Author Topic: Solo Touring?  (Read 7689 times)

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Offline Tailwinds

Solo Touring?
« on: March 04, 2005, 05:47:27 am »
I'm looking at doing the Pacific Coast this summer and am
torn about doing it alone, or asking a friend to come along.  

In my idealistic mind, several weeks with just me, my bike
and the road sounds amazing.  On the other hand, several
weeks alone is a long time!

For those who have toured alone -- what insight/advice do
you have?  

Offline valygrl

Solo Touring?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2005, 03:18:41 pm »
Solo touring is fantastic.  You do what *you* want at that very moment, no matter what other people might think you should do - no negotiating, no waiting, no making someone else wait.  You can ride as much or as little as you want, eat when and where you want, stop to add or remove layers when it's comfortable to you, w/o asking someone else to wait.  Stop and see/do the things that interest *you*, not someone else.  

Do you like museums?  Skate parks?  Antique shops?  Wall mart?  Roller coasters?  Dive bars?  Upscale espresso?  Gas station coffee?  KFC?  All-organic live raw vegan food?  Forests?  Beaches?  Sun?  Shade?  What about your friend, what does s/he like... is it the same?  

Also...  there is nothing like touring alone to increase your self-reliance.  This carries over into the rest of your life.  Touring solo is a great life teacher.  There are huge psychological rewards.

EVERYONE wants to talk to you.  You don't have to be lonely if you are even a little bit friendly.  The bike is a great conversation starter.

That said, it's great to tour with a real friend, especially if you like the same sorts of stuff, ride around the same milages per day, and get along well.  But there are a lot of compromises.  Touring is a strenous physical activity, and you and your friend will learn more about each other than you may wish.  Whatever a person's core qualities are, they will appear on tour.   So if you go with a friend, you should know them well.  If you go with a stranger, you should be prepared to compromise, keep your mouth shut if you are unhappy, and go off on your own if needed.

Pacific Coast is a great tour, have a blast!


Offline RussellSeaton

Solo Touring?
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2005, 11:14:40 pm »
You are more likely to meet people if touring alone.  You are approachable by strangers because you are alone.  You are also more likely to approach other people because you do not have anyone with you.  Such has been my experience in my various tours.  I've stayed nights/weeks with people who were strangers only minutes before.  I am guessing this would not have occurred if I was traveling with a group of 2 or 3 or 4.

Touring alone or with companions each provides different experiences.

Offline rtwbikerider

Solo Touring?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2005, 09:53:08 pm »
Both replies have been right on the mark. If you're traveling a popular route like the Pacific Coast, you can add or drop partners pretty easily. If you go with friends, dropping them could be problematic. I'm a big fan of solo touring, but there are a few down sides. You won't be able to share any of the motel/campground costs. You won't have someone to pace you or draft behind on the tough days. You have to be very diligent in watching out for your bike and belongings. You have to make yourself more visible to the approaching traffic. Still, I think that solo touring is the way to go. Bring along a cellular phone, a couple of credit cards, and some emergency cash and you'll have no worries. Good luck.

Offline Jackalope

Solo Touring?
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2005, 07:01:53 pm »
I've done both and they have their obvious ups and downs.  It's a challenge being off on your own, and can be quite lonely.  Even if you are social there can be stretches where you'll feel the isolation.  Of course at times that can be a great thing to experience.  I dropped a partner for one of the most remote stretches on the Trans-Am (all of Wyoming) and it was wonderful.  A good time for soul searching, and I actually spent more hours on the bike which was an interesting response.  I rode solo for 2 weeks and did meet lots of folks I wouldn't have if I was with others.  Good luck.. just be prepared if you do go alone.  :)

Offline cyclist

Solo Touring?
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2005, 06:13:31 pm »
After reading your post, i would like to ride with you. Your psoting hit the nail right on the head. You have a great day.  :)

Offline jeek

Solo Touring?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2005, 12:10:18 am »
I toured solo last month. I teamed up with another rider I met along the way for three days, and you know what I discovered? that I just hated having to hurry to accomodate someone elses schedule! If you're like me, solo is the only way to go. I was never lonely, there were always enough people to get aquainted with if I so chose (but mostly liked just being left alone) and never felt like my style was cramped.