Someone once told me that solitude was nothing but a glorified word to describe loneliness. It is lucky that i don't remember who; as upon reflecting it is one of the most idiotic things I've heard.
I could rant and rave to prove a point, but I'll keep it simple and assert that we are too connected. We've become obsessed with contact, surrounding ourselves with people, both in real life and virtually. Instead of ranting and raving, I prefer to take a step back, unplug, and ride solo.
I love cycling with other people. Ride with close friends and your conversation shares a blissful backdrop and joyous activity. Group rides are a different pleasure altogether, the thrill of critical mass, the symphony of bike-created clicks and buzzes and whirs and the sheer speed that you acquire make them a must do.
But riding solo has a purity to it that screams escapism and simplicity. There's just you and your bike, with nothing but the thoughts in your head and the wilderness around to keep you company.
Riding solo takes creativity, how can I use my brain if not chatting? It takes perseverance, there is nothing to push you more miles and up your hills than your own willpower. It requires passion. Its gratifying to take hours and hours out of a day to do something with no social obligation, with no obligation to anything but yourself.
Sometimes you need to be able to stop and take whatever photo you want, and other moments you feel free, never needing to wait up or be waited on.
Riding solo embodies the American dream. Independence, hard work, passion. There are days where I wouldn't trade anything for sunny skies shining over the California countryside, no one but my bike by my side.