Riding in a group can be great fun, but riding on your own can be just as good
Riding in a group comes with many benefits, namely having a bit of company and having people to keep you out of the wind when it’s not your turn to suffer.
But riding alone can also be enjoyable, offering riders the peace and quiet of the road and a little ‘me time’ that we all crave every so often.
So here are a few reasons by heading out on your own is brilliant.
You can go where you want
When you ride alone there’s only one person you have to cater for when designing the route. You don’t have to rely on the fact that your ride partners want to do different lengths, hate hills or are dynamite on the flat.
The only thing that matters is what you want to do and if you only want to do a quick 20 miles then that’s absolutely fine.
You can go when you want
Waiting to go cycling is very annoying. You get changed, get your bike prepared, fill up your bottles and then are forced to wait until your mates turn up at your house 20 minutes late.
It’s even worse if you plan to meet somewhere en route, because you know they’ll be late and don’t want to be standing in the cold for ages, but at the same time you can’t risk being the one who’s late.
Solo riding, though, means you can head out whatever time you want and just keep pedalling from the minute you leave the house.
You can stop as many times as you want
Fancy taking a picture of that lovely vista? Need to check your bearings without holding people up? Simply are too tired to carry on? That’s all fine when you’re on your own.
You not going to hold anyone up when you’re alone and no-one will care if you stop 10 times on your ride to enjoy the views. Do that in a group ride, though, and people will start to get annoyed.
It’s easier to stick to a training plan
If you’re someone who is in training for something, it’s likely that you’ll not be riding with people who are training for the same thing. All good training comes from a plan and if you’re doing a different plan to your riding companions then things can get a bit disjointed.
If you need to concentrate on your interval splits then cycling alone is the best way to do it. Get your head down and concentrate and your plan will go to…plan.
It gives you time to think
Being out in the country lanes on your own is a great way to clear your head without any distractions.
While group rides are excellent for socialising, the constant chat can get in the way of actually enjoying yourself, which is sometimes all you want to do on a ride.
You can’t get dropped
It’s a horrible feeling when you can’t keep up with your friends on a ride. You turn your legs as hard as you can but you can’t help but tail off the back.
Even if you bonk while riding on your own there’s no-one that will have to wait for you to catch up all the time. Pedal as slowly as you want to get home and then don’t tell anyone what happened…easy!
You can abandon when you want
Not feeling it when out on the bike? Just turn round and head home when you want if you’re on your own. When you ride with other people you feel an obligation to reach the end of the pre-determined route. When you’re on your own you can sack it off whenever you want.
If you’re too far from home, just dive into your local train station and head back to your house.
You’ll win all the intermediate sprints
Most of us have cycling friends who we’re simply not as good as, meaning we always lose to them up hills and in sprints for sign posts.
Go out on your own, though, and you can raise your arms in victory each time you get to the top of a hill. Unless some random person overtakes you on the way up…then you’re not a winner.