Solo or Groupo?

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There are times that most of us have been out on the trail riding solo, and there are times when we’re riding in a big fuster cluck of a group that is just too big.

As I rode yesterday morning solo, I found that there were some good parts that I was alone and not so good. I think the benefit of riding solo is that you don’t have to wait for anyone of have them wait for you, you can go on your own pace, and you can allow yourself to get lost in the world of riding. You know, like get into a trance.

But in a big group ride, there’s also the fun of having a group pace that may push you harder than your normal riding speeds. There’s strength in numbers, having a big group scares away critters that may want to eat you. Priscilla also loves the fact that if she has a mechanical, just about everyone in the group is willing to help out. She doesn’t even have to lift a finger since there’s more than a few people already working on her bike. Great conversations are also part of a group ride. You can talk all you want about bikes, life, job, wife, kids, and etc.

So what do you think? Do you like to ride by yourself or in a big group?

RL Policar

RL Policar is an avid mountain biker and the Editor In-Chief of and Between the two sites, he's published well over 4,000 articles (and growing).

12 thoughts on “Solo or Groupo?

  1. i like group rides for the camaraderie, as long as there are different class riders in the group, i’m usually in the middle, i’m not the strongest climber, but i’m far from the slowest descender, and i hate riding with a bunch of climbers and speed freaks. But during the week i’m usually alone, which allows me to connect with nature and not be pushed except by myself.

  2. I usually ride alone, not by design, that’s just the way it happens. One of the drawbacks of riding alone is there is nobody to take those cool action shots of you. All of my ride photos consist of my bike leaned up against a tree or something. Pretty exciting huh?

  3. I love group rides and with people that are stronger than you because it pushes you to find your limit. kinda like during races, but more casual since we all end up at a pub.

    up here in michigan, it gets kinda freaky in the late fall/early winter because the sound of cracking twigs/dry leaves sounds awfully like either

    a. someone/something is chasing you
    b. bones snapping.

  4. A little bit of both for me. When I started riding I always went w/a group. I did this for the obvious reasons – to learn the ropes, direction(s) and have others push me to ride better. This went on for a few years.

    As time went on and I was more familiar w/the trails I started riding solo. Also at the same time, my friends’ schedules (and mine) changed therefore it was getting harder to get together for a ride. I think it was late 2007 when I started hooking up w/different groups to ride with. I have to admit it was getting lonely being out on the trail(s) by myself… FUN, but no one to share the experience with 🙁

    Surfing the web, I found guys who posted rides for the same trails that I frequent. Nothing to lose, so I joined a few of their rides. It was definitely a great feeling riding w/a group again. Earlier this year I met the crew of MtnBikeRiders. I started riding w/them on the weekends. It’s always a good feeling to share your passion w/others who share the same.

    I still ride solo on the weekdays (after work) however my weekend rides have been w/a group.

  5. For me: Morning pre-work rides are almost always solo. I try to push myself as much as possible here.

    Night rides are ALWAYS group rides cuz every sound, even if it’s a dog barking, sounds like a hungry mountain lion.

    Weekends are tailor made for group rides.

  6. I like groups the best, especialy with girls in spandex shorts… hella hott and you never know what might happen especialy when you bring some tequilla.

  7. When I’m riding my trials bike I am ALWAYS alone cause no one even knows what trials is around here. lol

    As far as XC I do like riding with people and right now that is typically just my wife. Because she is new to riding I have to do a lot of waiting around for her and kinda takes away from my workout.

    To fix that problem, we actually just started finding places with lots of hills where we can make short 1 mile loops. That way we can both ride at our own pace and still keep in contact with each other. Seems to be working out pretty good so far.

  8. I have been riding solo lately…I am hoping on sunday, I’ll be riding with the crew…..But riding solo is awesome because you dont have to wait up for anyone.

  9. Solo!

    Last time I was on a group ride the guy 1 ft infront of me, dropped from 32-34 to 22-34, on his 26er, Right in the of a middle of a climb, I had to bail so he didn’t become “trail pizza”.

  10. I ride solo 99% of the time. It use to bother me , but now I prefer it for much of the same reasons as everyone else. It would be nice to have a guide every now and then when I hit unfamilure trails , but that’s about it.The little time I get totally alone in my own thoughts is much needed and helps in keeping me at least partially sane.
    I’m just glad I live in a part of the country where nothing is going to eat me while riding alone. I was reading a little about mountain lion attacks and such while preparing for a trip to Wyoming and it was pretty freaky seeing some of the stories.The only critters I see are deer , fox , and rabbits.

  11. For me it’s 50/50. I commute solo on the road and on oenweekend i like to ride with a group. Right now 70% of the weekend group is way faster and that makes me want to push it even more!

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