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Thoughts on riding alone

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Thoughts on riding alone

Old 09-13-16, 11:09 AM
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Shuffleman
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Thoughts on riding alone

How many of you ride alone?
I ride alone in my neighborhood and can get a nice 10 mile loop in. I would say that I never ride alone outside of my neighborhood but that is not entirely true. I ride from my house to the shop for our Sat. group ride. It is about 3.5 miles. My wife really hates me riding alone outside of the neighborhood so I do not for her sake, for the most part. We have a new guy riding with us on Sat. that is in town for 4 months on a project. He takes his bike with him as he travels but stated that he never rides alone for safety reasons. This just got me curious. Am I the norm or do more of you hit the open streets alone?
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Old 09-13-16, 11:14 AM
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I ride alone, cause I prefer to be by myself.
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Old 09-13-16, 11:16 AM
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I ride alone, mostly on the MUP. I don't ever leave town, however, if doing actual road riding. I'm a bit interested to find out about others as well.
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Old 09-13-16, 11:17 AM
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I ride alone on my commutes and for rides up to 30 miles and I prefer to ride alone. On rides over 30 miles I would rather do so with at least one other or as part of supported group ride. Perhaps to alleviate your wife's concern consider getting one of the Garmin bike computers that have a real time ride sharing feature, so your wife can look on the computer and/or smartphone and see where you are and making progress. Just a thought.
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Old 09-13-16, 11:21 AM
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Nevermind.

Last edited by nycphotography; 09-13-16 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 09-13-16, 11:38 AM
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Long ago, we lived in Colorado, and I really got into hiking. Before we moved, I had been up the 20 highest peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park, for example. One bit of advice I read over and over was "Never hike alone!" What I never read was who the heck I was supposed to be hiking with. None of my friends, relatives, or coworkers ever did anything like that. So I spent hours and hours hiking alone.


The same thing applies to bicycling. I prefer not to ride alone, but for daily rides, don't have any alternatives. If I ride my 20-mile loop/out-and-back, I generally don't see any other cyclists. If I ride down to White Rock Lake, there's other cyclists down there, but not on the route to and from.


On randonneuring rides, it just depends. Usually there, I'm riding a tandem and automatically have somebody with me. Otherwise, it just depends on the pace. And I've done a lot of 200k and 300k rides partially or entirely solo.


Maybe you live in some place where it's ten times more dangerous than it is here. More likely, your wife just likes to worry.


For what it's worth, several years back, I was looking at the safety aspects of cycling. The government has good statistics on how many miles people drive and how many people get killed in cars. They have good statistics on how many bicycles are sold and on how many people get killed on bicycles. What they DON'T have is good statistics for how many miles people actually ride on bicycles. So you can't get precise numbers for the accident rate per mile. But per the best guesses of bicycle use, the hazard per HOUR is about the same as the hazard per HOUR of driving. Well, nobody says "Don't drive alone" and if somebody gets killed in a car wreck, all their friends drive to the funeral and don't think anything about it. So a lot of the difference there is in perception, not reality.


Similarly, in all my hiking, if there is not anybody anywhere close, that seems creepy. But the biggest hazard is actually people, not bears, not mountain lions, etc., so when there is nobody around, you're actually safer than you are walking through downtown Dallas.


There are some things you can do to improve safety- high visibility colors, reflective gear at night, rearview mirror, carry cell phone, etc.- once you've done that, go ride and enjoy and don't worry about it.
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Old 09-13-16, 11:39 AM
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What does your wife think will happen to you while riding with another that would not happen while riding alone?
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Old 09-13-16, 11:39 AM
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I always ride alone. I live fairly rural, and don't know anyone else that rides. The closest club ride is over 50 miles from me.

I routinely ride 50+ miles on the weekends and usually 20 to 30 during the week after work. I don't know your wife's particular worries, but getting the Road ID app might help ease her mind somewhat.
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Old 09-13-16, 11:41 AM
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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?
Obviously the other rider would stop the car from rear ending him.
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Old 09-13-16, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Shuffleman View Post
How many of you ride alone?
I ride alone in my neighborhood and can get a nice 10 mile loop in. I would say that I never ride alone outside of my neighborhood but that is not entirely true. I ride from my house to the shop for our Sat. group ride. It is about 3.5 miles. My wife really hates me riding alone outside of the neighborhood so I do not for her sake, for the most part. We have a new guy riding with us on Sat. that is in town for 4 months on a project. He takes his bike with him as he travels but stated that he never rides alone for safety reasons. This just got me curious. Am I the norm or do more of you hit the open streets alone?
Probably 85% of my rides are solo, though a lot of them involve routes where I can reasonably expect to see at least a few other cyclists during the ride. I've been on 60+ mile solo rides several hours from home without issue.

Sure, bad things can happen (see my "angry drivers" thread from last week) but my wife knows I just can't limit myself to group rides or rides around our immediate area without going crazy.

I returned late from a morning ride once because of a double flat, and for some reason I didn't see her calling my phone which I carry so she ended up calling the local hospitals fearing I'd been hit and brought in. Little panic attack and she wasn't happy with me for not seeing my phone and rolling in almost an hour after she expected me.

Since then I've set Cyclemeter (my GPS tracking app on my iphone) to email her with updates every 15 minutes while I'm out riding, it lets her see if I've stopped moving for some reason and haven't called her, and where I am.
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Old 09-13-16, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
I ride alone, cause I prefer to be by myself.
Every morning just before breakfast
I don't want no coffee or tea
Just me and my Trek
That's all I ever need
'Cause I ride alone, yeah
With nobody else
Yeah, you know when I ride alone
I prefer to be by myself
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Old 09-13-16, 11:48 AM
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99% of my rides (which is 3-4 days a week) is with a group.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday we tend to call them training rides.
Saturdays we go all out.
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Old 09-13-16, 11:48 AM
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I always feel a bit uneasy riding alone on some streets and believe there's a lot of advantages riding with a group as opposed to alone. I almost always ride alone and here in Central Florida we have endless miles of rails to trails bike paths or mup's that aren't too busy, I can leave my house and get on the West Orange Trail and go nearly 70 miles round trip without too many distractions depending on the day/time I choose to go. Because of that convenience I simply choose to stay off the roads unless necessary or with a group.
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Old 09-13-16, 11:50 AM
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I never ride with anyone---Especially myself.
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Old 09-13-16, 11:57 AM
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Just a note: the OP didn't ask for any opinions about his wife and their relationship. I think that's pretty rude. He also didn't ask for any condescending remarks and attitudes.

This is why so many new users get turned off about this place - bad attitudes, surly dispositions, rudeness, arrogance, and insulting remarks. Unnecessary, people.
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Old 09-13-16, 11:58 AM
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I ride alone almost exclusively. Its a nice time to have peace and quiet by myself (so to speak)

If your wife is worried, then you can get a Garmin device or premium Strava, which has live update so she can check your whereabout in real time.

You can also let her know your route, how long it should take you and maybe drive her to run the route if its possible so she knows whats going on.
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Old 09-13-16, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by BillyD View Post
Just a note: the OP didn't ask for any opinions about his wife and their relationship. I think that's pretty rude. He also didn't ask for any condescending remarks and attitudes.

This is why so many new users get turned off about this place - bad attitudes, surly dispositions, rudeness, arrogance, and insulting remarks. Unnecessary, people.
What about vague innuendo towards 80s music?
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Old 09-13-16, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
I ride alone, cause I prefer to be by myself.
Is that really true, or is it just because George Thorogood won't ride with you?
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Old 09-13-16, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
What about vague innuendo towards 80s music?
That's ok. George Thorogood FTW.
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Old 09-13-16, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Gasser5.2 View Post
Is that really true, or is it just because George Thorogood won't ride with you?
He's too much of a gear jammer.
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Old 09-13-16, 12:12 PM
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I ride both solo and in groups. A couple of times I was a bit worried while riding on a lonely country road - what if I fall/get sick and can't ride or walk? But I thought probably someone would come by in 1 or 2 hours and help me. Maybe I'm reckless, but I like the feeling of riding alone on a dirt road in the country.
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Old 09-13-16, 12:13 PM
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Sometimes I like to chit chat, sometimes not. If I don't want to chit chat, solo is great. If I do want to chit chat, I find my conversations with myself to be quite interesting, so solo is great there, too.
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Old 09-13-16, 12:15 PM
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It depends. I ride 3 days a week with a buddy, and if I'm lucky I can make one of the local group rides. Now that it's soccer season, that's not very likely so if I'm riding on the weekend, it's at Zero Dark Thirty by myself.
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Old 09-13-16, 12:16 PM
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Safety reasons?
Are those the same reasons people have for driving their kids six blocks to school in massive SUVs?
Is it really that dangerous where you live?
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Old 09-13-16, 12:16 PM
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Solo ride time = chance to catch up on podcasts and/or news.

Hopefully I didn't just open a can of worms by referencing riding with an earbud in.
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