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Revisiting the Solo Ride: 10 Things to Appreciate About Cycling Alone

By Megan Flottorp

There is nothing quite like the feeling of setting out alone on the open road with only your trusty two-wheeled steed as company. In celebration of peak cycling season, we figured it was time to revisit the solo ride and remind ourselves of the beauty of riding alone. We know that everyone was eager to band together following the relaxation of pandemic restrictions and, for sure, group rides can be a tonne of fun! But let’s not forget the incredible benefits of going solo. Here are ten things to embrace about taking a spin on your own.

1. Self-discovery

Riding solo offers a chance for introspection, reconnecting with your thoughts, and gaining a deeper understanding of yourself. It’s an opportunity to appreciate your own company and find clarity while enjoying the beauty around you. You can discover the hidden depths of your thoughts and reconnect with your inner zen. Some have called it free therapy, and we do not disagree one bit.

2. Freedom and flexibility

Who needs a GPS-guided tour or group consensus when you’re riding solo? You’re the captain of your own cycling ship, free to chart your course, set your pace, and take detours on a whim. Whether you crave a leisurely cruise or an adrenaline-fueled sprint, riding solo allows you to tailor the ride to your preferences without compromise. Your bike, your rules!

3. Building up skills

Ready to level up your cycling game? Riding alone is your secret training ground. Without anyone else around to distract, intimidate or limit you, you can focus on fine-tuning your technique, experimenting with riding positions, and improving your pedalling efficiency. This is the time to fully concentrate on aspects like cornering, descending, and climbing, enabling you to push your limits and take your skills up a notch.

4. Pushing your limits

Speaking of levelling up, riding alone is a great time to reflect on the fact that comfort zones are overrated. When you ride solo, there is no one else to answer to, and you have to tap into that inner strength to push your boundaries and embrace the challenge. This is the time to conquer that mountain pass that’s been mocking you for ages or crush a new personal record. The only limits you have are the ones you set – so go out there and shatter them!

5. Mental resilience

While pushing your limits, you also have the opportunity to cultivate more robust mental resilience. Who needs a life coach when you’ve got a bike and the open road? Solo rides can serve as a pretty wicked mental boot camp. When facing headwinds, relentless climbs or unexpected hurdles, it’s time to summon your inner powerhouse. Build mental muscles, embrace resilience, and generate that cycling warrior energy!

Solo cycling
One of the most gratifying things about riding alone is that you will learn to challenge yourself simply for the sake of it. © Profimedia

6. Nature’s embrace

Solo rides are the ideal opportunity to experience a deeper connection with nature and your surroundings. From the peaceful serenity of forests to the breathtaking beauty of mountains, the solo ride allows you to immerse yourself in the wonders of the natural world. With no one else around to distract you, you are free to soak in the scenery, breathe the fresh air, and let nature be your co-pilot.

7. Mindfulness and mental well-being

This is the time to be present in the moment and let the gentle hum of your tyres on the tarmac become your personal soundtrack. Give yourself permission to escape the noise of everyday life and experience the rejuvenating power of solitude. In these moments, cycling becomes more than just a physical activity – it becomes a form of meditation.

8. Getting the creative juices flowing

The solo ride isn’t just a journey of physical prowess, either; it’s a creative endeavour. Detach yourself from distractions and let the solo ride spark creativity. The solitude and beauty of your surroundings can inspire fresh perspectives, innovative ideas and a renewed sense of inspiration. Use this time to dream big, brainstorm or solve problems. You’ll likely be surprised by the ideas that emerge during those solitary moments on your bike.

9. Self-responsibility

Riding solo reinforces the importance of safety and self-responsibility. With no one else to rely on, it’s crucial to be well-prepared and make informed decisions. You need to prioritise safety measures, such as carrying essential tools, spare tubes, and a first aid kit. Additionally, you’ll develop a heightened awareness of traffic, road conditions, and potential hazards. By cultivating a strong sense of self-responsibility, you will build confidence and feel an added sense of accomplishment and competency at the end of a ride.

10. Rediscovering your love for cycling

Sometimes, we get caught up in the social aspect of cycling and forget the pure joy it brings. Revisiting the solo ride can reignite your passion for cycling. It reminds us of the initial allure that drew us to the sport – the sense of freedom, the connection with nature, and the pure joy of pedalling. Alone on the road, you’ll rediscover the thrill of pushing yourself, setting personal records, and celebrating small victories. Embrace the simplicity of riding solo, and let it remind you why you fell in love with cycling in the first place.