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Frequency of riding alone

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Frequency of riding alone

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Old 03-09-15, 02:22 PM
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Frequency of riding alone

I know all the possible dangers and downsides to riding alone, and it's always recommended to ride with someone else when you can, but if I didn't ride alone, I'd almost NEVER ride. I ride alone 99% of the time. Aside from everybody's crazy schedules these days with their kids, work, etc. I just don't have very many folks to ride with(I know a bunch of roadies though…). And….frankly I should add, I LIKE riding alone. I like the solitude and quiet--clears the head.
I always tell the misses where I'm riding, and (most always) let her know in a timely fashion when I've emerged from the trail. I carry the usual ID, phone, emergency info, first-aid, plenty of water, and so on...

I'm still a noob though, and just wondering if I'm the norm, or do other folks really ride most of the time WITH someone else? I just don't see myself pulling that together, given the above (in particular my penchant for peace and quiet.

Just curious….
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Old 03-09-15, 02:31 PM
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I ride alone at least 95% of the time, and the other 5% are generally times I've gotten there and run into some folks at the trailhead so I join in with them. I like the quiet, and I like being able to speed up or slow down at my own pace. I've ridden in groups on the road that are fine, but it takes a lot of effort. Not that I don't want to be social, but people sometimes drive me crazy.

We have a dry erase board on the refrigerator at the house. I always write down which trailhead I'm parking at and what trails I intend to ride by the end of the day, in order if I can. It may look like this --

Campground trailhead -- park
Trail #1 - 1 hour
Trail #2 - 30 minutes
Trail #3 or #4 - 1 hour
Back to trailhead on gravel camp road - 15 minutes

It may be overdoing it, but I have also used to go run on the same trails. A few years back I didn't have to be at work until afternoon. I dropped my kid off at school and drove straight to the trailhead. Completely forgot to tell anyone other than my son where I was going, and my wife and other son were out of town. 2 miles out into the woods I fell. Rolled down the hill. Busted my phone to pieces (and there was no service either way). Cut up my arms and legs and was pretty sore, but I jogged the 2 miles back to the car and made it in to work about 10 minutes late. It scared me a bit, so I started writing it down.
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Old 03-09-15, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by BrendonSmall View Post
I ride alone at least 95% of the time, and the other 5% are generally times I've gotten there and run into some folks at the trailhead so I join in with them.
That's pretty much the only way I end up riding with someone else! I like that actually, you don't feel like you have to stick together if the skill levels are really different, or you want to take off and explore a different trail...

Anyhow, I think you're dry erase board idea is great, and not overkill at all. I could be a lot more thorough like that, especially during the week when there's not the usual army of hikers out there who might stumble across me.
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Old 03-10-15, 07:29 AM
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I am in the 99+% alone riding. This is an escape for me. Plus, I am slow and I do not care to keep up with anyone. I have lost a bit over 50 pounds by bringing biking back into my life.
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Old 03-10-15, 10:22 PM
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I ride about 95% alone, too. Most of my road routes are commuting to my part-time job (I'm retired) or on a few of my gravel grinder routes which are designated as 20, 30, or 40 mile rides. I always tell my wife where I'm headed or I leave a note - mostly for her assurance. My mountain bike rides are on trails that see enough traffic that there would usually be someone passing by if something happened. Plus, I alway have the phone with me.
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Old 03-11-15, 03:45 AM
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My riding is something like 90% solo. When I'm out by myself, I use the tracking feature of the bicycle app on my phone to send my location every minute or so to a web-based map that my family/friends can access by clicking on an email link. They always know where I am. I've told them that if it shows no movement for a half-hour or so, start calling (I'm 72 years old)

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Old 03-11-15, 02:28 PM
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Historically, I ride alone on trails about 90% of the time. My brother-in-law rides with me now and then, and by himself probably 90% of his trail rides.

I ride with family about 30-40% of the time on bike paths.


This year, I'm bringing my 8 year-old on the trails, but we haven't started yet. All the snow melted last weekend and it's drying out, so I'll report back in a few months as to how much he's going with me.
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Old 03-11-15, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
This year, I'm bringing my 8 year-old on the trails, but we haven't started yet. All the snow melted last weekend and it's drying out, so I'll report back in a few months as to how much he's going with me.
I take my almost 10-year old with me sometimes--started when he was 8. He started out quite enthusiastic but for whatever reason, unfortunately it's tapered off and he's just not that into it now (maybe he got sick of me giving him pointers on the trail Thought I'd have a regular riding partner in the family but no such luck!
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Old 03-12-15, 08:03 AM
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Maybe I am "odd" but I often ride alone in very remote locations and don't tell anyone - I am 48 no children and have been through the **** so maybe that is part of it. Where I ride cell coverage is iffy at best. Don't get me wrong - I am no survivalist - But, I do have a little Ojibwa in me and was raised in the sticks. If I were riding out west I am sure I would take more precautions - the desert/mountains are something not native to me. Enjoy the journey!
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Old 03-13-15, 06:56 AM
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I do not have any second thoughts about riding alone but the trails I ride have a lot of traffic so someone would definitely ride by and see me if something happened. If it was a remote trail that I was unfamiliar with I would not do it.
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Old 03-13-15, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by spdracr39 View Post
I do not have any second thoughts about riding alone but the trails I ride have a lot of traffic so someone would definitely ride by and see me if something happened. If it was a remote trail that I was unfamiliar with I would not do it.
Totally off topic - but I noticed you live in ARK spdracr39 - Me and some buds are going there for our annual mtb trip in May. What are some of the must do trails to hit? I am not certain what part of the state we are going to but I assume where the most trails are. thanks
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Old 03-13-15, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by KJL View Post
Totally off topic - but I noticed you live in ARK spdracr39 - Me and some buds are going there for our annual mtb trip in May. What are some of the must do trails to hit? I am not certain what part of the state we are going to but I assume where the most trails are. thanks
Depending on what part of the state you go to there are several. Here in Central Arkansas the best trails are at Camp Robinson. You need a pass but they sell a 3 day one now. 42 miles of beginner to advanced and meticulously maintained by the local trail alliance. Just south west of here are the Epic Lovit (Vista) trail at Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs and Womble at Lake Degray. Also for a fun fast single track you can't beat Cedar Glades in Hot Springs. Our biggest and most advanced Epic trails in the state are the Syllamo trails at Mountain View. Look up the Syllamo's Revenge race for an idea of the terrain. Only advanced riders should ride these. There is a great website MTBproject.com that has great maps of trails all over the country and all of these are listed on there. Good Luck and have a GREAT Ride !!
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Old 03-13-15, 10:15 AM
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The vast majority of my MTB riding is done solo. I always carry my phone and such with me, of course, and there are usually several other folks out on the trails any time I go, so I'm not too worried. Still, I realize there is a certain degree of risk, but I'm willing to accept that.
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Old 03-15-15, 03:56 PM
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I often ride alone and many week days I am the only rider out there. I carry all the appropriate gear and a cell phone with the sounds OFF.
Remote ? 3 to 7 miles out ? Izzat remote ? I don't know, don't really care.

I don't feel the need to do all those smart things like use a chalk board or make sure someone's watching for my return.
If I don't come back from a ride one day, oh well,,

I figure they can find me by watching for circling buzzards above my carcass
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Old 03-16-15, 04:37 PM
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I ride alone quite a bit. I have a spot tracker which I fit to my handlebars. I suppose if I hit my head it might not be able to see the sky, but I used to carry it on my back, so in order to be saved I had to lie face down in the snow/dirt/mud/rocks. I figure that's an improvement
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Old 03-24-15, 09:17 AM
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Thanks for the great info - looks sweet - cannot wait!
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Old 03-24-15, 10:19 AM
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I'm in the ride alone club for sure. 99% of my MTB rides are alone. However, most of my MTB rides are on county maintained trails and my wife knows where I ride. If I don't show up at night, she would call 911 and it wouldn't take long to find me. Still, I don't try some obsticles that might be risky. I fell and broke a rib a few years ago, not fun. I carry a cell and I always carry at least one pepper spray, sometimes two, strongly recommend cause you never know when a wild dog or animal needs a meal and you're it.
I ride alone on trails because I like it that way. I like the solitude and relaxation mountain biking provides. I like it because it forces you to concentrate on the trail, if you don't you just ran off and hit a tree or boulder. That concentration blocks out the days problems while endorphins build up. At the end, the euphoric feeling is really uplifting.

Funny, when I'm on the roadie, I ride in a pace line 80% of the time or in a structured ride 10% of the time. Only 10% or rides are solo with no support.
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Old 03-25-15, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by pbass View Post
I know all the possible dangers and downsides to riding alone, and it's always recommended to ride with someone else when you can, but if I didn't ride alone, I'd almost NEVER ride. I ride alone 99% of the time. Aside from everybody's crazy schedules these days with their kids, work, etc. I just don't have very many folks to ride with(I know a bunch of roadies though…). And….frankly I should add, I LIKE riding alone. I like the solitude and quiet--clears the head.
I always tell the misses where I'm riding, and (most always) let her know in a timely fashion when I've emerged from the trail. I carry the usual ID, phone, emergency info, first-aid, plenty of water, and so on...

I'm still a noob though, and just wondering if I'm the norm, or do other folks really ride most of the time WITH someone else? I just don't see myself pulling that together, given the above (in particular my penchant for peace and quiet.

Just curious….
I used to ride alone about 50% of the time. I enjoyed to quiet and being able to ride at my own pace. However, one faithful day I was "that guy". I had a bad crash and broke my collar bone into five pieces. It was late October, cold, no one else was out on the trail system, and it would be dark in about an hour (I live in Michigan and was out "training" for Iceman). The pain was excruciating and I was a long way from my car. I then had to walk out of the woods (pushing my bike) and hitchhiked to the hospital. My wife was not happy (she told me not to go alone that day ). I no longer ride alone.
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Old 03-25-15, 08:04 AM
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Has everyone seen this? Automated crash sensors: ICEdot | ICEdot Crash Sensor

The basic icedot URL & SMS phone number were included with my Bell Super 2R helmet, and I saw the sensor when I created my account.
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Old 03-26-15, 04:11 PM
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99% alone. A bad crash resulting in me giving the wrong directions to the S.O. means I always leave a note telling where I'm going & when I return. Some longer rides she tracks me on find my iPhone.
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Old 03-26-15, 05:35 PM
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"He savored those few hours of freedom and solitude"

A breeze In my face,
Total focus on the trail ahead,
Must not forget to duck under that massive rusty jagged edge 12" steel pipe on Spider berm,
The bike begins to vanish beneath me,
I now hear only my breathing,
I'm going into the flow now, the rollers take no energy from me,
I'm pumping the bike without thinking about it,
My speed comes up, there is safety in speed, the faster you go the safer you are when your in the flow...

I seek only to master the, 'Flow'

In this I am smooth, I am silent, I am using no energy now,,,

Then,,

Damn the single track suddenly ends !

A small group of riders sitting next to their bikes,
heads down, chests heaving, sucking water and spitting, flushed faces,,
,
,
Never get off the bike, rest ON the bike,,
,
Going for another lap


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Old 03-28-15, 12:36 PM
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I ride alone 90% of the time. I also enjoy the piece and quiet of being alone and clearing my head. I try to be smart about what I do. I always tell my wife where I am going. I put a rear rack on my bike and I carry extra supplies with me for the "just in case scenario". While it is impossible to plan for everything I do what I can and I go. I accept the risk b/c of the reward I get for what I do. I just enjoy it too much NOT to go. So get out there and ride. Be safe!!
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Old 03-29-15, 01:58 PM
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Another to join the group of alone riders. And I too carry a phone. It's actually the one item I carry On my person rather than in my hydration pack. I want to make sure that I have every chance possible to get to it if something does happen. I also carry some basic first aid stuff in the pack for a minor spill. I've used that stuff before on a pretty good sized/depth arm scrape. And I too let my girlfriend know where I'm going before I leave.
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Old 03-29-15, 02:08 PM
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I ride alone the vast majority of the time. One of the key considerations I use when considering the risk of riding alone, is traffic volume. If you're riding a somewhat popular trail during the day, there's little added risk to being alone, because someone will be coming by within a few minutes anyway.

OTOH, if you're riding a very secluded, or rarely used trail, or are the last person on it late in the afternoon, it can be hours or until the next day or even a week before anybody happens by, and you have to be ready to manage 100% solo. This isn't to say that riding lonely places solo is stupid and shouldn't be done, only that you have to factor likelihood and consequences into the decision.

These days, they make personal emergency locator beacons, similar to those used at sea for years, so that's an option if riding in isolation. Also, if there's a ranger or park gate attendant, let them know where you'll be riding, and most important --- please --- tell them when you're leaving.
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Old 03-30-15, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
Another to join the group of alone riders. And I too carry a phone. It's actually the one item I carry On my person rather than in my hydration pack.
+1. I keep my phone in my shorts, so even if I couldn't get my pack off, etc., I'd have a better chance of accessing the phone. Everything else goes in the pack.
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