Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
338 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm curious how many of you tour alone and do you enjoy it?

I'm actually in the middle of my two week vacation. I headed out this past Saturday on a 5,800 mile solo trip only to turn around 300 miles in. I just didn't feel it. The idea of long days and solo nights and I just didn't feel like it afterall. With that said, I'm considering setting out Thursday for an abbreviated version of the trip with some shorter days.

Everyone I told about my trip asked if I was going with anyone and it was odd telling them I was going solo.

Do y'all tour alone? And, do you ever wish you were out there with others?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
I ride alone on most of my trips. Going to do a week up to Colorado Springs and back in a couple of weeks. I rather ride alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,263 Posts
I invite people then they pull out and I still go. Lots of talk for months 'we gotta go here and there and Camp etc'. But most of my riding mates have youngish kids and wives. I take my kid MX camping then the following week I'm free.
Plus I always find dirt and it things the herd a bit.

Sent from my TA-1033 using Tapatalk
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,073 Posts
I normally tour with my better half, but sometimes do tour alone. While i enjoy the company, I have a great time in the solitude of traveling alone.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

·
Driftless Admin
Joined
·
11,673 Posts
I tour alone and love it. Get to make impulsive decisions without coordinating with anyone else. No one else to worry about. I like the quiet, and find it healthy to get used to the solitude. And, you can always strike up conversations with folks as you go as you like.

I wasn't always like that though. I grew up in New England, lots of people with no space between the towns. (When I moved to the midwest I was really confused by the idea that there was land not owned by the town or city. What's a county?) I think that made me used to being around people. I was an outdoors guy, got a couple degrees in Wildlife Biology, but still being along bothered me. I went camping in the Green Mts alone once and just felt lost the entire time, uncomfortable being alone. Was offered a position in Alaska and didn't take it because it was too remote and lonely.

Now, I don't know what changed. Time living in sparsely-populated rural midwest, or just age. But I can now totally see me living alone in a cabin in the woods. I'm pretty damn comfortable that way, and I've grown to like the quiet quite a bit.



I travel with wife sometimes too, that is good but it's more a "vacation" than a "tour". Shorter days, more stops, etc. It's fun, but there aren't that many people who are good travel partners in the world. I just got lucky when I married one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
I tour and backpack alone. I also travel the world alone too. I will say though, it's something you build up to, not just something that comes naturally. So don't feel bad about "not feeling it." Even now, sometimes I'll do exactly what you did, other times I'll hike Australia for 10 days by myself.

I'd start with just an overnight. Maybe even just a long day. See how it feels. Remember that a feeling of "discomfort" isn't a bad thing, it just means something is new/hard. Think of exercise: you're uncomfortable while you're doing it (muscles hurt, etc...), you might even be uncomfortable for a couple days after (sore). But as long as you build up to it and don't push too hard, you won't injure yourself and your body will be better off for it.

Mental exercises are the same way (meditation, math, aloneness, etc...). Discomfort just means you're trying something new. If you want the discomfort to go away, you're just going to have to practice at it.

Good Luck!
- Craig
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,239 Posts
I'm curious how many of you tour alone and do you enjoy it?
I primarily tour alone and I enjoy it immensely... :doublethumb I have a toured with another rider but there are only a few riders I enjoy travelling with. So I choose to take extended roads trip alone.

I have ridden all over the Western US as well as the Southern states. Western Canada, Baja and mainland Mexico too. My trips average 2-3 weeks generally and I camp for the most part.

If you aren't comfortable riding/touring alone for an extended time then don't. If you feel you need a travelling companion, I would recommend you do a 2-3 day shakedown trip before heading off for an extended trip to make sure you are compatible with your travelling companion. Personality wise and to be comfortable with their riding skills. There would be nothing I could imagine being worse than spending 2-3 weeks on the road with someone I don't mesh well with... if they are not a competent rider that would be putting yourself in harms way. It's dangerous enough riding a motorcycle these days, but to have an incompetent riding companion would not be an enjoyable safe trip.

Just my :2cents

Bob
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,073 Posts
Hey Bob, how you been?

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,073 Posts
Life has been owning me this year, friend. 80hr work weeks. I even cancelled my summer moto tour!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
338 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I just wanted to say thanks for the responses. Lots of good info and it's nice to hear that solo trips aren't uncommon.

I ultimately decided to stay home and get some things done. I figure if I'm this undecided/unmotivated (for whatever reason) then it's not worth forcing it.

The good news is the bike is in tip top shape and I know I have a setup that will work when I do decide to head out somewhere... Possibly to Big Bend or the Hill Country with the Triumph Dealership later this year / early next year.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,239 Posts
Having ridden in Big Bend and Hill Country numerous times I know you will have a fantastic trip. These two places have some of the best roads for riding motorcycles anywhere.

Update us after you get back from one of your trips.

Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,427 Posts
I ride alone on most of my trips. Going to do a week up to Colorado Springs and back in a couple of weeks. I rather ride alone.
Prefer being alone in most everything I do.
Only exception is spending time with my wife.
She doesn’t ride and glad because I wouldn’t live with myself if anything happened to harm her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
Another hand up for preferring to go alone. I have taken a few weekend trips this year and always find I cannot get in the distance I planned. I spend too much time talking to locals, but that is fine with me. I think another biker with me would mess that up.

Two weeks ago I was headed to do southwestern Ontario and about 350 km (220 miles) first day as I was leaving after lunch. A friend of mine, who I had never rode with before, said he would ride part way with me. I said fine, but we were going at least 75 miles on the provincial hwy before any detours. I didn't want to waste time seeing things that I could get to any day of the week from home.

We get on Hwy 3 and I get to 100 kph, mirror check and he has parked himself at the 80 kph speed limit and won't go any quicker. I slow down (had to go below the speed limit for him to catch up) and a little ways down the road he has his left turn signal on and is pointing for me to take the next turn. I turn and he says just a short side trip to some Port on Lake Erie, only a a 10 minute side trip. Reluctantly, off we go with him in the lead and we get to the end of the road and no port. Five or six turns later he finally lets me use Google maps to find our way out of there. I am back in the lead and maps tells me to take the next left, but he won't go down it because its gravel. We finally get back to hwy 3 and come to a town that should have only taken us 30 minutes to get to and he says he has had enough and is turning back home. Good riddance and thanks for the total waste of time.

On my way back home Sunday, I am coming into a town that connects to Hwy 3 again and I stop beside a guy on a Daytona at a stop light. I ask him if I will get to hwy 3 even though I know I will. He says to me "Do you want the quick way or the fun way" I say fun and he says follow me. We had a blast for about 15 minutes on some county roads until I got to hwy 3 and we waived goodbye to each other. I doubt this little and worthwhile side trip would have happened if I was not alone.

Ride alone and enjoy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
973 Posts
I’ve done my share of solo touring but I much prefer riding with a mate. It completes the experience to be able to stop for a break and chat about what you’ve seen or where you’re going. I really do enjoy riding on my own mostly, but for long trips it’s good to have someone with me. Of course it has to be a true kindred spirit. Someone who rides the way I do so neither of us has to wait or look out for the other or worry about getting too far ahead (or behind). And someone I’m going to enjoy having dinner with whether at a camp site or a pub somewhere. There’s always the security element too, especially if you’re camping, and help on hand if you need it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
982 Posts
I like most parts of touring alone. Parts of it I'd rather share.

I like choosing my route, changing on the fly, riding all night if I feel like it, taking a nap mid-day if I'm tired. I can get by on gas station food and two meals a day. I don't need beer at the end of a day, but might feel like some wine while staring into a fire or at the stars.

If traveling with another, I can be flexible. I am usually lazy and let them make all the decisions because I'd rather avoid the back and forth of deciding. I will sometimes complain to myself inside my helmet, then all is well.

There are times when I would rather be with someone. If in a motel, I like cutting the cost in half. When I want a restaurant meal, it's nice to have someone to talk with. Occasionally, I will find myself wishing I could share an experience like an incredible view with someone else.

Mostly, I wish I could tour with my wife. That was a big part of our retirement plan. Unfortunately, she had to retire earlier than she planned in order to deal with cancer. It's now 7 years later and she still can't ride. Her retirement motorcycle only has about 2,000 miles on it. Her battle is such a roller coaster ride, I don't want to be away on a trip for any length of time. I could get away for 2 or 3 days if I wanted to but just haven't wanted to. My retirement motorcycle only has 12,000 miles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,006 Posts
I lived in Wichita when I bought my Speed. Not long after that, the company I serviced had sort of a mandatory "vacation" where they shut the plant down for a week. I took the impromptu opportunity to ride from Wichita, to Bentonville, AR,...then to Branson, MO, ...then back down into Arkansas and up into Missouri for a long day's ride in the mountains (a glorious day! ). I ended up in St Louis that day. It was a long, twelve hour day. I spent a few days there visiting family... Then it was a long day back to Wichita.

When I left on my own for the first time I was a bit nervous about the trip. I didn't have any tools with me, and I'm not much of a mechanic, so I was nervous. But...it turns out I enjoyed it thoroughly. But I got lucky. I never had a breakdown. It was kind of a Zen thing. Ride 150 miles. Get off. Gas up. Get some water...a bite to eat. Get back on the Triple and do it again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,002 Posts
I, too, travel alone, or with a single friend who thinks like I do. As others have said, traveling alone give you the freedom to go where you want, to change your plans as conditions change. I've been doing solo trips since 1976, and, for the most part, the trips have been great! Once, traveling through se Arkansas, my Trophy 1200 drifted to a stop while riding on a 2-lane road, no coughing, no clues. After a few minutes of sheer panic (no shoulders, a 6-inch drop off the side of the pavement), it fired up and I headed on (I was about 500 miles into a 2000 mile round trip). Stopped for gas at the next town and was talking with the station owner (middle-aged lady), when I mentioned I might need to find a mechanic for my Triumph. She immediately called one of her moto-riding relatives who suggested an independent mechanic in Hot Springs (about 100 miles further up the road). I thought about it, took his number, and headed on toward Hot Springs. Bike was running fine now, so passed by and kept riding. Bike ran great for the rest of the trip. And I chalked up another adventure. This is the type of luck I've always had -- people want to help. Last solo trip -- 2017 -- was coming home from western Oklahoma. Weather was looking iffy, so looked at the radar and headed NE, the only direction where rain wasn't imminent. Made it dry to Bartlesville (no where near my original planned route) where I checked into a motel for the night. Next morning, forecast said "Rain in 10 minutes". I looked at the radar again and saw that NE was still the right direction to stay dry, so headed to Joplin, MO. Light rain caught me, but I avoided the heavy rain. Only problem -- I was getting farther away from my destination (Birmingham, AL), and if I went much further to the NE, I would probably have to go to St Louis to get across the MS river. So I wanted to head south, bust through the rain band, and head on towards home. Unfortunately for me, the band of rain kept coming, and I was drenched! I ended up heading on south east, from Joplin, MO, to Helena, AR, to Greenwood, MS, before getting south (and behind) the rain band. After breaking through the rain (about Clarksdale, MS), I stayed dry the rest of the way to Birmingham. What should have been about 900 miles/2 days riding ended up being 3 days/1300 miles. By myself, I didn't have to stop/discuss plans and reach a consensus as to where/when to go. Just another adventure. I do enjoy touring with my best moto-buddy, too. Just a different set of parameters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Hey Bob, how you been?
Great, thanks for asking: )

For the OP, I ride 98% of time alone. I ride to get away, to see what I haven't seen and let my brain unwind. I have two teens, a wife, and a full time job, our calendar usually looks like a Pollack painting. When I am touring I don't want anyone's schedules, desires, or pace impacting my schedule, desires, or pace.

I bring a book/s to read in restaurants and when I'm done riding for the day. I did this when I was 20 and rode the country on my 82 Vision 550, I do it now when I'm 54 on my Sprint.

A couple of years ago on a two week tour I realized hadn't talked to anybody (except for tranasactional chat) in days. Didn't miss it.

My wife and I were talking the other day, I told her one of the most attractive qualities she had was she didn't need to recap each day when I was traveling back when we were dating. Same now, I just send her a txt letting her know where I am and that I'm safe for the night. She usually responds with hugs and kisses and that's about it. Frankly, my travels bore her to tears.

It's not that I don't like people, it's more about how much I treasure the peace and quiet on the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
I just returned from a six week, 8300 mile trip across the NW and Midwest and BC & AB. The first two weeks were with a buddy and we stayed in motels because he doesn't like to camp. We parted in Kalispell after 2300 miles as was preplanned because he had to return to work. Being mostly retired, I headed to Wisconsin to visit family and friends. After a couple of weeks there, I headed back west and camped in Colorado for a week.

Riding solo or with other people (whether two-up or on multiple bikes) make for very different adventures in my experience. If you are alone, you (have the opportuunity at least to) talk to more people. When you are riding with other people, even just a passenger, you tend to talk to each other more and I think other people are less likely to strike up a conversation. The more people in your group the less you interact with other people.

I was sitting outside a little store/gas station northwest of Colorado Springs somewhere having a drink and snack. A car pulled up and an older gentleman and his wife got out and started toward the store. As they came up to me the guy told his wife to go on ahead because he was going to sit with me for a few minutes and "tell some lies". She smiled and went in. He sat down and we talked for 15 minutes or so about riding. He walked with cane and had retired from riding a few years ago due to his health. His wife came out a couple of minutes later, smiled, and went back to the car. He finally slowly stood up and said he had to go. And turned around twice on the way to the car to add to our conversation.

I was at Scotty's Castle in Death Valley on another solo trip a few years ago. As I walked back to my bike a young couple with a little boy were looking at the bike. I walked up and said hello and the little boy kind of hid behind his dad's leg. I asked if he wanted to sit on it and he didn't waste any time getting out from behind his dad.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top