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Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by Speeder54, Mar 29, 2011.
Rock on, @Hollyr!
You’ll prolly be alright. Just don’t talk to anyone.
I got home yesterday from a quick 4 day "welcome to 2020" ride - solo. That's my general preference, unless my wife decides to come along. I've found that as long as I stay "open" to conversation, engagement is easy.
On this trip, for example, I had a very nice conversation with the Borrego Springs motel owner who just lost his mother, and who's nephew is looking to buy a Ducati. We talked about loss, today's medical process, street riding, track riding, skill development. In Yuma, as I'm unloading the bike, guy walks up to me to chat, he's got a K100RS that he's owned since new. We start comparing bike histories and what he's looking to do next.
In the past, I would have short changed these conversations because I "was busy" or had "things to do, places to go." Now, I stop unloading the bike or doing what I'm doing to engage with the person in front of me. Much more worthwhile.
This was especially true this past summer when riding around Europe. Very engaging conversations, and fun communicating with limited language skills. For me, I just have to remember to slow down and eat what's in front of you.
Very well said!
My first solo motorcycle trip in 2016 going to James Bay I was stopped in Matagami. The trip could only go for 2 weeks and I had a plan. I was sitting outside the hotel watching the sunset after dinner when two Canadians were looking at a couple of bikes next to mine and we started talking. Winds up one was the head mining engineer at an underground gold mine a few kilometers away and the other was their explosives guy. How cool are those jobs. He told me that I could get a tour of the mine if I wanted. I told him that my plans were pretty set and appreciated the offer but declined. While I am saying this in the back of my head I am thinking, "what, are you out of your fxxking mind? when are you going to get to go down into an underground working gold mine again"? I took him up on the offer. It was very cool and interesting. I do like being solo but I have met some very interesting people on my rides and enjoy talking with them when I have the time. I also try to make the time now.
Do you like movies about gladiators?
Another misfit, like the rest of us...you'll do fine.
In an month, I'll do another ride with a group of people. We all meet at the same place, ride around for a couple of days, enjoy each other's company, then we'll all head back home. I have fun doing this ride, but glad it's only once a year.
Alone time doesn't necessarily mean lonely time.
With 45 minutes to go before the diner closed on a Sunday afternoon in a little prairie town in S. Dakota, while sitting at the counter, I struck up an interesting conversation with a local. You certainly could tell this fellow hasn't been more than 400 miles from this seat in his 60-odd years - while finishing his cuppa joe before heading off to...wherever.
Me? I was 2000 miles into a road trip that would last another week.
I had a few other interactions with humanity; all of them were good.
I've taken to writing sayings I like on my garage walls in black magic marker (because I can).
One of them is "Memories are made by saying yes." YMMV...
That's why I don't plan too tight a schedule. Some opportunities are there only once in a lifetime.
Lonely? Hell no!
In fact, I’ve been having trouble having a bit of time to myself, to reflect on all the things that have happened in the last few months and to write in my little book that I use for notes to help me write my blog.
I’ve been on a solo trip for about 14 months now and have great fun with all the people I meet.
The first 11 months I spent in Australia where I mostly camped in remote locations. After a day of riding I had a little campfire and did some reading and writing. During the day I would have chats with people in the park where I would be munching on a sandwich, or with the guy behind me in line to pay for fuel. And since I’m willing to talk to anyone, man, woman, 7 or 97 years old, disregarding looks, clothing, social status or whatever, I have had the most interesting conversations. Sometimes for five minutes, sometimes I got invited for a coffee or a beer. Or to spend the night at someone’s place. Or several. Ended up staying with a family for a month.
And because, as mentioned above, I tend to say “yes” when someone askes “would like to come with me and…” I end up doing the most amazing things.
I’ve been for drinks, rode dirt bikes on massive properties, went boating on the Indian ocean and rivers, four-wheel driving on massive sand dunes, hiking in the bush, prospecting for gold in the outback, got plastered in a rum distillery, had amazing food in unlikely locations, been shown around various towns and cities, been to an art exposition opening with champagne, seen a private vintage car and motorcycle museum, shot beer cans while eating steak from the bbq and the list goes on.
When it was time to head to Indonesia in order to make my way home to the Netherlands I managed to hitch a ride on a luxurious private boat with a great bunch of people, much nicer than stuffing the bike in a container and flying myself.
In Indonesia the saga continues, I’ve lived with a local family in their small, bare brick house and got adopted by them. Have had up to ten coffees a day because people keep inviting me and I keep saying “yes”, resulting in high caffeine levels but also unforgettable good fun. Got invited to sail a yacht around Bali, spent two weeks with the vice president of a local MC and his family, got invited to a Muslim remembrance ceremony for a deceased mother and a Hindu ceremony to bless my motorcycle. Been at a party at a Playboy Mansion style villa and at a wedding in traditional Hindu outfit.
What do I do to meet all these amazing people and experience all these awesome things? A soon as I take my helmet off I smile and am friendly to everybody around me. The rest just seems to happen.
So lonely while travelling solo? Nah, not even maybe!
I'm tall and drink good beer. I think we'd get along just fine.
Love this thread, thanks to you all.
Fellow introvert here, gets the OP.
Some folks charge their batteries being alone. Some folks charge their batteries in the company of others. That's just who we are. Don't like it? Blame your parents, or better yet your grandparents and all who came before 'cause their genes in large part made you who you are. Not on you, not on them. Just what it is.
This reader also gets the cautionary notes that stuff happens while on tour and a buddy with skills can save an introvert's bacon.
I spent 2.5 months riding solo from Alaska to Southern California in 2018 and then another 3 week trip from SoCal to Montana in 2019. Mostly staying in public campgrounds and the occasional hotel if a shower was desperately needed.
I find it a surprisingly social way to travel, especially in the campgrounds. If you want to talk to someone they are generally open to it, as they are usually curious about you anyway but are too intimidated to break the ice themselves. Old men and little boys were sometimes the exception - they often introduced themselves! :)
Up north in Alaska and northern Canada there are plenty of other bike trippers so instant friends if you want them. You can bump into the same people along the way as there are only so many routes up there.
It also helped when I got further south that the bike had an Alaska plate on it. Plenty of people, even at gas stations and places like that, wanted to chat about it. "You really ride that thing all the way from Alaska?!?"
In Denali there were multiple bikers camping and plenty of conversation and travel tips.
At another spot in Alaska, a large group of teenagers and their chaperone were camped near me on some summer program. I asked two of them as they walked by what language they were speaking (some dialect of Aleut) and shortly found myself surrounded by curious teenagers from all across Alaska.
Along the Top of the World Hwy from Tok to Dawson City I kept bumping into two other guys along the route. One had been through the area before and recommended a place to camp near Dawson City. Ended up with a group of 5 solo bikers and some other independent travelers around the campfire late into the arctic summer evening.
In Stewart BC (Salmon Glacier) I bootleg camped in a closed campground with two brothers on small dual sports and a bicyclist.
In Haida Gwaii I coerced some kids into collecting driftwood for a fire by bribing them with s'mores from another neighbor's campsite. We all enjoyed the fire and s'mores together! Free fire & s'mores for me! haha
In Jasper I invited my fire-challenged neighbors to share my campfire (a young couple from the Netherlands who just got engaged, and a guy from Arizona trying to rough it in a rented Dodge Charger lol).
In Montana a solo female bicyclist was a few sites over and we shared stories about the challenges and rewards of two wheeled travel.
In Oregon another biker was in the same campground so we hung out around my fire and smoked cigars.
In NorCal I was in an empty forest service campground except for a young family. They fed me pork chops and invited me to share their fire. At another NorCal campground (that was supposed to have potable water but didn't) a fisherman shared his bottled water with me so I could make my dinner.
At another forest service campground in the King's Range (Lost Coast), a fisherman invited me to share his catch, expertly baked over the fire.
In central California, ran into another biker at a gas station, and he suggested I stay at the campground he was at. It was an awesome location in the redwoods and I spent the evening chatting with him and enjoying his fire.
In Nevada I rolled into a full campground just before dusk and a guy flagged me down and invited me to use his tent pad. He had strung a hammock so wasn't using the pad. He was also a biker but was car camping. He had a guitar, and so did a retired RV couple down the way, so we ended up over there with live music around the fire.
In Zion NP, I shared a group site with other solo travelers who wandered in without reservations and stayed up late into the night regaling each other with our stories.
So yes, you're travelling alone, but you don't have to be lonely. Sometimes others will take the initiative, sometimes you have to take it yourself, and sometimes you enjoy your own personal solitude. It's one of the reasons I like to camp - hotels can be the loneliest places to stay as a solo traveler.
I appreciate people's thoughts and comments here. 2020 is going to be my come back year. There are bike nights and rides every day around here. I'm retired and bored silly. I've been single 15 years and I suggest that's best. I've been whining and mopping around. It's time to move forward. There was a time we rode to Jasper or Banff for lunch on a Sunday. I'm going to do that again this summer.
I concur with many of the recent posts. I do solo, buddy, and group rides, and like em all. When traveling alone, I rarely get lonely. About the only time that’s happened was on the IDBDR, I think mostly as I had a new GF waiting for my return and wild camping nearly every night. (Totally agree that hotels are the loneliest places.)
When riding by myself, I am only alone if I want to be. If anything, my experience has been that I meet more people when solo than even with just one buddy. For some reason, folks seem to “feel sorry” that I’m by myself and want to take care of me. So I have also had several offers of places to stay, coffee at a fire lookout in Cyprus, drinks, home cooked meals, people to ride with, and some plain old good conversation just by being open to the experience.
I’ll be doing all manner of rides in Baja and the Copper Canyon starting in mid-February through March. Ride solo for a couple weeks, 10-12 days with a couple guys I met three years ago (in Baja while riding alone), then capped off with taking my GF into MX for her first time two up.
Joining the solo crowd this year. I've done solo hikes but never a solo moto ride.
I'm not too worried to be honest.
i have ridden solo, duo, duoseater, group.... i prefer solo by miles! and when i do get lonely, i just hit up a small town get in a cafe or pud and people will talk to a solo rider anytime.. Not only you get company for a few minutes/hours, you also get to meet new people.. That is why i ride solo. No strings attached.
A word to all on this thread. Do not misquote lonely for lonesome. The first is a a social condition. The second is a psychological condition. From a 76 year old who has been lonely but not lonesome all his life..................Look it up!