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Tips to Enjoy a Solo Tour

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Tips to Enjoy a Solo Tour

Old 10-19-17, 07:01 AM
  #26  
TulsaJohn
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If time/money permits, I would suggest trying to get to an area you have never been before. In addition to most of the above, new sights/topography/scenery might keep you more entertained than riding areas you have ridden before.

Whatever you choose, hope you enjoy the ride! John
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Old 10-19-17, 08:10 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
.....decided to stick to an area closer to home that I'm more familiar with. It's a decently scenic route, but nothing particularly sexy about it, especially the stopping point towns.

Since the area I am going to be touring won't be that exotic, I'm looking for tips to make a less interesting solo tour, more interesting.....
no point in going on a tour to a place that you've already decided isn't that interesting.
your job is to plan a more interesting tour.

can you drive to a more interesting area and do a loop?
or take a greyhound...and get out of texas, do a circuit around roswell and carlsbad
and white sands.

check out the websites of small towns....for example, fredericksburg
(you missed oktoberfest) has some activities coming up.

Fredericksburg TX | Texas Hill Country

with a link to texas cycling maps:

Cycle Texas Provides Texas Hill Country Cycling Route Maps

go to del rio and spend half a day in acuña.
find out if esteban vihaio still runs the acuña boys.

stop in san antonio, visit the alamo, ask to see the basement.

****...........and for waddo....

there is a zen center in austin.

https://austinzencenter.org/event-calendar/

Last edited by saddlesores; 10-19-17 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 10-19-17, 08:17 AM
  #28  
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I agree. If it's not interesting, find somewhere else.

At the same time, not to get too Zen, but going alone, especially for someone not used to it, is a great opportunity to get to know yourself--and to learn not to feel lonely. Of course it will take more than a few days to get there!
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Old 10-19-17, 10:43 AM
  #29  
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I always think I'm going to keep a crazyguy journal as I go, but if I get around to it, it's usually after the trip is done. Still, I keep thinking that would be a fun way to spend some time, and it would provide a way for my family to keep up with where I am/what I'm doing.

I've also wanted to learn an instrument to take along. I don't have the skill or the discipline, but I keep hoping. If I could play, I would absolutely figure out a way to carry my instrument. I believe there are travel guitars which might suit your needs a little better, but if you're credit card touring, I bet you could find room for the full sized guitar. I like this thing for carrying awkward loads: https://www.greengurugear.com/collec...er-31l-pannier
When choosing an instrument, I decided on a banjo-mandolin as a compromise between the kind of sound I wanted and portability. I still can't play it, and have never traveled with it, but that was the idea. I got the idea on this forum. Somewhere in the history is a thread about traveling with an instrument.

This spring I rode around Ohio and Pennsylvania on my own for a couple of weeks. There were stops to visit people I knew during the first part, and then I was on my own as I made my way from central Ohio to Pittsburgh and down the GAP. Then, this fall, my wife, aunt, and uncle and I rode the GAP together. So I got to experience the same trip as a solo and a group outing. Having company wasn't the only change, though. On my own, I camp. With my wife, I do not. On my own, I was much more likely to find myself in a conversation with strangers. I felt like I was making more connections with the area I was traveling through that way. The other trip, we mostly talked to each other. On my own, as has been said, I had full control over the schedule. Take a long lunch if wanted to. Have a beer or a coffee, sit on a patio, hang out in a small town square for an hour. No one urging you on. If you're as capable of procrastinating as I am, you may find that you don't need ways to fill your time at the end of the day. Even my shortest days seem to end with me getting to camp without an abundance of time before bed.

When I travel closer to home, sometimes it pays to take a closer look at what's in the area. I repeat the same ride every spring and fall to a local music festival. I've started trying to mix it up a bit and try and see some other sights and towns. Even some minor route variations mean traveling down roads I haven't been on before, and can make a trip through an area more interesting. But last fall I also did some poking around the internet and learned of a few local landmarks I hadn't heard of, so I added a day on to my ride so I could check them out. Next year I'd like to take the train a few stops down the track and come at the venue from the opposite direction, spend the morning in a city I've only ever driven through and ride through towns I've never seen, even though they're less than a hundred miles from my home. I'm looking for longer trips further from home, but I feel like even if I toured a few days at time, starting and ending at my home, there is plenty in my immediate area that I haven't seen yet that could make for an interesting trip. Good luck.
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Old 10-19-17, 11:30 AM
  #30  
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I have only toured solo. Make decisions on the fly. I take a notebook, the one with paper and is spiral bound. Notes, trip logs and such. I tour to unwind and disconnect. I usually only use the phone to check maps, not so much social media. I've only met nice people camping, I will usually have some beer to share at the end of the day. I also try to go for a swim at the end of the day. Ever not spoken with someone for 24 hrs? One needs to be comfortable with ones own thoughts. Take rest when needed. And FOOD, I ride my bike to eat my way across the countryside. Really. Follow your nose, roasting coffee, fresh muffins baking, hops on the boil, BBQ etc. Riding around a really big reservoir, saw the most beautiful pair of daisy dukes overalls. Sign out front said " the cheese ladies" and goats all around. My kind of place. Cheese samples, pleasant conversation. Bought some goat cheese, fresh bread and some home made bacon, dinner. Other tips? Have plan of sorts for directions and a place to stay at night, and no food bonks. Eat early and often and never pass up a good lunch spot, even if it is at 11 am.
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Old 10-20-17, 08:27 AM
  #31  
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Good stuff, thanks. Really thinking about taking a Uke with me now.
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Old 10-20-17, 08:49 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
Good stuff, thanks. Really thinking about taking a Uke with me now.
you are wise.


Last edited by saddlesores; 10-21-17 at 04:13 AM.
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Old 10-21-17, 04:12 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
Travelling solo is truly all about yourself as a person. Some people need other people around them constantly, and some do not. My mother was 1 of 14 in her family, and she was never alone her entire life. After my father died, she had to spend a lot of time alone, and it was tough. I'm 1 of 3, and I was born 7 years ahead of my next sibling. We lived in a very small village in Maine, and I was the only boy. There were five other kids in town - all girls - and they shunned me, of course. I grew up a loner and prefer it that way to this day. All I need is my wife and my kids/grandkids.

Everyone thinks I'm a kook with my desires to ride across the USA and stuff like that. There's nobody in my life that is suitable or capable of touring with me, so I just shrug me shoulders and ride alone. Its sad and empty sometimes, but I pull myself up and get on with it.

I don't get bored easily. All I need is a good view or a babbling brook to hold my interest. I like to watch birds and squirrels and bugs do their thing. I like the feel of the wind on my face and the flickering and clacking of the leaves in the trees. I keep a journal, and I write my thoughts in it, and record events of the day. Once its dark I hit the sack. Simple. Cathartic.
Very nicely stated! I'd say I fall into the same category. I do 2-3 weekend tours a year (usually 3-4 days) until life allows me to go longer.
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Old 10-21-17, 08:27 AM
  #34  
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What do you like to do when you are home alone?

I do some of those same things on tour, e.g. read.

A difference when I'm touring is my days are through new areas and experiences. When I was younger I often pushed myself more making some longer days - I'll do that less often now.

What I still do is try to observe and understand the local community. For example, (1) buy a local newspaper and read it end-to-end on local happenings or events (2) people watch in a cafe or park (3) find a park or local tourist attraction. I'll still be social at times, walk around a campground I'm staying at and strike up a conversation with others.

Evenings I'm more of an early to bed, early to rise person - but knowing I have all day and my own flexible schedule, I may extend stops during the daytime.

On longer trips I'll keep a blog and sometimes take an online class. Some of these longer trips have been a mix between solo, small group and larger group travels. I often enjoy the differences at each phase of the journey...
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Old 10-21-17, 07:39 PM
  #35  
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I did a three-week solo 1100 mile ride back in 1980. That was a much faster pace of almost 100 miles/day when I was riding (two out of the three weeks). A lot of 'get-there-itis' on that trip!

Now that I'm much older and a little wiser (or like to think I am ) I have planned out a three-week 1040-mile ride/tour around the perimeter of Ohio. Yes, it is that far following the borders! There are towns every 45-60 miles that I plan to overnight. that's only 3-4 hours of riding per day (and also allowing one day off per week) Start riding at 8am, finish by noon-ish before it gets too warm. I plan to spend some time looking up the local history or visiting historic sites along the way. Every town has some interesting history! With the rest of my afternoons, I am free to do laundry - walk around the town - talk to the locals - eat at local greasy-spoon diners - buy other foodstuffs at roadside produce stands or local markets. In other words, I want to ENJOY the ride!!
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Old 10-26-17, 02:55 PM
  #36  
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Old 10-26-17, 03:08 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by alias5000 View Post
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A wise man. I'm often caught quoting Daniel Boone. He was/is one of my role models and personal hero. He said,

"Felicity, the companion of content, is rather found in our own breasts than in the enjoyment of external things; and I firmly believe it requires but a little philosophy to make a man happy in whatever state he is."

Words I live by.
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Old 10-26-17, 09:18 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
I've always traveled solo and not sure I would want to do it any other way...too many complications to deal with when you add more people.

Throw away your trip plan and just wing it. Push your limits and make yourself go further then you ever think you could in one day. Like a few others have suggested go out and 'hit the town', get around the locals and again do something you normally wouldn't do. I've did that a few times when trying to kill part of a day in town, went into the local historical museum(never me...not a chance), took in a nice chalk sideway art display the locals had drawn up(some darn nice artowrk done with chalk). Just put yourself out there and see how the cards fall.

One way to make anything memorable is to push your limits and go do something that you normally wouldn't even contemplate doing.
+1. That sums up almost all of my riding, daily or multiday. Although any interactions are mainly incidental or started by someone else. I am happy just being a passive analyzing casual observer of people and places. I fly and travel a lot solo for work and although no bike involved, it's an identical experience. I don't think I'd like it any other way.

Last edited by u235; 10-26-17 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 10-26-17, 09:40 PM
  #39  
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Huh, "travel guitar". That's an interesting google search!

Like this electric guitar, weight 3 pounds:
Attached Images
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guitar.JPG (34.6 KB, 43 views)
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Old 10-26-17, 09:58 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
+1. That sums up almost all of my riding, daily or multiday. Although any interactions are mainly incidental or started by someone else. I am happy just being a passive analyzing casual observer of people and places. I fly and travel a lot solo for work and although no bike involved, it's an identical experience. I don't think I'd like it any other way.
I need distractions at home: internet, radio, reading, tv. But I can happily ride for hours and not feel bored.
I liked your "observer of people and places" description.

Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
I did a three-week solo 1100 mile ride back in 1980. That was a much faster pace of almost 100 miles/day when I was riding (two out of the three weeks). A lot of 'get-there-itis' on that trip!

Now that I'm much older and a little wiser (or like to think I am ) I have planned out a three-week 1040-mile ride/tour around the perimeter of Ohio. Yes, it is that far following the borders! There are towns every 45-60 miles that I plan to overnight. that's only 3-4 hours of riding per day (and also allowing one day off per week) Start riding at 8am, finish by noon-ish before it gets too warm. I plan to spend some time looking up the local history or visiting historic sites along the way. Every town has some interesting history! With the rest of my afternoons, I am free to do laundry - walk around the town - talk to the locals - eat at local greasy-spoon diners - buy other foodstuffs at roadside produce stands or local markets. In other words, I want to ENJOY the ride!!
On your route, don't miss the free (for bikes and walkers) ferry ride to historic Augusta KY. And you might even want to continue along KY Route 8 to Cincinnati, a nice road for riding. (You may have to wait a little while until a paying vehicle gets the ferry under way...) Google Street View of the early 1800s row houses, with a view across the river.

In Cincinnati, the Over the Rhine neighborhood just north of downtown is block after block of 19th century row houses. Ride the new streetcar for $1 to make a sightseeing loop through the area.

Last edited by rm -rf; 10-26-17 at 10:17 PM.
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