I am a Rock, I am an Island... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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I am a Rock, I am an Island...

Am I anti social? Hell no! I really like meeting new people and chatting about bikes. When I take trips I look forward to talking with complete strangers.

But when it comes to group rides I'm always dissapointed. I quickly get bored with the pace of the group and wish I was riding solo. Now, I'm not a competitive rider by any means but when going into a curve I want to lean the bike and feel my butt being pushed down in the seat. I'm not trying to impress anyone with my perceived riding skills, but I just want to have some fun and be challenged a little by the road conditions.

When riding alone there are no compromises. I go the speed I want, take fuel or rest stops when I want, eat and camp when and where I want. I really, really like taking trips by myself. My friends (non riders) think there's something wrong with me because I take my time off like this.

Am I weird or are there others out there that feel the same. I've been wondering about this for some time. Anyone???

Jeff in Illinois
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 09:04 AM
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i agree...
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 09:19 AM
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I used to read about all these solo riding trips people take and thought to myself it would be more fun to go with other riders. After taking a short trip with 2 other riders, I totally see your points and experienced the same things you have mentioned. I'll be taking another trip to Michigan the first week of July, but I'll be by myself. I'll get to experience the solo trip and see how I like that. I'm kinda looking forward to it.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 09:56 AM
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Not at all

Nothing anti-social about that. I do most (probably 95%) of my riding solo. I do a lot of photography and I really enjoy being able to stop and talk to some of the people that I meet along the way. Old stores with a 'gossip bench' out front are like a gold mine to me. I like hearing the farmers talk about crops, other riders discussing their rides, or hikers talking about trail conditions. A bike gives me a great way to do that, but the constant stopping and going isn't conducive to group riding. Out of respect to other riders, I try to keep it in check when riding with a group. I also like to crank it up occasionally, pushing hard for a few miles before settling back into a more comfortable rhythm.
I'm primarily a backpacker and hiker and often spend a couple of weeks at a time on the trail alone in the northern Rockies or our local Smoky Mountains. It's hard to find people that can adjust their schedule to mine, and even harder to find others that are willing to backpack through grizzly country - my favorite destination. I like the freedom of being able to wake up in the morning and choosing to stay in a good backcountry location for a few more days, or to move on to something new without having to worry about upsetting the schedule of a group.
At the same time, I really like the group get-togethers that we have from time to time. When I attended the recent Vee gathering in Tellico Plains, the riding was secondary to me - I enjoyed meeting the other riders, seeing their bikes and riding with them across the Cherohala and the Dragon. It's a good mix, but I realize that my usual style of riding isn't suited to other riders. One's for fun and socialization, and the other is for recharging. We had a good system that accommodated all of the riding types for that one - we would agree on stopping points and then split up with each rider riding at their own pace to that point. On the return trip, we each took our own routes - some did a long loop, some wanted to ride the Cherohala again, and I hit the dirt roads back across the mountains. It worked out good for all of us.
Several years ago I attended a management training course at a local community college that was required by the company that I work for. I usually hate those things - lots of rah rah meaningless crap that is mostly designed for making the attendees feel like an integral part of the system. That one was different. We studied the two different psychological makeups that most people fit into to some degree or other - extroverted or introverted. I had always thought that introverted simply meant that a person was anti-social and that an extroverted individual was usually happy and a 'people lover'. Actually, the definition is quite different. An extrovert gets the bulk of their input from outside - they need constant company and are usually unhappy if alone. They are more likely to be comfortable in crowds, such as parties. Often, they aren't avid readers, preferring conversation instead. As a rule, they prefer a the movie to the book, the opposite of the introvert.
Introverts gain their input from within and aren't as likely to need constant outside input from others. As a rule, they don't enjoy large crowds, loud parties, etc., preferring instead smaller groups of close friends. They're more likely to be avid readers, and often are hobbyists, doing woodworking, painting, old motorcycle restoring, etc. - mostly solitary pursuits. Most of the hardcore backpackers that I know lean heavily towards being introverted. I do - the instructor at the seminar said that I tested higher as an introvert than anyone that she'd tested in the past. I'm perfectly happy being alone in the wilderness for weeks on end. Give me a good book and a couple of hundred miles of trail and I'm happy to forget about the outside world. I've been on 5 week long road trip/backpacking trips in the Rockies where I'd never check back in at home for the duration of the trip. I love that sort of freedom (and I'm lucky to have a wife that understands how much I need it.)
Neither is bad, and most of us are a combination of both personality types. Being one or the other doesn't mean that you'll be happier or more unhappy - that depends on a lot of other factors. Chances are that even though you prefer solo riding, you still enjoy hanging out with other riders, talking gear or favorite rides. I'm lucky in that the two people that I ride with the most have riding styles that are a lot like mine. I'm always very comfortable riding with them and look forward to our rides.
The historical image of the motorcycle rider is a lot like that of the cowboy - a lone rider, the rebel, etc. In recent years though, it seems that group riding has become more and more popular. I guess that what it all comes down to is that we're really lucky to have the choices, the time and the opportunities that we do.



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Don't you think that it's a ^%#$&# shame that Hunter S. Thompson wasn't an adventure rider? Imagine the ride reports...!
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 10:19 AM
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Riding, backpacking, hiking, sailing, kayaking, doing anything you enjoy alone is not been anti social. I enjoy doing all these things alone and I consider myself a very social person. However, all these activities can also be enjoyed in a group. When you ride in a group it's not much the ride but the interaction with other riders in the group that makes the experience. There's also the safety element to consider. One thing every outdoor enthusiast will recommend is to never go out into the wilderness by yourself. When you are riding through unfamiliar roads you are in the wilderness. Specially when riding the lonely empty backroads you might be attracted to.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 10:24 AM
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I agree, I really like riding solo, but finding one or two friends who ride similar is also great and probably safer for those longer rides, especially offroad where you get back in the woods (or mountains in CO). Group rides don't interest me.

I ride with my brother who is 15 years older and a little slower, but it's worth the effort. I also ride with a 1200GS rider who goes my speed in the mountains and dirt, but much faster on the straights.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 10:36 AM
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Amen,
I went on a ride this weekend with two Harley friends of mine. Macho dudes, you know the type. Must look cool in their du rags and such but when the rain came i kept on going as they sat back and whined about the rain and cold weather. I am here to ride. It is not an adventure unless something happens. Now i have another story to tell when i get back..
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 11:03 AM
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I'm off to Inuvik and Alaska day after tomorrow (KLR650...). I'll meet ONE friend that night near Dawson Creek, BC, and that makes for a GOOD ride. More than two and there's problems trying to come to agreement on what, where, why, etc, while with two, you take turns making compromises. I've done three LONG rides so far with one other rider (twice to Alaska, once fishing thru Montana for 2 weeks), and they've been the "stuff of dreams".
My .02$
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 11:19 AM
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To VeeWNC

I agree with you, my main reason for the motorbike was to have something that is much easier to pull over and take photos than with a car. I do enjoy travelling by myself, both backcountry camping and such. And I can't wait to get on with the first longer trip this summer. I do like to set my own pace and when I travel I usually have a good idea of what I would like to see but am not afraid to slow down and stay at places I enjoy more than others. Sometimes that's impossible with others. To me group rides are great for shorter trips to get together for an afternoon or one day, unless I find somebody that enjoys the same type of travel like myself.

Unfortunately I won't be able to take the V to WV where I am going next month but even so I can't wait to go, there is plenty of places to see between Halifax and Northern WV. Anybody have any suggestions for places to see? And any good places to buy motorcycle gear on the way? (Jacket, Helmets etc.?

Keep on riding.

Moon Dust Gray Versys, with lots of farkles.

Vlast

P.S. I bought my Versys to support my photography hobby.


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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 11:48 AM
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+1 Spiderman! On Memorial Day weekend I rode with two of my best friends of 25+ years a couple of days in a row but on Monday morning I got up early to go on a short 30 mile or so hop by myself to take some pics and ride the way I like to. "Breakfast is in 10 minutes" wasn't as appealing as that sweet little red bike sitting in the yard. I enjoy being around my friends but I can be equally happy on my own with my hobbies. I think you see a lot of that "type" on the ADV site as well.

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 12:08 PM
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I think having the right group is key. I ride with a group that is a mix of crusers and sport bikes. It is slow paced because of the HD guys, but I enjoy the breaks. THose are the rides that I take the wife on.

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 02:07 PM
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THose are the rides that I take the wife on.
Why?

She has a thing for HD guys?

Just riding with you is boring?

She has no idea how to lean so you need to go slow AND in a group so someone can catch her?

You gain points having a babe on the back while in a group?

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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 03:43 PM
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I don't ride in groups for most of the before mentioned problems. I mostly ride solo except when I ride with one or both of my sons. We get along really well about starting, stopping, where to go and so on. If there is any difference in the way I think and there's, I just beat the crap out of them until they see it my way. Good kids, yes they are.

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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 06:53 PM
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I'm off to Inuvik and Alaska day after tomorrow (KLR650...). I'll meet ONE friend that night near Dawson Creek, BC, and that makes for a GOOD ride. Ed
Have a great trip! Man that sounds good. I keep thinking of pointing my KLR North............


one of these days, I guess.

Dave

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 07:10 PM
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No, anyone can be anti-social if he/she wants to be.

You just prefer not to have BS when on a trip. IMO, for trips, find those friend who are on the same wavelength as yourself and 3-4 max bikes as the max.
I ride 90% alone and normally ride with my brothers on trips when we can.

I did it my way - Frank Sinatra.

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Ride safe,
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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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I'm glad I started this thread. If I'm weird it seems like there's plenty of company. There's been some interesting comments made on the subject. VeeWNC, I'd like to join you for a beverage of choice by a campfire sometime. Same with most of you other folks. I guess I don't have to feel bad about shying away from group rides.

Case in point - there are several guys I work with who own motorcycles, almost all cruisers. Several are novice riders. They all know me for putting on a lot of miles and being familiar with cool places to ride. So they want me to organize an "event". I really like all these folks (we're firefighters) and we're pretty close. I guess I'll just have to suck it up and do this. I'll find out who really wants to ride. I'm making it clear that we're in for a long day, probably 10 hours or so of actual riding,so they can't say they weren't warned. It will be very slow and boring for me but these guys will have a great time so I guess it' all worth it. They'll have no clue how much of a sacrifice it is for me to do this.
Thanks for letting me vent.

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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 09:28 PM
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I'm not anti-social, but I do enjoy riding alone. My other favorite pastime, fly fishing is also enjoyed away from the crowds. Now, I just need to combine the two.
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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 10:34 PM
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Technically anti-social doesn't mean you don't like to be around people. It's more that you don't know or care what is considered socially acceptable behavior and you do things that make others feel uncomfortable. Any way I just got my girlfriend a buell blast to learn on so we have been taking trips together. I can't stand it if I'm following her it's too damn slow and if I'm in the lead she will get pissed if I go too fast and loose her. It's just not as fun. As long as I can still take trips on my own every now and then I'll be satisfied. Oh yeah, when she is at work I take the blast out and go over Mountain passes and push it to the limit. Hey I bought the thing, and I maintain it so I want to see what it can do. I should get a pic of me riding it but I'd have to be riding with someone else for that. I think you guys would find a 6'2" guy riding a blast with the low profile seat to be hilarious. My girlfriend said that it's like watching a gorilla ride a tricycle. Ok, no more beers tonight.


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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 10:37 PM
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Spidey, you don't have to ride alone. I like to push it in the twisties to my not so expert limit, so I understand. My inseam challenged wife rides cruisers, so she can't possibly keep up when the roads get good. (not for lack of trying - she's drug both footpegs on the Vulcan and the kickstand on the Sportster) She doesn't mind that I get way ahead of her on the technical stuff, so long as I slow down on the less interesting straighter stuff so she can catch up.
If the newbies want to ride with you plan short legs/loops for them to ride with you for a while, and then head out for the longer stretch by yourself or with those that will keep up.

Back Off! I'm Already Riding Way Beyond My Abilities.


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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 10:49 PM
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Technically anti-social doesn't mean you don't like to be around people. It's more that you don't know or care what is considered socially acceptable behavior and you do things that make others feel uncomfortable. Any way I just got my girlfriend a buell blast to learn on so we have been taking trips together. I can't stand it if I'm following her it's too damn slow and if I'm in the lead she will get pissed if I go too fast and loose her. It's just not as fun. As long as I can still take trips on my own every now and then I'll be satisfied. Oh yeah, when she is at work I take the blast out and go over Mountain passes and push it to the limit. Hey I bought the thing, and I maintain it so I want to see what it can do. I should get a pic of me riding it but I'd have to be riding with someone else for that. I think you guys would find a 6'2" guy riding a blast with the low profile seat to be hilarious. My girlfriend said that it's like watching a gorilla ride a tricycle. Ok, no more beers tonight.
Just test rode one of those Buell Blasts with the low seat last week. It felt like a kids toy when I got on it, and I'm only 5'9". It was fun when you pinned the throttle open and let the revs come up though. I'm sure you look as ridiculous as I felt on it, and are absolutely enjoying every minute of it in the mountains. My wife also thought it was fun but felt like she was riding a tricycle and she's only 5'3". We bought her a Sportster instead.

I also tried to test ride a Buell Ulysses and damn near dumped it. Turns out it sits significantly higher off the ground than the touring model, and when I threw a leg over to stand it up I discovered neither foot would touch the ground until the bike was falling over.

Back Off! I'm Already Riding Way Beyond My Abilities.


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