Riding alone, I love it. I like riding with friends and small groups but it can be a hassle. Different personalities, riding styles etc. Some folks like to rush between stops, or take too long. A simple 2 hour ride can turn into 4 hrs with strategy sessions. Or they're rushing so fast, you don't have time to savor and enjoy the ride.
Riding alone you can ride your own ride. Pace yourself in the way that suits you. Here are few of my tips though. The following list are the basics I take with me whenever I take a trip, whether it's just a short half-day/day, weekend or over several days.
- Make sure you know where you going. Go over your route with a good map and make sure you keep it with you.
- Be sure that someone has a copy of your route and approximate arrival times.
- Have designated check-in times.
- Cell phone is a must. It is the most significant tool you can have.
- But even if you're not mechanically inclined, keep some basic tools with you. I carry one of those multi-headed screwdrivers. A couple of different size wrenches and Allen wrenches. Flashlight and fresh batteries, road flares and pocket knife. I figure, well hell, if I don't know what to do with them, someone who might stop to help will and I will at least have the tools they need.
- Small first aid kit.
- Bottle of water, fruit bars or trail mix.
- Extra change of clothes, sweater, t-shirt, socks and rain gear.
Last and strictly optional and depending on your comfort zone, conscience and training. I also travel with a gun, 9mm Glock. I'm a daughter of a veteran Marine and a Texas born & bred mom. My pops started taking us to the gun range by the time I was about 10. He wanted make sure his little girls knew how to take care of themselves when he wasn't around.
I'm pretty comfortable riding at night but I try to limit it. It helps cut down opportunities for unexpected encounters with Bambi's, other wild critters and drunk drivers. I plan most of my trips to leave early in the morning to give myself plenty of daylight driving time.
This is about it. I'll post another time some of my solo travel adventures. I would also like to hear from other riders who ride solo frequently and what they do.
Some other tips :
- Carry a calling card with you
- Carry some quarters for a pay phone
- Always advise someone of your trip plans and arrange a regular check-in schedule.