Riding Alone........

44 replies to this topic
  • Dodger

Posted September 06, 2002 - 05:24 AM


I was just curious who out there would ride alone, as opposed to not riding at all? I've been riding alone off and on for years, but more so in the last couple of years.

This question really came to me this last weekend where I was faced with a 3 day weekend, and no one to ride with. Here I was faced with 3 days of nothing to do, no responsibilities, and no one to ride with. I ended up putting on almost 200 miles between 2 days, between Boulder and Winter Park, crossing the continental divide 4 times. I have to admit, there is a weird freeky feeling of knowing your vehicle is 50 miles away, up over a 12,000 ft mountain pass, and your all alone.

With riding buddies either not interested in riding that particular weekend, or being just plain busy, I've found my options to be either go alone, or no riding......and I'm not about to have that!!

One interesting thing is, I don't ride any slower for the most part when I'm buy myself, but a lot more cautious. At any rate, it's Friday, I'm board at work, and was just curious who would rather go it alone, than not at all.


Dodger :) :D

BTW, I seem to see 426 everywhere I go. I catch it on the clock a lot for some reason, but I just checked to make sure my home page still worked, I was visitor # 426 :D , weird!!

[ September 06, 2002, 08:26 AM: Message edited by: Dodger ]

  • lewichris

Posted September 06, 2002 - 05:27 AM


i would ride alone. i have before. But i dont go far and i never ride like a maniac.

Since you have been riding by yourself more the last couple of years what does that tell you??

lol just kidding. :)

  • cnacc

Posted September 06, 2002 - 05:46 AM


Dodger, I ride alone probably 50% of the time. I like you would rather ride than not. I do find myself a little more cautious when solo. If I do ride solo I let the old lady know where I'm going and I try not to deviate from the plan, carry a first aid kit and cell. I know it's probably not the safest thing , but I try and mitigate the dangers as best as possible. :)

  • Ron_in_SoCal

Posted September 06, 2002 - 05:49 AM


Two things come to mind: GPS and a cell phone.

  • yznvegas

Posted September 06, 2002 - 06:06 AM


I start out riding alone quite a bit. It's cool though because sometimes when I am out doing my thing I will see friends or just people who I recognize from prior hook-ups and we'll just kinda start riding together. It's cool.

I met a really cool kid the other day out riding. Great rider ALWAYS stood up, never sat down unless he was turning.

Well anyway, he gave me his number but I don't want his parents to think I'm a weirdo or something because he is only in 9th grade. What do you guys think? :)

  • Fryboy

Posted September 06, 2002 - 06:10 AM


I frequently ride alone. I work Tues - Saturday and this causes trouble when it comes time to planning a get together with other riders. This week for example I am off Sun-Wed and will be alone again. Its hard to find anyone who can ride during weekdays. God I love it though as I have the whole OHV to myself practically. I ride cautiously... mostly. Sometimes I get on it when I get in the zone, but something always happens to put me in check. I do sometimes worry about getting stranded out there in the forest alone. I carry water, food, lighter, an air horn just in case. I usually preplan which trails I will be taking and then forward that to my woman. I then have to check in after my ride to let her know the insurance policy can't be cashed in yet. I would love to find a riding partner that has the same days off but have yet to do so.

The thing I keep hearing about is getting hurt while alone. I hate even thinking about it. I mean damn, I could be killed sitting in my living room watching T.V. if say, an airplane crashed through my house. I mean anything can happen right? Life is too short. Enjoy your ride but be safe !


  • mmbasa

Posted September 06, 2002 - 07:03 AM


I ride alone almost all the time. My buddies are either busy or there wives won't let them go. If I didn't go by myself I wouldn't be riding. So I just count my lucky stars that I haven't crashed or broken down in the middle of no where by myself. Always looking for people to ride with in SOCAL, I ride at least every other weekend.

  • YZeezee

Posted September 06, 2002 - 07:11 AM


I ride alone almost all of the time. Started doing the track a little bit more, just for safety, but most of my friends don't have bikes. It's a little sketchy being that far out in the woods, but to me it's worth the risk. A cell phone is good to a point, but a lot of places it just doesn't work. I just take what little bit of survival gear I need and I'm off. The wife gets pretty picky about when I call though. There is a definite risk, but there is also definite reward-go anytime you want, ride where and how you want, etc...

  • al_piv

Posted September 06, 2002 - 07:20 AM


I had the same problem yet I figured I would start or join a club and for the most part have someone to ride with -- In the end I created a riding club for just weekend warriors and It is working out great --- heck it worth a try!

  • GPS Dual Sport

Posted September 06, 2002 - 07:25 AM


I am a coward and never ride alone. Part of this is due to 3 riding buddies getting helicopter lifeflights in the last four years. The other reason is to make the wife happy. I should have never brought home that crusty demons of dirt video.
This sport has risks. Ignoring them doesn't make you safe. Riding slow is no assurance of not getting hurt.
A friend did a low speed endo after hitting a rock on a freakin jeep road and cracked two vertebre in his neck and broke his sternum. He was riding at less than 35 MPH when this happened.

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • Hick

Posted September 06, 2002 - 08:28 AM


I usually ride alone. I do carry a cell phone. I ride harder/faster when I'm by myself because I'm obviously not waiting on anybody.

I generally stray at least 10 miles in any direction from the truck.

So far I've ridden about 5 miles with a broken collarbone (and loaded my bike), 3 miles with broken scapula (and loaded my bike), walked a few miles with a broken wrist (and called friends to come get me and my bike).

The only danger as I see it is if I need a helicopter ride. An injury that bad and it may not matter if I'm alone or not, at least that is how I rationalize it.

Bottom line is I ride alone because then I can go as hard and long as I want, and none of the guys out of the group I ride with will go that fast or that far. I need to find a riding partner who can smoke me, I'm sure that would help wid my skillz, but I just don't know anybody like that (who rides on my side of town, anyway).

I have considered making good 7 minute maps of my two or three "loops" so I can be found but haven't gotten around to it yet. I need to buy a GPS for that I guess.

PS, don't ever tell me to "be careful," that is sure to envoke some bad mojo. Always say, "Have fun!!" instead. Thanks.

  • racemile

Posted September 06, 2002 - 10:06 AM


With all the folks on this board, it seems we should definately be making some calls to each other and getting out. I ride alone on occasion but not often. When I do I am very careful. But sometimes thats not enough. I love riding rampart on monday mornings but, I never push myself cause there is really no safety net.

I try to get out every weekend, but, sometimes my buddies cant go.

  • WR_Jason

Posted September 06, 2002 - 10:19 AM


Right on Hick! Im with you 100%. I ride alone alot for the same exact reason. I like to ride fast, cover alot of ground and ride for hours on end. Most of the guys up where I ride are on quads. They are slow and dusty and it takes about 1.5 hours to get 5 guys togeter and ready to ride. I enjoy riding alone, there is like this great inner peace I get from flying through the woods as fast as I want and stopping where ever and when ever I wnat. I have met alot of great people out there to, and if you see someone who is fast you can hook up with them and do some riding that is more you pace.
When I ride I always carry a cell phone now. I carry a lighter, zip ties, and multi tool, water, and a compass watch. I LOVE to get lost, if I get lost I am having a good time becuase it means I am on a new trail or new area to explore. I have been riding alone since I first started riding, I do think about the dangers now and when I am by myself I do not go jumping, but thats about the only thing I shy away from.
When I do ride in a group I usally break off and take different trails that I see and goof off on hills and jumps before chasing the group down again, I am also usally the designated fetch rider too becuase I ride by myself so much I see so much of the riding area I can find my way very well and am very fast so I can go find lost riders fast and lead them back to the main group. I am also often the "go see whats up, or down there" rider and the offical " how deep is that mud or water" rider :) .
Worst thing that ever happened to me alone was I was riding back to my truck, it was getting dark and I had no light. My rear axle snapped in half :D . I was able to rig it so I could ride with a rock and a few zip ties :D in about 15 mins but it had gotten dark. I was about 5 miles in the bush from my truck. I was able to limp my trusty old IT 250 back to the truck in the dark and even drove her up the ramp onto the truck. Wheeeew, 5 miles is a bieaatch of a jaunt in MX boots :D .
I suppose even if I did have an ideal well matched riding partner I would still go out by myself once in a while just because I enjoy the freedom.
Ride Smart, Have Fun :D !

  • Ron_in_SoCal

Posted September 06, 2002 - 11:22 AM


Sorry in advance for the worlds longest post.

Mothers Day, 1996. My friend and I were out riding a trail we both were very familiar with way out in BFE. At about twelve miles into the trail my friend eats it on a slow rocky section. He landed on his head first, then his chest. A rock cracked his helmet real good and he had a 3 inch long gash on his stomach that was about an inch deep. When I found him, about 30 seconds after it happened, he was unconscious.

He came to within a few seconds and did not know who he was, where he was, or who I was. When I noticed gash on his stomach, my stomach sank because I knew we were in trouble. No cell phone handy, just two guys and two bikes out in the middle of nowhere.

After sitting him down in a bush to get him out of the hot sun I disabled his bike by taking his sparkplug. I gave him all the water I had and rode like there was no tomorrow back toward the truck twelve miles away.

The whole time I was riding back I kept trying to think of what to do. My plan was to stop a passing motorist on the highway (247 near Landers, CA), but when I got there I realized that there are not many people traveling that stretch of road.

Plan B was ride down the highway, thinking something would happen. Maybe a CHP would see me and try to stop me. Just as I got the bike into 5th gear I noticed a call box go by real fast and must have left a mile long skidmark on the pavement. So I picked up the phone in the call box and a lady asked if I needed assistance. I replied HELL YES!

I explained the situation to her and she put me on hold. A few minutes later (it seemed like an hour), she asked if there was a crossroad on the highway that the volunteer fire department could find me. I gave here the name of the dirt road where I parked my truck and she said to go there and wait for a volunteer fire guy.

Surprisingly, an old broken down pickup truck within a few minutes, and the passenger jumps out and asks if I am the guy that is hurt. I told him my friend was seriously injured and is about twelve miles that way, pointing in the direction where he was. The guy said "holly $@#%, there are no roads out there". I asked him if he has ever been on the back of a motorcycle. Nope.

He grabs his EMT kit and a radio, and jumps on the back of my XR600. I mentioned that we have some really big rocky hills to climb. He just sighed and held on tight, legs sticking out and all, as we went though the gears.

The trail was smooth at first, but we came around a turn and were looking at the first of a series of nasty hills. I did not stop for fear that the guy would jump off and not want to get back on. All I heard was moaning as we got to the steeper sections, and every now and then he would hold on really tight. I was not stopping and we were moving at a really fast clip, especially for two guys on one bike. Man, that XR had some torque.

As we pulled up to my buddy, we noticed that he had been wandering around and playing with his motorcycle. When I turned my motorcycle off my friend asked us if this was our motorcycle while he is pointing to his motorcycle. The fire dude did not like to hear that and immediately became real serious. I could tell his legs were numb from the ride, he was walking like I do if I sit on the can too long.

Dilated pupils, not knowing his name or where he was, low blood pressure, and a wicked sun burn were not good signs. It quickly became apparent the helicopter was the only way we were going to get him out of there. The fire guys pulls out his radio and start talking to someone, trying to describe out location. He had know idea where we were. At this point I whip out my trusty Garmin GPS II. The fire guys gave me a big smile while I handed it to him. He then read out our coordinates into the radio, followed by a stern hurry up.

Three minutes later we hear the helicopter. That thing was making a beeline straight towards us. It had to circle a few times looking for a flat spot to land on, but it finally touched down not 30 feet away.

Out jumps a hottie nurse type with some real serious scissors. The first thing she did was cut everything off of my friend. Boots cut in half. Riding pants sniped. Everything got the scissor treatment. Once he was naked as a jaybird, they brought out a Teflon looking backboard and strapped him onto it. We slipped him onto the helicopter, the fire guy jumps in, and off they go. As it was taking off I yelled at the nurse looking lady "where are you taking him". She yelled back "Desert Hospital".

So there I was, it's about 10:00 am and I'm out in BFE with two motorcycles twelve miles from my truck.

By the time I got to Desert Hospital it was 5:30 pm. I ask the receptionist what room my friend is in. She checks the computer and says there is no one here by that name. I explain what happened and she makes a few calls. It appears that they have a John Doe on the fourth floor. The first thing I thought of was he was dead. Luckily, they did not know who he was because neither did he.

He spent five days in the hospital. The cost of the helicopter ride was over $8,000. I never did get my GPS back from that volunteer fire dude, but I figure he could just keep is as an appreciation for the help. I am sure he did not mean to pocket the thing, it was just chaotic at the time.

I recommend you solo riders get a GPS and a cell phone. Nothing wrong with riding alone, just be prepared for the worst and don?t hit you head like my friend did.

  • BlueFox

Posted September 06, 2002 - 11:34 AM


Please see my earlier topic, "I am a human shiskabob" about thoughts on riding alone. I mitigate the dangers as much as possible, but after this little incident, I think I may reconsider riding alone. Please check out the post.

  • yznvegas

Posted September 06, 2002 - 11:45 AM


Ron, that is a sobering story, well written, thank you.

  • tk421

Posted September 06, 2002 - 12:08 PM


I ride alone (not safe) because I work nights and no one else is at the park during the week in the daytime, which is kinda nice because get the entire 180 acre park to myself.

It’s nice until the day I wipe out, get hurt, and need help! :)


  • Brian_in_Long_Beach

Posted September 06, 2002 - 12:19 PM


Originally posted by Fryboy:
I do sometimes worry about getting stranded out there in the I would love to find a riding partner that has the same days off but have yet to do so.

Try contacting 'Fremontguy' on www.dirtrider.net - I think he's posted here a few times under that name. I think Les usually has Sunday & Monday off.


  • Dan_from_HB

Posted September 06, 2002 - 04:49 PM


We would hate to hear that you expired due to a crash like Ron's friend. It's your call entirely, but I'd hook up with some additional riders in your area and increase the chances of having a riding partner.
I never ride alone for the same reason Ron wrote about. My son had the same thing happen as that guy, except we suspected a fractured neck and internal injuries. He's ok now, but he would have died of his injuries had he been riding alone. Even if he had a cell phone and GPS, he wouldn't have had the sense to use them.
Be careful, buddy. This sport is dangerous enough.

  • omnivortex

Posted September 06, 2002 - 06:36 PM


Check out this GPS..its also a two way radio..It only has a range of 2 miles, but It would be great for riding with a buddy so you dont lose each other. Plus its a regular GPS.


After reading Ron in socal's story I think I want to get a couple of these.

[ September 06, 2002, 09:37 PM: Message edited by: omnivortex ]


Join Our Community!

Even if you don't want to post, registered members get access to tools that make finding & following the good stuff easier.

If you enjoyed reading about "" here in the ThumperTalk archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join ThumperTalk today!

The views and opinions expressed on this page are strictly those of the author, and have not been reviewed or approved by ThumperTalk.