Together or alone, that sounds like a line in a melodramatic TV series. The conventional concept is woman is a social creature. We like to talk, and in school-days, we usually go to the bathroom together as if we were in a little group. Riding alone seems impossible for us. Do we have to ride with partners? The answer is no.
They always say that riding in a group is much better and safer than riding alone. But to be honest, I prefer riding alone. That’s probably because of my personality, but the benefits of riding alone are attractive.
The benefits of cycling alone
You can ride your own ride
One of the problems of riding in a group is you must keep up with the group’s level. If you are in a professional group, maybe that’s good for your training, you’ll always feel exhausted and nervous on the biking trip.
When I was riding with my roommates, I always had to keep up with their pace or wait for them. Besides that, I had to concern their safety problem, because I was the one to bring up the idea of cycling. When I was riding alone, I didn’t have to think too much. I can stop whenever I want; I can go anywhere without noticing other people or telling them which corner to take. I’m totally free.
Riding alone enables you to sense your breathing, heart rate, pace and effort and you are free to alter these variables much more so than in a group.
You can enjoy the quietness on the tripsunset
Riding can be a meditative trip if you approach in a certain way. It might be the quietest hours in your busy day. On the trip, you don’t have to talk to anybody; you can enjoy your own quiet time, and consider things that you have never thought before, such as your future, your ideal partner, etc.
When I was riding alone, I noticed many types of scenery that I used to ignore before. This is a picture of sunset which was taken on the day of May 9th. And I really enjoyed the quietness on the way. It really refreshed me.
Confidence in self-sufficiency
When you start to do cycling on your own, you’ll become conscious of being self-sufficient with food, water, equipment and other necessities. Riding alone does force upon a cyclist the awareness to pack all the essential gear for riding and in doing so creates a sense of confidence and a "can do" attitude when things go awry.
This is your own adventure
Like I said before, this is all about you. You can choose the destination and make the plan on your own without concerning others. Therefore you can also choose to take an adventure to a mountain or somewhere rural. By riding alone, you can make those left, right or straight ahead decisions in the moment and really go nuts with it!
5 Tips for cycling alone
Make preparation ahead of time
Though you are doing solo cycling, you still need to make a good preparation for it. Find out your destination and planning first. Are you going to do a short biking trip like 20km or a long-distance cycling? If you are going to do a long-distance cycling, how are you going to figure out your accommodation? Settle all these problems and list a specific schedule for your trip, because no one will be your company on the trip.
Text your skill level
If you haven’t experienced touring by bike before, we strongly recommend you to join a group until you are familiar with the whole process. If you have done it before and want a more challenging destination, an organized group likely makes sense as the leader can deal with the issues of the culture.
Pick the right bike for you and be familiar with it
Choose the bike that fits your weight and height. Try to ride it to see if it’s comfortable for you. And then get familiar with your bike. Even though it’s unlikely that you’ll have to repair your bike on the road, it is helpful if you know how to change a tire or repair the chain. It would be much easier to ask other riders if you are in a group. However, you’re doing solo cycling, a bit of knowledge could be very useful.
Choose a suitable tent
If you are going to do lots of camping, go to an outdoor show before you set off so that you can properly try out various tents available. By trying them out for size you will be able to see whether you prefer tunnel or cross-over tents and if you’d be okay with a one person tent or (like Astrid) would prefer a roomier two person tent.
Remember to take your cellphone, cash and identity card
These things are necessities for long-distance cycling. As for short-term riding, it is also of great vital to bring them. I remembered that I did a riding of 20km the other night. I was very familiar with the destination, but I still brought my purse, cellphone and all kinds of cards with me. By the time I arrived at the destination, I could just buy another bottle of water and some food to supplement, and I got on the subway and came home easily. In addition, if there are emergencies, you can call your friends or families for help.
No matter which kinds of cycling you choose, solo cycling or group cycling, I hope you'll enjoy your trip.