Riding Solo

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I was reading a few MTB related blog posts today and I came across this post by Ian Street in his blog Into The Orchard.

http://intotheorchard.com/2013/02/11/snowy-solo-ride/

Firstly I thought the pictures were great – go and take a look – but it was the following that gave me my inspiration for today:

So yesterday I headed out on my own. This in itself asks a few questions, motivation, the only voice will be mine, no social element (one of the things I enjoy most about riding), picking a route. I decided from a safety perspective not to head out onto into the Dales or Pennines as thought to myself if I do crash then it could be a long time before anyone found me if I was hurt. I headed instead to a trail centre figuring that someone will find me quicker there if the worst happens

So what are the pros and cons and dos and don’ts of riding solo?

Pros

  • You can go at your own pace. You wont hold anyone up, and on the other hand you won’t have to wait for anyone
  • No one will hear you cry when you are in pain. (Also a Con)
  • A change in the planned route does not need to be discussed/agreed with anyone but yourself
  • If you decide to turn around and come back because its (too cold, too hard, too wet etc) no one need know!

Cons

  • No one will be there to push you on and motivate you past any sort of barrier
  • No one will hear you cry when you are in pain. (Also a Pro)
  • Aside from the motivation when you find the going tough, company can also break the monotony of a long ride
  • Deviate from a known route, get lost and you are on your own

Dos

  • Do tell someone where you are going
  • Do take a map or go somewhere familiar
  • Do take a phone and some money
  • Do carry all the necessary tools and spares to fix your bike – tube, chain links

Don’ts

  • Don’t do anything silly, ride within your limits
  • Don’t be afraid to talk to other riders (see what I did there?)
  • Don’t wear the wrong clothes. Getting cold isn’t funny
  • Don’t forget to tell someone where you are going

This is by no means a definitive list and if you have any of your own advice to add for riding solo please put them in the comments below…

Here is some handy advice from MB Swindon on mountain biking safety – http://www.mbswindon.co.uk/articles/safety/getting-off-the-mountain/

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3 thoughts on “Riding Solo

  1. Hi Tim, thanks for the link through to my blog post much appreciated. I’ve had a look through your blog and plenty of good posts. I normally ride out on natural trails but go with others but as they were not around this weekend I definitely thought that a trail centre would be better on my own, particularly with the weather as it was.

  2. I started doing adventure races solo 2.5 years ago after always being in a pair. After that I found I was happier to ride in training on my own – something I had never done before as I thought it wasn’t ‘safe’. But riding alone can give you confidence: that you can look after yourself, sort out problems, be independent and deal with any mental blips!

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