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Riding the dales... Alone... As a noob? Good idea/bad idea?

paul the 6thpaul the 6th Posts: 33
edited March 2012 in MTB beginners
Yo dudes, another pathetically noob themed question..

When starting out mtb'ing, were you a bit wary about riding in the middle of no where on your own?

I was reading an old copy of MBR mag from last year with a route around Kilnsey moor (mastiles lane, hawkswick clowder, etc) which is graded as 'easy' and is around 12 miles. Right up my street, and not too far away (about an hour & 15 from me)..

Only issue is that I seem to be busy with family stuff most weekends, and so too are friends, so organising something for a Saturday is tricky. I'm self employed so if the weather is good & I'm on top of my work then I could probably take a weekday off - but I'm a bit unsure about heading out on wild trails without anyone else tagging along.

I know I'm not Aaron ralston down a crag between a rock & another rock, but is it commonly advised against riding solo on routes in remote areas? Or is the health & safety executive putting something in my water which is making me risk-phobic? What do you lot do?


  • This may seem a bit off on a tangent, but bear with me, it swings back in...

    Had resuscitation training at work the other day (took over an hour yet Vinny Jones says it all on the advert.) Anyway, one bit of handy advice that I wasn't aware of is ringing 112 instead of 999. It's the euro wide emergency number, does the same job, but with the bonus of being able to trace your phone signal. Maybe 999 does this too, but we were told if you don't know where you are, ring 112.

    Looking on the bleak side I know, coz everything will probably be fine, but if you do go alone (I do) then this might be worth remembering. Providing there's phone signal of course, otherwise you're screwed :shock:
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Take a phone and let your wife know where you are going (and a copy of the route) and when you should be back, and you should be ok.

    Unless she hates you, in which case you are farked.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • Don't think she hates me - better not go riding after an argument then lol.

    Cheers for the 112 & common sense stuff about route/let people know where I'm going etc.

    I'm not gonna be attacking any insane trails but obviously being a new rider there's a chance I could misjudge some tree routes or mossy rocks etc. and probably end up with a graze or some bruises, but if the worst were to happen I'd be more embarrassed to ring for help than anything else! Cheers guys.

    P.s. I suppose I could always make a film about it if I ever ended up in trouble. '4 and a half hours - he eventually made it back, but the horror of banging his shin on a rock stayed with him for much longer'
  • 112 IS exactly the same as 999. You still get routed through the same way.

    in the uk it is 999, you travel to another country, what number is it? dunno.

    The only difference between 999 and 112 is that 112 works in other countries.
    Your call gets routed through the HLR (home location Register) in the same manner. You still get priority on the airwaves over any other call currently taking place oin the network (although this now only really applies at large events or at new year due to the size and grwoth of UK networks)

    999 will work if there is a signal on ANY network, not just yours.
    112 will work if there is a signal on ANY network, not just yours.

    If there is NO network coverage from any network provider (T-Mobile, 3, Vodafone, O2 & Orange) then you will not be able to make ANY calls.
  • Interesting Matty thanks for that mate. I never realised the emergency calls would route through any available network.

    I registered for the 999 text service last year after reading about the Technology analyst & tv personality James Kim ( - if there's little or no signal then sending a text message can often get through and it leaves a trace of the various local phone cells it was transmitted through - so in an emergency it can be used where there is no signal & the emergency services can start to work out where you are a little easier.
  • Never had a problem riding alone in the hills, even when I was just starting out. However, I've done a lot of solo hillwalking/mountaineering so am comfortable out in the hills by myself. Still a sensible idea to leave details of your route with wife/whatever. You'll find you pace your riding to suit and will be more cautious if you're on your own.
  • waby1234waby1234 Posts: 571
    With regards to locating you using your phone signal, the emergency services can usually locate you to a 'cell' if calling from a mobile phone. This allows them to locate your vicinity if nothing else. In rural areas the cells are likely to be larger though. When calling from a landline they will have your address before they've even answered the call.
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  • C0LL0C0LL0 Posts: 271
    I ride all the time on my own, even at night, but I am quite sensible when out at night. My wife is convinced I'll knock myself out and end up as fox food :shock: . She does worry so, but has never phoned me when I've been out (just how worried is she ??) I am over insured for some reason :idea:
  • RushmoreRushmore Posts: 674
    I think you should also consider taking the right spares as that will more likely strand you then an injury.. So spare tubes, pump, patches and multitool will get you through most of the problems you could encounter on an easy route. :)
    Always remember.... Wherever you go, there you are.

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  • mattrgeemattrgee Posts: 157
    Don't forget a sharp penknife, just in case you have a '127 hours' moment.
  • lost-timelost-time Posts: 549
    I got one of these for when running alone:
    If you were found unconscious somewhere and some other person finds you then youv'e got a list of contact numbers and or medical info..... Fairly useful if your phone has a security lock on it.
  • alexey21alexey21 Posts: 1
    In my opinion, to riding the hills alone is a very bad idea. If you want to ride on mountain, ride together with your friends. Not alone !
  • BriggoBriggo Posts: 3,537
    alexey21 wrote:
    In my opinion, to riding the hills alone is a very bad idea. If you want to ride on mountain, ride together with your friends. Not alone !

    Yeah, thats right, we shouldn't walk across the road on our own either.

    Always find a friend to hold hands with and make sure you look left and right.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    I wish I had some friends.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

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  • EH_RobEH_Rob Posts: 1,134
    If you haven't ever had any friends and you've got to your age you must be sick at crossing roads.

    In all fairness having a riding buddy in remote areas is probably sensible, this isn't always practical if like cooldad and I you have no friends. just make sure you've got your phone, someone knows what time you left and are due back, and roughly where you're going.
  • chez_m356chez_m356 Posts: 1,893
    its always better to have a riding buddy, its just not the same laughing at yourself when you fall off, even better if your laughing at them :wink:
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  • S-MS-M Posts: 174
    I use Endomondo on my phone, and it lets the missus know where i have crashed, it has put her mind at ease a bit more after i spent an hour cabbaged at the bottom of a hill unable to walk.

    I always tell her that if i`m away out on the bike, and she thinks i might be out tooo long, then check the Endomondo page and see where i am, if i have not moved for a while and the map says i am at the bottom of a steep hill, then i am probably in a bad way :lol:
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