Solo Riding Tips for the Lone Adventurer
Whether you're planning a solo road trip or a camping trip to the mountains on a motorcycle, ATV or UTV, you should have an emergency plan and the right gear. Here are 6 quick solo riding tips to prepare yourself for emergencies, and to have some peace of mind.
Solo Riding Tip 1: Service and Inspect Your Vehicle
If you break down while riding with your buddies, help is right there in front of you. However, riding alone pretty much eliminates that security, so it's important to make sure your vehicle is in good running condition.
Routine maintenance such as changing the oil, the air filter and the brake pads helps ensure that your vehicle is up to the task of not failing you as you venture out by yourself. A pre-ride inspection on your machine should always be performed. Inspect your vehicle's tires. Check the fluid levels and the chain slack. Test your brakes, battery, lights and switches to make sure they're in working condition. Once you're confident everything looks and feels good, and you have plenty of gasoline in the tank, then you can saddle up.
Solo Riding Tip 2: Upgrade Your Basic Tool Kit
A standard tool kit is great to have, but may not always be enough to help you when you're stranded. You might need to tie down a panel, tape up some electrical connections, or tighten down a loose nut or bolt. Add extra tools to your basic toolkit, or consider a premade kit like the Cruz Econokit Tool Kit, which gives you more tools like a flashlight, extra wrenches, electrical tape, and an air pressure gauge.
Flat tires are bound to happen, so having a tire gauge and a way to fix a flat is a great thing to consider. If you have tube tires, carry an extra one, as well as the wrenches or tire irons to make a quick tire change. For tubeless tires, a tubeless tire repair kit is ideal for spur-of-the-moment repairs.
Solo Riding Tip 3: Pack Food and Water
If you're going far off the beaten path, necessities like food and water may not be easy to obtain. A simple lightweight hydration pack is always a great idea. Bring a backpack you can store water and some energy bars in. You may not necessarily need an entire meal plan, but it helps to have a little something to tide you over just in case. If you're riding alone anywhere off the beaten path, make sure you have plenty of water too.
Solo Riding Tip 4: Let People Know Where You're Going
Whether you're riding 60 miles or 600, tell someone where you're going. If you go missing, it could be awhile before anyone realizes it. Before you go on your trip, make a few calls and let people know where you're headed.
Don't be afraid to use social media either. In this day and age, you're probably going to document and share your trip online anyway, so check in periodically on Facebook or any other popular social platform to let people know where you are. With a flight plan and some social media activity, your people will have an idea of where to look for you if something goes awry.
Solo Riding Tip 5: Bring a GPS Device
Smartphones provide just about anything you need at your fingertips, including GPS, but how good is your signal going to be when you're riding out in the boonies? It's always a good idea to have a backup GPS device to get your location, and send out an SOS when you have no cell service. Get something simple that allows you to track your entire trip in real time and allows others to monitor your location. This way your loved ones can send out a rescue party to your exact location if you don't check in or make it home.
Solo Riding Tip 6: Carry a First-Aid Kit
A basic first aid kit should be in every rider's solo gear. Even a small cut can get infected or be painful enough to need attention while you're riding. With a first aid kit at your disposal, you can tend to minor wounds on the spot. Find portable first-aid kits that can easily fit in a compartment, backpack, tank bag or side case. It's also a good idea to customize your first-aid kit with additional supplies like antihistamines for allergies.
Pack Your Gear and Get Riding
Going on a solo riding trip can be a therapeutic way to escape the routine and enjoy some quality alone time. Have fun on your solo trip, but always keep safety in mind. Knowing how to handle a situation on your own and being prepared for the unexpected allows you to ride another day.