Any excuse is good enough for a ride – whether it’s with the pillion-in-a-million, a couple of friends, a dozen club members, a hundred shop riders, or a thousand toy runners – yet solo riding is our favourite.
And in these days of social distancing, it may be the preferred way to go.
There are many reason why we love riding solo.
But here are our top 10:
Zen: It’s a good time for peace and meditation, away from the mindless chatter and banter of friends. Solo riding can be a cathartic experience where you “blow out the cobwebs”, cleanse the mind of the week’s built-up minutiae and think about nothing else but the manual task in hand – clutch, throttle, brake, steering.
Peer pressure: There is none when you ride solo. You can choose your own pace. Go on, race that HSV Holden if you like, tag on to the back of a bunch of sports bikes or just wave them past and continue to ride at a relaxed pace. If you race and win, you can congratulate yourself. If you race and lose, then there’s no one judging you.
No pressure: Apart from a lack of pressure to go racing, there is also no pressure to stay together in a pack which can put pressure on you to make some silly errors, radical passing manoeuvres or run “very amber” lights.
Stop: Yes, you can actually stop to take a photo, absorb a view, go to the toilet or grab another cup of coffee without being berated by a friend for slowing down the herd.
Go: No need to wait around for one of your group to use the toilet, pay for their latte by American Express, have a cigarette or fix their “classic” bike. Just go when you are ready!
Idiots: You probably don’t ride with idiots, but usually a group can have one person who isn’t as talented as the other riders or makes rash decisions. Riding solo removes this dangerous element from your ride.
Change your mind: There is no set agenda. You are allowed to change your mind, destination and route as often as you want without causing anyone grief or upset.
Explore: Groups have a rigid route and arrival time, but riding solo allows you to explore side roads, go a different route to normal or even head up a dead-end just to see what’s there. And no one will mind! You can also take a portable power station with you and do some solo motorbike camping anywhere you like.
Bench racing: You can’t fool yourself, so there is no point in lying to yourself about your escapades. However, when you catch up with your friends on another ride, you can “embellish” all you like as there are no witnesses!
Safety: Riding solo, especially on lonely country roads or trails is not very safe in the event of a crash or breakdown. However, these days there are mobile phones, distress beacons, GPS trackers and other electronic gadgets you can use to improve your safety, even if you are out of phone signal.