Recently I have gone on solo motorcycle rides. Usually I go with other people; safety in numbers. But these solo rides were close by and I knew the routes very well. What I’ve discovered is riding solo is considerably different experience.
You have to be more aware of your surroundings in order to stay safe. So you experience the trip far more intimately than you ever would in a car. You even have to watch the roadway for potholes and crevices; things you don’t pay any attention to when driving a car. You become familiar with the methods of patching the roadway that are used on different roads as well as oil, sand, gravel, and debris. You have to avert things you would otherwise drive over in a car. Awareness of everything around you is critical to a safe ride.
You are alone with the wind in your face and the nature around you is quite apparent. You feel the temperature changes as you ride through different pockets of warm or cooler air. You notice every detail of the ride. Your senses are sharper. You smell things you generally don’t notice. Trees and flowers and the smells of people cooking something drift in and out. Occasionally an unpleasant smell might drift in; but you are keenly aware of your surroundings so you don’t mind the offensive odors because they are part of the experience.
It’s just you and your thoughts and master of your own destiny. You aren’t following someone or leading them and wondering if the path you choose is alright with them. You just do what you want. If it’s out of the ordinary, no one will challenge you on why you chose that route. You aren’t worrying about whether you are going too fast or slow to the other person’s liking.
The solitude allows you to be alone with your thoughts. You can sort things out or just enjoy the outdoors you are experiencing. Your thoughts are your own. No one can call you, no television in the background, no one can disturb you; you have the freedom of letting your mind wander anywhere you want it to. It’s just you and the motorcycle and the route you choose. Complete independence and freedom.
While it may be safer to ride with a partner or group; there definitely is an asset to going on the solo ride every so often. A road less traveled, without a lot of traffic. One you are familiar with but enjoy the ride. You return with a new enthusiasm, a clear head, and the satisfaction of someone that’s re-aligned themselves with nature and the world in general. You feel empowered because you were in complete control for a while.
Now occasionally, you get pummeled by bugs or the wind may be a challenge. You develop a sense of humor about such things. Nothing stands in your way as you pursue your ride. Those silly face masks you see people wear can solve the bugs in your teeth issue. Always keep your mouth closed is good advice. I have never gotten a bug in my teeth, but I have found a few stuck to my clothes.
I encountered a rabbit today; but he made it across my path safely. I didn’t have to advert him. Fortunately, that’s the closest I’ve ever come to animals in the roadway. It can be a challenge to avoid them; but when you do so successfully you feel proud of yourself. You are forced to take in the entire experience while on the road. There is no room for other distractions. No kids in the back seat fighting, no food or drink, no radio tuning, no co-pilot telling you that you missed a turn. IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU. How often does that happen??