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Offline XXL

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Riding Alone
« on: December 21, 2009, 03:54:56 pm »
I was out in the middle of nowhere the other day, on the bike, riding alone. Got around to thinking if something goes wrong, what would one do? Should DS Riders ride with a fellow rider, for safety, like the cyclists have taken to doing?
Being fairly new to this, what suggestions do you have in this regard? What do you do and what have you learned by harsh experience?
I am a great believer in learning from others experiences / mistakes....if it went wrong for them, I really don't have to prove that I may have a different / worse outcome :mwink:

Please share for all our benefit.... :thumleft:
 

Offline Battlestar

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Re: Riding Alone
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2009, 04:01:34 pm »
I would always recomend riding with a wingman especially if doing dirt and being far away from major centres or off major routes highways.
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Offline Varadero

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Re: Riding Alone
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2009, 04:02:35 pm »
Always safer to ride with someone else (and no a pillion doesn't count) BUT having said that there's nothing like doing a long solo trip.  It all comes down to how comfortable you are with your riding abilities, your technical abilities, etc, etc.  As the saying goes nothing beats experience and that only comes from time on the bike riding in all conditions and all terrain.  Speak to someone like Jan Staal (Country Trax) and he'll tell you straight : you ride alone you die alone!  
 

Offline Adventurer

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Re: Riding Alone
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2009, 04:06:28 pm »
Don't be afraid to ride alone, just be prepared.
My mate is currently on his way back from Malawi, solo, went through Botswana, crossed Zambia and wound up at Lake Malawi.
What he does is check in with me every day (and his wife) with his daily destination and ETA, I know his route.
If he does not arrive within the time schedule, given an hour or two leeway, I start trying to contact him, sms and phone.
I know where he is going and will contact them and ask if he's not already lying around the pool with a cold one in his hand, if he is, lekker, I'll moer him when he returns... :biggrin:
Search parties can be arranged long distance, the internet, cell phones, the right contacts and a bit of savvy make it easier.
When riding alone, always ride at not more than 70% of your potential, it makes it safer all round. Try and stay on populated roads, and ALWAYS have a plan.  
If you can keep your head in the midst of all this confusion, you don't understand the situation!
 

Offline Battlestar

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Re: Riding Alone
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2009, 04:08:26 pm »
Belonging to a forum/group like this im sure there will always be somebody out there close by to help  :thumleft:
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Offline the_BOBNOB

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Re: Riding Alone
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2009, 04:10:00 pm »
 

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Re: Riding Alone
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2009, 04:14:29 pm »
Belonging to a forum/group like this im sure there will always be somebody out there close by to help  :thumleft:

+1. My mate already met two customers of mine on his trip. The internet is HUGE! :thumleft:
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Offline JamesXRV

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Re: Riding Alone
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2009, 04:18:18 pm »
I end up riding alone most of the time too ( I think it's because nobody likes me ).

This subject actually came up the other day while my father-in-law and I had a chat.

Besides bike trips, my wife, our pugs and I do lots of 4x4 trips alone as well. Now father-in -law's friends are the kind of guys who are kitted with GPS, Two way radios etc etc. I travel with a sense of adventure and a map.

These guys reckon that two way radios are essential, 'cause if you get stuck or brake down somewhere you can contact someone.

Now, that does make sense, but even in the most remote places we have been, there are always other people. So help is at hand.

I have a few basic things that work for me. Whether on the bike or in the 4x4 I always have:

1)Tools
2)Tubes (for the bike), tyre plug kit, compressor.
3) Even on the bike, I always travel with enough water and something to eat.
4) A small medical kit
5) Always tell friends/family your basic route, and where you will be more or less when.

Most of the time we also have a tent with us, so I am sure we will survive a night or two in the bundus.

Personally, I prefer traveling alone most of the time.

PS: Also carry enough whiskey with you at all time.It's a good wound disinfectant and it will help you sleep if you are scared of the dark out in the middle of nowhere. You will also feel less depressed about the fact that you broke down. :mwink:
« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 04:29:35 pm by JamesXRV »
If at first you don't succeed, take another swig of whiskey and try again...
 

Offline Buff

Re: Riding Alone
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2009, 04:30:01 pm »
Very wise words  :thumleft:

I must admit, I feel way safer on the motorbike than on my bicycle. It's not so easy to hijack a motorbike with a stick or knife if it's going at a fair lick. I also do the "tell my wife where I'm going" thing but I never end up sticking to my original plan... I think it's a guy thing  >:D
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Re: Riding Alone
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2009, 04:34:31 pm »
Going solo has its dangers, but it has its good side too. Sometimes, I just have to spend some time on my own.

Just ride well within yourself, and always have a backup plan. Most of the places I travel in SA, even far flung places, have cell reception, so I don't use my cell for radio or mp3's when solo - it is my lifeline and I look after my battery.
Always leave your route with your family or a friend you can trust.
NEVER leave on a solo trip without your medi - kit.
Be prepared for anything.
When things go wrong - and they will - take it with a a sense of adventure. Even when your bike is on the back of a bakkie after you crashed and you're getting a lift back to civilization - you are still having an adventure. Enjoy it. Often, your attitude will dictate wether you enjoy yourself or not.

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Offline JamesXRV

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Re: Riding Alone
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2009, 04:39:11 pm »
Going solo has its dangers, but it has its good side too. Sometimes, I just have to spend some time on my own.

Just ride well within yourself, and always have a backup plan. Most of the places I travel in SA, even far flung places, have cell reception, so I don't use my cell for radio or mp3's when solo - it is my lifeline and I look after my battery.
Always leave your route with your family or a friend you can trust.
NEVER leave on a solo trip without your medi - kit.
Be prepared for anything.
When things go wrong - and they will - take it with a a sense of adventure. Even when your bike is on the back of a bakkie after you crashed and you're getting a lift back to civilization - you are still having an adventure. Enjoy it. Often, your attitude will dictate wether you enjoy yourself or not.




 :thumleft: on that last bit.
If at first you don't succeed, take another swig of whiskey and try again...
 

Offline the_BOBNOB

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Re: Riding Alone
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2009, 04:40:54 pm »
best ride i have ever had was solo ride south coast, swartberg pass, baviaans, lesotho, etc  :thumleft:
 

Offline XXL

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Re: Riding Alone
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2009, 04:44:26 pm »


Point taken, Bobnob ;D....done a lot of searching, reading books, etc. The point is, that one tip that someone mentions in passing, may save your life...I live believing that you never know enough, unlike some, who know everything :-\! Good one :thumleft: :laughing4:
 

Offline Stoetbul

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Re: Riding Alone
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2009, 04:45:37 pm »
I end up riding alone most of the time too ( I think it's because nobody likes me ).

This subject actually came up the other day while my father-in-law and I had a chat.

Besides bike trips, my wife, our pugs and I do lots of 4x4 trips alone as well. Now father-in -law's friends are the kind of guys who are kitted with GPS, Two way radios etc etc. I travel with a sense of adventure and a map.

These guys reckon that two way radios are essential, 'cause if you get stuck or brake down somewhere you can contact someone.

Now, that does make sense, but even in the most remote places we have been, there are always other people. So help is at hand.

I have a few basic things that work for me. Whether on the bike or in the 4x4 I always have:

1)Tools
2)Tubes (for the bike), tyre plug kit, compressor.
3) Even on the bike, I always travel with enough water and something to eat.
4) A small medical kit
5) Always tell friends/family your basic route, and where you will be more or less when.

Most of the time we also have a tent with us, so I am sure we will survive a night or two in the bundus.

Personally, I prefer traveling alone most of the time.

PS: Also carry enough whiskey with you at all time.It's a good wound disinfectant and it will help you sleep if you are scared of the dark out in the middle of nowhere. You will also feel less depressed about the fact that you broke down. :mwink:
Could'nt agree more James.
Went on a trip by myself via Ceres to Calvinia. What could go wrong I thought to myself? Well,long story short,I spent most of the day in the blazing sun with no water, and the okes that have done that road knows that there is almost no traffic and even less cellphone reception. :thumleft:
 

Offline XXL

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Re: Riding Alone
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2009, 04:46:03 pm »
best ride i have ever had was solo ride south coast, swartberg pass, baviaans, lesotho, etc  :thumleft:

Used to live in Matatiele / Cedarville....thats where I learned to love the off-road riding! Gods country! :thumleft:
 

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Re: Riding Alone
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2009, 04:49:44 pm »
Riding alone is great!  Just don't be a twatwaffle and take risks.  In rural areas help is often closer than you think. One is seldom as remote as one might imagine.  My number one rule for solo riding: don't damage myself.  I will walk away from a broken bike, but unless your name's Tok-tokkie it's a bugger when you're injured.  :P
 

Offline Smithey

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Re: Riding Alone
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2009, 05:39:47 pm »
Ive found i take it a lot easier when im solo and out in the sticks  :deal:
 

Offline Stofdonkie

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Re: Riding Alone
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2009, 05:49:40 pm »
Ive found i take it a lot easier when im solo and out in the sticks  :deal:

+1

My fav way of riding - cruising solo. Far better overall zen.

And on an 1150 I don't need to worry about reliability.

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Re: Riding Alone
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2009, 05:59:57 pm »
I also prefer riding alone but I guess one has to consider where your'e riding before going alone.
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Re: Riding Alone
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2009, 06:15:28 pm »
Riding alone does it  for me, with proper preparation your bike will not give hassles beside the odd puncture. I attend various bike events and am totally self sufficeint without looking like a circus caravan. Travelling alone also allows you to stop where you want and for how long you want without hindering other people. Plan your route carefull and even plan for the unplanned. :biggrin:
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