It’s Week Four of the Hauraki Rail Trail & JollyBikes Competition. Click here to ENTER.
Adventuring with friends and family is hard to beat. We feel safer in numbers, can share journeys and make lasting memories. We can venture further, train together for an event or cause, or support each other to achieve new goals.
There is much to be said however for hitting the trails by yourself. Just you, your bike, your thoughts and fresh air, and utterly in keeping with physical distancing. The demands of work and family life can be pretty overwhelming, and there’s nothing better than leaving it all behind for a little you time.
So next time there’s an opportunity to ride, seize the day. Invites to others can wait until another time. Converse with yourself, bike your favourite trail, lunch at your desired cafe, and head home when you’re good and ready.
If you need convincing…here’s our 10 reasons to fly solo.
When you ride alone the world is your oyster. When choosing your route there’s only one person to cater for. You don’t have to accommodate ride partners who want to bike further, or are speed demons on the flat. It’s all about you, and if you only want to do a quick 10 or 20km then that’s fine.
Waiting to ride with others can be frustrating. You’re kitted out, bike prepared, water bottle full...and waiting for friends who turn up 20 minutes late. Solo riding lets you head out when you’re ready, and keep pedalling from the minute you leave the house or your accommodation.
There’s always a great photo opportunity but you feel too guilty to stop. Or maybe you need the loo, or just a breather? These are all easy when you’re on your own. No-one will care or roll their eyes if you stop 10 times on your ride to soak up the views.
If you’re riding regularly for fitness or preparing for an event, you may not be riding with like minded cyclists. Good training comes from having a good plan, so prevent things from becoming disjointed, keep your head down and stay focused.
Fresh air, the bush and sea are good for the soul, and being alone is a great way to clear your head without distractions. While group rides are fun and sociable, constant chatter can get in the way of switching off and relaxing.
It’s frustrating when you can’t keep up with your friends. Your pedals are cranking, legs burning, but sometimes you’re left behind. Riding alone allows you to be more aware of your breathing, heart rate, pace and effort, leaving you free to adjust them at your leisure.
Some days a ride just doesn’t go to plan or feel as good as usual. Whether it’s fatigue, the weather, or an injury, if you’re alone you can shorten your ride, turn around or head home. Sometimes it’s acceptable to just throw in the towel.
Let’s face it we all know a competitive rider who is always first to the top of the hill, and to the bottom again. Biking alone however you can take great pleasure raising your arms in victory because no one else is there to look.
Solo riders are more likely to meet other riders as you enjoy a trail, and also when staying in more social accommodation such as holiday parks and backpackers. You just never know who you might meet on your adventure.
Undertaking long day or multi-day rides alone you become more conscious of being self-sufficient with food, water, spares and equipment necessary. Riding alone forces the awareness to pack all the essentials, and creates a greater sense of confidence and achievement.
So whether you’re looking for Short & Easy Bike Rides, or Multi-Day Rides there’s something for every solo rider on the Hauraki Rail Trail. Wherever you’re headed, give yourself peace of mind and Plan, Prepare & Pack to get the most from your ride.
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