Sam rides alone sometimes even though she doesn’t like it

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Sometimes even Sam rides alone

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Tracy said, “I felt sad for you as soon as you said you were riding alone! Not like you at all.”

And it’s true. I hate riding alone. I write a lot about the joys of riding with other people.

Yesterday David and I had a nice coffee ride, like the kind Catherine blogged about here.

But Sunday was different. David was put off by the thunderstorms in the forecast. Nat didn’t have it in her to go for a bike ride. Jeff was busy singing Beatles songs with the Karen Schussler Singers.

Tangerine trees and marmalade skiesSo it was just me, my bike, and cars on the road.

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Please give us room. It's the law.

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I stopped a few times to wait out bad storm clouds. Luckily I got in before this, “At 4:41 p.m. EDT, Environment Canada meteorologists are tracking a severe thunderstorm capable of producing very strong wind gusts, up to nickel size hail and heavy rain. The thunderstorm is located near Parkhill and is moving southeast at about 40 km/h.”

When I’m riding my myself I like to have a destination so I don’t just get disheartened and turn around. I decided to ride the long way to my office. It’s about 45 km rather than the usual 7 km. (The linked map is to the nearby Starbucks. It’s another 4 or 5 m after that.)

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Sam takes a break on the friendship bench

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I don’t like riding alone but sometimes you have to do it.

What are the circumstances that make riding alone necessary? Well, one is when you need to get a ride in and can’t find company. Better to ride alone than not ride. The other is when you need to do a specific thing, like a ride in a certain heart rate zone or with intervals. Your pace is sometimes dictated by training needs, not the company you’re keeping, and then it’s often best to go it alone.

The one thing that was striking on my solo ride was the number and gender of people out there riding alone. I saw about a dozen guys. But I was the only woman riding by herself.

How about you? Do you ride alone or with others? Do you ride alone because you like it better or for training reasons? Any advice for me to make it feel okay?

6 thoughts on “Sam rides alone sometimes even though she doesn’t like it

  1. I ride alone more than half the time in training — and as you know, I’m planning a solo bike trip for 9 days this summer in the Baltics. I get the desire to not ride alone — but for me, I think one of the things about riding is that I get to stretch out my inner self as much as my outer, and doing it alone is sometimes the best way to do that.

    I also often ride alone because I don’t necessarily want to make a commitment to getting up early on a weekend and trudging across the city to a starting point (which means going home will take twice as long, with traffic), but I want to know that I have space in my day (usually on the weekend) where I can do a big fat ride when my body feels ready for it. Sometimes that still might be 730 am, or it might be 3 pm after a lazy morning and a bit of work. Sometimes it’s just a couple of hours I suddenly discover I have after work. And sometimes it’s about wanting to do something insane (like an imperial century on Canada day — or maybe 150km this year, in commemoration?) that no one else wants to do with me.

    I love social rides and riding with people who make me ride faster — and sometimes riding is the only part of my life that ISN’T ridiculously scheduled. And solo rides make that easier ;-).

    1. In some ways I used to find solo riding less stressful because I didn’t have to keep up. But fear of the road didn’t diminish. Cate, did you do your dualthon yesterday and if so how did it go?

      1. thanks for asking, Tracy — I actually decided on Friday NOT to do it, because it was in Milton and all of the roads from my house to the 401 were closed from 2 am – 3 pm on Sunday for the Ride for Heart. I realized I might be able to get there on time but it would take me 3 hours to get home. I was glad for the decision when I woke up in pouring rain at 7 am, which dissuaded me from my planned ride-closer-to-home — and then I fell back asleep until 11:15!!!!! I guess I was tired!

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