Riding Alone or With a Group
I want to talk to you about the pros and cons of riding in a group or making the whole trip by yourself.
I think I can talk about my experience in riding in a big group, small group or being alone on the road. Let’s go over the pros and cons of each.
Start with bigger groups like four, five, six people riding in such a large group can be a hazardous endeavour. Like it or not, you will be put into situations where you feel out of your depth, or you’re downright angry.
Group of 4,5,6 or bigger
Let me give you an example. On my last trip to Norway, I was actually traveling alone, but I buddied up after a couple of days with a whole bunch of guys from Ireland, and they’d been smashing. We had such a laugh, but on the second day, I decided to go on my own again.
The chap who was leading the way got us from one precarious situation into the next one. He did not respect the speed limit. His overtaking was at least very dangerous, and he got the whole group in a rush for no reason. In the end, I found it way better just to hold back, fall behind and told everyone that the next stop that I make my own pace.
Now just imagine for a minute that group are the people you organize the whole trip with, where you agreed, where you go, your time schedule and everything. From accommodation to ferries, you name it.
I think by now, you are just asking for trouble.
That alone will have a detrimental effect on the friendships and the longterm relationships you had with your riding buddies. And we shouldn’t be stunned about this. We all have different motorbikes, different skillsets, different riding styles, and different expectations.
In the planning stage, we tend to agree with pretty much everything just to get everything off the ground. But when you’re on the road, the reality kicks in and the truth most of the time doesn’t look like what you made up for on paper.
Well, on the other side, it shouldn’t be all doom and gloom, shouldn’t it? So let’s look at the positive sides of riding in a bigger group. First of all, there is always someone there for you. You are never alone. If you have a problem, there’s still someone in the group who can help you out.
Moral support you get out of a bigger group is a fantastic thing on a long trip, especially when you are not used to writing long journeys.
But then, on the other hand, you may be inclined to push yourself to a limit where you’re not comfortable with, and that can have devastating consequences.
So the bottom line of this is if you’re writing a big group, stand your ground. Do not get yourself into situations where you don’t want to be and make your voice heard if it’s too much for you.
Say So. And if your friends are not able to accommodate your wishes, well let me tell you they’re not good friends.
So how about smaller groups? Say Two, three, four people? Well, it’s definitely not as complicated than putting them up with the large group, but it has his own little challenges.
Smaller Groups 3-4 riders
In the smaller group, you have whole different dynamics. For example, you have to work closely together because obviously you can’t fit in a little bit and let other people take over and a small group, you’re right in the middle of it,
So all your little habits and quirks are laid back in no time.
At the same token, you know it’s easier to agree with things if you’re just a handful of people and I think their riding pace is may be different. I did have some wonderful times traveling with an in a small group of people because it’s so much easier to arrange what you want to do and if you feel like it, you can always have like a day out on your own and meet up with the rest of the gang further down the road.
I believe a group of three to four people is the ideal size. I don’t mind to go on a short trip with a bunch of people because you can have tremendous fun and you’d cherish the memories.
Just the two of you
If you choose to ride only with one other riding partner instead of riding alone or with a group, you really have to be in sync with each other. There’s one thing you really have to remember and take it to heart, whatever you agreed before the trip counts because if you step out of line, you just make the other guy’s trip and misery.
A mutual understanding of what you want to achieve on that trip is absolutely essential between both of you, and it starts with little things: the pace you travel, the distance you want to go, eating habits, sleeping habits, absolutely everything you have to take to account and accommodate.
It is so easy to get annoyed and fed up when you only have one person around you. In fact, I think all your negativity you come across, even if it’s your fault, you will funnel towards the other person. So it’s critical you keep an open mind if your riding partner has a bit of a bad day.
You just have to put up with it and plough on.
I think nothing is more important than mutual respect.
Sometimes I go riding with my friend Neil, and Neil ‘s bike is smaller, and he has an entirely different riding style.
Now if I lead the way, I know I will be too fast for him, but it’s just the fact that my motorbike is bigger and the whole dynamics around it.
I know if I let my bike roll out, I’d definitely have a different pace to him. So it’s so much easier if I just ride behind him and let him lead.
There’s nothing wrong with it. It doesn’t take anything away from the fun of riding, and you know, we both arrive together. I don’t have to look in the rear mirror, and Neil doesn’t have to go in any situation he doesn’t feel comfortable with.
Looking out for your riding partner should be your primary concern. I could never forgive myself if something happened to my riding partner just because my ego got the better of me.
Video: Riding alone or With a Group
So that brings me to the last point.
Riding it all alone.
Well, while I’m not hiding around the Bush here, riding alone is my preferred choice. When I go on a long distance motorbike trip, just talking about it gets me excited. I have so many exciting memories.
Yes, there are some downsides to it. First of all, mentally, it’s just a much harder experience because you are on your own. Sometimes it gets really intense. Now I think the first thing is you have to be able to get on with yourself.
- No one to talk to.
- Only you to blame.
- It’s all down to yourself.
- You truly have to enjoy your own company.
The other side of the coin is this sense of achievement.
When you are alone on the road, there is this fabulous feeling, everyone who did it can tell you all about.
It is the feeling of personal achievement, the freedom of doing what you want to do.
You do not look back.
You only look forward as this absolutely fantastic sense of overwhelming peace.
I can’t describe it any other way, and it doesn’t matter if things go wrong, you grow out of it, you get stronger, you go stronger mentally, and you realize things in your life get a whole different meaning.
The is no doubt in my mind, absolutely not this slightest doubt in my mind. If you make a long distance trip by yourself, you will be a different person. When you come home, all the experiences of your travel and their emotions which go with it, they will fundamentally change you.
But as was everything, just keep in mind when you back home, not everyone wants to hear your stories. You are buzzing, want to tell everyone everything straight away.
Let me tell you, nobody cares.
But that’s okay. These are your stories, your emotion.
Your experiences and they will stay for the rest of your life, deep in your heart and your soul.
And I bet with you, you can’t wait until you’re back on the road on your own. All by yourself just to get yourself another dose of this incredible feeling of riding alone.
So I hope that all makes sense. There is so much more than jumping on your motorbike and hit the road.
Find out yourself. Ride Safe.