Riding Alone

Recently I’ve been riding by myself more. This is unusual for me. It’s not that I’m really afraid to ride alone, it’s just that I’m a little out of my element. I’ve gone on long backpacking trips alone, and I feel confident. I mean, I know what to do if a tent stake breaks, or if I get off trail a bit. But the risk of mechanical error seems so much greater on bikes sometimes, and the higher travel speed seems to leave me more open for injury, so I used to opt to cycle with a buddy. Hopefully, a buddy who was good a fixing flats and dealing with mechanical mishaps. But as I’ve grown as a rider I’ve started to get out on long rides alone and I find I really enjoy it. I can push myself in ways I wouldn’t feel comfortable with friends around, and, alternately, I can really relax when I feel like it.


Of course, it’s necessary to carry a few things if you’re planning on being out by yourself. It’s a good idea to have a cell phone with you. Carry at the minimum, a spare tube, pump and multi-tool. Bring water, snacks, and a few dollars for an emergency. Do any of you savvy ride-aloners have more thoughts?

Photo by Josh Tack



SHIPPING NEWS is brought to you by Sarah Raz, Sales representative/outreach coordinator/lover of all things outdoors.

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9 Responses to Riding Alone

  1. Larey says:

    Credit card, proof of med insurance, next of kin information. Kind of morbid, but they don't weigh much and are well worth the peace of mind.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cell phone – tell someone what your planned route is going to be and expected time of return. One of those wrist bands with your emergency info on it. Wrap some duct tape around one of your tubes, great for any emergency fixes. Little extra weigh or space or these items Tony

  3. PettyGoodman says:

    Always wear your Road ID and leave your intended route with your significant other or friend, just in case.

  4. db says:

    I would add: driver's license and a small piece of cut tube (salvage from a blown tube) that can be used as a tire boot.

    I've had nails/screws rip holes in the sidewall of the tire, and that means that just having a spare tube is not enough — the new tube will bubble out of the gash in the tire.

  5. kurt says:

    I always bring a blood donor card with my blood type in addition to the health insurance card that Larey suggested. Or have blood type stamped onto the Road ID. It is required to have it embroidered onto race car drivers' fire suits in case of traumatic accidents. That sounds terribly morbid but better safe than sorry.

  6. Marti says:

    At a recent medical check up my doc recommended I add yoga or meditation to my exercise routine. But she quickly opted for yoga, saying that my cycling probably provided me with an abundance of meditative time. She's right; it's once of the benefits of cycling alone.

  7. William says:

    Riding alone can be really dangerous at night, wouldn't recommend.

  8. UltraDawn says:

    i ride alone on a regular basis, day and night, on bike paths and trails sometimes a good distance from roads or houses. I don't tell my planned route to anyone, as it can change on the way, and i never know for sure what time i might be home. I do carry the usual items and am prepared for as much as i can be (there was that day of pump failure, three flats, used up all my CO2 and spare tubes and patches) but honestly- if something weird happened, it could be a while before anyone found me. Even longer before someone noticed me missing. Nevertheless, i won't stay home just because i don't often have someone else to ride with. I can't quite explain it but riding, for me, has something to do with giving back while moving forward, and cycling has given me back everything i've put into it and more.

  9. Douglas says:

    I ride alone all the time! It pretty cool to meet some else out there riding alone and strike a conversation an ride together. I'm always looking for possible people to ride with here in Southern California..LOVE bike riding!..:)

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