I want to ride my bicycle ~ I want to ride my bike ~ I want to ride my bicycle ~ I want to ride it where I like
~ Queen, Bicycle Race, Fat Bottomed Girls

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Riding Solo

I love this sport...I love the feeling of dirt under my tires, the wind in my face and the amazing camaraderie of fellow riders. I have been riding since before suspension, disk brakes and clipless pedals...but for some reason since getting back into riding after my injuries I have been feeling awkward, slow and a little off on my bike. I gained some weight and lost a bunch of my fitness during that time and it has really hit me hard. Add to that the confidence hit I took when I crashed and sprained my ankle...well, to say the least it has been less than stellar comeback. 

When I have been on group rides, people are waiting for my slow ass...up and down the hill, not an awesome feeling. So to let my friends ride at the pace they like and to help me regain my fitness and confidence, I started exploring a new area...riding solo and loving it.

I find that when I ride alone I push myself harder, ride longer between breaks and sometimes ride trail features that I usually ride around when riding with other people. Am I really riding better when alone or do I feel I ride better because I am not measuring myself against others? Whatever it is I feel the experience gives me something different than when I ride in a group.

I know a lot of people who ride solo ride with headphones and listen to their favourite tunes, but I much prefer to ride sans music. It lets me hear the sounds of my tires rolling gently along the trail or losing grip on an exposed root, the mechanical clank of gear shifts, the squish sound that my suspension makes, the sounds of nature. It's the symphony of the ride and I love it.

The last few solo rides have been great. I have been heading out after work or on the weekend, getting my groove back and just loving being back on two wheels again. Pushing myself to ride better, to clean tough sections that troubled me on the last ride, to get to the top of the mountain and enjoy the silence and amazing views that the island has to offer. Every ride I have been feeling like I am riding better and getting back to the car feeling less tired, and last nights ride has been the best yet.

Usually after a ride I feel good, refreshed, happy and like the worries of the world were washed away, but after this ride I felt like life was breathed back into me. I was riding fast, having fun and just loving the ride, does it get any better than that?

I am not saying I don't love group rides, but nothing soothes my soul and get's me feeling the love of the ride more than a great ride just me, my bike and the trail.

Do you like to ride solo or do you prefer to ride with buddies? Tell us in the comments.


  1. It's nice to get out on a solo ride once in a while, especially that I will tend to ride longer, and not stop until I'm done. But it's great to have buddies to share a beer with after a good ride, or to egg you on to try something new.

  2. Yeah I usually ride with a group, or at least one other...but lately I have been out on a few solo rides and have been loving it.

  3. Saw your link on the MTB forums and had to check this out.
    i like to solo ride when I can. When I ride with my son, its on the paved path due to his SS/fixie riding, but the trails are all mine. just discovered some nice single track nearby, so am going to hit them soon.
    I really enjoy the solitude, and it gives me time to think and reflect on the beautiful stuff around me.
    Escapism at its finest.

  4. I like to mix it up. It's fun to ride with friends for the camraderie and to push the pace, but it's also really nice to just go out by yourself....cruise or hammer depending on how you feel, no pressure to keep up or go along....
    nice post!