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During the Christmas break I took time to think about the year past and year ahead. There's big things going on right now at La Velocita and in cycling in Australia generally.

I chose the best place I know to think and plan. On the bike, solo.

Words and Images - Mike Boudrie

The cycling industry is changing in Australia. The consolidation of Cycling Tips and Bike Exchange is just one example, and we're eager to see where that goes. There's new races, more Gran Fondo's than ever before and people taking up this amazing sport every week.

Decisions made now change the future, so it's important to get them as right as possible, however in the buzz of family, work and the constant bombardment of information it's good to turn off and focus. That's why I love riding solo.

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Cycling so often gets described as a 'social' sport. However, it can also a personal affair. Some might call it lonely. I think being out on the bike for three or four hours or more from time to time is deeply rewarding. It's a time when you really get to know yourself. What goes through your mind.... is it racing with ideas, are you worrying, or have you reached that amazing place where you are completely focused, just your breathing, the sound of the bike, road and getting to the next destination. I love that feeling.

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When you ride by yourself it's all down to you. You're doing it for yourself, there's no wheel to follow and hold onto, no pressure to keep the pace up, no sitting in in the wind. Just you, your bike and the road. You choose to go fast, slow, or stop. The route you take is up to you.

This summer I've had some amazing experiences riding roads that I've never ventured down and riding in relatively isolated regions. Not knowing what's coming up ahead is great... gravel, climbs, amazing vistas, all experienced for the first time. It's an absolute pleasure. It almost feels selfish keeping it to yourself.

Returning from the solo ride there's that feeling of relaxation, reflection on the experience you alone have just had and knowing that your mind is that bit clearer, your body that bit fitter and that you'll ready to face whatever the world throws at you.

Tell us why to you love to ride solo.