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Embrace the Lone Wolf Within

All photos by Virgil Knapp
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Embrace the Lone Wolf Within

Why taking a motorcycle trip solo can be life-changing

Picture this scenario… you meticulously plan an epic riding adventure for a week with six of your closest pals, to only have it unravel at the last minute when one of them backs out and the rest fall like dominos. 

Unfortunately, in our society we’ve been conditioned to think that participating in recreational activities can only be done with others. Even something simple like dinner or the movies as a single can yield some pretty awkward feels, when it shouldn’t. The reality is, doing activities by your lonesome can be a freeing experience, breaking the shackles of our societal norms. You no longer have to plan around others’ schedules and have only yourself to worry about. 

In a world where constant connection with others is pushed on us heavily via social media, a solo motorcycle trip is the perfect opportunity to unplug from the “mothership” and do a little self-reflection while taking in some world-class motorcycle routes.

Embrace the challenge

Riding solo is difficult, especially if it’s your first time. You’ll have all the normal apprehensions, from “What if I get bored?” to “What if I break down?” This can be especially important if you’re the extrovert type and thrive off interactions with others. Treat this as a meditative experience, and I promise you: once everything is planned out, you’ll return refreshed and recharged. 

Make friends with strangers

The number-one hang up of any solo traveller, be it for motorcycle touring or regular vacations, is the fear that you’ll get lonely if you don’t have someone to share the experience with (I can admit I’ve been guilty of this mindset before). Use this is an opportunity to make some new friends—something increasingly more difficult to do as we age—perhaps not lifelong connections, but even if you buddy up for a leg of your journey, it will help fill any void you’re feeling. Besides, the camaraderie that exists between motorcycle riders is unlike any other subset. It’s the same reason complete strangers will universally wave when they pass a fellow rider.

Live by your own rules

What is the true essence of riding a motorcycle? Liberation, that ultimate feeling of freedom—it’s what gets us hooked on riding in the first place. The best part of travelling alone is choice; you have the freedom to do whatever you please. Hungry? Stop whenever and wherever you want. Tired? Pick one of the many lodgings that cater to two-wheel clientele and get a good night’s sleep. Most importantly, you can ride your own style, at your own pace, and you don’t have to worry about pushing ahead to stay on schedule for someone else’s timeline.

Join up with multiple groups

If you still miss the company of others, the beauty of solo road tripping is you can join up with other groups of riders, and stay with them until you decide you want to “bug out” like Maverick in Top Gun.

The biggest reason to try solo riding is once you have tried it, you’ll be more likely to shed your previous fears and do it again. There’s nothing wrong with going on group rides, but next time one of your buddies trips fall through or you just want to clear your head, pack a bag and head North for some two-wheel therapy.

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