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Thoughts on riding alone

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Thoughts on riding alone

Old 09-13-16, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
My rides occur when my wife is at work so she doesn't know I'm gone.
My wife doesn't even know I have bike.
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Old 09-13-16, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
What does your wife think will happen to you while riding with another that would not happen while riding alone?
Her brother was killed while riding his motorcycle a few years ago. I am not saying that it is logical but since then she has a fear of me riding the bike. Personally, I do not have much fear of it as anything can and will happen at any point in time. There is some logic in numbers though. If you fall or get hit on a solo ride you have others to assist you. We live in a rural town. Our neighborhood is large but if you leave there it can get desolate in a hurry. If I leave my neighborhood there is not a business or home for a min. of 1.5 miles in one direction and 3.5 miles in the other direction. We can hit rural roads where you do not see too many cars or trucks. It is great for riding but you could get knocked off the road by a logging truck and nobody would ever know it.
I often find that any good relationship requires understanding and compromise. I know why she has that fear. I compromise by sticking to the neighborhood while alone and on my long rides I go with the group. It is not ideal but it keeps her at ease, which is most important.

Last edited by Shuffleman; 09-13-16 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 09-13-16, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Shuffleman View Post
I often find that any good relationship requires understanding and compromise. I know why she has that fear. I compromise by sticking to the neighborhood while alone and on my long rides I go with the group. It is not ideal but it keeps her at ease, which is most important.
You're a good husband
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Old 09-13-16, 02:24 PM
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Alone but its usually on easy singletrack or around town. If I break a leg in the woods I can call and it's fairly well used trails anyway. I never get passed or pass anyone but I often see people every 20 minutes or so even in the woods.
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Old 09-13-16, 02:29 PM
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I would ride alone but i just dont.
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Old 09-13-16, 02:54 PM
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I live out in the boonies. Although I prefer to ride alone, I'm not going to load up my bike and drive 30+ minutes to hook up with a club. I will ride with others if asked. Besides, I commit two major no-nos when riding, 1. no helmet, just a riding cap and 2. I listen to music wearing ear buds. So there.
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Old 09-13-16, 03:00 PM
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the garmin rear radar looks promising for us solo riders
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Old 09-13-16, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
He's too much of a gear jammer.
yeah the law doesn't want that and I am pretty sure George rides alone
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Old 09-13-16, 03:25 PM
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Alone 99% of the time on rides from 20 miles to 100+, doesn't matter if it's on the MTB or Road. Up until a year ago I never even carried a phone with me (that's some good motivation to never call for a ride). Yeah, I've crashed, got hurt, had mechanical's but it all makes you more self sufficient, figure out what you actual need to carry with you.

Look back even just 5-10 years ago, before everyone was obsessed with being in constant contact with each other. Was everyone as worried on the what ifs of every aspect of life. Remember Highway Call Boxes, you broke down, you fixed it yourself, walked to box, or just hoped that someone would help you. There was no calling the autoclub, or friends/family.

Sure cell phones have made things "safer", and really that's the only thing your getting by riding with some on unless they actually know any first aid. So I don't worry about riding alone.
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Old 09-13-16, 04:51 PM
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I ride alone almost always. I really do not explain where I am going since it could change with the wind( yes return with the wind). I take my cell phone and have a contact number if they find it and I am not mangled beyond recognition. I suppose the garmin app would be good for the wife but will that save you in the end? Being the lone ranger is great I leave when I want, go where I want, never worry who I have to please, and I can quit when I want. That comes with the price of some uncertainty in what if things go wrong.

This is where the deacon is never alone................I pray every day to ride safe and please watch over me lord...................I hope HE listens...............Things will happen................
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Old 09-13-16, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Shuffleman View Post
I often find that any good relationship requires understanding and compromise.
LOL, don't tell my wife this.

Yeah, in that situation ... the Garmin Livetrack function might help, but I bet it's pricey.

My wife is also unnecessarily fearful, but luckily seems to have adapted to my riding. I am lucky in that one respect. I'd go anyway .... but I am not as nice a husband as you.

Personally, when I go out out in the early, early morning with my machete looking for solo riders to waylay, I always go alone.
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Old 09-13-16, 05:15 PM
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2X a day year round alone on suburban roads and Mups. Also often do solo self support long weekend rides from 20 to 210 year round day or night. Podcast or NPR in one ear for the most part. Modern LED lights for the win. See and be seen.
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Old 09-13-16, 05:46 PM
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Not sure if it was mentioned or not, but there is a free app called Road ID. You can set it up so if you aren't moving for 5 minutes, it sends a text to your contact people.
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Old 09-13-16, 06:21 PM
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I tend to ride 90% alone. I also hike alone, in part because my photography habit is better done as a solo venture. One problem with some group rides is that the group dynamic can short circuit usual margins of safety and common sense; i.e. running lights. Also the competitive element can cause similar behavior, like going into unknown turns at too high a rate of speed. I saw this a couple of times on the Diabolical Double, where too much speed was carried into a blind curve and crashes resulted. I would not allow myself to get into that situation. I have ridden tens of thousands of miles solo and am intensely aware of the necessary margin of safety. Too often this margin is lessened on group rides, but I do appreciate company every so often.
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Old 09-13-16, 06:34 PM
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I find that the number of cyclists leaving my home and headed in the direction of my workplace to be shockingly low in the mornings, and the same in the other direction 9 hours later. As a result, 10 rides a week solo. Saturdays are often good fun with others, and sometimes Sundays as well, but I'm not going to lose a day of riding just because no one else came out that morning

YMMV, of course
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Old 09-13-16, 07:50 PM
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I do everything alone because people don't like me. Riding alone also gives me the benefit of being able to go my own pace, which can vary radically over the course of any ride based solely on how I feel at the time.
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Old 09-13-16, 07:56 PM
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Sometimes that's part of the point, sometimes the whole point - getting out of the house, fresh air and sunshine, two or three hours that belongs to me to do with as I will. Alone works best for that.

To be honest, riding alone is safer than in a group on the roads we deal with here.
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Old 09-13-16, 08:06 PM
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I think a distinction should be made between riding solo or unaccompanied and riding alone, as in with no one, or at least no civilization around. I'd say at least half the other people I see out riding when I go for a ride, often unaccompanied, are likewise unaccompanied. But there are usually plenty of other people around - being passed, going the other way, etc., on the road and nearby. In that sense, I don't know of people who ride really alone, but lots of people ride by themselves.

I'll ride in quiet neighborhoods and country roads, but nowhere really remote or deserted, and certainly nowhere hostile, where if something happened, some decent person wouldn't notice within moments. Riding a bike, a horse, a motorcycle; walking, running, swimming; driving, taking a bus, a train or a plane - whatever difference it might make to do it with or without the company of someone else is always the same. It's always nice to have a friend around, but even strangers will come to your aid if you need it - you just don't want to be out in the middle of nowhere by yourself, where there's no one else around. But if it's OK to walk or drive by oneself, I don't see why it wouldn't be OK to ride a bike solo, too.
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Old 09-13-16, 08:15 PM
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I ride alone for the most part (I've ridden with others maybe 10 out of 110 rides in the last year (estimates).

I ride loops up to 65 miles. I live in the country but my rides often take me to the 2 local towns, both 25+ miles from my home. I haul my MTB to a state park and ride over to a town in NC and back, that's about 15 miles each way. Most of which is either single lane paved (through the park) or single lane rocked (along the rive). I literally have ridden past where they found a dead body a few days later, the body was there when I went through. It was a murder that had been dumped there. That one was sort of eerie, the next time I rode that section. And right now there are some places that give me a weird feeling, the corn is tall and it of those roads I ride will only have a house every few miles with 7' high corn on both sides of the road, that's all you can see.

Be safe and alert.
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Old 09-13-16, 08:26 PM
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Alone. Others annoy me and I'm confident I annoy them.
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Old 09-13-16, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
Obviously the other rider would stop the car from rear ending him.
Hey Hey know.

Family forum here.
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Old 09-13-16, 08:46 PM
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I ride alone most of the time.
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Old 09-13-16, 08:48 PM
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I used to do a lot of cycling alone ... short rides, long rides and everything in between.

Possibly my longest solo non-event ride was something a little over a double century I did in Manitoba.

My longest solo events have been 600K randonnees.
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Old 09-13-16, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Z953 View Post
I ride alone along a combination of the last 18 miles of the bike trails that parallel the LA and Rio Hondo "Rivers" (they're really man-made washes). My wife said that I shouldn't ride north because she thinks that I'll get jumped by some gang-bangers. I tell her that there are numerous homeless people on the last 6 miles leading to the ocean. I started riding in early May of this year and so far no problems with gangs or the homeless.

I tell her that there are other cyclists along the part of the paths that I ride but that doesn't comfort her. The walkers, joggers and other cyclists all seem friendly so I'm not worried when I ride. I do my best to finish before it gets dark (which will be more difficult when winter is here) and just tell my wife to look for my body in running down the wash if I'm not home within two hours.
Unfortunately, it happens. I have been attacked by a meth head over in Irwindale once, but luckily I was able to get away quickly. Use caution on the river trails, especially at night.

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Old 09-13-16, 09:58 PM
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My wife and I are older cyclists living in Michigan in the U.S. During fair weather, I do 35-mile training rides 5 days per week (175 miles per week) near Lake Michigan on good asphalt roads over mostly low rolling hills. These are almost always solo. My wife and I have very different abilities and cycling goals which makes it difficult to ride outdoors together if we both want to focus on exercise. She typically rides 20 miles per ride. We've been thinking about trying a tandem but the problem with that is finding one that will allow her crank to coast while I pedal on (her knees need periodic breaks).

When we ride together, it is to enjoy each other's company, travel to see a friend or go shopping. But most of the time, we ride for exercise so the focus is on the workout, hence we must ride solo.

My daily 35-mile training rides typically begin early in the morning a little before sunrise. Most of the other riders that I see are solo also. However, I occasionally see couples and small groups---but they are the exception. Most are solo. This makes sense because we are all at very different levels. In five years of cycling in my present location, I've met less than 6 cyclists who can keep up with me for 35 miles. And maybe only 2 of these trained with a power meter, which means that my pacing with most other riders would probably be quite different even if we attempt to follow an agreed-upon plan.

During the cold months, my wife and I bring our bikes indoors and connect them to our trainers. We always ride together indoors following the same cycling workout videos (usually from the GCN YouTube channel). With the indoor trainers, we can individually adjust our effort to fit our ability while following the same training video. It is an excellent way to "ride" together and meet our individual exercise goals. Most of our indoor training uses HIIT techniques (high intensity interval training).

Originally, when we rode outdoors, we used an Endomondo app on our smart phones to log our rides. One of the features that we liked was its ability to share our progress with each other. Either of us could check to see where the other was at any given moment. But we outgrew the Endomondo app because of its limited sensor support and we've been unable to find anything else that works as well for privately sharing our location and progress during a ride. We've tried the Ride With GPS (RWGPS) app because of its excellent sensor support and great navigation features but it's "live tracking" feature is terrible (it requires you to use a browser and track from the RWGPS website---Endomondo allows you to follow each other from within the app). But RWGPS has it's share of problems, too, and has proven to not be reliable with power meters. So I'm presently using the Wahoo Fitness app which has no live sharing capability at all. Once a ride is finished, I upload it from Wahoo Fitness to the RWGPS website for further analysis. My sensor package includes a power meter, HRM and speed sensor---all connected via BLE. We've also tried using the Glympse app to monitor each others location. It worked for a while but soon developed problems and seemed to fail more often than not. Plus the duration of Glympse is too short for a longer ride like a century.

We both wish that we could find a way to monitor each other's location during a ride. If anyone knows of a reliable method, please advise. Ideally, we'd like to be able to log our ride, monitor each other's progress simultaneously during separate rides, and receive navigation cues (when riding an unfamiliar route) all from the same app or cycling computer.

The purpose for my training rides is to prepare for 100-mile century rides. My goal each year is to be a little faster than the previous year. One of the annual centuries that I do is fairly new (this year was only its 5th year) and the participation is still fairly low (350-400 cyclists). Another of the annual centuries that I do is famous and draws between 5,000 to 6,000 cyclists. These are the primary times that I share the road with lots of other cyclists. Out away from the cities, it's okay because faster riders are usually away from slower riders. Near the cities, the cycle traffic is too congested for me because of the poor skills and/or unsafe behavior of so many cyclists. It makes me glad when I can return to a less congested solo ride back home.

My area also has several triathlons each year. One is a well-known 70.3 Ironman that draws many participants. Leading up to the event, a number triathletes will ride in our area. I'll share the road with many as they acclimate to our weather and terrain. They almost always ride solo, too.

Because of the distances I ride, I carry the necessary emergency supplies to deal with flat tires and minor bike breakdowns. I also use light mountain bike shoes and pedals because the SPD cleats are recessed, allowing me to walk a mile or two if I need help but am not in a good cell phone coverage area. I'm surprised that more long-distance road cyclists don't do the same thing. It makes a lot of sense.

In summary, it seems that most outdoor cycling in my location is solo. However, during the winter months and the colder weeks of autumn and spring, many of us ride indoors in pairs or small groups with trainers.

Kind regards, RoadLight

Last edited by RoadLight; 09-13-16 at 10:02 PM.
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