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  #1  
Old 30 Oct 2008
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Riding alone

Just a question..as i intend to go to Europe this spring on my big Burgman do you think its wise to go alone.
At the moment i am quite happy exploring and touring in and around London where i live and have started wandering further away.
i used to a lot of solo touring back in the 60@s and 70's when younger.......but i am aging rapidly LOL
But is it wise to go on the continent alone..........what advice would you offer.
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  #2  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsomeman View Post
Just a question..as i intend to go to Europe this spring on my big Burgman do you think its wise to go alone.
At the moment i am quite happy exploring and touring in and around London where i live and have started wandering further away.
i used to a lot of solo touring back in the 60@s and 70's when younger.......but i am aging rapidly LOL
But is it wise to go on the continent alone..........what advice would you offer.
Mind ze Germans! Hitler may be dead, but who knows what they are up to next?
And don't trust the French!
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  #3  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Originally Posted by PeerG View Post
Mind ze Germans! Hitler may be dead, but who knows what they are up to next?
And don't trust the French!
Hmmm. My thoughts exactly, and don't even think about getting me started on the Welsh.
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  #4  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Alone Across the Alps...

I usually ride alone. Haven't been in Europe though. Lots in North America. I prefer it. However....I work in the human services area and so spend most of my days with people....travellling alone provides welcome difference from the usual days...

Here's a few thoughts about going alone...
  • Less planning headaches. (Can we stop now? How bout now?)
  • More breakdown headaches. (Did I pack my hiking boots?)
  • More fun coming home to the one you love (maybe not if you're single)
  • Less fun on the road without the one you love (or not).
  • Maybe not getting on the road at all without the one who decides.
  • More cost for rooms. (less travel to the dollar/euro)
  • Less cost for food admission fees etc (If you have to buy two tickets)
  • More time to be with yourself on the road.
  • Less time to be with yourself at stops (people seem to be more willing to talk with you if you're alone and not riding with a pack).
  • More options for connecting up with someone you meet on the road and maybe sharing some riding time.
  • Can go to bed as early as you want. (I'm 56 now and have passed my partying Best Before date)
  • Can get up as early as you want
  • Can get up as late as you want.
  • Can't have anyone else get you a .
  • Campfires aren't as much fun alone. But you can often find folks to share for that purpose. Then can go back to being alone.
  • Can spend as much time as you want reading the HUBB while on the road.
For a great take on the travelling with someone who then ends up driving you nuts read Jeremy Kroeker's book - Motorcycle Therapy - tis quite funny!

Mr. Simon also adds interesting notes on travelling with others (Malu??) and the associated sacrifices in his newish book - Dreaming of Jupiter.

William Least Heat Moon's Blue Highways provides interesting perspectives related travelling alone.

Sometimes you have no option but travelling alone as others may not be available.

Some people's personal makeup is that they are more comfortable with others and don't like being alone....others feel differently and like to be alone....I like travelling alone but try to engage with others along the way - I like hearing from others who live elsewhere to learn about their lives etc.

If you always go to places with others it might be a big step to head off on your bike alone. If you are already OK with doing things by yourself, riding alone can simply be an extension of that.

Would like to hear others thoughts on this.
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  #5  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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i intended going solo when i went to spain last march. met another biker riding solo in the same direction of the ferry so ended up as a pair.
i cant see solo being a problem as long your ok struggling with communicating. thats my downfall, i get too annoyed with myself for not being about to speak their language.
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  #6  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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when there is two of you, you have the advantage that in the event of a breakdown you are still mobile. However you then can only have things your way for 50% of the time

I have done 99% or more of my riding alone.
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  #7  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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thanks old bmw..i think you have clarified may of the reasons i prefer to go alone..........im actually quite sociable and make friends easily, so i usally make then at the end or along the way.
I suppose with the advent of modern communication the fears of breaking down are less than when i toured in the 60's.......then you expected to break down occasionally on big British bikes! lol
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  #8  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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I eat less, infact very litlle (not enough) when I am alone...

Can have problems with health, accident, etc and it is difficult when you are alone...

Sometimes other person(s) can be headache too... Depends on people...
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  #9  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Can't quote the percentages, but I've travelled alone, with a pillion or sidecar passenger, with another rider and in large groups. They are all dfferent and with the exception of large groups (I've no patience for idiots who wait for everyone to fill up and get their gear on, then go order a 12 course meal for themselves ) I can do any. I think STG06 has it right.

Take a book or three and/or a personal stereo for when you want to be alone or for example (the book) don't want to feel too out of place in a restaurant. I don't know how you language skills are, but a quick good morning or nice bike on a campsite can often give you any human contact you do decide you'd like. Failing that, simply budget for a call home from your mobile when it's all going pearshaped or you just feel like a chat.

I must say i'm sort of used to the travelling alone thing. I'm a salesman and have spent many a night in travelodges in such exciting places as Solihull, Gothenburg or Mannheim. A good book and a couple of s on the company and I really don't mind. Likewise a nice bit of banter over a football match on the telly (can do that in about six langauges!) can work. I think its just a case of going with the flow when you want to and finding something else when you don't. Travelling alone you really do have the choice.

Enjoy your trip,

Andy
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  #10  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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I generally end up on my own, I have planned trips with others but fallen out, gone with others and had a great time as well as a bad time. Bit like being at home really.

Accidents and breakdowns have happened but people have always been helpfull and friendly, roll up at a campsite, hotel people talk when they see the foriegn plate.

Only had one bad experience when I was mugged by a bloke with a gun who took my wallet and spare cash. But keep my wallet almost empty and stash dards/money elsewhere.

Go and enjoy yourself, you can get mugged/hurt in any street in the world including the one you live in.
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  #11  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Originally Posted by oldsomeman View Post
But is it wise to go on the continent alone.
Maybe you could inform us what your provisos are. Why do you think you would be less safe as compared to riding the UK?

What changed since the 60s and 70s that makes it more dangerous to travel? In those times nobody had a cell phone to call the AA (or the local equivalent) after a breakdown or the medics in case of an accident. Now we have these means.

How reliable were your rides in those days compared to your present ride?

Are people different today? Are they less friendly or helpfull if asked?

Is it more difficult now to find one's way with a navigation device or a GPSr than it was in those days with maps?

Or is it the heart, that does not like to let go of habits and habitats it has grown into over the years. The familiar surrounding of your home turf, the roads and tracks you know, the people you can return to within the shortest of time.

Travelling is about leaving all this behind, even if it is only for a few days and maybe only to find out that you feel at best when you're home. If you're afraid of leaving home and don't go, you won't find out.

Last edited by Mandarax; 31 Oct 2008 at 19:12.
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  #12  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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You're never alone with a phone.

If you're worried about breakdowns - be it the Suzi or yourself, then pack a mobile phone, you can get always get an international SIM card which means you don't pay huge roaming charges, the Burg has a charging socket doesn't it? If you fancy a long chat home then there's still plenty of call boxes in Europe, you can get home to ring you back.

Other things I'd consider:
  • If you haven't got one, get a Suzuki dealership list for the countries you're planning on visiting, that way you'll know where to go if there's a problem. You can always pop in for a chat anyway.I reckon if you can get across the idea of what you're up to you're bound to get at least a coffee out of it
  • Sign up on the CouchSurfing website, there's people of all ages, and it's not just about scrounging a bed for the night, it can just be a cup of coffee or even having a phone number you don't use in a place you planned to visit but don't.
  • If you've got an idea of a route, why not tell us all on here? There's bound to be some people close to where you're considering, and I know I'd be happy to give you a tour/bed/coffee/phone number in case of emergency, and I reckon I can't be the only one.
  • Think Paddington, just like the bear why not tie something round your neck with your details on it, emergency telephone numbers, any medical conditions etc, that way in the event of you falling unconscious due to excessive alcohol consumption, they know where to post you home.
And remember it's only Europe, aside from the fact we all drive on the wrong side we're not that different from the Brits (or should I say Americans?) anymore, we have Starbucks, many Europeans speak fantastic English, most European countries have better health services than the UK and we've finally got flush loos here in France. If my experience is anything to go by, car drivers treat bikes and scooters much better over this side of the Channel too.
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  #13  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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hey i surrender..dont beat me to death lol
In reality i have returned to motorcycling after many years and bought the burgman because of its step through ability, plus the 400 cc engine.This enables me to cruise happily at 60 mph with bursts up to 80 plus if i need it .I am also happier off main roads as i have indicated elsewhere on this site.
i have mainly travelled alone,but i suppose as i get older i just wonder if its the best way for me..............and yes i have read all the fores and cons that others have suggested and tried.
I have never rode on the continent as when young i explored a lot of the the UK and so am a little nervous.........but if i can shout yipee driving along a road in the pouring rain im sure ill overcome that one.
Traveling id say is easier today...with all the modern gadgets,roads and services but its still the dogged determination to get where I want that counts......i use maps, enjoy planning it,enjoy a challenge and love to achieve.But we do have the joys of GPS when i can afford it and other small luxuries.
i have been spending time getting to know my bike and prove its reliability .unlike the cavalier days of youth when i just got on and rode,and sod the consequences lol.They are only reliable as much as you prepare them......but i think after being used to years of reliable cars..i realise i would be thrown back to my own basic engineering skills if things do go wrong.even with rescue services( which i have to say i never used when i had a bike in youth as i fixed then as more easier to do.shops available in those days).
The journey is still in the stages of planning.....but as i have indicated elsewhere i hope either to do the coasts of France or alternatively head as an original post straight to my desire to explore Austria on the bike.
thanks for that site i will look into it..i do love to meet folk and say hello.
Hopefully ill be on the continent in either spring...or early July , which would be better for say Austria.
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  #14  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Solo ....

As for "in case of a breakdown" .... sometimes your mate can breakdown too and its definetly more difficult to fix him/her, then any mechanical part of your motorcyle and easier to deal with ....
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  #15  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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as some one once said...when you argue with your self you definitely get an answer you agree with!....and solo you do tend to make decisions..although its nice to 'bounce' an idea of some one else sometime.
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