Just read this great piece on Bicycling and the following quote sums up exactly why I enjoy solo riding. There are absolutely times when it’s fantastic to have a friend or two, but the solo escape, mind flushing capability, mental reset is strong medicine. Maybe it was years in the pool where you really only hear your own breathing that led me here … or perhaps it’s just the perfect zen quality of an early morning on the road.
Some of us ride to be alone, and others only pedal among others. I’ve never questioned which category I belong to. In the past few years, as I’ve sunk deeper into the regimens of work and family, I’ve come to depend on the freedom of riding alone, the respite from the social world, the thicket of obligations, the anxiety of being observed. If I want to talk when I’m out on the road, it’s only to myself, and I trust the power of exertion and repetition—the spinning of wheels, the steady climb—to push me deeper into that interior conversation.
Now and then I ride with a friend and value the companionship and the break from what can occasionally be a lonely routine. Changing a flat by myself in a cloud of gnats 30 miles from home is more solitude than I’m looking for—but it’s a fair price for the lessons in stamina, patience, will, and clarity that solo riding provides. I’m not alone in my preference for aloneness. I’ve crossed paths with enough riders in the middle of nowhere—always the quick nod, the wrist flick of mutual recognition—to suspect the existence of a tribe of solitaires. – Bicycling – Playing Solitaire