I believe the great philosopher, Jason DeRulo, said it best: “I’m solo, I’m riding solo, I’m riding solo, I’m riding solo, solo.”
My modus operandi for travel is flying to a city where I know I can rent a bike (pro-tip: Many Harley dealerships rent bikes and they are often cheaper than the other national motorcycle rental companies). From there, I go wherever I need to go in order to experience the area. While I love the camaraderie of riding with my friends, there is nothing that makes me feel more alive and at peace with the world than traveling alone on a motorcycle.
I love that I can ride at my own pace and I’m responsible for myself and myself alone. I don’t need to worry about the experience and ability level of the riders in my group. I can stop where and when I want. I find that wherever I go, people are inclined to come up to me and start conversations with me. They tell me about their current or former ride. That leads into discussions about life and experience and heartbreak and love.
People are concerned about the dangers associated with this. A skinny girl in her 30s riding through rural America alone? Am I afraid of being attacked? The answer is no. I have never at any moment been remotely afraid of anyone with whom I’ve conversed. Have I been harassed? Of course. Does it bother me? Again, the answer is no. Perhaps that point of view is naive. But I’ve found that the motorcycle riding community is one of the friendliest, most welcoming group of individuals I have ever come across. I won’t lie, I think it helps that seeing a younger woman on a Harley is a rare commodity and people are drawn to that, whether it is in a negative or positive way.
Some would disagree with me. If I ride in a group, someone may see something interesting that I would have missed, such as an interesting landmark or restaurant. There is strength in numbers. Cars will spot two motorcycles more easily than just one. Don’t get me wrong – I love riding with my friends. It creates a bond that nothing can replace, knowing that you both share this passion and accept the danger associated with it.
Perhaps one day I’ll change my mind and stick to group rides rather than wandering aimlessly through rural America. But this weekend I’m flying to Nashville and renting a Harley to travel to Birmingham and visiting my cousins (I’ve never been there and I’m pretty stoked). So I won’t be planning that big group motorcycle trip anytime soon.