Planning & late back procedure
How often have you went for a solo ride without anyone knowing where you intend on going and how long you'll be? I'll put my hands up and confess I've done it many times when riding locally.
Now, some of the best rides are the ones where there is no real plan and you just see where the trail takes you. It's easy to see the issue here if something major happens to you.
Be realistic about your return time – factor in breaks, mechanicals, weather, ground conditions and the fact that you know you'll be pushing up that climb, not riding it! There is tech out there that may be useful. Some phones and GPS devices can relay real-time location to anyone via the internet, such as Lezyne's Live Tracking, Strava's Beacon and Garmin's LiveTrack features. Of course, these rely on both a GPS and internet connection and really are no substitute for a robust late back procedure.