Motorcycle Touring Solo is as Safe or as Dangerous...

... as the Rider, Motorcycle Touring Solo, makes it.

That might sound a mite sarcastic to you... and maybe it is, just a lil'... but in the end, I'm pretty serious. Just riding solo is not gonna make you unsafe. Doing things that takes foolish risks, makes you unsafe.

On my recent Motorcycle Touring Solo trip to Alaska and back, I was surprised by the number of people along the way, who were startled, when they discovered I was riding solo.

I can't count the number of times I heard; "You're riding alone? Is that safe?"

I'd pull in somewhere and see someone looking. 'bout as soon as I killed the motor they'd strike up a conversation. As we yakked... often while I was fueling, I'd see 'em lookin'

around... I started expecting the question... "I don't see anyone else, are you riding alone?", followed of course with that follow up question, with a startled look on their faces; "Is that safe?", when I tell 'em; "Yeah, I am... I prefer it!"

"But what would happen if you had an accident? What if your motorcycle ran off the road into a ravine or something. No one would know you were even there!" aw hell... Likely I'd get converted to Bear crap, whad-a-ya think?! Bummer...

First... I don't make a habit of running off the road into ravines... Motorcycle Touring Solo or otherwise, and second, the only time I've dropped a bike in the last many years... Heidi and I were riding 2up!... That's right! I wasn't even Solo! :o)

Now, that wasn't really a "drop"... more like a "fall over" :o) but you get the idea...

On that note, let's put it into some perspective... remember that guy rolling down the road, through Denver last summer? He wasn't out in the wilderness or any sort of remote area...

...and he wasn't Motorcycle Touring Solo... but...

ZZZAP!!... a bolt of lightning blew him off his motorcycle on Interstate 70! Damn... Riding down the road with people all around him didn't do him much good, now did it? Like I said, riding solo, or riding in a group, or just riding with a bunch of people around ain't really gonna have much of an affect on anything.

Hell, that rider in Denver wasn't riding risky either. He was just rolling down the road.

My point? Be smart. Ride smart. Take proper care of your bike, take care of your gear. Pay attention to the road around you. Eliminate all the things that threaten you, that you've got any control over... and then let it ride. Don't waste any time worrying about it... That's just a waste of precious time.

Motorcycle Touring Solo shouldn't be co-opted by worryin' about safety... It should be about LIVING! It should be about Splitting the Wind on Two Wheels, with a grin on your face.

Now, you've got to understand something... The obsession this society has with absolute safety, doing everything in a manner which risks nothing, is wearisome to me beyond my ability to tolerate it. So, understand that I write from a prejudiced perspective.

My primary and guiding thoughts are about Freedom, and finding some joy in living, NOT, fretting over what might could go wrong. If that was something I had any interest in worryin' about... I'd likely not ride a bike... or even drive a freakin' cage for that matter!

All this doesn't mean you abandon common sense and throw caution to the wind to go Motorcycle Touring Solo. What it does mean is that you do what you can to mitigate the possibility of things going wrong. Make preparations, as best you can, to deal with those things that are sure to go bad from time to time... and then Grab your handles and ride... letting the chips fall where they may.

Don't allow your joy of splitting the wind Motorcycle Touring Solo, to be taken away by the fears of timid people who wear life jackets in the bath tub!

There are a few things to consider when planning to go Motorcycle touring 1up. You're gonna be out there all by your lonesome, so there will only be yourself to count on. If anything does go wrong there won't be anyone else to rely on, just you.

You'll also have to carry everything you need one single bike. There won't be any spreading the load out over multiple motorcycles.

If you're not a motorcycle mechanic you'd better give some thought to how you're going to deal with breakdowns. Some brand of road service is advised. 'course, that's assuming your Motorcycle Touring is done in the U.S. or Canada... I doubt you'll find much in the way of road service in central Africa... or remote Turkey! :o) It's probably not a bad idea to make sure you can do some simple, emergency road repairs. Patching tires, simple wrenching... you get the idea.

... but, let's face it, with the latest bikes having increasingly computer controlled systems... fixing a busted bike, on the side of the road with a screwdriver and some duct tape is not a very realistic scenario, is it? and, if you're gonna carry an entire motorcycle shop in your saddlebags, to cover any eventuality, you'll not have much room left for your clothes or camp gear will you?!

Better to make sure your ride is in good condition, before you leave, and then have some sort of fall back support options for failures along the way somewhere. Option one, a reasonable tool tool kit and supplies for the minor failures... Motorcycle Road Service to cover your butt with more major difficulties.

As you consider motorcycle touring safety when riding solo, you'll need to think about first aid. Do you have the knowledge and ability to self treat for the minor injuries that could occur in the event of dropping your bike on some back road trail? If you don't, that's a lack of skill you'd better get to correcting.

How about your gear? Can the selection of your gear help reduce potential difficulties when you get goin' Motorcycle Touring Solo?

You bet!

Take what you need, but make darn sure you need what you take. Your bike can likely haul whatever you pile on it...

...but that don't make it smart to pile junk on your scooter so deep that it sits higher than your head, and wider than an opera singers butt!

Riding roads like the Alaskan Highway, where the frost heaves, broken pavement, and often, miles of No Pavement where repairs are being made, will test your riding skills; you don't want to degrade the handling of your Motorcycle with too much gear, piled too high and too wide.

Loading a bike down like that... you're as unsafe in a crowd of 27 motorcycles, with a doctor and three mechanics in the mix, riding on dry pavement and never getting more than four miles from a hospital,; as you are Motorcycle touring solo, in the rain, along the Alaskan Highway in the Yukon... where any help is 100+ miles away!

But... at the same time... having quality equipment, that protects you when a big storm blowing in surprises you Motorcycle Touring Solo, in a remote area... is another thing to keep in mind.

So, it's the decisions you make, alone, that will tip your fortunes toward safe or unsafe. Not, how many of you there are! Make bad decisions, in the assumed safety of a group and, yup, things go bad... numbers or not!

"But what about Bears when you're motorcycle camping? aren't you afraid of Bears?"... Uh what's somebody else there gonna do? If a 700 lb Bear is gonna rip me out of my tent at night... having a witness layin' there in the tent with me ain't gonna change things is it?

So... when you dig down to the bottom line... Reasonable Safety when Motorcycle Touring Solo is not determined by whether you're riding solo or in a group.

Safety when Riding Solo is determined by whether you Ride Safely or not. Not by the quantity of people rolling down the road.


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