“I am not what I think I am. I am not what you think I am. I am, what I think you think I am”. Take your time and go over that sentence once again! That is was I did when I recently came across this saying (Credits to Jay Shetty).
In our everyday life, we are constantly juggling between what we won’t to do and what society expects us to! Similarly when you go for a group ride, you have to be open to alter your plans, you riding style or sometimes even the destination. And this may turn your ride into not so pleasant experience.
There are certain days when you stop thinking about “log kya kahenge?” and try to live life on your terms. Such days fill you up with new enthusiasm so that you are ready to go back and be part of the society. Similarly, solo rides brings you closer to your self, give you an opportunity understand yourself better and then ride back home with clear mind and happy heart. Solo rides are just about you and your bike spending quality time together and creating memories. I hope this article interests not only to beginners but also seasoned riders. Read On.
1. Planning: For solo rides, traveling is like an open canvas. It could be scary if you are not used to traveling (may be not all by yourself) or a boon if you are a hippie! The ride plan could be as simple as meeting your family or dear friends residing in another city.
2. Start: Leave right way, late at night or early in the morning. You don’t have to worry about other riding buddies getting ready on time for the ride. Moreover, not everybody feels energetic\enthusiastic at the same time of the day!
2. Speed: Our riding groups mostly consist of folks who either ride slower or faster than us. It is very rare that we have somebody who rides with same pace as yours. Even such buddy exists, his availability and interest for the coming ride is always questionable. With slow riders, you constantly feel chained and you cannot ride with the speed your capable and comfortable with. With fast riders, you struggle to keep up with them many a times risking your own life. On solo rides, go slow, go fast when you feel like, where you feel like.
3. Breaks: There are times when you start enjoying the ride and just then your rider buddy wants to take pee break. It gets tough when you have folks who need tea-sutta break every 50 km. On solo rides, you can rides till your heart content and till your body supports you. Or take breaks as many times you want.
4. Time with yourself: Riding bike for me has one major benefit, I stay away from my phone. Which invariably means I am of the social media\instant messaging for much longer time than usual days. It is on such rides that I get a chance to review and arrange my thoughts. Since I am very bad with meditation, I have to choose riding instead.
6. Connect with your bike: You won’t believe how much you will learn about the characteristics of your bike on a solo ride. You will discover certain aspects of it which you usually will not recognize otherwise. Moreover, at solo trips your bike is your only companion. At such times your realize that it feels behaves more like a living thing than few metals parts put together. It communicates but you should pay attention. More importantly, you need to trust your bike that it will get you back home without any trouble. Since you won’t have a buddy along with you who will help you or get help when surprises show up. It is also a test of your machine, how well you know it and how well you maintain it.
7. A great learning experience for beginners: I was not aware of leisurely motorcycle trips until I did this solo stint. This bike trip to and fro between Pune -Hyderabad gave me an insight into this now world and opportunity to understand myself as a biker. I learned my limits, my comfortable pace and more importantly I learned about the characteristics of my bike. It is this solid foundation that helps me when I plan my rides and when I take them, either solo or with a group.
8. Challenge and Boredom: If the above 7 points get you excited to go for a ride right away, then bear mind the tough part of solo rides. Firstly, on long trips, you start feeling lonely and then your mind starts playing tricks. You might feel quitting the ride altogether. As I said earlier, it can turn out to be a very uncomfortable situation for a few. I was no different. The only way I can survive such is to ride for a goal. Goal such as visiting friends or family or a place that you had parked in your bucket list. And remember, you yourself and the bike needs to be in their best condition and this preparation usually starts weeks before the trip. This time decreases as you complete more trips.
We have technology such as WhatsApp’s and Google map’s live location sharing. Use this to keep you family and friends informed. Keep updating them with your location and safety. I think these points are enough for you to get going. Wherever you ride, whatever you ride, don’t forget have a great time with you bike. Ciao!