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.

>>> 10 types of rider you’ll see on every club run

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.

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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.

>>> Cycling training plan for spring fitness

It gives you time to think

Photo: Jesse Wild

Photo: Jesse Wild

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!

>>> The nine types of ride we all upload to Strava

You can abandon when you want

Photo: Jesse Wild

Photo: Jesse Wild

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.

>>> Find new cycling routes around the world with Strava Local

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.

  • ian franklin

    This is worse than pig’s dribble.

  • Mr. Cadillac

    Riding alone allows you to explore roads you don’t normally ride. You can answer the question, “I wonder where that road goes?” Even if it leads to a dead end, mysteries are solved.

  • Last 3-4 months i find that i’m too lazy to go alone and was always riding with the group. When i do solo runs i usualy sprint or do power runs, and in group we stop a lot and eat and enjoy the landscape.

  • poisonjunction

    You evidenty missed the ‘ROAD AHEAD FLOODED’ sign!! (:-(

    PS A great pic.

  • Peter

    You missed the most important, you cannot skive off in someone’s slipstream.

  • Leodis75

    Don’t mind either riding solo or on a club run, the only downside to the club run is being the ride leader and trying to manage the pace, look after dropped riders and give directions whilst all the time trying to enjoy the ride yourself but banter, the cafe stop chat and drafting are bonuses of group riding.

    Sometimes its just nice to set off when I want, ride to where I want and set my own pace with the added bonus of sacking it off beforehand if the weather is pants before setting off and jumping on the turbo.

  • Samuel Clemens

    Almost always ride on my own. Makes you stronger, tougher and it’s far safer as you don’t annoy people in cars.

  • cafe stops are the reason I ride solo or with a wing man – I can’t be doing with the waiting around.

  • Thiago Corrêa

    Nice one. I use Glimpse app. It just share my location to contacts (they don’t need to use a smartphone, the link can be open throught browser). My girlfriend and my mother knows that if I’m stopped, something could be happened.

  • Yes I riding alone creates no conflict in pace or motive… also I guess it makes one even more conscious about riding safe… sometimes in group rides, one gets a false sense of security… especially on roads where we ride… in India. But nothing can take away the beauty of unspoiled nature when its just you and your bike.

  • Paul H

    You know that Strava segment has been earned on your merits and not by wheelsucking…

  • Michael Hartley

    I enjoy riding on my own. My wife doesn’t like me riding on my own. As per other comments. I enjoy club runs. I don’t have a club shirt. I don’t recall any racist rants. We never leave anyone behind. I ride to eat cake and drink tea.

  • Chumply Chummunderson

    You don’t have to worry about sock length and you can wear that retro ‘Kelme-Costa Blanca’ jersey the missus bought you for Christmas without fear of offending the Velowhingati for not adhering to their precious The Rules.

  • J1

    Groups/Clubs can quickly turn really crap pretty quickly and have you reminiscing about the good old days when they’re used to be less bitching and cliquey BS.

    Time Trialing you say? Yes, now that sounds more like it…..

  • George Deaves

    Keeps the wife happy that she can be alerted if needed. Means I can get out more.

  • poisonjunction

    Useful post GD – Checked it on the internet, also 19 cycle apps [mostly free] reviewed by Road CC this January . . . .

    Note to Diary – must get a smart phone!

  • Tony West

    Well, after being hospitalized by a van, I have 3 reasons, most are now better than me, They talk such crap whilst staring into there devises, who gives a toss about Strava, and whats the point of cafe stops, where you get most of the above,

  • George Deaves

    Use Road ID app. Has a man down stationary alert. If you’re knocked down, will send an alarm if predetermined.

  • poisonjunction

    A bigger downside of solo riding – there’s no one to give evidence or call an ambulance if knocked unconcious after a hit and run collision!
    PS [added later] or just an ‘ordinary’ cycling accident[a la Geraint Thomas TdF]!

  • Dusieqq Maciej

    it’s also harder to ride solo, no wheelsucking to help you beat a hill.
    no wheelsucking when youre tired from all this headwind

  • Tim Phillips

    Also people don’t stop without warning in front of you causing a crash, expense and soreness!

  • Terry Florian

    Fast group is the best way to get faster period !

  • ridein

    Some more reasons are you don’t have to listen to some racist tripe or trash talking.
    2 Reasons I don’t ride with the local club.

  • Jono_M

    There’s a special meditative sense I get when riding solo. No worries about getting dropped or dropping friends, and if I ride like a sloppy goofball the only people who’ll judge are the motorists out there.

    But then I’ll get like this stuck in my head for the ride. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAhp17Mp7Xs