So often it happens that you wanna go on a motorbike ride but you don’t have a group or a friend willing to accompany you. Your friends are too bogged down with professional or personal commitments to get their ass on the saddle and leave you muttering, “Losers!!!” under your breath. And that is the right time to take it to the next level by riding solo. Riding alone can be a lot of fun and will make it easier for your to get off the beaten path. However, since you’re the lone ranger, I also advise you to be a bit of extra caution. From the numerous longs miles I’ve tread alone, here are few tips for a solo motorbike ride to keep you safe and have lots of fun at the same time
Keep your Family and Friends Informed!
If you decide to ride alone, you family is bound to go nuts. And only when you come back will their nerves be soothed. Until then to keep them as sane as possible by keeping them informed of your solo motorbike ride plans. Where will you be riding to? How far is it from your home town? How many days are you going to stay there? Answer all of these beforehand
And once your solo motorbike ride begins, keep them updated on a daily. Give them a call before you start the ride for the day and tell them where you’re headed to. Call them again to let them know you’re ok after you stop ends for the day. If you know that over the next few days, you are going to be somewhere remote and telephone/internet connectivity might be a problem, let them know. Nothing makes your family worry more than their child (or a spouse) from whom they have heard nothing for a day or two. Especially, when that person is traveling alone.
Along with your parents, let a friend know as well – preferably one of your regular riding buddies. A simple text updating your ride status 2-3 times a day should do. In case, of an untoward incident or a mishap, a family is bound to get panicky. But a rider friend will keep a cool head and will use his rider/traveler instincts help you get out of the mess you land up in. Let your family also know who that person is.
Set shorter daily ride targets than you would do if you were in a group!
Group dynamics in a ride often help all the riders in achieving greater distance than they planned. Cracking jokes, sharing ride experiences, fooling around at every break will keep the weariness away for a long time . Also sometimes there are two riders (pillion and the rider) to a bike and that helps in sharing the ride distance. But when you riding alone it’s a different ballgame. Tiredness will set in easily. And trust me, after riding a long patch of pathetically bumpy roads when you get off your saddle, if you do not have a fellow rider to share your sorrows, your butt hurts more.
Therefore do not try to attempt the same things that you did in a group ride. If you covered 1000kms over 2 days in a group ride, while riding solo make it 3 days if not 4. If you feel sleepy, take a power nap! If it still does not work, call it off for the day. Relax and start afresh the next day.
Identification Card and In Case of Emergency(ICE) Details
Always keep an ID with you and a list of ICE numbers. Your driving license should serve you well for the ID purpose. Keep another form of ID if you can as a precautionary measure. Have a list of In Case of Emergency details with you. This can be in form of a card or a piece of paper that you have handwritten. Mention your address, phone numbers, blood group, contact numbers of at least 3 individuals who should be contacted in case of an emergency. Keep this on you all the time.
Because of mobile phones, we no longer store phone numbers in a non-digital format. And we have lost the skill of remembering the numbers by heart. Imagine if your phone runs out of battery or worst, losing your phone! Be clever and keep a small piece of paper in your wallet with details of your close contacts and take care not to lose it.
Get friendly with the locals
A solo motorbike ride can also get pretty boring at times. However, if you are riding solo, breaking the ice becomes easier. People themselves will approach you to talk to you about your travels. Generally, when in the group, people let the group enjoy on their own. But I have observed that the locals are more welcoming when you are alone. That old man on the petrol pump will tell you a history about the highway and the resultant development. He will also give you pointers on road conditions ahead. Or he’ll tell you a detour that no one know about. Get friendly, click a few pictures with them and share the same with them. People will recognize you the next time you pass by the same road.
Along with the tips for a solo motorbike ride, it is important to pack right. Do that and you will have an enjoyable motorbiking journey to remember for a lifetime. The most important aspect about travels (with, without or in spite of a motorbike) is that it offers us a chance to get to know different people, their habits, values, and traditions. While traveling with a group we often forget that while enjoying within our group. Solo riding (travelling) helps us in getting closer. At the same time, it lets us also discover a lot about our strengths, weakness. Shatters some of our age-old beliefs about ourselves and teaches us some skills that we never had before.
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Are there any other tips you wish to share? Have I missed anything? Or do you have further questions about motorbiking travel. Leave a comment and let me know