Does solo = lonely?

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by Speeder54, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. whizzerwheel

    whizzerwheel Using Occam's Razor

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,475
    Location:
    Settled In
    For me....there's a time and place for everything. I've ridden solo plenty, even on cross country trips and enjoyed them just fine. When traveling south of the border though, I prefer to travel with someone. You do sacrifice that potential interface you get with strangers because you're more approachable as a lone traveler...but the chance for something going wrong is much higher, and I prefer to have another person around to help sort that out if "it" happens. Just depends on what your personal tolerance level is for risk and the unknown. I think it is a character builder to travel alone, because it usually puts most people outside their comfortable box....but sometimes the risks outweigh the gains.
    I broke my leg while traveling in Ecuador a few years ago...everything turned out ok, but it certainly put some things in perspective for me. FWIW=0
    Gham likes this.
  2. ben2go

    ben2go I am Ben! Hear me snore!

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,571
    Location:
    Upstate SC USA
    Being alone out on lonely desolate roads gives me a chance to shake off all the negativity that's been happening in my life and allows me to find my positive center. At 40 years old, it still surprises me how much better I feel to spend a day riding, and it's equally surprising how much better I feel after being out for a week. I'm speaking about feeling better both physically and mentally, especially mentally. I haven't been able to get a full week on the road in many years. I occasionally can get a long weekend, but that pushing it. When I do get out, I try to limit my contact with humans as much as possible, especially when I can camp.

    I don't get lonely as in missing companionship or a relationship. I just missing being around familiar people. A person can be surrounded by people and still be lonely. That's something I used to be when I was young. I still don't really understand why tho, but I don't really dwell on it either.
    joe a, kojack06, 10K and 1 other person like this.
  3. Ruger12g

    Ruger12g Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2016
    Oddometer:
    90
    Location:
    Gold Bar
    I love "Me Time".. Everyday life as you all know is pulling you in directions that you cant ignore. I love to camp, hunt, fish. ect.
    I also have a lot of friends and family I like to hang with.
    So Im about a week out on my first Solo camping trip on the bike, this trip is coming in at about 2000 miles, I cant hardly contain myself Im so stoked. Just me and the bike, Drop camp where I want, no discussions about where I stop.. Just me and the machine. Stay tuned, Whiteys wild adventure is 6 days from starting. I hope the weather is nice to me..(No snow)
  4. ineptizoid

    ineptizoid I'm scared hold me

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    8,507
    Location:
    Underachievement Nexus of the Universe
    I'm familiar with this--being surrounded by people and feeling lonely--and it's a REALLY bad feeling. If people aren't on the same "wavelength," it can be difficult or impossible for them to relate to each other and communicate in any kind of meaningful way. After the banal/superficial topics have been covered (and that doesn't take very long at all), there's an awkwardness that feels much worse than just being alone. This is exactly the reason I don't go to family reunions anymore...the "forced friendliness" is just painful! Reminds me of a quote from the movie World's Greatest Dad:
    [​IMG]
    kojack06, justrider, Dracula and 4 others like this.
  5. PackRat

    PackRat Huey Guns

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,515
    Location:
    Copper Canyon, Texas
    I almost always ride solo. I have all the flexibility I need and since I ride a GSA, other GS riders are always stopping to talk. Even running across Labrador and Newfoundland I was never alone even though I started out that way. But I do stop for any bike broken down on the road. I usually do not have such a tight schedule that I can't change a little. I once spent 7 days rebuilding a final drive in a hotel in Alberta which would have been miserable for a friend. But while waiting for parts, I explored on foot and met lots of really nice folks.

    I have departed on several trips just knowing I was going east or west but no specific destination and only a date I promised my wife I would be back. On long trips we try to arrange a weekend together some where she can fly in.

    I have also stopped and asked a rancher if I could hunt snakes on the ranch if I promised to pick up any trash I found and left only tire and foot prints. They usually come by the camp at night and have a drink with me and tell stories.

    I was once riding alone between Artesia and Cloudcroft New Mexico and stopped to help a biker wearing Mongols colors who was out of gas on the side of Hwy 82. He probably thought I was crazy to stop the GSA and step out of my Stitch and share a couple of bottles of water with him. His girlfriend had caught a ride east to a gas station and he had been there at least an hour. We talked about his wreck which gave him the cane he needed to stand up.

    You don't get to do that sort of thing when you are in a hurry to get to point B. I did my share of Iron Butt rides, but I like to stop and enjoy the wonderful people and country we live in. At 71, I still look forward to just setting out with my camping gear on my GSA, even if it is just for the flexibility of my schedule. And I am fortunate to have lots of old Marine friends around this country to meet for lunch.

    However, I really do enjoy riding with my son or daughter, who both have bikes.
    Halen, sgazzetti, kojack06 and 3 others like this.
  6. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    23,093
    Location:
    Western Sierras
    I like doing day rides solo, or even a few days. I'm generally an introvert so don't mind being alone. By a week, however, I miss my wife because she's my best friend.

    You know you're an extrovert if you prefer recruiting a stranger to travel with over riding solo.

    Meeting people along the way is something different. That is what makes it an adventure.
    ben2go likes this.
  7. Eatmore Mudd

    Eatmore Mudd Mischief on wheels.

    Joined:
    May 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,678
    Location:
    Wet side of WA.
    This.

    Inviting inmates to ride a day or a few is also an option.
  8. FleshWound

    FleshWound Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2017
    Oddometer:
    29
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    99% of my rides are solo. There is something liberating about being on the open roads by yourself without a care in the world. I really love the flexibility of doing what you want when you want. I like to hop off the bike to take pictures and I know that can be annoying to some. I have met some great people along the way. My theory is show up to a camp site with a cold 6 pack ( I carry a little whisky too), say hi to a few people and there is a good chance you'll have a good time. At the very least you get to drink alone :photog
    kojack06, Gham and knight like this.
  9. ben2go

    ben2go I am Ben! Hear me snore!

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,571
    Location:
    Upstate SC USA
    Lately, when I go on longer rides, up to a week, I never get lonely. I enjoy the time to myself and avoid populated areas. I limit my contact with people when I can. I take roads through areas that are as remote as possible. I haven't been on any really long trips in many years, so I'm not sure if I would get lonely.
  10. Gham

    Gham What's for lunch?

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,329
    Location:
    Auburn Hills,MI.
    I can easily tour alone but it was years in the making.As a young man (20's and 30's) I traveled a lot with my job and was single.

    Had I spent that era with a wife/family and had a job where I came home every night it might be way different.I don't tour with other riders,just my wife as passenger and that is completely different than the former.
  11. Gham

    Gham What's for lunch?

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,329
    Location:
    Auburn Hills,MI.

    Pretty good theory.Cheers
  12. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    476
    Location:
    Korea Town, Los Angeles,
    no
  13. ben2go

    ben2go I am Ben! Hear me snore!

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,571
    Location:
    Upstate SC USA
    Yes :dunno
  14. FlatFifthFury

    FlatFifthFury Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2016
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Longmont, Colorado
    I like riding with a buddy. For a while. Three days tops but any more than that and I largely want to be unshackled to be able to do whatever I want. Given all options I'd rather be alone to go where my whims take me. This does limit me in some ways, mostly in how far away from civilization that I go as I won't have someone to help if I get hurt or lost, but largely I can live with that. There is a big difference between being alone and being lonely just as there is between solitude and isolation.
    levain likes this.
  15. restandplay

    restandplay Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 29, 2015
    Oddometer:
    24
    Location:
    Dorset UK
    I personally like to ride with a mate just in case I get into trouble on route and for the company when we get to the hotels as I don't really mixed with others very easily and to say we have fun would be an understatement. It all started about 6 years ago when we rode two scooters from the UK to Alicante in Spain just for the laugh. We now are back touring, at least twice a year, on real adventure bikes. The guy that rides with me is considerably younger than I am, by some 33 years, but I have asked him many times "is he touring with me because he likes to or just because he feels he as got too". He tells me he also likes the trips we venture on. This guy I meet some 24 years ago after he had been thrown out of his family home and after sleeping rough was taken in by the Social services. I gave him a job and a chance in life and he is now the managing director of the company I founded back in 1994.
    An unbelievable friend that has helped me over the years.
    Derek
    cal08, Macho Man2 and Titlerider like this.
  16. Lizzard323

    Lizzard323 Solo rider. Lover of solitude and corn meal.

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2014
    Oddometer:
    307
    Location:
    Merritt Island, Florida
    The person you are thinking about riding with is already a friend. Taking no friends along just gives you more time and opportunities to make new ones.
    joe a likes this.
  17. justrider

    justrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    626
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    I find in at least my case.I travel better if its a have to get there type of trip. Riding with no pressure its always better to have a person or two along.

    Their is usually some one you come across thats going your way : )
  18. RatAssassin

    RatAssassin Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Oddometer:
    199
    Location:
    NE Wisconsin and NE Pennsylvania
    Being used to doing a lot of solo things, whether it's riding, canoe camping, backpacking, etc., it's really up to you.

    The longest I've soloed on a kayaking/backpacking trip is 3.5 months. It got a little weird at times because my longest stretch was 9 days without seeing another person. When I'm out, I have no problem with interaction from places I stop on the road or people I meet on the trail. Yes, it's limited but it's better than sitting at home.

    But it's one of those things I've learned. If you wait around for someone else to join you, you may never get the chance to go. In the of pursuit of your hobby, you'll come to the conclusion that only maybe 4% of the population shares your enthusiasm. Of that 4%, you may only know a tiny fraction of that. Of that tiny fraction, due to time and schedules, family, work, etc., your list of people to share experiences with goes down again exponentially.

    I refuse to sit around and wait for good shit to happen.
    Halen, cal08, Menhir and 3 others like this.
  19. motoracer85

    motoracer85 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2018
    Oddometer:
    29
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Riding solo is actually very therapeutic for me. It's a great opportunity for you to clear your head and really enjoy being out on the road. I ride with a buddy on occasion but definitely recommend riding on your one time.
    nunzo and ben2go like this.
  20. joe a

    joe a No Map

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    170
    Location:
    Gone Riding...
    :thumb
    kojack06 and LewisNClark like this.