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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #1  
Old 4 Jan 2014
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Alone or Duo??

Im am very new to the Adv Moto lifestyle. I havn't made any long trips yet. Would it be better with someone or by myself? And where would you start to find someone that would be into this as much as i am? Its scarce in my neck of woods. Asking someone to give it all away to fancy a ride round the world is a tricky question. Am I alone? Or do I find a Partner in Crime? Also when i say Duo or partner I mean another Rider with another bike, not on the same bike. Thanks.

Last edited by MattyRider; 4 Jan 2014 at 05:14.
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  #2  
Old 4 Jan 2014
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Only you can answer this. We all need time alone and with others. We all differ in what level of support we want from another traveller and how annoying we will find them when they are not doing anything fun or useful. Some people travel better alone, view stuff that's harder on your own as a challenge and can get all the company they need via Skype the web or talking to strangers. Others need the back up and don't mind the enclosing influence of a fixed group.

I have done group tours which I hated. I have done weeks of riding with a really good mate and my wife and we all still view them as good trips. I have done solo trips meeting people along the way which have been both good and bad. I think the key is openness and the ability to adapt. My wife knows we would both hate Norway in winter, her cold and me worried she is hating it. Alone I love it. October fest on the other hand is much better with a few mates along.

You should get into the scene where you are, try one of the HU meets. Try a solo trip see if you like it. Much as I detest them you could also sign up for an organised tour.

A club that tolerates me as a member has a tradition of humorous rants. My take on the organised tour is here http://www.thumperclub.com/smf/index.php?topic=7006.0 but please don't let this put you off, one guys wait in a carpark wasting the day is another's relaxed chance for a lazy breakfast.

The trick with companions is to either know you will always get on or get over it, or know you can go your own ways. Problems happen when aims differ but the "team" cannot go their own way due to shared kit or fixed plans.

Edit to add (almost forgot my manners there): Welcome to HUBB .

Andy
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  #3  
Old 4 Jan 2014
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Another thing you could do might be finding someone who is traveling roughly the same route at the same time. That gives both an opportunity to ride together as long as you like, without giving up your freedom of making solo choices on the go. As long as both partners plan it as a solo trip and just are open to enjoy the company, it's a win-win situation.
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  #4  
Old 5 Jan 2014
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Thanks, I had no idea that so many hear the call to explore. It's truly amazing. Im not much for the internet, but I'm loving this site.
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  #5  
Old 5 Jan 2014
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With my tongue only half in my cheek I'd say your choice of travelling companion is more important than your choice of bike. Little idiosyncrasies or differences that you (or they) can put up with for an evening in a bar can end up as trip breakers when you're together for weeks on the road. Finding someone of sufficient like mind that conflict doesn't rear up at some point is very rare in my experience. After over 40yrs of bike touring / overlanding etc I only know one person I'd do a trip of over a week with without worrying - and it isn't my wife.

Talking of wives / partners etc, unless they really are of like mind, forcing them to go on a long bike trip is a quick way to the divorce courts (in my opinion (and experience)).

At least with solo trips you don't have to worry that they'll ride off into the distance or stomp off into the night but the up side of sharing the good bits is missing also and sometimes I've felt the trip was hardly worth doing when you can't share it with anyone afterwards. No one to share the problems with can raise your stress levels out of the pleasure zone quite quickly, although much of this does depend on how self reliant you are as a personality. Ted Simon's belief that the breakdowns make the trip may or may not be something that you agree with - although looking back at my touring life it's been the times when things have gone wrong I remember more than the smooth running days. Some of the memories are even good ones!

I'm not familiar with your neck of the US but any bike camping weekends or rallies that you could ride a few hundred miles to might kick things off and you'd meet like minded people. Here in the UK and throughout Europe there are probably hundreds of events like that throughout the year.
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  #6  
Old 5 Jan 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyRider View Post
Im am very new to the Adv Moto lifestyle. I havn't made any long trips yet. Would it be better with someone or by myself? And where would you start to find someone that would be into this as much as i am? Its scarce in my neck of woods. Asking someone to give it all away to fancy a ride round the world is a tricky question. Am I alone? Or do I find a Partner in Crime? Also when i say Duo or partner I mean another Rider with another bike, not on the same bike. Thanks.
Don't look into it to much just because you never went on any trips does not mean you can't crack a big trip as your first and also solo if needed, many people do it

I myself only passed my bike test a few weeks before I set of on my first trip last year on my first every bike that I had only rode less than 100 miles on since passing my test.

Maybe my ongoing blog (link at bottom) is worth alook for you
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  #7  
Old 5 Jan 2014
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Originally Posted by MattyRider View Post
Thanks, I had no idea that so many hear the call to explore. It's truly amazing. Im not much for the internet, but I'm loving this site.
We are of course the best site here but you may also want to look at the one we don't mention (Don't let anyone know I told you about ADVrider) which has a greater proportion of low grade porn, internet warriorship and discussions about what flavour of Dunkin Doughnuts is best, but also some info that might be more local to you. If you go over there say hello from us elitist snobs as they affectionately call us

The just-do-it approach can work well if you are the sort of person who falls off, gets up, duct tapes the exhaust back on, takes pictures for a blog and gets on with it. I've seen 40 year old men cry at the realisation that their recovery service won't rescue their Bavarian Behemoth from North Africa though. I've also been hacked off by travel-light/just-do-it types scrounging stuff they could have brought for themselves if they'd had a plan. Our personalities vary. I worked up to bigger trips much more slowly, I'd been riding 8 years before I left Europe although I had done the old DDR pretty much straight off the training course (which of course triggers the bloke in the pub or your Auntie to start predicting death by foreign water, poor plumbing and repeats of various scenes from Midnight Express).

Totally agree with BofB, don't worry about the shopping. Sure, if you meet a travelling companion who works and plan a 90-day trip it may be worth getting matching bikes. You can read plenty of tales where people get a 125 for their wives and then moan she can't keep up with their 1200. The inability to ride slower or understand that your travelling companion can't handle the weight of a 1200 is the bigger step than swapping the bikes. Oddly these guys never try giving the wife the 1200 and seeing if they can keep up on the 125. No point buying stuff until you know it works for you. Buy petrol and tyres first.

Andy
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  #8  
Old 6 Jan 2014
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Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post

The just-do-it approach can work well if you are the sort of person who falls off, gets up, duct tapes the exhaust back on, takes pictures for a blog and gets on with it.


I'd been riding 8 years before I left Europe

So what Andy is basically saying after riding for 8 years in Europe he still never found out that duct tape does not work when fixing a exhaust

that was a joke by the way
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  #9  
Old 6 Jan 2014
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Threewheelbonnie summed it up pretty well when he said only you know the answer to the question of solo or with company. My feeling is lot of people struggle when they are alone, especially when away from the little brick boxes in foreign parts.
I am very happy being alone and indeed spend much of my time alone in my work and have done for many years. My first trips were solo and I loved every minute of it. As my trips got further, longer and more adventurous I talked my wife into coming along. 1week 2 weeks 3 weeks....and so on. She loves it, I love it and away from "normal civilian life" we thoroughly enjoy each others company, just like a couple of loved young kids, we've been hitch 26yrs

Anyway now I can't imagine going with out my playmate now mainly because I love to share the experience and would feel guilty if she missed out. Had she not agreed to come the first time I would probably be a solo man and still be happy doing just that.

I'm not too tolerant of other people sometimes ...apparently? I do expect others to do as I can regardless of what it is. "If I can do it, they can do it, if they can do it, I can do it" That could be a bit awkward on a long trip with others, I would have to be more open about my feelings with others to make it work. Looks quite likely that will come into play this year in August, for part or all of our trip, using HUBB !

I have planned trips with friends and "others" but the biggest problem is finding someone that will actually go. I wonder out of every 100 dreamers how many actually do it? Quite a low % I reckon ( I'll start a thread on that I think)

So in summary for MattyRider's OP question: It's all about knowing yourself, and knowing what you may have to do to make it work, what ever you decide to do. The hardest part is actually minute 1 on hour 1 on day one the rest is easy !
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  #10  
Old 7 Jan 2014
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Originally Posted by g6snl View Post
I'm not too tolerant of other people sometimes ...apparently? I do expect others to do as I can regardless of what it is. "If I can do it, they can do it, if they can do it, I can do it"
Haven't you just described every bloke over 40.
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  #11  
Old 7 Jan 2014
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That explains it then! Still, at least I get to play deaf just to annoy people

The trick with duct tape and exhausts is like most things with duct tape; enough of it. About 9 rolls for a serious break



The hour 1, minute 1 comment is very well made. I may be suffering some sort of mental disease but the voices in my head that claim going to Bavaria in a Blizzard will be fun also start harping on about the little rattle in the top of the engine that must be thermo-nuclear self ignition about to vaporise us the second we roll off the driveway. I think one of the advantages of having someone along is that they tell you at the first petrol stop that as you are going too *****y fast there can't be much wrong. That said I once rode with a Ural group one of whom decided to strip his gearbox down during the lunch break

Possibly some sort of inflatable special friend or mobile app can be developed?

This one was good mind https://picasaweb.google.com/1044429...33685936729314

Andy
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  #12  
Old 8 Jan 2014
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I have done a LOT of group riding and an equal amount of solo.

One huge advantage of solo is that you can meet up and ride with other riders for short or long legs... depending on compatibility. It also gives you the freedom to listen to your inner voice when it is screaming "cut and run... cut and run" and then you can bail and find a better path.

And also many locals will invite one person to their homes but not a group.
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  #13  
Old 8 Jan 2014
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Thanks, I think Im just going to make a date of leaving, and if I cant find anyone to join me by then ill go anyway. Maybe finding my Duo on the road. And if not ill learn the solo way. Thanks everyone. Im in love with this site.

Ps. ITs -28degrees F in Ohio right now.

Matty
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  #14  
Old 15 Jan 2014
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As noted, only you can answer the question. Both styles are very different and have their sacrifices. My own preference is to travel alone, but if I meet someone interesting on the road I will travel with them for awhile. I have ridden with other motorcyclists and taken on passengers. When it is time to go our separate ways.....we do so with no problem because it is simply time for each of us to do something different. For me, this suits both my need for solo travel and the joy of shared experiences.
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  #15  
Old 16 Jan 2014
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I've had 2 bad experiences travelling with people I didn't know well.

The first trip, to France, I was part of 6 riders. Found out on the ferry that 4 had never ridden abroad before. After 5 days, those 4 riders said they "didn't like it" & rode back to the UK (seriously!). That left me & 1 guy. He'd arranged to visit family in Germany & although he invited me to tag along, I decided to head down to Spain and do my own thing (had a great time).

My second bad trip: I'd planned to ride to Austria, this time, on my own. However, a guy on a bike forum asked if he could ride with me as he was going to Greece. On that basis, I assumed (never again) that he was an experienced rider / traveller so agreed. We didn't make it past Ostend together. He was a total liability - left his passport on the ferry, then lost his gloves & the final straw was finding out he'd booked a hotel room without consulting me!

So if you plan to ride with others, try to meet and chat as much as possible. Go on biking weekend together, discuss how you like to ride, how much you like to stop, do they have any habits you can't stand?
Have an exit plan - for anyone to use whenever they wish with no hard feelings
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