It’s Harder Than You Think Yet Easier

Day 8-635.4 KM’s
Day 9-739.6 Km’s

I have arrived on the east coast of the USA in North Carolina yesterday, May 25th. Took me 9 days to get here with a lot of boring pavement riding

yet I was not really bored.

Well, maybe a little while staying in this hotel shooting selfies of myself. But out on the road it’s been a cleansing time and I am learning that traveling SOLO for the first time is harder than I thought.

Harder? How? Simple math really. When there is one there is double the duty. Riding, remembering to eat…

and stop, setting up a tent if camping, moving your bike if parked incorrectly by yourself, navigating, decisions, decisions. Doing a report from the road seems more difficult because of the end of the day ride routine.

Having said this, it’s easier in way too. No one to answer to, do your own thing all the time, stop and talk to anyone or no one. Traveling at any rate and for as long as you want.

Deviating on side trips or not. In my case I really did not deviate from my day by day route to stop and smell the “roses” which I am hearing all over the place “Slow Down, pace yourself”. I soooooo agree…the only thing is there are pre-determined stops with family and friends. My lay overs are short and too short for family yet I only have 30 days.

There is something oddly strange about watching an odometer turn numbers, 18,000 on May 24th and

19,000 on May 25. I started this trip with 13350 KM’s I believe. The ride east was more mileage that anticipated. Had to change routes coming across the mid west due to storms which added to the mileage for sure. Mid west travel is interesting. Not much going on scenery wise but weather?

You can see for miles and know your doom or nowhere to go to avoid the doom. That is what I tried to do and was successful at times and others? Well, just had no choice but to suck it up and get hit with mother nature.

Riding SOLO takes determination. You motivate yourself to get up and cover the distance you feel you need to. Social media on this trip has been an amazing support for me. I am not alone out there at all yet I am. All the comments and words of encouragement make this trip feel less lonely? Actually makes me feel safer.

I was working out daily while home for months to get into shape but also a stress release. I was wondering how could I still “work” out on the bike. I am actually exercising on the bike believe it or not. Natural work out from riding through elements but also just tightening my muscles, stretching and flexing while riding.

Anyway, it’s working to keep up tone and as for my weight, I am down a bit but that’s just because I am not putting in enough calories.

I was happy to get to the coast. Riding in landlocked USA is a different feeling for this coaster. I like mountains and water. Although I am not really on the coast being near Charlotte, NC….I got to see the Great Smokey Mountains.

No Tail of the Dragon this weekend.

It’s Memorial Day Weekend and way more traffic out that I would like. Tourists everywhere. BIG RV tourists. I might a really nice military guy in eastern NC, and warned me about any tourist destination this weekend. He said “if you don’t want to be stuck with cars stay away from the famous roads.” His dream is to ride to Alaska and I talked about the plan. He owns a VFR and all I could recommend was to NOT take that bike to Deadhorse.

When was the last time you saw a McD’s look like this?

Riding from Illinois to Tennessee was a very HOT day.

Me at 90’s F after hours of riding

I did not put on my cooling vest but would next time the temps hoover around high 80’s-low 90’s. For Canadians that is high 20’s – low 30’s.

You see weird signs out in the middle of no where but sure get your attention.

I stayed outside the Grand Ole Opry in another KOA tent site. It was loud, obnoxious but I have ear plugs. I had many come up and ask who am I riding with??? When some found out it was just me I got, “Oh my that is dangerous”. Or…”sooooo, cool”.

Met a man who hit a cow on his bike nearly 30 years ago. No helmet, no gear…no longer riding. He appreciates people’s rights to choose how they gear up or not but said if he rode today it would be wearing gear like me.

So many riders across this country do not wear gear at all. Too each their own but it freaks me out.

Riding through the Smoky’s yesterday I got hit with pouring rain again and hail. I say Harley riders wearing plastic bags as rain jackets, fingerless gloves if any, female passengers in shorts and tanks tops while going through hail.

A Sport biker riding his girlfriend I suppose through the storm. He at least had a helmet on, while he tried to protect her legs from the pelting hail as she was wearing shorts and no helmet.

Although I have not been eating out too much I try every once in a while to get a good breakfast. One of my favorite things to do on trips is to eat as greasy spoons. So old fashion, simple and good food.

Random thought: Someone referred to me as a LDR. Long Distance Rider. I never thought of myself as that but I guess I am….

Somewhere along the road yesterday I noticed my chain really loose. It was the first thing my brother and I did when I got to his house was inspect the chain for kinks, clean it and lube then adjusted it.

Seems to be OK for now but I might just get a new chain and sprockets sent to NY just to have. I will need replacement probably before this trip is over. My brother rides motocross.

First destination goal planned was indeed North Carolina.

I made it and taking 2 nights off. Heading to Williamburg, VA on Tuesday May 27 I think then heading to Long Island. After LI, then it’s heading west tie to go home. Still many more KM’s or miles to ride from here to the end of my trip. My reasons for going on this trip are still there…

I am just trying to not dwell on my reality. One thing I am hoping for is this trip is just not a MAJOR distraction, it’s a trip I gain confidence from which I am and a trip that proves to me I will be okay on my own.

Author: advgrrl

Avid ADV rider! This Blog is all about the adventure in adventure riding. Researching new bikes, routes, accessories, learning about other riders and hopefully a great place for others to comment and explore with me. PLUS, up and down's, wildlife, my dogs, my life!

16 thoughts on “It’s Harder Than You Think Yet Easier”

  1. You are growing girl. I see the confidence building in your posts. Keep going. And yes, you can call yourself an LDR. Most people don’t ride longer than about 35 miles at a time. At least according to Honda.

    Look how far you’ve come. And remember what I said? You’re alone but not alone. We are all following along with you, trying to help watch over you and our reward is a few pictures along the way and getting to be a little part of your experience.

    And look how many new friends you have. Keep going. We will be right there with you.

    1. I am gaining confidence as a soloist but this report is so different than my Alaskan report done in 2011.

      I love this ride more so in some ways because of the support I’m getting and thanks again for yours! Leslie

  2. Great report, lot’s of people dreaming of doing such a great trip. Riding SOLO, sure is hard, but must be great to find ourselves.
    Keep going, the rest of us are at this moment just dreaming. It reminds me of a PS2 comercial, there are the ones that goes there, and the other that do it virtually.
    You are making it, I bet that at the end of this journey you will be different, stronger and more self confident, not to mention Proud.

    Keep going and have fun.

  3. Way to go Leslie, just so great to see you doing all of this especially solo! Safe travels and keep up the posts!

  4. I agree 100% about wearing gear…. It totally freaks me out to see people riding without proper gear. I feel bad for riders that don’t know any better – if they only knew.

    This is worth mentioning and passing on to others….

    Brittany Morrow shares her experience – see the link.

    Brittany also has a website

    Leslie, just know our good vibes and thoughts are with you… you’re doing great….
    Keep on keeping on! Ride safe!

  5. Lisa- Great to read your ADVentures, the US is smaller than CDN, but the regions are weirder. Enjoy the differences, especially when people ask “You are a woman doing this ALONE?”
    Ride Safe,

  6. Can’t wait to see you and hear about your travels so far. I’m glad I’m a stop on your journey…love ya, Hon

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