Non-bikers usually think that we are joining a convoy every time we tell them that we are going for a ride.
It is true that riding in a convoy has its appeal such as camaraderie among friends who have the same love for motorcycles, safety, going to places you never knew existed and so forth.
However, there are times when you just want to go solo, for various reasons.
Alone with your thoughts
This is usually the main reason some bikers like to ride solo. It is time to get away from nagging wife, the screaming kids who kick people in the shin, the unappreciative boss, etc., etc. The reasons are never-ending and only you know it. The choice of route and view, and destination is all up to your own choosing. Take some deep breaths along the way. You will soon discover that life is not so depressing, after all.
No peer pressure
Peer pressure is real during group rides and it is not confined to riding fast, but also riding too slow. It is not uncommon for the faster riders to berate the slower ones (who chose to ride at a relaxed pace), or for the slower majority to criticise the faster rider. You may even get riders who seem to challenge you to a race when you bring along your new bike. Oh no. Conversely, it is all up to you when you ride solo.
Your own pace and schedule
Having no peer pressure allows to ride at our own pace and adhere to our own schedule (or not). There is no one to harass you if you put on your gear slowly. Want to ride at 60 km/h? Please do. 150? Go ahead (but do so safely). You could even sing to yourself in your helmet.
Stop whenever you want
Fuel/coffee/toilet break? You decide when you want to stop, or for how long, or it is just a “splash and dash.” Or stop whenever you see a beautiful view such a sunset, or a green carpet of paddy fields. They will do nicely in your Instagram, thank you very much.
Go whenever you want
As much as we like taking our own time, we also hate those who take too much of our time. Strange but true, is it not? We will ALWAYS find that one friend who takes 30 minutes to gear up; or that guy who needs to pee in every 50 kilometers; or the lead rider who constantly stops to eat even before the exhausts are lukewarm. So instead of taking 4 hours to reach Butterworth, the trip took 8 hours. ARGH!
Sometimes riding in a group will expose a rider who makes rash moves such as pulling wheelies; or teases the local ladies; or show up hungover for the next day’s ride. In other words, this guy will endanger the entire group. Riding solo eliminates this possibility.
The safety aspect is derived from not riding with idiots. You can mitigate your own risks instead of putting your life and limb in the hands of others. This way, you can ride more relaxed rather than being tensed from worrying about the safety of the others and yours.
Change of mind
Imagine riding to your destination and the signboard indicates a destination you have never been to before. Set the new destination in your GPS/navigation app and off you go. Or you decide to spend the night in a nice town that appealed to your fancies. Go ahead.
Group rides usually need to adhere to a specific route and schedule. And sometimes, you did not have a say in how the planning was derived. So, you need to go along for bad or for worse. Instead, riding solo allows you to pick a route that many may have not seen or a destination that is not crowded. It is fully up to you to explore every village or town along the way or your own entertainment when you reach your intended destination.
Practice your riding skills
Trying to practice your skills during a group ride may not be a smart idea, as there are other bikes around. Also, you may receive the wrong advice (assuming that wrong advice was given) which would ruin your riding and safety.