Having done 7-8 tours in the USA now, many “solo” people often ask me doesn’t it bother you going alone and my answer is quite simply “no” – solo can go two ways. Three examples of how I’ve gone solo and how they work for me.
There are many people who would love to do a trip in the USA but can’t convince enough friends to go, can’t all marry up the same time off etc. and to them I would say book an organised / package tour. My very first tour in the USA was just this. 8 riders all met up at Heathrow airport to fly out. A mid-day flight so we met, did the introductions, had breakfast etc. and by the time we were boarding friendships were forming. First day in USA we collected the bikes from EagleRider and all bar one had never ridden a Harley and so more bonding occurred in the “face of adversity” as we got to grips with our bikes for the following week.
Being an organised tour everything was sorted for you and so all you had to do was ride and enjoy the scenery. This meant plenty of time for chatting over meals, attractions etc. Talk of home, families etc. all crept in other the week and genuine friendships occurred. By the end of the trip I had made four good friends from the UK, I am still in touch with. I did a similar trip with Eagle Rider from Mexico to LA where there were only two UK riders the rest being from Australia, New Zealand and assorted Americans – I now have good friends in all those countries I keep in touch with and in the case of USA have even visited.
In a nutshell you may start the trip alone but by the end of it I can guarantee you won’t be.
The Not So Organised Tour
The Lost Adventure in conjunction with EagleRider run an annual coast to coast trip. This is a one way, bike only deal and great value. No set route, just a start and end location. The first time I did this trip I was part of a group of 6. Most of us ride together in the UK and so the group dynamic was already there. I’ve done the same trip something like 5 times since “solo”. Now the great thing about this trip is every year there are more than a few solo riders, who don’t want to do the organised tour (or have already) but don’t necessarily want to ride 3000 miles or so on their own either. The trip has great and thriving Facebook group where trip goes old and new share questions, tips, routes, places to stay etc. Even before touchdown in the USA some solo riders (or pairs) will have hooked up with others to ride part or all of the way with. Doing it this way if you want to split off for a day or two on your own you can but you always have the “comfort” of knowing you can rejoin a group.
I’ve seen couples making friends with other couples, individuals riding with other individuals, mixtures all these riding together and indeed I’ve been part of groups ranging from 1-10 at different times. Again that “in it together” mentality kicks in and friendships are forged. I can honestly say that every time I have done this trip I have ended it with more friends I started with and all of which I keep in contact with back here in the UK and as far away as South Africa.
Completely Winging It!
As a result of doing both of the above my confidence in touring completely solo has grown immensely to the extent a couple years ago I completed 14 day pilgrimage from Milwaukee (home of Harley D) via some of old route 66, Gettysburg, the Blue Ridge Mountains, whiskey country in Tennessee and ending in Daytona for the weekend of Biketoberfest with no qualms at all – although I confess I did spend a riding in a group of retired motorcycle police from NY around the Tail of the Dragon and the Cherohola Skyway.
In summary – just because for whatever reason you think you’d be going it alone don’t let this put you off taking the trip of a lifetime – whichever way you choose to do it I can guarantee you’ll make friends.