For many wanna-be bicycle travelers, the only thing holding them back from actually taking the leap and exploring the world by bike is the fact that they can’t find anyone to go with them. Most people don’t want to be alone for months on end as they cycle across cities, states, and countries… so finding a riding partner is an important part of making many people’s bicycle touring dreams come true. Unfortunately, finding a riding partner is not always easy!
As far as I can tell, there are four main reasons finding a riding partner can be quite difficult.
First of all, you have to find someone who knows what bicycle touring is. If they don’t know anything about bicycle touring, you need to educate them and make sure that they are on the same or similar level as you once you do get out on the road and start your tour.
Secondly, you need to find someone who can get away from his or her family, friends, and work for an extended period of time. Whether you are planning to spend one week or one year on the road, you need to find someone who can take that same amount of time out of his or her schedule.
Thirdly, you need to find someone you can get along with. If you are planning an extended tour where you will be on the road for months on end, finding a compatible riding partner is extremely important. You are going to be spending a lot of time with this person, so you need to make sure he or she isn’t going to drive you crazy.
Finally, you need to find someone that wants to go to the same place(s) you want to go. Often times you will find someone interested in bicycle touring, but when they hear where you want to go, they have dreams of traveling someplace else.
So what happens if after months of searching you can’t find a riding partner?
1. To start, you can cancel your tour. Sadly, this is what a lot of people do. They are afraid to travel alone and rather than go out on their own, they cancel their plans and their bicycle touring dreams never becomes a reality.
2. Rather than cancel your tour, you might consider joining a guided tour. There are a number of bicycle touring companies all over the world. Whether you want to cycle across America, explore the Brazilian rainforests, or roll along the hills of Tuscany, you can likely find a tour to suit your needs. Cycling with a guided tour group may mean that you have to make some sacrifices to your planned itinerary, and you may be forced to travel with people you would not normally choose to hang out with, but a guided tour is certainly a better option than sitting at home and wishing you were out on the road.
3. Finally, if you are unable to find a riding partner for your bicycle tour, you can always go by yourself. It might be scary at first to think that you will be completely alone for days, weeks, or months on end, but once you get used to it, you’ll begin to have a lot of fun. You’ll meet some incredible people along the way and you’ll be glad that you didn’t stay at home just because you couldn’t find an appropriate riding partner.