Should I Mountain Bike Alone?

Want to ride through a beautiful landscape without the disturbances of other people talking? Or maybe finding the right mountain biking partner is too hard? Going on a solo mountain bike ride can be both incredible and dangerous at the same time.

If you are wondering “Should I mountain bike alone?” just remember that while a ride with just you, your mountain bike and the rhythmic sounds of nature could be therapeutic and healing.

However, if certain measures are not taken and proper research of the terrain is not done, the experience could become life-threatening.

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This read will highlight the pros and cons of a solo mountain bike ride along with listing down the necessary measures one needs to take before such a trip.

What Does It Mean to Mountain Bike Alone?

When you are mountain biking alone, you’re essentially the only person you count on. It means you are the trip leader and the only person you need to take care of is yourself.

It allows you the liberty of choosing a landscape or destination of your own choice. You can select the day and time that suits you best, and decide how long the duration of your trip needs to be.

You are responsible for any first aid, water, or food that you need to carry. In case your bike breaks down, you essentially would have to know how to repair it.

It requires that you possess enough knowledge and expertise that you do not necessarily have to rely on another person’s availability or help.

If you encounter a challenging situation that affects your safety, you should have the decision-making capabilities and skills to save yourself.

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Should I Mountain Bike Alone?

Once you have understood what mountain biking alone basically means, you need to look at all the pros and cons of your decision. You can only make this decision after carefully considering these aspects and rightfully analyzing if you are ready or built for a solo mountain bike ride.

Listed below are some arguments of why you should and why you should not mountain bike alone.

Why You Should Mountain Bike Alone

If you are not a beginner and have had some practice, then mountain biking by yourself could be an experience like no other. Keep reading to find out why.

1. No Unnecessary Disturbances

Mountain biking allows you to really become one with nature and the outdoors.

You get to experience sounds, not noise.

Your emotions are not interrupted and you can focus on yourself as you paddle away.  Nobody can stop you unless you need a break yourself. Nobody’s rants or talking could alter your mood.

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2. Go Wherever You Want

With a solo mountain bike ride plan comes the liberty of deciding the destination without worrying about anyone else’s opinion. Whether you wish to go up a hill or explore a dense forest; nobody else gets to choose that.

You no longer are bound to avoid a trail just because a biking partner does not want to go there. You are free.

3. Go Whenever You Want

You get to choose if you want to experience the birth of the sun as it comes out at dawn, or take in the changing colors of the sky as it sets.

You can ride during the sunniest and rainiest of days. No complaints and rants about the weather could stop you from pedaling away.

Moreover, you need not check anyone else’s schedule, but your own. For you, any day and any time could be the beginning of a new adventure.

4. Stop Whenever You Need To

There are always those two riders in every cycling group that either slow everyone else down, or force everyone to go beyond their comfort points.

When you decide to mountain bike alone, you are free to stop and enjoy the view or eat a snack whenever and wherever you like. Or you could challenge yourself and not take a break at all.

It all is up to you.

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5. Learn About Yourself

Without any added pressures or interruptions, you can assess and analyze your physical health. You can time yourself and keep a track of your heart rate and breathing.

It allows you the chance to check your fitness level and take the necessary measures needed to get healthier and better.

6. Good Solitary Time to Think and Reflect

With our day-to-day lives always being so busy and noisy, one can find solitude to be hard to find.

A solo mountain biking trip gives you some time alone to think, reflect, and then plan. You can choose to clear your mind or let out some steam. No interruptions could hinder your mental healing process.

It allows you to ride and explore without the pressures of keeping up boring conversations.

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7. Keep Winning

Mountain bike riders that are better than you can keep you on your best game. However, too much competition can also be extremely exhausting. By going on solo mountain bike rides, you are the winner of your sprint every single time. So, happy winning!

8. Abandon at Will

Somedays, sticking to a commitment seems to be extremely hard. You can’t perform your best every day. Somedays you can just choose to quit and go home. Mountain biking alone would allow you that freedom.

You also would not have to worry about getting judged for abandoning your plan. Rather, feel free to call it a day whenever you want.

Why You Should Not Mountain Bike Alone

No matter how attractive solo mountain bike riding may seem, it is not for everyone.

This is especially true if you don’t conduct proper self-analysis and research of the landscape. In this case, you can expose yourself to dangerous and life-threatening situations.

Keep reading to find out why.

If You Lack Experience

Mountain biking can be dangerous for both experienced as well as novice riders. Solo mountain bike riding only gets riskier since you can look to yourself for help.

Having some kind of experience with mountain bike riding is very essential here. It allows you to have a better grip of the bike and enough practice to control the speed and hit the brake instantly when needed.

If you are just learning how to properly ride your mountain bike, it is better to stick to a group and avoid going alone.

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If The Trail is Dangerous

If the trail is unknown, then calm down your inner adrenaline junkie and let him/her out only when mountain biking in a group. Lack of knowledge about a trail could mean you do not know when to slow down, and can potentially crash and die.

Even if the trail is well-explored, it is better to stay safe and leave it for when riding in a group.

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If Your Bike is Unreliable

Firstly, an unreliable mountain bike should never be ridden, even when riding in groups. But if it is the only bike you have, do not go for solo rides.

Even after getting it fixed, an unreliable bike could be, well, unreliable.

If you get stuck or worse get injured because of a bad bike; getting help could become very difficult. If it’s possible, you can always walk back home. However, if you cannot walk, help could take hours to reach you.

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It is Dangerous

Mountain biking is a dangerous sport and requires experience, practice, and good equipment. If any of these factors are ignored, an accident could severely injure you and even potentially kill you.

This sport only gets more dangerous when done alone, without any additional help available. It could take hours for you to get any kind of help and if you fall off and break your phone, getting any help could take even longer.

If your bike breaks down and you have no idea how to repair it, you are stuck. Breaking a bone or getting a deep cut, while having no one to calm you, can cause PTSD and even make you quit mountain biking forever.

Some common injuries that could come as a result of mountain biking include deep cuts, fractures, sprains, head trauma, broken wrists, and collarbones.

Having the help of experienced bikers by your side could help you overcome such challenging and stressful situations.

You Could Get Lost

It takes practice to be able to learn how to read a map. Sometimes trails can be so long and confusing that you might find yourself lost.

In such cases, it can be very hard for you to explain your location when calling for help. If your phone is not working, getting back home could be even more challenging and stressful.

Having fellow bikers around could keep you calm and help find your way back as a team.

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Company Could Be Fun

Human beings are social animals and meaningful interactions with other humans make us happy. Any trip or adventure could be twice as fun if you bring along friends, family, or a lover. Mountain biking together could add in the element of healthy competition, and help you strive to become a better rider.

You can share stories, take fun food breaks and capture these warm moments in pictures.

Any problem or injury you face; you would have the help of your biking fellows. It could become a fun bonding experience and even help you make more friends who share the same interests as you.

Ensuring A Safe Solo Mountain Biking Ride

Whether you should mountain bike alone or not depends on your experience, your motive, your health, and your equipment. It also depends on how safe and well-explored a trail is.

If you do choose to ride a mountain bike alone, here is a list of things you should take care of to ensure your well-being.

If you cannot take care of these things, then you should absolutely not go mountain biking alone.

  • Bring a satellite phone along that allows you to call for help or assistance from anywhere.
  • Take a reliable bike for the trip. A bike that has gained your trust would not only keep you safe but also calm.
  • Check the brakes of your bike and the condition of your tires before getting on the road.
  • Take along a spare tire tube and pump in case your tire gets punctured.
  • Wear a high-quality helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads.
  • Always inform a family or friend about your plan in detail before leaving. This way if you are stuck and cannot return, they know how and where to find you.
  • Take along enough food and water to make sure you have enough if your ride takes longer to end than you had planned.
  • Keep a first aid safety kit.
  • Do intensive research about the weather forecast and the trail you have chosen before leaving. If you have never been on that trail before, try to contact someone who has. Get some information regarding the safety of that track before you hit the road.
  • Bring a flare gun just in case.
Should I Mountain Bike Alone
Should I Mountain Bike Alone

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Is it weird to go on a bike ride alone?

Answer: No, it’s not weird to go on a bike ride alone. In fact, many people enjoy the peace and quiet of a solo bike ride. Some people enjoy cycling alone because it allows them to focus on their workout and tune out everything else going on around them, while others might find biking alone to be boring or lonely. Ultimately, whether or not it’s weird to go on a bike ride alone depends on your own personal preferences.

Is it weird to ride a mountain bike on the road?

Answer: It depends on your perspective. From one perspective, it may be seen as weird to ride a mountain bike on the road because mountain bikes are built for off-road use and typically have wider, knobbier tires that are not optimized for riding on pavement.
From another perspective, it may not be seen as weird to ride a mountain bike on the road because some people do this intentionally in order to get better performance out of their bike. Riding a mountain bike on the road can provide a more challenging workout than riding on pavement and can also help you to better prepare for off-road cycling.

Final Thoughts

A solo mountain biking trip can be both, life-changing and life-ending.

It all depends on how ready you are for one and the research you do before leaving for it.

While it can offer you calmness, clarity, and much freedom; it could also injure you, cause you trauma or leave you lost for uncertain periods of time.

So, if you are wondering, “Should I mountain bike alone?” Then the answer is:

Yes, if your body is fit and well experienced for such a challenge. Yes, if your bike and equipment are reliable. Yes, if a day or days of solitude could offer you peace and inner healing.

However, if you lack experience and knowledge about what you are getting into, and have no proper bike, guidance, or equipment, then the answer for you is no. Always remember that your life and health come first and it is better to learn from other people’s experiences. This is one decision that could either make you or break you.

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