the lone wolf myth really less sense the more you think of it. no creature in the wild fancies it's odds of survival as greater alone than with a group. likewise with motorcycle groups (yeah we're not called gangs anymore). that said, when you decide you're flying solo there's an edge to that adventure riding with others can never expose.
safety is foundational
before we take off on that solitary exploration of play with a motorbike, lemme get this out of the way. build yourself a solid base of safety as foundation for exploration on the edge. in this section i write in more detail why you ought to play with a safety net. with that out of the way let's talk about why i enjoy riding solo and why you might wanna give it a try even if you don't fancy it at all.
curiosity thrills the cat
when you're on an adventure you're undoubtedly curious about exploring the local terrain, cuisine, culture no matter which region you're traveling in. but what about the locals themselves? are they as curious about this strange solitary explorer suddenly in their midst?
you bet they are! but if you're in a group they'll shy away from prolonged contact besides courtesy conversations. they would be less likely to intrude into an existing group's dynamic and leave you be after providing you with whatever hospitality you might need.
however when you're all alone, they'll spend time wanting to know who you are, why you're riding thru their neck of the woods, where you're going next, and a whole lot more. they'll be more eager to share of their own lives, talk about their world, their simple joys and their troubles. the conversations become real and intimate making the interaction genuinely transformational for both rather than a mere transactional exchange.
there is no other
There are no others. Ramana Maharshi
if you see it thru the perspective of Advaita philosophy, there are no two things that make up the whole universe, and everything including all bodies and minds are a solitary thing of Consciousness. but if you can't theoretically wrap your head around this concept, just jump on your saddle and hit the road Jack.
whether you want to escape others or explore yourself, a solo adventure takes you places you have never been before. and i'm not talking about physical locations on the map. i'm talking about those places deep inside your own mind. we're all creatures of conditioning. from our earliest years, we're surrounded by people telling us how to think, speak, and act (explicitly/implicitly).
when you're on the road with the wind in your face, the road beneath your feet, and the horizon beyond your vision you're free from all that. within a few miles nothing matters, nothing else exists, not even you. your self has merged with your machine, and your machine with the elements. sometimes thoughts come, only to leave just as quickly... just like the trees whizzing past the corners of your sight.
appreciation of friends and family
there's nothing like a solitary excursion into one's own self to become grateful for the company of others. in the journey of life we often take for granted the affection and attention of others in our lives. absence like distance makes the heart grow fonder. and that's not just due to the deprivation but thru the clarity you'll find while riding solo thru the wilderness.
everyone talks about a bucket list of things to do before you die but i have a bucket list of things to say to people before i/they die. usually i'm brusque and urgent in my expression and leave nothing to the imagination. but that's only the harsh things i wanna tell people ie the 'fuck you'. what about the 'thank you' and 'sorry'?
many of my relations and associations are left on standby or destroyed simply because either one of us is adamant and refuses to relent and renew the connection. i've found however that on long solo rides my ego mellows and relaxes, becoming ready to relinquish my position and unite with the other to forge a friendship again.
exploring the edge
we began with safety as the foundation and now i'm taking you to the frontier with danger. just as we find safety in numbers we are almost always in greater danger alone. when riding solo i tend to push myself further eager to sharpen the edge of my comfort zone. too far out and i'm a goner (there's no coming back), play too safe and the game is boring.
whether mental, physical, or spiritual the limits i play within are rarely pushed in the company of my friends. exploring the edge of danger and safety is where i find myself, i can refine myself, i can challenge myself, and i can lose myself. some need competition to push towards this edge while others like me couldn't care less for either the encouragement of friends or the challenge of an enemy. what pushes us is an innate primal drive to explore and evolve farther and deeper than we've ever been, regardless of the risk. when riding solo we learn to tap into our own inner 'best friend forever' and 'arch enemy' pushing and pulling us into and out of danger ⚠️
all said and done, maybe i just crave that rush of dancing on the edge with risk rabidly nipping at my heels and nobody to save my arse!
if you decide to find a sweet balance between riding solo and riding together, lemme know your ratio. judging by my miles i'd say mine is approx 80% solo and 20% together.
this is my journey with motorcycles and mud, wanna ride with me?