Individual or bring a friend? That is the question!
Are you one of those crazy types?… always picks the hardest routes, with the most hills, the scariest descents? Oh, yea and I’m presuming you’re the type who also doesn’t like to stop for quick “rest” breaks. Chances are you’re hard to come by that perfect riding partner. Here we are going to analyze both options, individual or with a friend or group/ riders.
Firstly, let’s go through the pros and cons of riding individually, yep I mean riding by yourself. This type of bike packing gives you the most freedom but can be quite daunting for the beginner bike packer. The most important factors for individual bike packing is preparedness and your safety while out riding alone. To ensure your safety while riding out alone on the bike, it is vital to let a close friend/ family member know the exact details of your trip. This can include the duration that you will be riding for, where you’re going (give them a route if possible), and the possible hazards that you deem necessary to tell them. If you’re riding alone try and resist the urge to do stupid stuff I.e. if you see a huge gap jump, assess the risks fully before you decide to go out and do it. This could harm yourself or leave your bike stranded in a very remote area.
The second important factor is your preparedness as a rider, knowing what to bring and how to correctly pack the equipment to your bike. Make sure to check out our “essential trailside repair kit”. This shows a comprehensive guide to a trail repair kit that will get you out of nearly any situation you may get stuck in. Being adequately prepared when bike packing helps to ensure that you’ve minimized potential risks that could occur. Making sure your bike is in tip-top condition, ensuring that you’re equipped with a good repair kit and spares, enough hydration and food to last your entire trip, and more.
Riding in a group
Safety while riding in a bigger group is obviously much safer than when riding solo. When riding in a group it is important to be aware of the riders around you, in regards to their level of skill, confidence, and the bike they are riding on the trip. Unfortunate crashes in big groups are often made when one rider is distracted and makes a mistake. So always try and keep your eyes open especially when off-trail.
To come to a decision on this takes more than just reading this article, it comes down to what you want out of your bike packing trip and your past experiences as a rider/ adventurer. If this will be your first bike packing trip, though the choice is up to you, we strongly encourage you to ride with a friend.