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  1. #1
    Customer Support LeftCoast's Avatar
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    Default Long Solo Trips - What Did You Learn About Yourself?

    So at the moment no immediate family members are interested in riding. My brother does but he’s in Colorado and about to move to Berlin. My solo rides have all been short so far but a few have been long enough where I have enough idle brain cycles to consider “life”. It got me to thinking about a former coworker that did a 3 week solo trip to Alaska each year to clear his head and I started to wonder what you long time riders contemplate and discover when only in the company of your own thoughts. How beautiful this planet is? How wonderful it is to do it alone or to share it? Roads not taken in life or roads taken?

    For me it is the beautiful world we live in juxtaposed by the anger we have in too many cases with differing viewpoints that prevent us finding a better world for everyone because when you get to travel it, it’s a beautiful marvel and perhaps the only meaningful things we do in life are to help others. I have also learned though that amid my many failings I have done good things and there is more good to do still. Find a purpose that matters, gather with friends you cherish and invite new ones into that circle, and without your health money and everything else is secondary.

    Bless you all and I hope I run across you, even for a wave, someday!

    Cheers!

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  2. #2
    Very Active Member canamjhb's Avatar
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    I did 10-day solo trips every spring before I retired. This lasted 12-15 years Managed to squeeze out an extra day or two and with weekends only had to declare 5 days vacation time. I was riding Goldwings then. I packed a sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and small tent. They never got used. I lived in Seattle and when I left for my trip, I just looked at which direction the weather looked best and that's where I headed. Absolutely no itinerary. I wandered all over the western US and Canada. Met a lot of nice people. Never had any problem getting motel rooms when I was ready to stop. I did stop early each day usually around 4 PM. After the first day or two, I got into a routine that became very serene and comfortable. I usually traveled 2500-3000 miles each trip.

    Since then, I have done many group rides as well as rides with my better half. They have all been great. But for a non-stressful time on the road and to clear the head, nothing beats a few days on the road solo..... Jim
    Platinum Silver Satin 2014 RTL, Driver Backrest. Baha Ron Bar, Elka Shocks, Hiway pegs, Lighted Bump Skid, Centramatic Wheel Balancers, Wide Vu Mirrors, Third Tail/Brake light, Missing Belt Guard, Federal Formoza front and General Altimax rear tires, Squared Away, Mirror turn signals, Vibration Damper, Magnetic Mirrors, Matching RT622 Trailer.....Semper Fi....

    .]

  3. #3
    Very Active Member BLUEKNIGHT911's Avatar
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    I now ride almost exclusively solo ie. alone..... no passengers , no buddies. ….. I don't prefer this but it is what it is ….. I find it relaxing unless on a very challenging road, where paying attention is a must …… I have a couple of local loops 10 to 15 miles on back roads which are not all paved but kept in very good condition..... When the weather is mild , I often just stop what I'm doing , hop on the RT and go ….. I'm retired and know I am very, very fortunate to have this ability / opportunity...…...….. ride safe - ride happy ….. Mike

  4. #4
    Active Member mcalva's Avatar
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    I have done a lot of kilometers in solitary but I did them when I was still working and then you try to do many km in a
    short time and you did not enjoy the trip.
    There is time to think about everything. Memories, mistakes, future, laughter, boredom, songs ......
    Now that I am retired and have time (I hope ;-)) I make the trips of two or three days, alone or with my wife, with shorter
    daily distances but enjoying the landscape, the gastronomy and the company.
    When I need it, I go out alone to ride where I call "my bedside routes" not very long but of spectacular layout and landscape.
    I live in a privileged place with the sea and the mountains just 2 or 3 km away and next to a "natural park"
    I have "sine die" pending a route from Barcelona (Spain) to Nordkapp (Norway), alone or accompanied.

  5. #5
    Very Active Member oldgoat's Avatar
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    I miss my wife!
    2008 GS SM5, Full Moon Silver

  6. #6
    Very Active Member Bob Denman's Avatar
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    I can get "lost in my own thoughts" in a trip to the bathroom... It's even worse on a trip halfway across the Country!
    Paying attention to traffic around me is the first priority... Then: the road conditions...
    Followed by the Weather, what's on the radio, are my shorts riding up>, what do those clouds remind me of" (usually Dragons...), When is my next fuel stop?, Will I be able to get food there?, What do I want to eat? Gee: I'd love some bacon!

  7. #7
    Active Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Great question, Left Coast; thanks for posting it:

    Approaching 80 years now... have travelled solo often, and been many, many miles... in various parts of the World... lots of time to ponder the mysteries of life.....

    If I had my druthers and could do it over, I'd slow down somewhat, not rush past things. Should have taken more side roads, done the 'scenic' route more often, rather than rushing straight through to the next town on the list. Should have done more miles with a companion or two, and benefitted from their insights/friendship along the way.

    Too soon we grow old; too late we get smart!!!

    Your observation that the beauty of this World is so often blinded to our eyes by the angst and divisiveness amongst us is all too true. Only those who are able to see/think outside themselves are ever able to truly appreciate the wider beauty of all the different tastes, sights, smells, sounds, colors this universe offers.

    So, here's my wave/salute back to you, whether we cross paths on our bikes, or not. Happy and safe riding.
    [SIGPIC]
    2017 F3 Ltd. Intense Red Pearl/Metallic Black topside

  8. #8
    aka: akspyderman ARtraveler's Avatar
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    Default

    Solo riding is a time for contemplation, enjoyment of the surroundings, and hopefully getting rid of the cares of the world. In the days before communicators were in vogue, spouse and I would drive hundreds of miles, enjoying the quiet.

    The most recent 4,400 mile trip from AK to AR was done in a cage. Eight days of being alone would have caught up with me. The scenery was beautiful, but glad I was able to share those things with Linda.

    I guess there is something to be said about both sides.

    Currently Owned: 2011 RT A&C SE5 (magnesium), 2014 RTS-SE6 (yellow), 2015 Vulcan 900 LTD

    Previously : 2008 GS-SM5 (silver), 2009 RS-SE5 (red), 2010 RT-S Premier Editon #474 (black) Pictures of 2008 and 2009 Spyders are in Alaska Albums 2009 and 2010.
    5 Spyders, 10 years, 145,375 miles


  9. #9
    Active Member MonPaul's Avatar
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    I got rid of my bike a few years ago and didn't miss it until I left a big city and moved out into the country. So that's when the Spyder came along and now I just enjoy exploring back roads and seeing where they go! I will tell myself "that looks like a good road to get lost on" and I usually do

  10. #10
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    What did I learn about myself? Mostly, I rediscover myself and my sense of self-confidence, resiliency and self-sufficiency, which tends to get lost in the daily challenge of constantly negotiating social relationships and 'fitting in'. The need for that has greatly diminished since retiring to rural Utah.

    2014 RTL Platinum & 2014 RTL Cognac
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  11. #11
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    I used to do about 30 days and run from 12,000 to 15,000 alone every summer. I learned that digital pictures are a lot easier and cheaper than the old 35mm film. Other than that I mostly looked at all the wonderful sights and found new roads to ride on that I did not know where they went.

  12. #12
    MOgang Member Yazz's Avatar
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    I've ridden by myself since the early '90s. What have I learned about myself?

    I get lost easy and don't mind it. I end up going down neat roads, have interesting experiences and end up in the darnedest places.

    I like to ride down a road till it Ts, then hang a right.

    Garmin is my friend.

    I don't like constraints, like a time schedule, what time to get up, etc.

    After a couple days on the road, a routine sets in and I get into the zone. Just going down the road, stopping for gas or a snack when needed. When riding, I'm hyper-aware of everything going on around me, but my mind is still, just a very calm feeling.

    Neatest thing that happened... I was riding down a highway on my F3S, moderate traffic and saw a BMW loaded up a head of me. Think curiosity hit both of us. I sped up, he sped up. He slowed down and got behind me, checking me out? Then he passed me and we both waved with our right hands. Ok, you might have to think on that one. Sometimes it's the little things that mean a lot.
    Joy
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    '09 Phantom and a '15 F3-S

    If you don't slow down, they can't catch you..
    ​If you don't give up, they can't win.
    What a long strange journey its been.





  13. #13
    Customer Support LeftCoast's Avatar
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    I am finding that my desire to “get there” has slowed down compared to when I’m caged. It’s helping me to smell the roses along the way
    2015 Pearl White RTL
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  14. #14
    Very Active Member Bob Denman's Avatar
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    In a cage: it's all about the destination
    on a bike: it's all about the journey.

  15. #15
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    I have been doing the sole touring since 1980. I called them my sanity trips when I was working. I am just like a kid with a lollipop when I get back. Amazed at our beautiful, wonderful country and the people you meet along the way. And knowing the world can not drag me down.[/SIZE]
    Can Am 2013 RT L Se5

  16. #16
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    When you ride with a group, you have to ride where they ride and stop when they stop. If one needs fuel, they all have to stop. You can't stop to take a picture or turn off to see something you read on a sign, like some roadside attraction or waterfalls. Riding solo you go at your own pace and stop when you feel like it. More freedom riding solo.

  17. #17
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    What I have learned about myself.... I like being with me. I like riding alone. I almost always ride alone and the discoverys are great and the roads seem to never end.
    When the going gets tough...Downshift..

  18. #18
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    I do ride alone sometimes but mostly small trips.

    One of the reasons to get a Spyder was to ride two up comfortably and I do enjoy the company of my better half. It's always nice to be able to share the experience with another one.

    But I do understand the appeal of riding alone. You'll add that spiritual dimension to the ride.

  19. #19
    Very Active Member PistonBlown's Avatar
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    I'm happiest in that perfect state of oneness with road, spyder and landscape.

    I don't ride to think, I ride to ride. For it to consume all my senses. A perfect moment stretching out in front and snaking through the landscape.

  20. #20
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    Indeed a great question. Although I am considered as "always" thinking, I find that on solo ventures I don't do as much. I seem to be focused on the job at end, keeping safe. I finish my days too tired to do anything, including thinking. It's like being in a bubble while the world goes by but my own time has stopped. I suppose it's my kind of meditation.

    "running across" other riders is one of the great joy of riding.

    Be safe.

    J
    2018 F3 Limited black, dark

  21. #21
    Very Active Member Flanker's Avatar
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    I'm with Denman. Although I live a a rural agricultural area---I try to concentrate on my riding, and surrounding & developing conditions at all times. Long rides? If it's more than 100 miles I'm taking my car; the Spyder is just a toy. The following applies to both the Spyder and my car.

    Distracted driving is epidemic in my area; I see drivers looking down into their laps constantly, there is a large home for the elderly in my village---some drive OK, but there are a LOT more of the OTHER kind. Large University a few miles away---many drivers from there have apparently taken "aggressor forces" driving courses. I'm cut off dangerously close in traffic once every 2 or 3 weeks; requiring quick manuvoring and/or throwing out the anchor. If BRP or Ford would come up with an M134 option slaved to a helmet sight, or better still a 7 round hole seeking missile pod-----I'd buy it.

    Oh yea-----deer up the yin yang; vultures in the road, or on the road side, turkeys are large dumb birds too, dogs and coyotes, escaped cattle----you get the drift. No navel contemplation for me!

    2018 F3 S, BRP SS Grill, Spoiler, Attitude Bars, #1 linkage kit, Chopped R Fender, TBR S1R slip On exhaust, Elka Stage 2 R Shock, Shad saddlebags

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flanker View Post
    I'm with Denman. Although I live a a rural agricultural area---I try to concentrate on my riding, and surrounding & developing conditions at all times. Long rides? If it's more than 100 miles I'm taking my car; the Spyder is just a toy. The following applies to both the Spyder and my car.

    Distracted driving is epidemic in my area; I see drivers looking down into their laps constantly, there is a large home for the elderly in my village---some drive OK, but there are a LOT more of the OTHER kind. Large University a few miles away---many drivers from there have apparently taken "aggressor forces" driving courses. I'm cut off dangerously close in traffic once every 2 or 3 weeks; requiring quick manuvoring and/or throwing out the anchor. If BRP or Ford would come up with an M134 option slaved to a helmet sight, or better still a 7 round hole seeking missile pod-----I'd buy it.

    Oh yea-----deer up the yin yang; vultures in the road, or on the road side, turkeys are large dumb birds too, dogs and coyotes, escaped cattle----you get the drift. No navel contemplation for me!
    So, to answer the OP's question ..... what?

    2014 RTL Platinum & 2014 RTL Cognac
    Northern Utah in summer; Yuma, AZ in winter.

  23. #23
    Active Member Joe T.'s Avatar
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    Basically, I soon realize what a boring SOB I am!!!


    Joe T.
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    I miss SoCal - - - -

  24. #24
    Very Active Member oldgoat's Avatar
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    I really like this thread

    Have learned that I'm a 100 to 150 mile per ride man. My old body can't really take more.

    I live on the west end of the island of Montreal. Traffic is horrendous as are the road surfaces. There are pleasant rides off the east end of the island but that 30 mile ride just to start the ride would be a nightmare. So I always head west & am in sparsely populated countryside in 20 mins. I am nothing if not consistent in my rides. Around 3hrs & covering the same general area each time, though in a clockwise direction one day, anticlockwise the next, then figure of eight wise. I find the scenery interestingly varied depending on my direction. We have such beautiful churches everywhere.
    I like to watch the progression of the crops from April to the end of July (the end of my riding season these days. It costs $660 to plate the Spyder for a calendar year but we only get 7 months of riding weather & this way I get a $300 refund on the plate. I also stop riding 4 weeks before wifey & I fly somewhere & drive around the western states. I figure that month would give me time to heal up if I have a mishap on the Spyder..wishful thinking probably but she only gets the 1 vacation & I don't want to mess it up for her)

    I really try to pay attention when riding but my mind is always wandering off as I daydream. Luckily very little traffic. When on our "Interstates" I pay strict attention to everything around me as a matter of self preservation

    I have discovered over the years that I am not nearly the skilled 2 or 3 wheeled driver I imagined myself to be. I have to concentrate on concentrating ! I don't suppose I have more than a year or two of riding left. I'll be well into my eighties then so I enjoy watching the changes in the fields & the variety of smells, even the not so pleasant ones. I do draw the line at dead skunks though.
    2008 GS SM5, Full Moon Silver

  25. #25
    Customer Support LeftCoast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UtahPete View Post
    So, to answer the OP's question ..... what?
    I’m pretty sure he’s saying he doesn’t have much time to let thoughts intrude on his ride.
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