Someone asked me “What is the secret to successfully riding solo?” and, from a personal point-of-view, I don’t really think about it before I head out. Maybe this is through experience of knowing what to do when bad things happen, maybe it’s confidence in knowing that I am able to resolve almost any crisis that may occur!
However that confidence is built, here are my top 10 tips to successfully riding solo.
- First of all you need to prepared for whatever the ride might throw at you! This includes having spare tubes, a pump, tools, patches or other supplies to repair mechanicals should they occur.
- This means nothing however if you haven’t a clue on how to repair your bike. Speak to your local bike shop about courses they may run on bike mechanics & maintenance.
- What do you do though if something terminal happens? It will happen at least once to everyone, probably more if you ride a lot. Having a fully charged phone with someone available to call is a start, but, what if no-one can help? Money will allow you to get a taxi to a train station, a bus or some form of public transport and most people, including bike shops, are pleasant enough to help where they can.
- What if the weathers bad? Hopefully you should have some spare layers with you, but, worse case if you’re stranded getting dry and warm is key, leading us onto my next point.
- Be smart when planning a route. Have a route that is easy to reach by others, has cafes or public transport nearby just in case.
- Let someone know the route you’re taking. This way should you get stranded or need to be found you’re making your rescuers job a lot easier. Setup your phone, or cycling computer, so others can find you in case of an emergency.
- Protect yourself. I’m not just talking about wearing the right clothing or having a safe bike, but, ride safe too. If you allow cars too much room they will use it, I’m not suggesting you ride the centre line, but, don’t ride the gutter. Think about lights as well; will you need to take them if you could be out later than expected and are they charged?
- Make life easier for others. Should the worse happen, make the emergency services job easier by having medical & ICE (In Case of Emergency) information readily available. There are plenty of systems available from helmet mounted ones, to setting it on your phone. ID such as bracelets can have it printed on too.
- Food & Drink. Pack enough to ensure you have the energy to make it round your ride, even if you plan not to eat it’s better to have and not need than to need and not have.
- But most of all you should thoroughly enjoy the ride!
If you think I’ve missed any important ones please let me know in the comments.
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