27 Rider Comments on Solo Travel

A wide range of riders with diverse experience, locations and perspectives share their perspectives on solo travel.  Taken from a recent FaceBook chat I facilitated on Motorcycle Mojo Magazine’s page, each one carries its own wisdom, along with some humor!

Thanks to Carla King for the photo. Carla is a veteran of solo travel around the world.  In this pic, she’s doing some makeshift repairs in China.

Do you have any additions?  Post them in the comments below.  The next chat will be on Sept 5 @ 7:00 p.m. EST. Just go to Mojo’s FB page and join in!

Here are the responses to: “Have you ever traveled solo? What did you enjoy about it? If not, why not?”

  1. Carla King — I love getting stuck in weird places and being invited to share the lives of the people there. Especially in places where they don’t blink when you take a sledgehammer to a motorcycle drive shaft.
  2. Liz Jansen — Carla – you’ve had amazing adventures. Don’t you get scared??
  3. Martin Van Der Staay —That is an awesome photo! Sorry Vincenza but I’d have to say I like riding solo. I often talk to myself or sing (I think I’m awesome) inside my helmet and it usually confuses her as she thinks I am trying to talk to her. However, the best memories for me are that much better when shared with her.
  4. Juan Wall — I can ride solo without any issue, but the preferred is 2 to 5 (my ideal number I guess)  The longest I’ve done solo I have only been weekend trips
  5. Carla King –I learned to go solo a long time ago when it was clear that nobody could go with me for the length of time I wanted to be away – and then when I started writing it was tedious for people when I was jumping off the bike to explore, interview, and take photos. But the absolute freedom is worth it.
  6. Karen Gahan — Solo is the only way I travel. Last year I went on 2 trips to the US, and this year I did a 10 day ride and a 6 day ride by myself. For me, travelling alone is the way to experience the total freedom of riding. You have literally nothing to do but get up in the morning, get on your motorcycle and ride. What could be more stress-free than that? No timetable, no obligations.
  7. Carla King — And yes, I get scared, but I work though it because I know it’s going to be amazing 🙂
  8. Bob Cook —  If my wife isn’t in my mirror, (or me, in her’s )…somethings gone wrong,
  9. Kevin Gillen — For me riding at it’s best is a solitary pursuit. Personally it’s preferable to stop on a whim, wheel around and take pictures at my leisure or just flat- out ride to nowhere in particular in record time.
  10. Robin Weber — I just got home from a solo 8000+km trip to Nevada from northern Canada. I met and rode with some great people along the way, but there were places I would’ve like to stop and take photos but couldn’t, another reason why I prefer to ride alone.
  11. Kevin Gillen — Well with apologies for taking liberties with a well-known George Thorogood lyric, – when I “ride” alone…….I prefer to be by myself !!
  12. Marjorie Neilson — Ya Kevin, got it right. 😉
  13. Karen Gahan — People do ask that a lot.[Aren’t you scared?] ….I tell them that you can’t live your life being scared of the “what if’s”. More people die in accidents in the home than in motorcycle accidents, so if anything, I should be worried about my husband staying home while I am on the road.
  14. Jeff Smith— What I like most about traveling solo is “I can”.If I want to keep riding into a warm, moonlit night, instead of stopping, pitching a tent or finding a comfortable hotel room, I can.If I want to stop and watch a magnificent sunset, I can.

    If I want to sleep late and enjoy a breakfast at noon, I can.

    If I want to spend several hours talking bikes with someone who would love to do his/her Bronson imitation, chuck-it-all, and take off on the adventure of their life I can!

15. Pam Beatson — I love riding solo. I feel free and confident and empowered when I’m out alone on my bike, especially if I’m travelling on a long journey. But I also love riding with a partner or a friend, as long as they like to ride for long stretches and stop for only short breaks and travel about the same speed as I like and drive safely and not complain about weather conditions or minor discomforts. Fortunately, I have had several such riding companions and I treasure them.

16. Mark Wildman — I OFTEN ride solo and is usually my preference. Freedom multiplied. I have logged many thousands of klics alone on my Buell Ulysses and very few regrets. Keep on rolling! 🙂

17. Daryl Makk — I’ve done many solos trips including 2 cross Canada ones. Loved it. Stop when I want for as long as I want. Prefer to meet my buddies at the destination if it’s a group ride.

18. Pam Vickery — Solo is the way to go for me! I’ve done many solo trips, the longest being about 13,000kms across most of Canada & the northern states. I’m an avid photographer so being able to stop on a whim is one of the greatest freedoms and having no one to worry about but myself. I’m looking forward to doing a world tour in about 4 yrs. (Solo of course!)

19. Brad Sanderson — My one solo trip experience riding was 38 days – 21K kms. Never felt lonely… there was always someone to meet and chat with. Made/ met friends along the way.

What I really liked was the complete freedom to go where I liked, stop when I wanted to take a photo or just drink in the view. Never felt like I rode past something I wanted to stop and look at.

20. Thor Dingman — Traveling solo – you’ve got to try it out at least once in a life time.

21. Dave Nichols —  Brad I preferred traveling solo because then no set plans. Oh sure person might have set destination from point A to point B. This set point B could change at any time plus actual route changed on the whim for no other reason except because I want to. On two of my over 5k trips I didn’t even take a cell phone. One time after getting some gas & a drink while traveling through PA parked in the shade pulled out a map of the U.S. Guy walks over and sees my TX tags on the bike and asked if I’m lost and need some directions. “I’m not exactly sure where I’m at or for sure where I’m headed so don’t think I can be lost but thanks.” My bike trips have all been in the U.S. because of border issues…not me the authorities. Nothing like being on the road alone going fast, going slow, this road that road it just doesn’t matter. That my friend is relaxation.

22. Glenn Ranger – I live to ride solo, I make the rules.

23. John Mazur — Yup, solo for me too! Usually point B is where I turn around 🙂

24. Don Norris — There’s peace in riding solo. I know China is not in my scope. As long as there’s cell phones, I’ll feel safe.

25. Cristi Farrell — Solo is the only way I’ve travelled both on/off a motorcycle for the past 10 years. Karen was spot on – who wouldn’t want their agenda or their whimsy to be the plan of the day?! Go where the day takes you. It’s the thrill of being unregimented, uncontrolled, fearless and free. I usually laugh and tell people I’m crazy when they start to question why a woman would travel alone. My friends don’t need my convincing.

26. Chris Bailey:–  I ride solo often…for the same reasons noted in comments above–no one else’s ‘agenda’ but my own for starting, stopping, sightseeing, etc, but also because it ‘forces’ me to rely on ME….my sense of self is a work in progress…& over the years I’ve discovered it takes fine tuning to keep it ‘evolving’….I now view it as more of a journey than a destination, so this is one way for me to continue that journey….besides, I LIKE being in my head & I LIKE my own company–there was a time when I wouldn’t have told you that… 😉

27. Chris Bailey: — As for the ‘scared’ question….for me, I would rather try & fail than spend my days wondering if I could’ve done it…the regrets that would inevitably come with staying on the sidelines are FAR worse, in my opinion….”

Posted in Adventure, Liz's Stories, Rider Stories Tagged with: ,
2 comments on “27 Rider Comments on Solo Travel
  1. I have just completed my first big solo trip on the bike (only doing short over-nighters prior to this). I was 2 months on the bike with the last 25 days of that solo (14,135 kms) to Alaska. Like some of the other ladies, I received frequent concern about travelling alone by others I would meet along the way. Not from my family and friends because they know I’m adventurous and would travel prepared, but from strangers. I took a special leave this summer so I could travel and I made good use of it. You can’t always find others to travel when you can. After this big trip I know there will be many more in my future. I love travelling with friends but travelling alone has its advantages too – you only have to check with yourself about breaks, where to sleep, when to stop etc. I can stop quick and take a photo if I want. There was always people to talk to at meal breaks and gas stops – people are curious about a woman travelling on her own. The biggest disadvantage to travelling solo is there is nobody to share the cost of hotels with, so it can be much more expensive, but then again if you don’t mind really ‘cheap’ accommodations you can find them. I stayed in a university dorm one night, in a hostel a few nights (in a private room) and the ‘cheaper’ motels where I could find them – all to keep the cost down. I would not camp on my own because I would sleep better with a locked door and besides there were a lot of bears where I was travelling.

    • lizjansen says:

      Karen – I love what you’ve said and how you’ve expressed it. What an amazing trip. Thanks for sharing it.

      Liz

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