In which it's not really "solo" if a friend goes along for the ride

Fiddle and I try to get out on the trails at least twice a week, just to stay sane.  

We both need to be surrounded by trees and NOT surrounded by walls as much as possible...

...and besides, it's quiet out there.  No computers, no phones (cell phones work only intermittently on our regular training routes), no machines of any kind....

it's a pump rig, for fire suppression

...unless you count logging machines.

She gave it a few freight-train-esque dragon snorts,
and then decided that it was mostly harmless.

This rather odd contraption has been parked in the middle of our trail for a couple of weeks.  Yesterday when we were in that area, we found out why:  they've started logging that sector. I took really lousy video of the tree cutting and processing with my phone, but it doesn't show the action and noise very well.  You can see and hear the same kind of activity more clearly on the videos that I included in THIS 2011 POST.

(and please note the actions of Team Sensible in the linked videos:
calm, unworried.  I love this mare!)

I get a lot of queries about riding alone, especially from other riders.

They look around, always a little frantically.  Then comes the question:

"You're all alone?"

Nope.   I brought my horse with me today.

I dearly love riding with the Usual Suspects.  However, Fee and I both really enjoy the hours that we spend out on the trail "solo."  Except, of course, they we aren't all alone.  We have each other.

Just to make sure that we don't accidentally bring an unwelcome companion...

We've all been the Bad Idea Fairy, but there's no reason to do 
dumb stuff if you can plan around it!
Image by Monica Bretherton

...we always file a "flight plan" with at least two other people so that somebody knows where we are, where we're going, the route we intend to take, and our expected arrival time back in the World.

And then...

...we head out onto the trails.  That blue sky won't last forever, and we are determined to enjoy it while we've got it.

It's good.  It's really, really good.


  1. Glad you and Fee were able to get out and enjoy the blue skies while they last!

    1. I keep thinking that "today" will be the last day, and the seasonal rain will begin (and not let up until July). So far, it's still blue! I'm amazed!

  2. Exactly. "Nope. I brought my horse with me today." I often ride "alone" and agree that when we're with our best riding partner, we're not alone. Good for you to file a plan. I often don't, should probably start. I'm usually in either cell or satellite range on my alone rides, and my SO can track my phone (always on me) if needed.

    Gorgeous photos, love the shaded trail with ferns and dappled sunlight.

    1. Filing a plan is pretty essential--there are a LOT of places that the phone doesn't work and there aren't many other people (which is why I like to ride there). We have a few established loops that are known to many of us, so I easily call or text the flight plan to one of the Usual Suspects, and they'll be able to find me if they need to do it. I also usually carry a GPS and bear bells when I'm not in a group!

  3. So you "found" the logging. They've cleared that hillside in under a week. We need to schedule that "trail" excursion - maybe next week.

    1. Send me a note, and let's go scout your trail before the rain starts!

  4. while riding last sunday, we encountered many bikers, including those big groups i like to call "spandex nation." i was keenly aware that no one asked them to stop and offer our horses cookies.

    1. Where were YOUR horse cookies, gal? >g<

  5. There are parts of your trails that just look MYSTICAL.

    1. The prettiness does offset the seasonal squishiness...sometimes!

  6. Yep, yep, yep! Not that I do real trail work anymore, but while I was still competing, I LOVED riding alone. Setting your own pace, strengthening the bond with your horse, and getting a chance to be QUIET were all wonderful ways to spend a morning, afternoon, or day. I too also loved riding with my own group of usual suspects, but sometimes it's nice to just be out there alone with just your horse. :0)

  7. I like riding solo, and, at least around here on my local trails, have often encountered other solo riders--always female. In fact this was the theme of my latest mystery, Barnstorming. Perhaps those who like to ride solo should NOT read this book (!)


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