tips came from solo travelers more often them not. The act of buying a M/C in Brisbane brought me a couple weeks of a home tom live in, not to mention the fun of making a presentation on riding in So CA to a local Laverta club. Another solo meeting also got me a spot on a local cricket team (for a game) "Imported From USA At Great Expense"

    just my 2cents..
    Mike B
  19. Reddane

    Reddane Circling pi

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    Guys, I can only relate my narrow experiences while traveling around via motorcycle in the South East USA (TN, NC, AL, GA).

    I took a motorcycle trip over to Raleigh, NC a few years back to see a pal of mine. We had scheduled to meet up and then fly up to NYC for a show, to then meet another friend of ours and his wife. All in all a killer week of fun.

    On my way to Raleigh, I stopped off at a Rest stop just outside of Rising Fawn, GA, for a pee break and to stretch my legs. I had just bought an R1200R and the seat wasn't broken in and was absolutely killing my arse. So, it was sore and miserable. I fought that horrible seat all of the way to Raleigh. FWIW, BMW stock seats SUCK. Replace them as soon as you can. I digress.. Anyway, so I'm walking around the rest stop and decide that I need a coffee. I go in, order it at the automatic vending machine and wait for it to do its thing. After its done I carefully carry the paper-thin cup and head back out and sit down at one of the picnic tables to enjoy it and people watch. Along comes an old grandpa with his wife in tow and what appear to be his grandkids. They were heading up to TN for the week to go glamping in the Smokies. We get into this conversation about his riding around Montana and California as a young guy. The more I get into the more I realize he's reliving his youth. Eventually his wife wanders over and we all talk about life, politics, kids, family, trips they've gone on etc.. before I knew it 45 minutes slid by. They were the nicest people. I hope that they are doing well, wherever they are.

    Whoops running out of time here.. about to put steaks on the grill. . so I'll skip ahead a bit and return to this later.

    I had another good encounter with a bunch of ladies at a Waffle House outside of Atlanta on I20, on the return from that same trip. I was on my way home about 11PM and started to get cold and shaky. The temp had gone down a little bit, I was exhausted and very hungry. I started to look for a non-shady restaurant and ended up in the only thing that was open, a Waffle House. I get inside and plump down, and I must have looked like a sight, because before I knew it, two or three waitresses were over to me pouring coffee for me and making sure I was okay. Before I knew it one was keeping me company and the others were cooking up a huge meal for me. I think I must have downed two all-stars and five cups of coffee. Before long I had heard about all of their kids, husbands and families and what was going on in their lives. Very kind people. Maybe they were just bored but I still remember that kindness. They could have just blown me off like wait-staff very often do, but I felt they were looking out for me.

    Personally, I believe that motorcycling opens a door to other people because they feel that you're approachable. Why that is, I'm not sure. Perhaps it's a perceived vulnerability of riding solo. Maybe it's just the dorky day-glo yellow jacket that I wear that labels me as "safe", but they seem to center themselves around me. I think many of them want to be out on that motorcycle because it is perceived as a freedom from worry, concern and the hum-drum of daily life. I try hard to reciprocate and be nice back to them, even if I'm in a rush to get where I'm going. I think it goes back to the days of the ideal open-range, where you can get on a horse and it's just you, the animal, the adventure of the journey. Maybe it touches each of us in a different but unique way. I still don't have the answers but it's definitely a topic worthy of thought.

    Happy trails.
  20. Reddane

    Reddane Circling pi

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    As I hardly know many of you.. (I don't post here often and I never attend the rallies.. which someday I hope to fix), I'd like to relate some of the happier experiences in my life (as a rider) if at the least to see if anyone else here feels the same way.

    There is something raw, primitive and exciting about planning for a motorcycle trip. You can feel the excitement in your fingers, and in the back of your arms.. how you hold yourself, how on edge your spine feels, and the way that you feel a need to surge forward in a rush to make sure that you've accounted for everything. I don't know about you folks but I spend a lot of my professional career focused on the specifics of audit, information security and international standards.. and as a result I've had to train myself to become a more organized person. I'm normally disorganized so it's a challenge. So, I make excel lists of the things that I think that I'll need. Heck, I'll even make pie charts, and plots to determine efficiency per pound, and nerdy things like that. Information is power especially when it's data mined and organized. I'm data mining my own life! Figuring out what to take, and where to put it is fun. I enjoy thinking about all of the uses for the things that I bring with me. It's pretty much a cathartic exercise in self-organization, personal administration and planning. My stats professor would be proud.

    About three times a year I'll set up a trip to go to Robbinsville, NC to visit the roads in and around Deal's Gap, NC. Two of those trips are un-related to motorcycles. I head up in my Miata and spend a week with liked-minded friends in April, and then again for MATG in July/August. Both trips are fantastic.. while the trip in April is more intimate with a group of more hardcore long-term friends, the trip in August is more broken out into large crowds of friendly strangers. The last trip of the year is a motorcycle trip and I aim it right at the end of the season when the leaves come out and the people are more scarce. I usually stay at the Phillips Motel in Robbinsville where I can park under the awning. Ms. Reba (the owner) is a sweetheart and seems to have a soft-spot in her heart for all of the people who come under her wing during their stays at her facilities. I love that woman, no kidding. She's a class act. Very often she will come out of her office/home and we will sit down and talk about life. Sometimes the discussions are of the trivialities of life, others are about what the Black Knights (Robbinsville High School's football team) are doing, local color and commentary, and sadly sometimes more serious things about health and wellness. She's a fixture there, and is well known in the area. I think she's practically a grandmother to most of the area. If you're ever in Robbinsville, stop by and say hello to her.. time is flying by and none of us are getting any younger.

    That excitement I was referring to earlier manifests itself in some interesting ways. Since Robbinsville is in the mountains, it rains frequently and unpredictably. Fortunately, most of the big storms break to pieces before they make their way over the mountains but it doesn't do much for rain squalls. Yet, I find in my excitement the desire to get out there into the rain. I find the rain drops on my visor to be a vivid manifestation of reality. I like the muggy shock as the cool rain merges with the heat from the asphalt to wash over my body like a cloud of steamy soup. I love the temperature inversions and I find that the excitement of the trip heightens those sensations. It's the same feeling you get when you ascend from the Cherohala Skyway from the lake and you start to feel the first touch of the wind off of the mountains. There is a vaguely defined yearning for the scenic views, the balds and the unending stretch of trees.. not so much for the little flies that like to buzz you at the scenic views but what can you do.

    That same energy is present in the discussions with other motorcyclists up there for the same thing. Each of us feels the pull of the road and the forest. Yes, some of us are there for the twisties and the wild parties, but others are there for the commune with nature. The descent from the more intellectual planes of existence to the green something of the forest are both a relief and a worship. Often I find myself in more deep conversations with my true self, and perhaps even with God himself/herself/dogself than anywhere else. Something about the hum of the engine, the technicality of the turns, the hyper-awareness of our surroundings and the single minded nature of our hobby promote a covenant seldom seen except in areas of deep meditation or with others of a like mind. It's almost as though the energy of the wild becomes you and you embrace it with joy.

    Perhaps this is why we seek others when we travel solo. We recognize that singular almost manifest need in others to communicate and share the raw feelings that motorcycling brings forth. Perhaps motorcycling is the conduit of the desire to escape that inner rut that society inadvertently foists upon us as a condition for survival. Perhaps this is why there is a common bond between most all motorcyclists that so few others understand.

    Happy travels, my friends.
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