Do you like to tour alone?

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Do you like to tour alone?

Postby gloomyandy » 1 Aug 2012, 1:07pm

or would you rather tour with a loved one, or perhaps with friends?

For me doing each makes for a different feel to a trip. I think overall I prefer to be on my own. I find that way I'm much likely to interact with other people. It also means I can pretty much travel at my own pace, go where I want etc. I've also found travelling with my partner very different to travelling with friends. Not really sure why but we seem to have less people stop and chat when travelling as a couple. Maybe I'm just selfish!

So what do you like best and why?


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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby eileithyia » 1 Aug 2012, 2:16pm

As you have found;
Alone; more self sufficient more likely to talk to and be spoken to from others. But trials and tribulations can be more of any issue.
Couple; far more seen as a twosome, harder for others to break into that set up... or at least people tend not to try to break in to it.
Group of friends; most difficult of all, no fault of the group itself, but it is far more of an integrated unit, have been yha's on my own when a group is in.. very hard to talk to anyone and you can be looked at as a weirdo for trying.

With a group you can share problems and have a laugh once they are sorted.
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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby MarkF » 1 Aug 2012, 2:40pm

On my own, without a doubt, fortunately I like my own company.

I toured France with somebody "similar"to me, it was a nightmare, he was as good at procrastinating as I am, and I am world class. Nothing got done, the trip went in haze of alcohol and laughing, I can hardly remember anything about it, never again. This year I crossed Spain with my cousin, the opposite of me, that was as bad, I felt guilty drinking and his mission to get up before daylight drove me nuts, of course, our nocturnal habits were also wildly different. :D

Same speed is boring, waiting is boring, trying to catch up is boring, mismatched appetite times is annoying, mismatched destination/direction preferences are annoying, halved accommodation costs are good. Can't think of anything else that is good.

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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby LollyKat » 1 Aug 2012, 3:29pm

I always used to tour with my husband or a friend but we had to stop once the children came, as despite our best efforts they didn't like it. By the time they became independent there were elderly parents to look after. Although I have never stopped cycling I can no longer keep up with my husband and in any case he is now more interested in audax-style long day runs rather than moving-on touring.

Last year I went on a CTC tour which I really enjoyed, but also found frustrating as I couldn't ride at my own pace, either struggling to keep up or getting chilled waiting for others.

So a few weeks ago I tried a mini-tour on my own, just 3 days in Galloway with two nights B&B. I absolutely loved it and had a great time - I could do exactly what I felt like, stop and take photos, explore interesting byways or historical remains...I wondered if I would feel lonely but got chatting to lots of people. I'm quite practical and wasn't worried about mechanical failures (didn't have any) although if I'd been really really stuck my husband could have come to the rescue.

I'm still hoping that we can do more together but I'm also looking at maps and considering where to go next on my own - in our beautiful country we are spoilt for choice.

Incidentally Galloway is a good touring area - not as busy as the main tourist hotspots, lovely countryside, hilly but not dauntingly so, and friendly people. I can thoroughly recommend this B&B in Kirkcudbright: Benutium
Last edited by LollyKat on 1 Aug 2012, 10:00pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby takeonafrica » 1 Aug 2012, 4:31pm

Touring with a friend is great.
Touring alone is so much better! (but I am quite selfish too and like meeting lots of people)

There are many times when I'm touring with someone that I wish I was by myself.
There is only one situation when I am touring alone and I wish I was with someone else - and that is when the risks of going alone off the radar in remote areas make me reconsider the route. Company makes me braver I guess. But it doesn't necessarily stop me doing it. It's just those few occasions when I don't do it I wish I had a partner.
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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby al_yrpal » 1 Aug 2012, 4:38pm

I have one good pal that I enjoy touring with. We both love meeting the locals. So, every evening we head for the local's hang out . It always feels better with two of you. Sometimes we have been into pubs where people have got bladdered so its safer too. We have met so many interesting people, the ones that stood out were on the outer Hebrides, a children's story teller and a velvet crab fisherman who operated from a rowing boat and had hands that looked like paddles. The man cutting his hedge in Brittany who gave us recipes for cooking eels he caught in his stream.
Not to say I don't enjoy trips alone, as others have mentioned you can go at your own pace and do exactly what you want. I enjoy bigger groups too, you can ride along with other people in turn and chat away. My Mrs doesn't cycle, her interests are quite different to mine. Khalil Ibram wrote " let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of heaven dance between you" . I think that's why we have been together nearly 50 years...

Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby Si » 1 Aug 2012, 5:05pm

Like many others, I like both.

I guess that it depends on the type of tour. For the nice relaxed easy going tour then there's nothing better than taking the tandem with Mrs Si on the back. For something that is arduous and challenging I might rather go by my self as it means I can go at my own pace (e.g. I did an off road tour of the Lakes some time back. One of the people with me, whilst being a lovely chap, did cause problems as his bike broke down every day and thus caused us to miss some of the bits that we were looking forward to). Also, I find that when alone, I end up talking to more locals than if I was with another rider - I guess that they find a single cyclist more approachable and I have more time for getting to know locals rather than chatting with my riding mates.

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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby Tigger » 1 Aug 2012, 8:56pm

Hey, you guys are making me feel much better about doing my first tour on my own! OK, so it's my big five-oh challenge and that's good enough reason to go solo... but I'm also a bit of a Billy No Mates :( and now you've given me lots of reasons to be cheerful :D

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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby Vorpal » 1 Aug 2012, 9:11pm

I have never toured alone. I used to tour with my brother. Friends came along a couple of times.

I think that I might like it, but it probably won't happen until the kids are big enough to not want to go.
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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby simonineaston » 1 Aug 2012, 9:23pm

I've got a fair few mates, some of whom cycle, but I mostly tour on my own for a variety of reasons. It sort-of started out that way when I asked some of the usual gang if they were interested in a trip a few years ago, and although there was a lot of interest, everyone else dropped out for one good reason and another, so I summoned up my courage and did it on my own (West County Way). And then I discovered cycle touring in Brittany :-). That first trip was just me and the partner, and as I slowly became aware that there are pluses to travelling solo, I took to going on my own more and more. I wouldn't say I was selfish, but there's a certain pleasing simplicity in just having one's self to consider ;-)
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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby videoman » 2 Aug 2012, 9:29am

I'm a billy no mates all of the time cycling as I do not know anyone else interested and always cycle on my own. In fact at 52 most people I know think I'm mad (they may have a point!).
Mentioned a 52 miles charity ride last night in the pub for the bhf and the others asked if they could come in their cars and would it count, this is what I am up against.

As others have said it does give you the flexibility to stop and do what you want.

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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby psmiffy » 2 Aug 2012, 12:18pm

I predominantly (ie for anything of a significant time duration) tour on my own - its wicked - pure escapism - you can be connected to the real world as little or as much as you want - do what you want - go where you want - when you want - to describe that as selfish is a load of rubbish - its just personal choice

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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby mcallaghan » 2 Aug 2012, 3:45pm

I've never toured alone before, and my 12-day LEJOG in 2 weeks time will be done with my Uncle. However, I will be touring a good portion of the month of September alone - doing the LLC starting Sept 1st before going on a 2-week+ tour around Ireland. I'll certainly be able to weigh in on this topic at the end of September for sure!

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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby shane » 8 Aug 2012, 2:28pm

Aah the joys of a blog...cue lazy copy/paste moment : :D

Travelling alone has many advantages and disavantages and isn’t a path for everyone.


You see less, 4 eyes are better than 2.
You have nobody to share your experiences with in the future, you only have your own memories and photo’s.
Travelling alone is more expensive.
Being ill is hell on earth if your alone, having nobody to care for you or get food, water and wc roll is not nice.
I sometimes get lonely, but not often.
After being alone for a couple of days, the first evening I talk to people again I loose my voice after 3 hours.
I have to do everything myself, cycle, cook, washing up, setting the tent up, shopping, dealing with people and problems etc etc.
Leaving my bike unattended when going into a shop, or going to the toilet etc. is always very exciting.
If I do something stupid, its my fault.


Total freedom to choose when, what, where, why and how. Without discussions (except talking to myself).
I come into contact with people more easily. Which creates situations you’d almost never get as a couple or group.
I dont have to talk to people, or be nice for days. Its not a problem if I haven’t had a shower for 3 days
I can only blame myself if I do something stupid.
The freedom to be lost in my own thoughts for days on end (I’m sure they have medicine for that though).
Every barrier, hurdle or problem which I’ve overcome, I’ve overcome alone, this gives me an unexplainable inner strengh, sense of achievement, self confidence and knowledge that I’ll get through the next problem life has to throw at me. This is a feeling which is impossible to explain but its so nice to have….

This and more FAQ can be found here

Greetings from my hammock at the beach on Lake Malawi 8)

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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby foxyrider » 8 Aug 2012, 5:19pm

I tour alone but as much because theres no other daft bugger i know to go with me!

To put it in context, i usually do a summer fortnight of @ 1000 miles which to a lot of people doesn't smack of fun so going solo works for me. Yes you sometimes sit in the bar on your lonesome wishing you had a chum to pass the evening with but then i see as many couples/groups/families in the hotels/campsites who are barely speaking to each other no doubt over some intransigence out on the road or choice of eatery. At which point i smile to myself, return to my pint and the thought that at least i get to decide what i do each day, when to and where to stop, what to eat, i've only one bike to concern myself with keeping running, no arguing over the sense of a decision to ride 160km except with myself.

Off tour i'd far rather ride with others given the option but for two weeks each summer its just me and the bike.
Convention? what's that then?
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