I had the privilege of speaking at the Calgary and Edmonton Motorcycle shows this year during their new feature “Moto Talks”. Along with lots of other amazing motorcycle enthusiasts, we all did a 10 minute talk about something we were familiar with. As you all know by now I have branched out onto my own, hence the topic 5 things to know about riding solo.
Things I took for granted
Maybe it was my laid back nature or I had other things to do before the trips, but I never cared where we went or how we got there. It was pretty easy just to follow, stop when we stopped, ate where we ate, slept where we slept. Fast forward to 2016 when I started riding by myself, planning by myself, stopping, eating, sleeping at places by myself that I realized HOLY COW I should have paid attention more LOL
5 things to know about Riding Solo
So now I’m riding solo and as I am riding I realize I should have put a little more thought into my ride.
- Look at a map and see where it is you are going
- Determine gas stops and mileage in-between stops
- Check out if any construction is happening on your route
- Join Social Media groups in the areas you are riding; asks questions about area or if you need help along they way
- Stopping at gas station ask the locals about good places to eat, ride, sleep or sight see
- Let Someone know your route
- You may want to escape from life but it is a good idea to let at least one person know about your journey
- Check in with them or post on social media for their peace of mind
- Invest in a road side assistance plan; know the details of it; like how many towing kms it has or fuel limits
- Purchase a Medical Data Carrier from AMSS; a helmet sticker with all your emergency contact info and medical alerts **The Medical Data Carriers will be available to purchase after February 1, 2019**
- Know your Strengths & Weaknesses
- Plan for the Worst and Hope for the Best
- Pack an actual map with you, incase you have no cell phone service
- Ride to your ability; until you get too comfortable then take it up a notch
- Be comfortable talking to strangers, asking questions and listening to what they have to say
- Learn Basic Motorcycle Maintenance
- Be sure to pack your manual and tool kit with you
- Pack extra Bungee Cords… they do save lives
- Watch YouTube “how to” videos before you go
- Do your walk around every morning
- Be Yourself; Enjoy the ride
- Take time to think, dream, heal, laugh, cry and discover things about the country and yourself
- Trust your gut feeling; it will never lead you astray
- Journal about your experience, make notes of places you want to see next time or NOT see
- Take selfies or ask people to take your picture for you, no one ever turns that down
Remember that riding solo
- You can go WHERE you want
- You can stop WHEN you want
- You can stop as many times as YOU want
- You will never be left behind or felt rushed
Addicted to Riding Solo
Over the past 2 years I have put on more solo miles than group miles and I will say it is a total different ride. I quite enjoy both but they are 2 totally different styles of riding. You can travel at whatever speed you like, stop and take as many damn pictures of some bizarre thing on the side of the road you want or sleep in and get going when you get going.
I recall one of my trips back to Manitoba in 2018, my younger bother (Shane) came with me, I set my cruise at 124km just enjoying the ride. We were riding into a city I was doing my thing, changing lanes, perhaps running a yellow light, squeeze into an opening. It was at the moment I realized Shane was riding with me and he didn’t quite make the same moves as I did… oops! It has been a few hundred miles since I rode with someone else and as much as I love my big little brother I forgot about him!!
So I tried to be more mindful of him and I only forgot about him a few times in the 1100km we rode that day.
Miles N Smiles
Whether you always ride by yourself or are trying it for the first time, the one thing I will guarantee, it will be an amazing, learning, memorable ride!
Ride Safe & Have Fun