The social element of mountain biking is a big part of the fun for me, so when most people seemed to be busy last Thursday night, I had to push myself to go out and ride alone.
Then I had one of my best rides of the winter.
Come Sunday, I didn’t even ask anyone to go. I rode at my own pace, concentrated on improving my snow-riding skills, and spent hours rediscovering old terrain and finding the new singletrack that seems to pop up only in winter.
It’s easy to get addicted to the fun of riding with friends. But it’s also good to break out and do your own thing. Riding alone allows you to experiment without pressure. You can try that little trail that you think goes somewhere, and suffer no harassment if it turns out to be the Highway to Hell.
Going solo is also a great way to tap into the meditative side of mountain biking. You can clear your head and concentrate on riding your line or listening to the woods. That stuff’s easy to overlook, if you’re not careful.
Never doing it would be a shame.