It seems to have always been a fantasy of the American road traveler: to traverse cross country on only two wheels, open roads and fields sprawling next to you, mountain views in the distance. Nearly every movie about a group of middle-aged men going on an expedition to find themselves includes at least one scene with the group leather jacket clad and hitting the road for some self-reflection and freedom. But if you were to take up this pilgrimage yourself, where would you go? Solo motorcycle travel is the new American dream.
There’s no shortage of benefits from traveling alone versus in a group. Personally, it’s always been my favorite way to see the world. You are in total and complete control of your time and experience. Want to spend an extra hour detouring to see the sunset over a lake you’ve only just heard about? You got it. Want to change routes and head to the Hickison Petroglyph Recreation Area for a chance to see ancient carvings without having to explain why you want to go in the first place? Go for it. Going on a motorcycle trip, and a solo one at that, gives you the opportunity to grasp at the freedom you were chasing in the first place. The trick is to go in with an open mind and willingness to listen to where you want to go.
Across the United States alone, the motorcycle tours you can embark on are endless. Up the cost of California to Oregon offers endless views of the sea, the cityscape of San Francisco, rocky seaboards that can rival the cliffs of Ireland, and rolling valleys that look like they were copied right out of a painting. For those willing to brave a bit cooler of a climate, a solo trip through the Alaskan frontier offers the challenge of distance and not-so-easy terrain. But from veterans of the Alaskan road, they say it certainly isn’t impossible. The mountains and lakes and woods you’ll see along your travels will make any rough patch worth it ten fold. There’s the Tail of the Dragon’s course that takes you winding by waterfalls and creeks, the Great SMoky Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest.
Motorcycle travel isn’t limited to just the United States, though. Some of the most popular places to motorcycle abroad include Vietnam, Cambodia, Tibet and Mt. Everest, and Norway. All of these places offer vastly different experiences but none will leave you wishing you chose a different spot, only with the hankering to see more. Visiting a foreign country alone can seem scary, especially if you don’t speak the language. But the benefit of doing it as a motorcycle tour, and solo, allows you to once again be the captain of your own mission. It gives you the autonomy to take in your surroundings and experience them, reflect on them, and no doubt inspire you to plan another challenge.