Tag Archives: Touring

Border Hopping the Virginias: Virginia and West Virginia Motorcycle Ride

Border Hopping Virginia West Virginia Motorcycle Ride
Crossing Anthony Creek near Blue Bend, West Virginia, as we make our way toward the Virginia border on this Virginia-West Virginia Motorcycle Ride. (Photos by the author)

Riding challenging curves through beautiful mountain scenery spikes my happy gauge, and the border region of eastern West Virginia and western Virginia is ripe with options. Great roads curve along rivers, wind through national forests, and roll through small towns, with interesting sights along the way.

The historic small city of Lewisburg, West Virginia, offers good restaurants and lodgings, providing a convenient base of operations. I connected there with my long-time riding partner Steve Efthyvoulou for two day-ride loops that took us over (and over) the border between the Virginias.

Day 1: Into the Alleghany Highlands

After breakfast, we pointed our bikes north on U.S. Route 219 to Anthony Road, where a right turn put us on an entertaining and frequently narrow road that parallels Anthony Creek. Recent deer strikes on this road involving riders we know had us on heightened alert for creatures aptly named Odocoileus virginianus. We continued deer-free through the village of Anthony and past Blue Bend. A right onto State Route 92 (Pocahontas Trail) took us south through Alvon and to the outskirts of White Sulphur Springs.

Border Hopping Virginia West Virginia Motorcycle Ride

Scan QR codes above or click Day 1 or Day 2 to view routes on REVER

A one-exit run on Interstate 64 east delivered us to State Route 311 (Kanawha Trail). We crossed into Virginia and entered George Washington National Forest. A few miles on, we encountered a curious double tunnel under a railroad. The original passageway was built of stone; the metal culvert must have come later. 

SR-311 hugs Tygers Creek southeast toward Crows, where we went right to follow Dunlap Creek. We crossed back into West Virginia, and south of Sweet Springs, SR-311 continues left as Peters Mountain Road, curving in spectacular fashion to a ridge. There it returns to Virginia and cuts through a patchwork of green including wilderness and recreation areas, campgrounds, and trails for hikers and off-roaders.

On the outskirts of Paint Bank, where SR-311 crosses Potts Creek, the Lemon Hotel proudly flaunts its vivid yellow exterior. This historic mountain home, dating from 1909 and now operating as a bed-and-breakfast, continues the yellow theme to the garage, chicken coop, deck chairs, guest bicycles, and likely other accoutrements. Green trim mimics the leaves of a lemon tree. I’d wager the yellow lodgings are fabulous, but I was more interested in following yellow lines painted on smooth, black asphalt.

Border Hopping Virginia West Virginia Motorcycle Ride
The very yellow Lemon Hotel is in Paint Bank, Virginia, along State Route 311 in the Jefferson National Forest.

Paint Bank Road continues switching back and forth down Potts Mountain, with several scenic views signposted. At New Castle, we turned left onto State Route 615 (Craig Creek Road). The road meanders less than its namesake waterway, but it’s still engaging. To our right, we noticed suspension-style bridges across the creek that look like scaled-down Golden Gate Bridges. Where Craig Creek makes its final sweep right to join the James River, we turned left onto State Route 621 (Roaring Run Road), which slices along Karnes Creek. 

See all of Rider‘s U.S. South motorcycle rides here.

At Low Moor, we turned left onto U.S. Route 220, cut north through Covington, and continued on Hot Springs Road, gaining elevation through curves into the Alleghany Highlands. Beyond the junction with State Route 684, we stopped at Falling Spring Falls. 

In his 1781 book, Notes on the State of Virginia, native son and future U.S. President Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The only remarkable cascade in this country is that of the Falling Spring in Augusta. It falls over a rock about 200 feet to the valley below.” These days the drop is just 80 feet because mining operations from 1927 to 1941 rerouted the stream to the current falls. It’s still beautiful, but I wonder how the original 200-foot cascade looked.

Border Hopping Virginia West Virginia Motorcycle Ride
Passing through the village of Anthony, West Virginia.

Continuing on U.S. 220, we encountered arcs and hairpins climbing to a ridge, then curved down to the center of Clifton Forge, which offers multiple choices for lunch. Steve selected 42 Deli, where we ordered BLT subs overflowing with bacon. (There’s no such thing as too much bacon.)

After lunch, we continued north on Douthat Road to State Route 39 then turned left for more curves to the West Virginia border. Down in Marlinton, we turned left onto U.S. 219 through Buckeye and Hillsboro. In Pocahontas, we visited Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park, site of an 1863 Civil War battle that ended organized Southern resistance in the still-new state of West Virginia. A walk up the observation tower rewarded us with a panoramic view of the Greenbrier River Valley. Continuing south on U.S. 219, a combination of sweepers and twisties returned us to Lewisburg to complete the day’s loop.

Day 2: West Virginia High

The next morning, our second loop started east from Lewisburg on U.S. Route 60 then turned south at Cadwell onto State Route 63 (Monroe Draft). At Organ Cave, this road joins U.S. 219 (Seneca Trail), and at Pickaway we turned right onto State Route 3 toward Sinks Grove and Wolf Creek. At Alderson, SR-3 crosses the Greenbrier River and bends gently west and south for a relaxed run along this scenic river.

Border Hopping Virginia West Virginia Motorcycle Ride
Twin peaks reflect off the New River in Sandstone, West Virginia.

At Bellepoint, the Greenbrier and New Rivers converge, and just past Hinton we encountered a fantastic section of State Route 20. With tight turns and elevation changes, it moves along Gwinn Ridge with practically perfect pavement. At Sandstone we parked at the general store and walked around back for a close-up look at the New River. It’s among the oldest rivers on Earth, flowing northward through West Virginia valleys and canyons. On a perfect June morning, it couldn’t be prettier.

Reversing course, we enjoyed SR-20’s curves in the opposite direction. At Hinton, SR-3 presents a curvy stretch of two-lane to Shady Spring. There, U.S. Route 19 south got us down to Odd Road, which given its continual curves, is anything but odd for West Virginia. In the village of Odd, we turned right. Then at Coal City Road, we turned left for more twisties. At Amigo we picked up State Route 16 and wound through Stephenson and Corinne to Mullens.

Riding north out of Mullens on State Route 54 led us to a succession of twisty backroads including State Routes 97 and 3, Mattsville Road, Lower Sandick Road, and Clear Creek Crossing Road. In the village of Clear Creek Crossing, the riding got even better when we turned right onto Clear Fork Road. The tight curves border on perilous, but wow, it was fun! 

Border Hopping Virginia West Virginia Motorcycle Ride
East of Bellepoint, West Virginia, SR-3 curves gently along the Greenbrier River.

Clear Fork Road ends (sigh) at Maple Fork Road, then we went left on State Route 16, right on 61, and left on 41. Farther on, we reached a highlight of the day, Babcock State Park, featuring Glade Creek Grist Mill and a series of streaming waterfalls.

Returning to SR-41, we continued to U.S. 60 and got exactly what we’ve come to expect from a great West Virginia road: smooth tar with elevation changes and thrilling curves. What a way to finish this ride. At the intersection of U.S. 219, we were back in Lewisburg.

Morning presented a 664-mile highway jaunt to get home. That’s a long way in a day but a small price to enjoy border hopping the Virginias.

See all of Rider‘s touring stories here.

Virginia-West Virginia Motorcycle Ride Resources

Scott A. Williams Contributor

Scott “Bones” Williams engages readers on motorcycle touring, gear, and culture. His writing conveys his love of speed and motion, preference for roads less taken, and role as goodwill ambassador. 

The post Border Hopping the Virginias: Virginia and West Virginia Motorcycle Ride appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Joshua Tree National Park Motorcycle Ride | Favorite Ride

Favorite Ride Joshua Tree National Park Motorcycle Ride
While the majority of visitors to Joshua Tree National Park stick to the pavement, there are several dirt roads that finger into the beautiful desert landscape, perfect for this Joshua Tree National Park motorcycle ride. (Photos by the author and Cheryl Kessel)

“It’s the Joshua tree’s struggle that gives it its beauty,” writes Jeannette Walls in her 2005 memoir The Glass Castle. She further contends that such struggle leads to growth and resilience. We motorcyclists know all about struggle, especially in the depths of winter. We struggle to find ways to assuage our overwhelming desire to ride as snow blankets roads and freezing winds cut like knives. For us, the Joshua tree can also represent escape and relief. 

My wife and I sat in the morning sun in the courtyard of the beautiful Dive Palm Springs, a downtown boutique hotel in the vibrant California desert city (see sidebar below). As we ate croissants and fresh fruit, we discussed our January therapy session: riding our BMW G 650 XCountry through Joshua Tree National Park.

Favorite Ride Joshua Tree National Park Motorcycle Ride

Scan QR code above or click here to view the route on REVER

The ride out of Palm Springs was easy. The city has embraced and preserved its mid-century heritage and charm. Buildings, landscaping, and signage harken back to the city’s heyday as a mecca for L.A.’s rich and famous. We rode alongside expansive golf courses and tennis courts. Once out of the city, we continued east on Interstate 10 through the muted hues of the Mojave Desert. 

Favorite Ride Joshua Tree National Park Motorcycle Ride

Joshua Tree National Park has three entrances, and our route took us to the southernmost entrance near I-10. There was no wait at this lesser-used access, and our National Parks Annual Pass granted us entry.

Our ride north into the park started as a nicely paved roll through the sparse desert landscape on Pinto Basin Road. Mountains rose on the horizon, but no Joshua trees. A full palate of cacti, including chollas and ocotillos, defined our early impressions of the national park. Long sweeping corners and smooth straight stretches marked the climb in elevation. The road became more curvaceous, and the park’s namesake trees started to appear sporadically, foreshadowing what was to come. 

Favorite Ride Joshua Tree National Park Motorcycle Ride
The author’s wife, Cheryl, stands in front of the park’s entry signage.

See all of Rider‘s West U.S. motorcycle rides here.

Pinto Basin Road terminates at Park Boulevard. A right turn would lead us north to Twentynine Palms, the city immortalized in a great Robert Plant song of the same name. Instead, we turned left into the heart of the park and the center of the Joshua tree universe. 

Favorite Ride Joshua Tree National Park Motorcycle Ride
The roads through Joshua Tree offer up starkly beautiful visual backdrops. The rock vistas, desert sand, and unique trees combine for a remarkable riding experience.

Almost immediately, the stands of Joshua trees became denser, the trees larger. Joshua trees are fantastical, whimsical, and majestic all at once. It is as if each one has a personality of its own. Some are simple and understated, but many are over-the-top in their stylized poses. Arms emanate in every direction and at rakish angles that seem almost comical, like attention-seeking adolescents with limbs akimbo and wild haircuts. 

Our first pedestrian foray was at the fantastic erosion-sculpted Skull Rock. My diminutive riding companion could easily fit within one of the cranial cavities in the impressive monolith, one of many sculpture-esque outcroppings of granite in this portion of the park. 

Favorite Ride Joshua Tree National Park Motorcycle Ride
Cheryl stands in front of one of the park’s most recognizable features, Skull Rock. The rock morphs in appearance with the changing shadows throughout the day.

After a few more miles on our northwestern route through the park, we sampled one of the established dirt roads that wind through Joshua trees. Vehicles must stay on approved roads, and there are several dirt roads that offer off-pavement possibilities for dirt-worthy mounts. Our midsized BMW proved perfect for a little sandy exploration. 

See all of Rider‘s California tour stories here.

Back on tarmac, we motored past climbers scaling the vertical walls of beautiful rock formations. We also cut through the part of the park that features the most spectacular Joshua trees, which cast long shadows in the late afternoon light, adding an otherworldly quality to the ride. 

Favorite Ride Joshua Tree National Park Motorcycle Ride

After leaving the park, we rolled back to Palm Springs on Twentynine Palms Highway (State Route 62). We motored west and then south past Desert Hot Springs and beside a different forest – one of towering wind turbines. Back in Palm Springs, we showered off the day’s ride and headed downtown to enjoy the Palm Springs Village Fest, an event hosted every Thursday that features art, food, music, and lots of smiling attendees. 

With our therapy session complete, we felt much better. This ride would be oppressively hot during the summer, but it’s the perfect escape in fall, winter, and spring months. 

See all of Rider‘s touring stories here.

SIDEBAR: Dive Palm Springs

Favorite Ride Joshua Tree National Park Motorcycle Ride
The pool at Dive Palm Springs.

Dive Palm Springs is a quaint and beautiful 11-room boutique hotel on the fringe of downtown Palm Springs. The petite, Euro-inspired property is meticulously maintained, with a restored historic pool as its centerpiece. A welcoming glass of rosé greets new guests, and an individually prepared organic breakfast is delivered to your room or beside the pool each morning. This hidden gem is the perfect place to recline in luxury after a long ride.

Joshua Tree National Park Motorcycle Ride Resources

Tim Kessel Contributor

With 50 years of motorcycling and 30 years of teaching English under his belt, Tim Kessel has melded those two passions into a gig as a motojournalist. Maybe that’s why there is always a permanent, satisfied smile under his full-face helmet.

The post Joshua Tree National Park Motorcycle Ride | Favorite Ride appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

A Zanesville Homecoming: Ohio Motorcycle Ride

Zanesville Ohio Motorcycle Ride
Part of this Ohio motorcycle ride, the northern end of State Route 555, known as the Triple Nickel, is in Zanesville. Motorcyclists travel from near and far to ride its fun, challenging 62 miles. (Photographs by the author)

Zanesville, Ohio, is where I hail from. It was there I first learned to ride a motorbike, back in my early teen years, racing around the roads on the city’s north side. In high school, I’d ride my slightly larger motorbike on what is called the West Pike, better known as U.S. Route 40. But following my military service, I traveled around on bigger and bigger bikes, leaving Zanesville behind and ultimately settling in Columbus.

Over the years I’ve been back to Zanesville many times, always for something family related. I was overdue for a visit to my hometown to refresh, reflect, and remember. And to discover.

Planning to spend a few days, I stayed at the Quality Inn and Suites (see sidebar below). Early-shift staff members Ausha and Linda made certain I was well fed from their breakfast buffet and well fed with information on changes to the place I once called home. 

In hilly Muskingum County, Zanesville is a hub, every road aimed at its center. Few of them resemble anything near a straight line, twisting about, sometimes with fervor, perfect for those of us who enjoy being out on two or three wheels.

Zanesville Ohio Motorcycle Ride

Scan QR codes above or click Triple Nickel or The Wilds to view the routes on REVER

Over its history, Zanesville has gone by several nicknames, most notably “The Y-Bridge City,” due to the Y-shaped bridge over the confluence of the Licking and Muskingum rivers. In decades past, due to the soil’s heavy clay content, it was also known as the “Pottery Capital of the World.”

From 1810 to 1812, Zanesville was Ohio’s capital city, and for decades leading up to the Civil War, it was a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Zanesville’s most famous citizen is Zane Grey, the celebrated writer of Western lore, most notably Riders of the Purple Sage. Just east of town is the National Road and Zane Grey Museum, which honors both the author and U.S. 40’s role in America’s growth.

See all of Rider‘s Ohio touring stories here.

But Zanesville was named to honor Ebenezer Zane, who received funds and a land grant from Congress in the late 1700s to blaze a 200-mile path through the Ohio wilderness, from Wheeling, then part of Virginia, to Maysville, Kentucky, a road that became known as Zane’s Trace. 

A generation later, the first federally funded road in U.S. history was built to connect the Potomac and Ohio rivers. Known as the National Road, it stretched from Cumberland, Maryland, to Vandalia, Illinois, the state’s then-capital, and passed through Zanesville. It ultimately became U.S. Route 40. 

While the current highway often traces over the old National Road, there are places near Zanesville where the original two-lane highway can still be ridden. On one wonderful stretch east of town, properly named Brick Road, the red-bricked highway surface still exists.

On the outskirts of New Concord, east of Zanesville, you’ll pass another of the earlier elements of the highway, now open only to foot traffic, the Fox Run S-Bridge. Built in 1828 and once a hiding place for runaway slaves, the bridge is remarkable in its construction. New Concord is also where you’ll find the boyhood home of John Glenn, which is now a museum. The record-setting U.S. Marine Corps pilot became the first American to orbit the earth, then later a U.S. senator. Mr. Glenn would have insisted on my mentioning his wife, Annie, their life together being a big part of the museum.

Zanesville Ohio Motorcycle Ride
Brick Road, part of the original National Road, is located east of Zanesville.

Heading in the other direction and dating back to 1833 and the National Road’s beginning is the Headley Inn, which provided accommodation for builders of the highway. In the 1930s it was a Duncan Heinz “5 Star” rated restaurant. Today it’s a B&B and winery.

But it’s not U.S. 40 that draws motorcyclists to Muskingum County. Most prominent among all the twisty lines on the county map is the legendary “Triple Nickel,” State Route 555. Beginning just south of Zanesville, the highway weaves its magic south for 62 miles to Little Hocking near the Ohio River. It is a wonderful but challenging road, with many blind rises and tricky corners. Ride with care, and you’ll be handsomely rewarded.

See all of Rider‘s Midwest touring stories.

Beyond the Triple Nickel, there are other winding roads in Muskingum County that are worth checking out. For those interested in a more tranquil ride, I suggest aiming your front tire to State Route 146. To the west, it will take you to Dillon State Park, a great place for hiking, camping, fishing, and boating on and around a 1,500-acre lake.

If you follow SR-146 to the east, you’ll soon find your way to The Wilds, a safari park that is home to exotic animals such as cheetahs, rhinoceros, giraffes, and zebras. The huge complex, built on reclaimed strip-mining land, looks like African savannah, and wild animals are viewed from open-air vehicles operated by seasoned guides. The Wilds also offers adventure hikes, horseback riding, fishing, a zip-line, camping, and a lodge.

Zanesville Ohio Motorcycle Ride
Southern white rhinoceros roam The Wilds, a safari park on reclaimed mining land.

Another fine ride is on State Route 60, either north to Dresden, where you can get a look at the world’s largest basket from Longaberger Baskets fame, or south along the east side of the Muskingum River to Blue Rock State Park. The hilly, forested, 322-acre park features hiking trails, boating, and camping.

During my time riding the local byways, I saw road names such as Moonlight Drive, Neptune Lane, and Sunflower Drive. When I happened upon Norwich Valley Road, it was unassuming, tiny in stature. I had to follow it. Early in the morning, it was the perfect place to be. I had the road to myself, not a bother in the world. I eased on, enjoying every morsel of what lay before me. In short order the road ended. I had a choice: left or right. Had I gone left, my ride might have continued. But I made the turn that was the brief way back to the main highway. Those few miles were the finest of my visit. Finding them is why I ride.

Of all my stops, the most memorable was my visit to the Stone Academy. Located in the Putnam Historic District, then a separate community just south of Zanesville, the impressive building was constructed in 1810 in a failed effort to be named the new state capitol. In subsequent years, it became a community meeting place, then an early location for something unheard of in the 1800s: a school for girls. In 1835 the building held the first meeting of the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society while serving as a hiding place on the Underground Railroad.

Zanesville Ohio Motorcycle Ride
State Route 146 runs east and west of Zanesville. The eastern side is a more tranquil ride, gracefully weaving about, like many roadways in Muskingum County.

There’s so much history in the area, but today there’s a new kid on the block – make that a long city block. Travel up Sixth Street from the river, and you can’t miss them. Stretching for nearly the length of a football field are the creations of sculptor Alan Cottrill, ranging from the common to the abstract.

Pick anywhere of note in the county, and you’ll find memories to share. But beyond the rivers, bridges, and parks, there’s nothing that says Zanesville better than Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl. USA Today once called it the Number One Ice Cream Shop in America.

For those looking for a bit of culture, there are several art museums in the downtown area, and further north is the highly regarded Zanesville Museum of Art, one of the finest small-town art museums in the nation.

Downtown welcomes everyone for First Friday Art Walks, and there’s a Summer Concert Series at the Secrest Auditorium on Thursdays. During the warm months, the city offers rides on the Muskingum River aboard the Lorena Sternwheeler. In August there’s the Muskingum County Fair, where my wife, my brother Bill, his wife Peg, and I enjoyed an afternoon of demolition derby – one heck of a great time.

With my visit coming to an end, something caught my eye. On the east end of the Y-Bridge I saw something called the Y-Bridge Cultural Arts Center. I was in town to discover new things, so why not stop and see what this place was all about? Inside was a photographer’s studio, and beyond it, out in the open, a pottery class. An instructor was showing a student how to prep clay to be thrown.

Zanesville Ohio Motorcycle Ride
In 1814 the toll was three cents to walk across the Y-Bridge, which spans the confluence of the Licking and Muskingum rivers in Zanesville.

From one of the other areas of the building, a man appeared. I couldn’t place him, but I knew he was someone from my past. I reached out, ready to shake his hand, telling him I was Ken Frick. He stopped abruptly, looking at me with a questioning look on his face, then asked, “Are you Bill and Flo’s boy?” “Yes,” I said, and he said his name was Bob Grayson. 

He’d been my parents’ next-door neighbor. My parents and Bob were very fond of each other and were, for lack of a better term, “best neighbors.” After rediscovering my hometown, Bob and I reminisced about a special part of my parents’ lives and of his – a serendipitous way to connect past and present. 

My few days in Zanesville showed me that I could go back home again and be welcomed with open arms. Now as then, I appreciate its small-town charms and rhythms, the gentle swaying, the back and forth, of roads, places, and people. How lucky I was to grow up in this special place, and today, to live close enough to visit and cherish as a place to stretch my wings.

If you’re looking for a friendly place, a mix of history and highways, and great riding, maybe like you knew during your own youth, try Zanesville. Come and check it out for yourself. You will not be disappointed.

SIDEBAR: Quality Inn and Suites

The Quality Inn and Suites was the perfect place to stay while I was in Zanesville. It’s locally owned, and the lobby wall has a collection of gold and platinum awards the hotel has earned. The lobby is bright and spotless, with a huge bouquet of fresh flowers on the check-in counter, and the rooms are nicely appointed with modern furniture and beds. Located on Underwood Street, it is within walking distance of many restaurants and a quick ride or drive to anywhere downtown and the local museums. The hotel has an excellent breakfast buffet, an indoor pool, and very friendly staff – someone always asked how my day was going and if there was anything they could do to make my visit more comfortable.


Ohio Tourism
Zanesville/Muskingum County
Quality Inn and Suites
National Road and Zane Grey Museum
The Wilds
Blue Rock State Park

See all of Rider‘s touring stories here.

Ken Frick Contributor

Ken Frick’s first story for Rider appeared in 1988, with many others to follow. He calls central Ohio home, from where he made his living as a freelance commercial photographer. Visit KenFrick.photography to find a library of Ken’s photography and writing.

The post A Zanesville Homecoming: Ohio Motorcycle Ride appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Border to Border on the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
Greg’s BMW taking a dirt nap along the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route. Photos by Greg Drevenstedt.

This story is about a ride that took place in 2013 on the original Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route, which was developed by the Oregon Off-Highway Vehicle Association. The nonprofit Backcountry Discovery Routes organization developed a new ORBDR that was released in 2023. For more information, visit the Backcountry Discovery Routes website. –Ed.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
Route 5 of the original ORBDR includes hundreds of miles of gravel roads much like this one, plus a decent helping of dirt, sand, rock gardens, and river crossings.

When your bike topples over in the middle of nowhere, when your bike and its week’s worth of gear weigh more than 600 lb, when you’re hot and sweaty and tired, it’s good to have friends along to lend a hand.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
At the California-Oregon border before venturing off-pavement on the ORBDR.

We were three days and nearly 300 miles into the 750-mile, California-to-Washington Route 5 of the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Routes (ORBDR), a network of off-road routes crisscrossing the state’s vast national forests. While struggling my way up a technical jeep road full of embedded rocks, I high-centered the BMW’s skid plate, dabbed my left foot into a hole, lost my balance, and toppled over in a big, dusty heap.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla

Lead rider Paul was off in the distance, so sweep rider Marten navigated around me, parked his bike on a level spot, and came back to help. Other than some badge-of-honor scratches on the bike, the only damage was to my pride, and I was soon making forward progress again.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
Just a few miles into the ORBDR, we took a spur road to the summit of 8,000-foot Crane Mountain, where we enjoyed 360-degree views of California and Oregon.

Backcountry Discovery Routes is a nonprofit organization that establishes and preserves off-highway routes for dual-sport and adventure motorcycles. BDR has mapped and documented north-south routes in most states west of the Rockies as well as mid-Atlantic and Northeast routes and shorter BDR-X routes. Inspiration for these routes came from the ORBDR, which, according to BDR’s website, “was created a few decades ago by Bob and Cheryl Greenstreet as a concept to promote managed travel in the backcountry” and is maintained by the Oregon Off-Highway Vehicle Association.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
The view from Fremont Point on Oregon’s Winter Rim.

Paul, Marten, and I wanted to ride the granddaddy of the Backcountry Discovery Routes, so I bought paper maps for Route 5 from OOHVA and Paul spent two weeks creating GPS tracks for us. (GPS tracks are now available upon request when maps are purchased from OOHVA.) Since most of the ORBDR is at 4,000-8,000 feet of elevation, we planned our trip for August to avoid snowpack.

A long-time adventure-riding and homebrewing buddy of mine, Paul Beck, is a computer guy. Since he created our tracks and led our group (his GPS was the only one that worked reliably), we dubbed him the Navigator. Marten Walkker, another riding buddy, is a master carpenter. He made his own tailbag, auxiliary gas tank, toolbox, and highway pegs for this trip, so we called him the Fabricator. And since I kept a journal, shot photos, and sent daily postcards to my wife, I became the Chronicler.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
The Three Amigos at Fremont Point, 3,000 feet above seasonally dry Summer Lake.

Similar in pace and temperament and always ready for a quick laugh, we were compatible travelers, like the Three Amigos. We were all of German descent and riding BMWs – Paul on an R 1200 GS, Marten on a G 650 Xchallenge, and me on an F 800 GS Adventure – so Drei Freunde is more accurate, but it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
We had to cross the high desert through Christmas Valley to get from the mountains of Fremont National Forest to the mountains of Malheur National Forest.

Departing from Ventura on California’s southern coast, our first 750 miles were on pavement as we made our way up to the northeastern corner of the state. A half-mile before the Oregon border on the afternoon of our second day, we turned from U.S. Route 395 onto the unpaved County Road 2 and entered Modoc National Forest as we climbed into the Warner Mountains. We had to shift our brains from the grip and monotony of wide-open pavement to the delicate balance of riding top-heavy adventure bikes on loose, uneven dirt and gravel. The road leveled out within a few miles, and we turned north, passing through the green meadows of the (not so) Dismal Swamp and crossing into Oregon.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
River crossings are nerve-racking with an audience of forest service workers, but Marten made it through like a pro.

After riding a challenging spur road up to the top of 8,000-foot Crane Mountain for panoramic views and navigating through a herd of cows, we stopped at Willow Creek Campground, which was deserted. We crossed a cattle guard to get into the campground, and even though it was surrounded by a fence, we still had to pick our way through a minefield of cow patties to set up our tents. After bathing and rinsing out our sweaty clothes in the creek (but not drinking the water), we fortified ourselves with backpacker meals and relaxed around the campfire, swapping stories and sipping whiskey.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
Cooling off in Delintment Lake in Malheur National Forest.

The OOHVA’s detailed, full-color ORBDR map booklets offer the following words of advice: “Your journey will be one of few contacts with others. One needs to plan for being self-sufficient. Travel with others is highly recommended. If one’s means of transport fails, it can be a really, really long hike, and it could be many days before someone comes along.”

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
The early bird gets to enjoy the sunrise.

Over the course of five days on the ORBDR, we saw only a handful of people – a few ranchers, a couple of 4×4 trucks, and the occasional hunter. We traveled as a group, each of us brought our own food, water, and gear, and we carried a SPOT satellite tracker/communicator. Gas was available every 100 miles or so, often in small towns or at convenience stores near the route, and we filled up our tanks and hydration backpacks at every opportunity.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
Lunch stops at local cafes provided welcome relief from the hot, dusty trail.

“Much energy has been spent to provide you with maps that provide the information needed to successfully navigate without on-ground signs,” says the OOHVA. We saw only a few faded, old ORBDR signs over the entire 750-mile route.

See all of Rider‘s Western U.S. motorcycle rides here.

“The development of route was financed by the Oregon ATV Allocation Funds,” said Leonard Kerns, president of the OOHVA, in a blog on Touratech-USA’s website. “On-the-ground signs were placed and the route was dedicated in the summer of 2000. Unfortunately, it did not take long for people opposed to the route to bring legal action. Support from the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management was lost and all remaining funds were used to remove the signs. At that point, OOHVA stepped in and created the maps using GPS to navigate.”

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
Breakfast of champions.

The ORBDR is on public land, so anyone can travel the route using a street-legal vehicle, but much of it passes through areas used for grazing and logging. We crossed dozens of cattle guards and stopped often to open and close barbed-wire gates. Forest land in central and eastern Oregon is all but empty, yet it’s crisscrossed with so many access roads that without GPS tracks and paper maps, getting lost is all but assured.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
Even with GPS tracks, sometimes we hit dead ends and had to find a way back to the correct trail.
Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
One of several massive fallen trees we had to navigate around since going over wasn’t an option!

The OOHVA’s maps were created in 2002, and in the years since, some roads have been closed and new ones have been cut. Even following the purple line on Paul’s GPS, we still made wrong turns or hit dead-ends and had to figure out how to re-route ourselves. We also encountered the unexpected, such as fallen trees and man-made barricades. Therein lies the adventure. Riding a backcountry route is not like following the Yellow Brick Road; it requires not only preparation and riding skills but also teamwork, patience, and adaptability.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
Being far from anywhere, we had campgrounds largely to ourselves and were fortunate to have either a stream or lake nearby.

We quickly established a routine: waking early to heat up water for coffee and oatmeal using portable stoves, breaking camp, riding for several hours, stopping for lunch and gas, riding for several more hours, then stopping early to set up camp and relax. Paul was always in the lead, which meant his gear stayed clean and we had someone to blame for wrong turns. I followed Paul and Marten followed me, and even with space between us the dust filled our noses and covered our gear, making zippers and buckles hard to open and close. We planned to camp every night, but it didn’t work out that way, to our surprise and benefit.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
Lead rider Paul stayed clean; sweep rider Marten stayed dirty.

During our five days on the ORBDR, we experienced a steady stream of good luck. We enjoyed mostly warm, dry weather and had no flat tires, breakdowns, or injuries. Rather than eating jerky and energy bars for lunch, we usually found a cafe in a small town where we’d refresh ourselves with air conditioning, limitless iced tea, and other luxuries, and there was always a gas station nearby to fill up and resupply.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
We smelled smoke but had no idea the 1,000-acre Vinegar Fire was burning in the area until we popped out of the trees and came upon this U.S. Forest Service fire security truck. Our route was supposed to go down that gravel road in the distance, but we were re-routed onto pavement to the town of Ukiah.

During the three nights we camped, there was either a cool stream or a lake we could swim in to wash off the dust and relax our creaky joints. On our second day on the ORBDR, after a challenging, tiring section with lots of sand and rocks, we ended up in the town of Christmas Valley, where the Lakeview Terrace motel/restaurant spoiled us with cheeseburgers, fries, cold beers, hot showers, and soft beds.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
Antlers Inn in Ukiah has a room-size meat cooler to store your game.

Even when we had to leave the ORBDR to route around the 1,000-acre Vinegar Fire, we got to ride 50 miles on the freshly paved Blue Mountain Scenic Byway and ended up in Ukiah on a damp, foggy night. Instead of pitching tents and eating freeze-dried meals in the rain, we stayed warm and dry at the Antlers Inn and savored burgers and beers at the Thicket Cafe & Bar. We enjoy roughing it, but we’re not too proud to take advantage of good fortune when it lands in our laps.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
Chris ran the Antlers Inn and served us at the Thicket Cafe & Bar, where she recommended an Oregon-distilled whiskey.

Our five days and three nights on the ORBDR provided us with as much adventure as we could hope for. We rode more than 700 miles on dirt and gravel roads through the backcountry of Oregon, through dense forests, across high-desert plains, along mountain ridges, away from cities and people and normal obligations. We rode through rock gardens and sand washes, forded rivers, and navigated over or around countless obstacles, challenging ourselves and having fun. We had campgrounds to ourselves, where we enjoyed star-filled nights and soul-warming campfires, and we stumbled upon cozy motels and restaurants, where we enjoyed creature comforts.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
We were treated to some of the best scenery of the ORBDR, such as wide-ranging views from Kendall Skyline Road in Umatilla National Forest, on the final day.

Paul, Marten, and I – the Navigator, Fabricator, and Chronicler – bonded over the experience. When we reached Walla Walla, Washington, the northern terminus of the ORBDR, having ridden 1,500 miles together, we high-fived and celebrated our shared accomplishment. The next day we headed off in different directions, Paul to Seattle, Marten to Calgary, and me home to Ventura, completing an Iron Butt SaddleSore 1000 in the process, but that’s another story.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
After five days and 750 long-and-dusty, not-so-straight south-to-north miles, we completed Route 5 of the ORBDR and arrived in Walla Walla, Washington.

See all of Rider‘s touring stories here.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route Resources

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Source: RiderMagazine.com

Route 66 Motorcycle Ride in Oklahoma | Favorite Ride

Route 66 Motorcycle Ride Oklahoma
The Route 66 Interpretive Center, one of several interesting stops on this Route 66 motorcycle ride, uses audio-visual exhibits to immerse visitors in the history of the Mother Road. The building was built in 1937 and served as an armory until 1971. Photos by the author and Steve Skinner.

U.S. Route 66 was established in 1926 and was billed as the shortest, fastest, and most scenic all-weather route connecting Chicago, St. Louis, and Los Angeles. Dubbed the “Mother Road” by John Steinbeck in his novel The Grapes of Wrath, Route 66 was used in the 1930s by migrants fleeing the Dust Bowl in search of a better life out West. During World War II, it facilitated the movement of troops and equipment. And during the post-war economic boom of the 1950s and 1960s, Route 66 became indelibly linked to the Great American Road Trip.

Route 66 Motorcycle Ride Oklahoma

Scan QR code above or click here to view the route on REVER

My home state of Oklahoma boasts about 400 miles of the historic highway – the most of any of the eight states touched by Route 66. The Mother Road played a central role in my budding love affair with riding. In 1977, at the age of 14, I rode a 100cc 2-stroke Kawasaki along one of the best stretches of Route 66 in the state – the 100 miles between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The 200-mile round trip was my first long motorcycle journey. It took me all day and cost about $2 in gas, and my long-suffering parents had no idea what I was up to.

See all of Rider‘s Southern U.S. motorcycle rides here.

Forty-six years after that formative adventure, I retraced my route, only this time I allowed time to take in the roadside attractions and small-town charms that make Route 66 such an iconic piece of Americana. Once again, I felt right at home on the Mother Road. 

Not far from my home, I hopped on Route 66 at its junction with Interstate 35 in Edmond. I headed east through wooded terrain and past sprawling Arcadia Lake before stopping at the Arcadia Round Barn. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, it was built in 1898 by a local farmer who thought its round design would make it tornado-proof. Science may not support that belief, but the Round Barn has survived in the middle of Tornado Alley for 126 years. It’s now a museum, gift shop, and live music venue.

Route 66 Motorcycle Ride Oklahoma
The Arcadia Round Barn, built in 1898, was designed to be tornado-proof and still stands in the heart of Tornado Alley.

Continuing east, the countryside along this stretch is a mix of woods, farmland, and grazing pasture. Although not the transcontinental artery it once was, Route 66 remains important to the communities it passes through. The tarmac is mostly in great shape, and the occasional sweeping turns are enough to get you off the center of your tires.

In Wellston, I stopped at The Butcher BBQ Stand, one of the best barbecue restaurants around. The award-winning flavors were developed during eight years on the competitive barbecue circuit, including more than 400 1st-place finishes. One of my riding buddies calls this barbecue “meat candy,” and he’s not wrong. Thirty minutes before The Butcher opened, the line was already out the door.

Route 66 Motorcycle Ride Oklahoma
The Butcher BBQ Stand offers award-winning smoked meats on Route 66 near Wellston.

Just a few miles down the road in Warwick is the Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum, which was originally a Route 66 service station named after the proprietor back in the 1920s. The building was purchased in 2007 by Jerry Reis, and he opened the museum in 2010. It’s not only a great place to see a bunch of classic motorcycles, but it also has great Route 66 swag.

Route 66 Motorcycle Ride Oklahoma
Seaba Station in Warwick has an impressive collection of vintage bikes and memorabilia as well as a great gift shop for some Mother Road swag.

I next headed east-northeast toward the town of Chandler, where roadside attractions include the Route 66 Interpretive Center and Route 66 Bowl, a bowling alley with dozens of authentic vintage oil company signs lining the parking lot.

Route 66 Motorcycle Ride Oklahoma
Route 66 Bowl in Chandler with its collection of authentic oil company signs is one of the many Mother Road landmarks to visit on this ride.

Another 14 miles up the road, we stopped for lunch in Stroud at the Rock Cafe, another Route 66 institution. Opened in 1939, it’s named after the local sandstone used in its construction, and over the years it has been a trusted stop for long-haul truckers, a high school watering hole, and even a makeshift Greyhound bus station for soldiers shipping out during World War II. Pixar executives made stops at the cafe when developing the hit movie Cars and based the character “Sally Carrera” on proprietor Dawn Welch. The burger I had there was outstanding – and it was cooked on “Betsy,” the original 1939 grill.

Route 66 Motorcycle Ride Oklahoma
The iconic Rock Cafe in Stroud gets its name from the sandstone used for its construction in 1939. The delicious food served up there is still cooked on the restaurant’s original 85-year-old grill, “Betsy.”

The final stop on my Mother Road reunion tour was Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios on Route 66 in Tulsa to see “Muffler Man” Buck Atom, Space Cowboy. Few authentic Muffler Men – giant statues used by businesses for eye-catching advertising – remain. Buck Atom was created using a mold from a salvaged 1960s Muffler Man cowboy. Christened in 2019, Buck is 20 feet tall, and he now holds a silver rocket instead of a muffler. He stands guard over a gift shop at the site of an old Route 66 gas station in the heart of Tulsa. The new, old-time Muffler Man fits right in on the Mother Road.

Route 66 Motorcycle Ride Oklahoma
A reimagined Muffler Man stands tall at Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios in Tulsa.

Headed back to my home in Oklahoma City with daylight fading fast, I hopped on the interstate to make time – the very interstate that marked the end of Route 66’s prominence in Oklahoma, bypassing many of the communities stitched together by the Mother Road. True, the ride home was faster, but it was far less interesting. Just like during my first highway riding adventure back in 1977, I’m more at home on the Mother Road. 

See all of Rider‘s touring stories here.

Route 66 Motorcycle Ride Resources

Tim DeGiusti Headshot

Tim DeGiusti lives and works in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Tim returned to motorcycling in 2012 after a long break, and since has ridden throughout Oklahoma and 38 other states (and counting).

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Source: RiderMagazine.com

Enchanted Kingdom: Northeast Vermont Motorcycle Ride

Vermont Motorcycle Ride Enchanted Kingdom
Vermont’s unmaintained Class IV roads offer access to truly off-the-beaten-path scenery and long-forgotten historic sites as well as enchanting along this Vermont motorcycle ride. Photos by Susan Dragoo.

It’s all scenic. It’s all charming. And it’s all green … except when it’s not, and then it’s even better.

A few days into a trip to the lush forests of northeastern Vermont, we were reminded of Sedona, Arizona. The connection between these two dramatically different climes may at first seem nebulous, but Vermont’s consistent beauty called to mind the time we visited an outdoors outfitter in Sedona and asked, “Which are the most scenic trails?” The jaded clerk responded with a sigh, “All of them. They’re all scenic.” His tone let us know there was nothing to be gained by pressing him for further details. We would have to make our own choices from the seemingly infinite good ones available.

Vermont Motorcycle Ride Enchanted Kingdom
Burke Mountain’s ski lift sits idle in the summer, when the resort is popular with mountain bikers riding the nearby Kingdom Trails Network.

Likewise, trying to narrow down the best scenery in Vermont is a fool’s errand. It would be difficult to make a bad choice. Our adventure riding journey to the state’s Northeast Kingdom took us into what may be some of Vermont’s most remote territory, lending itself beautifully to the pursuit of riding motorcycles down dark, green, tree‑­canopied lanes and over roads the likes of which Paul Revere might have traveled in colonial days.

See all of Rider‘s Northeast U.S. motorcycle rides here.

Vermont Motorcycle Ride Enchanted Kingdom
Willoughby Gap is Burke Mountain’s most iconic view.

These are Vermont’s northeastern highlands, dubbed the Northeast Kingdom in the 1940s by a former Vermont governor in recognition of the area’s distinct culture and geography. The region lies within the southernmost range of the cold boreal forest of spruce and fir, birch and aspen, which stretches to the Arctic. It’s a place of long winters and short growing seasons where ponds, lakes, and villages nestle in valleys and twisting roads follow clear streams between small granite hills and mountains. Adventure in Vermont, like the New England states themselves, comes in tight and tidy packages, so the remoteness here can be surprising to the traveler accustomed to the vast, open American West.

Vermont Motorcycle Ride Enchanted Kingdom
Remnants of a 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps camp at the summit of Burke Mountain.

It was mid‑­September, on the cusp of the imminent explosion of fall colors for which this place is famous. Still, there was plenty of sensory stimulation. Besides the inexplicable feeling of navigating these woods in a late summer shower, leaves were beginning to carpet the trail like gold doubloons cast forth from some cosmic seeder. Pungent scents of cut evergreens, vegetation at the end of its cycle, and earth, freshly disturbed by our tires and dampened by the rain, filled our heads with aromas fit for expensive candles sold in artisan shops. Days that started with fog and mist and ended with afternoon showers added mystique and urgency to move along yet held us in the moment, hoping it would never stop.

Vermont Motorcycle Ride Enchanted Kingdom
Riding in the Northeast Kingdom is an experience of lush, green forests and nearly infinite backroads.

Eric Milano, owner of MotoVermont (see sidebar below), led our group of a dozen riders from all walks of life. Most were successful in business and seeking another way to enjoy the outdoors. Sailors, skydivers, scuba divers, and racecar drivers, they were here to learn the nuances of adventure riding versus railing through the woods with their hair on fire, replaying the antics of their younger selves.

Vermont Motorcycle Ride Enchanted Kingdom
An adventure bike is the perfect vehicle for enjoying it, and MotoVermont organizes great tours to get the most out the area.

Our business, D.A.R.T. (Dragoo Adventure Rider Training), is often invited on such tours to coach guests not only on the finer points of riding well over difficult terrain but also the philosophy of leaving behind a legacy of responsibility as we explore on adventure motorcycles, a term that can apply to most any off‑­road‑­capable two‑­wheeled machine with enough legs to make it between fuel stops.

Vermont Motorcycle Ride Enchanted Kingdom
Descending a rocky ledge lends the perfect opportunity for a little fun.

A high priority for adventure riders is respecting landowners and other trail users, helping to ensure trails stay open. There is more than enough joy in smelling the roses (and other flora) while tackling technical trails with natural obstacles. Adventure riders see no need to run loud pipes, ride at breakneck speeds, or travel off trail, risking damage to adjacent lands and hard‑­earned relationships.

Vermont Motorcycle Ride Enchanted Kingdom
Respectful behavior on roads and trails helps to ensure continued access.

Our first day together was dedicated to enhancing rider skills, and the second was spent applying them over some of Vermont’s most remote backroads. Many are Class IV roads, barely maintained byways kept open mostly by locals who traverse their craggy, narrow tunnels on snow machines during winter and by motorcycle the rest of the year.

Vermont Motorcycle Ride Enchanted Kingdom
The mountains of the Northeast Kingdom offer some of the area’s most iconic scenery.

Our troupe traveled west out of Burke Mountain Resort, stopping off at Cafe Lotti in East Burke before turning north and entering the woods and our first Class IV challenge. Cafe Lotti is a homegrown hangout set in a typical aging Vermont building which has no doubt fueled generations of local folk and travelers alike with a belly full of breakfast and a hot cup of craft coffee or tea. It is the perfect meeting spot for adventure seekers of all types, from mountain bikers to adventure riders to cross‑­country and downhill skiers.

Vermont Motorcycle Ride Enchanted Kingdom
Whether crossing a burbling stream or stopping for Pure Vermont Maple Syrup, there’s plenty to see along the trail.

We left town westbound and turned north into the woods, winding our way past drop lines – pieces of tubing strung between taps in a forest of maple trees like webs from a giant prehistoric and overactive arachnid. Eric stopped at the entrance to a steep, rocky uphill and explained the best options for a successful path of travel. Rain had turned the rocks into slippery entrapments like greased turtle shells, ranging from tiny spotted tortoises to 6‑­foot sea turtles.

Vermont Motorcycle Ride Enchanted Kingdom

Most riders made the climb without incident, but one or two forgot their training and sat down or, worse, dragged their feet, losing control and learning the hard way why adventure riders stand up. Steering, suspension, and sight are all improved by standing tall and proud, and this mild lesson was a graphic illustration of just how important it is to do so in the rough.

Vermont Motorcycle Ride Enchanted Kingdom
Vermont’s deepest lake, glacial Lake Willoughby, boasts distinctive fjord-like rock formations and is a popular summer attraction.

The onset of rough terrain was the portal to this enchanted Northeast Kingdom, a region mentioned in Patricia Schultz’s book 1000 Places to See Before You Die, which boasts that when the foliage flames in autumn, this may well be the most beautiful place in America. Indeed, it should not be missed. A few years back, we made the trip by motorcycle during the peak of fall color, and years ago, Bill traversed Vermont by bicycle on his way across the northern tier of the United States, a solo journey that permanently pinned this place to his psyche and keeps us coming back.

Our rugged upward trail eventually turned down, and the trail from the top was no disappointment. Sketchy ruts through mudholes, strategically dispersed to reward good judgment in not rushing, kept us on our toes. Most of these roads shed water well and remained rideable, but caution was of the essence. The road continued to undulate throughout the 100‑­plus‑­mile clockwise loop that would eventually take us back to our starting point.

Vermont Motorcycle Ride Enchanted Kingdom
Roadside stands along the way offer a variety of goodies, including fresh eggs.

But first, a stop at Devaney Farmstand near the intersection of Hudson Road and Town Highway 29 outside West Charleston, Vermont. The clouds opened and rain came down in full force as we dismounted and climbed a stairway, ducking into a loft room where lunch had been laid out for us by Bob and Sharyl Devaney. Calzones, fresh corn on the cob, and apple pie awaited. We gobbled down the fare as rain drummed on the roof. Maple syrup, candles, fresh jams, and pies of all kinds added their fragrance to the shop, and antiques and other local trinkets were neatly displayed for anyone wanting a souvenir.

Our timing was perfect. The sun began to peek through the clouds as we said our thank‑­yous and goodbyes to the Devaneys and fired up our machines. A short ride on twisty pavement led us back to the reason we were here: more Class IV roads. After skirting the fjord‑­like Lake Willoughby, a glacial lake dotted with vacation cabins and summer camps, Eric turned right onto a barely noticeable two‑­track trail that climbed steadily toward the mountain top.

Vermont Motorcycle Ride Enchanted Kingdom
It wouldn’t be a trip to Vermont without a covered bridge. The state has 104 historic covered bridges, and many of them are still in use today.

Eventually we descended again and crossed an old bridge leading onto a magnificent, fast gravel road following a river through the canyon. Although tempted to open up the throttle, good judgment kept our horses in check, and we ran at a brisk but reasonable pace. Riding right is critical here, as some turns are blind and, as remote as these roads are, we still saw other users. Respectfully, we would hold up five fingers to oncoming traffic if there were five or more riders behind us, then four, three, two, one, and the sweep rider held up a closed fist to indicate he was the last one. Trail etiquette is critical to maintain good relationships with the locals who hold the power to shut us out. We happily demonstrated good stewardship and appreciation for the privilege of exploring their home turf.

Vermont Motorcycle Ride Enchanted Kingdom
Riders take a break at Devaney Farms after a filling and delicious lunch.

We hit pavement just as the rain began again and made our way the last few miles to the resort. Parking under the canopy, we shed our outer gear and immediately began to relive all that had happened in a short couple of days. New friendships had been made and lessons learned. Everyone left with a quiver full of new skills and a renewed appreciation for our freedom to ride, perhaps not by lantern light warning the colonists of the British invasion, but with our own versions of enthusiasm as we explored the Enchanted Kingdom.

See all of Rider‘s touring stories here.

SIDEBAR: MotoVermont

MotoVermont specializes in adventure motorcycle tours, training, rentals, and retail sales. Tours range from day rides in Vermont to week-long adventures farther afield, including New Mexico, Arizona, North Carolina, and other locations. Training events are typically 1-2 days in length with a focus on balance, mastery of bike controls, preparedness, and courtesy. Rental options include the Yamaha Ténéré 700, Kawasaki KLX 300, and Yamaha XT250.

MotoVermont founder and operator Eric Milano is a Backcountry Discovery Routes ambassador and a member of the development team for the NEBDR route. He spends much of his time developing tours and organizing events for adventure motorcyclists. MotoVermont has a retail store in Milton, Vermont, or you can meet them at one of the many rallies and events they attend throughout the Northeast. For more information, visit the MotoVermont website.

SIDEBAR: Burke Mountain Resort

Vermont Motorcycle Ride Enchanted Kingdom

Burke Mountain Resort offers a comfortable stay with great views of Burke Mountain or Willoughby Gap from every suite. Located three miles from the Kingdom Trails Welcome Center, the resort has 116 suites ranging from studios to three-bedroom suites.

Guests can enjoy pub food, craft beers, and cocktails at The View Pub on the second floor, with large windows looking out to Willoughby Gap. Edmund’s Coffee Shop, located in a cozy timber-framed room with stone fireplaces, serves breakfast and coffee. The resort also includes on-site retail shopping opportunities at Bear Essentials and Vertical Drop Retail, with products ranging from basic groceries to home décor and outdoor gear. Other amenities include a heated pool and hot tub, a family arcade, and a fitness center. For more information, visit the Burke Mountain Resort website.

Vermont Motorcycle Ride Enchanted Kingdom Bill Dragoo Susan Dragoo

Bill and Susan Dragoo own and operate Dragoo Adventure Rider Training (D.A.R.T.) in Norman, Oklahoma, and are widely published writers, especially in the field of adventure travel. Learn more at BillDragoo.com and SusanDragoo.com.

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Source: RiderMagazine.com

Adriatic Moto Tours Celebrates 20 Years

Adriatic Moto Tours
Adriatic Moto Tours is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Company founders and owners Matej and Martina Malovrh are shown in the front row on the far left.

In a milestone year when the American Motorcyclist Association is celebrating its 100th anniversary and Rider is celebrating its 50th, our friends at Adriatic Moto Tours are celebrating 20 years of providing unique motorcycle tours in Europe.

“It all began 20 years ago in a home garage in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, with two motorcycles and three enthusiastic individuals: Matej and Martina Malovrh, along with their good friend, Blaz Zganjar, all of whom are still deeply involved in running the company,” according to a retrospective blog on Adriatic Moto Tours’ website. “Matej had a vision of attracting foreign riders to our neck of the woods, and Blaz and Martina joined him in pursuit of that vision. At that time, very few foreigners knew where Slovenia was, yet we succeeded in attracting a few enthusiastic riders from overseas within the first year. Our primary marketing tool was a $50 webpage.” (You can read the full story on AMT’s website.)

Adriatic Moto Tours
Adriatic Moto Tours: Alps Adriatic Adventure

The company was founded in 2004 as SMTours (for Slovenia Moto Tours), and started with two BMWs, an F 650 GS and an R 1200 GS. The first tour explored Slovenia and Croatia and had three guests from Florida. In 2005, the same year Matej and Martina got married, the company did five guided tours. Tour offerings expanded into other countries, and in 2007 the company’s name became Adriatic Moto Tours. 

Through hard work, dedication, and passion, Adriatic Moto Tours grew steadily over the years, adding more bikes to its fleet, more tours to its catalog, and more tour guides, van drivers, and support personnel to its team.

Adriatic Moto Tours
The Adriatic Moto Tours team.

Adriatic Moto Tours now offers 22 unique guided tours in various regions of Europe, including the Adriatic Coast and the Balkans, the Alps, Central Europe, the Mediterranean, and – starting in 2024 – Scandinavia, with a new tour of Norway. AMT also offers self-guided tours, custom tours, and motorcycle rentals from its base in Ljubljana.

Adriatic Moto Tours
Adriatic Moto Tours: Beautiful Balkans Adventure

Adriatic Moto Tours: Reviews

Rider staffers and contributors have reviewed seven of Adriatic Moto Tours’ guided tours, and you can read their reports below.

  • Beautiful Balkans Adventure, reviewed by Greg Drevenstedt. This 15-day tour explorers the mountains and coast in Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Hercegovina, and includes rest days in Sarajevo and Dubrovnik.
  • Czech Hungary Tour, reviewed by Bill Stermer. This 15-day tour explores Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, and Austria and includes rest days in Budapest, Krakow, and Prague.
  • Adriatic Riviera Tour, reviewed by Jenny Smith. This 9-day tour explores the mountains and coast in Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Hercegovina, and includes a rest day in Dubrovnik.
Adriatic Moto Tours
Adriatic Moto Tours: Intriguing Southeast Europe
  • Intriguing Southeast Europe, reviewed by Jenny Smith. This unique 15-day tour explores countries that aren’t on most travelers’ radar, including Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania, and North Macedonia.
  • Romania to Istanbul Adventure, reviewed by Jim Horton. This 16-day tour explores Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania, including the world-famous Transfagarasan Road and Transalpina in the Carpathian Mountains.
  • Sardinia & Corsica – Riders’ Heaven, reviewed by Scott A. Williams. This 9-day tour explores two Mediterranean islands – one that’s part of France, the other that’s part of Italy – that offer world-class curves and scenery.
  • Western Alps Adventure, reviewed by Greg Drevenstedt. This 9-day tour explores high alpine passes and charming villages in Italy, Switzerland, and France.
Adriatic Moto Tours
Adriatic Moto Tours: Western Alps Adventure

Adriatic Moto Tours: Other Notable Tours

  • Alps Adriatic Adventure, a 15-day tour that explores the Adriatic coast and the Alps in Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, and Italy.
  • Tuscany Sardinia Corsica Tour, a 16-day tour that explores the vibrant Tuscany region of Italy as well as the Mediterranean islands of Sardinia and Corsica.
  • South of Rome and Sicily, a 15-day tour that explores southern Italy and the island of Sicily.
Adriatic Moto Tours
Adriatic Moto Tours: South of Rome and Sicily Tour

Everyone at Rider congratulates Matej, Martina, and the entire Adriatic Moto Tours on a successful first 20 years. We can’t wait to see what you have in store for the next 20!

To find out more about Adriatic Moto Tours, visit their website.

The post Adriatic Moto Tours Celebrates 20 Years appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Join Rider EIC Greg Drevenstedt on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour

IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour
Ride this road in the Atlas Mountains on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour.

Ready to visit the exotic bazaars of Fez and Marrakech? Ride a camel on the dunes of the Sahara Desert? Ride the best roads in Morocco, including the Atlas and Rif mountains? Join Rider Editor-in-Chief Greg Drevenstedt and his brother, Paul, on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour, October 12-21, 2024.

IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour
Rider Editor-in-Chief Greg Drevenstedt (right) and his brother, Paul, will be on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour. Paul’s son, Felix, hopes his dad brings him home a fez from Fez!

This 10-day tour includes all the sights you always dreamed of visiting in Morocco. This route is for seasoned riders who want to enjoy rolling green hills, the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, and the mysterious sand dunes of the Sahara Desert all on well-maintained paved roads. You’ll explore casbahs, see oases, and have opportunities to buy hand-made rugs, drink mint tea, and ride a camel! In the evenings you’ll dine on delicious Moroccan cuisine like couscous and tagine.

IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour
Make friends with locals on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour.

The tour starts and ends in Málaga, Spain, where you’ll spend nights to kick off and conclude the tour. To get to Morocco, you’ll ride along the southern coast of Spain and take a ferry across the Mediterranean Sea.

The IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour is an authentic experience that will leave a lasting impression on you. There is limited space on this tour, so sign up now!

Register for the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour

IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour
The IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour route covers 1,400 miles on well-maintained paved roads. Rest days are in Fez and Erfoud.

IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour Facts

  • Start / End: Málaga, Spain
  • Total Distance: 1,432 miles / 2,306 km
  • Daily Mileage: 160-220 miles / 250-350 km
  • Riding Season: Autumn
  • Total Time: 10 days
  • Riding Days: 9 days
  • Rest Days: 2 (Erfoud, Fez)
  • Breakfast: 9 included breakfasts
  • Dinners: 7 included dinners
  • Hotel Overnights: 9 nights
  • Highlights: Marrakech Djemaa el Fna Square, riding a camel in the Sahara Desert sand dunes, Fez medina tour, Atlas Mountains
  • Accommodations: First-class 4- and 5-star hotels plus some Moroccan riads (palace homes converted into exotic boutique hotels). All IMTBike lodgings are hand-picked for their quality of service, local charm, and strategic locations.
IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour
You’ll enjoy exotic north African scenery on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour.

IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour Daily Itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrival at Málaga
  • Day 2: Malaga – Rabat
  • Day 3: Rabat – Marrakech
  • Day 4: Marrakech – Ouarzazate
  • Day 5: Ouarzazate – Todra Canyon – Erfoud
  • Day 6: Erfoud rest day
  • Day 7: Erfoud – Fez
  • Day 8: Fez rest day
  • Day 9: Fez – Ceuta
  • Day 10: Ceuta – Málaga / Flight home

Read detailed daily itinerary for the Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour

IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour
You’ll enjoy a Fez medina tour on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour.

IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour Pricing

Base Price: €3,910 (approx. $USD 4,242)

The base price of every tour is calculated for a single rider on a BMW G 310 R and sharing a double room. Passengers, single-room occupancy, and other BMW models incur additional charges.

Related: IMTBike Southern Spain Andalusia Tour Review

IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour
You’ll ride through the high-walled Todra Canyon on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour.

Included in Tour:

  • Airport pickup on the first day of the tour
  • Overnight accommodations in carefully selected 4- and 5-star hotels and boutique riads
  • A delicious evening meal featuring Moroccan specialties
  • Complete buffet breakfast every morning
  • New model BMW motorcycle fully equipped with three BMW cases
  • Tour handbook (normally about 70 pages – very comprehensive) and highlighted map
  • Expert multilingual guide on a motorcycle
  • Multilingual guide in support vehicle which will carry your luggage, any oversized purchases you make, or even a passenger or two
  • Tour souvenirs

Related: IMTBike Essence of Northern Spain Tour Review

IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour
One of the rest days on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour is in Erfoud, the gateway to the Sahara Desert and the staging location for many desert rally race teams.

Not Included in Tour:

  • Air ticket
  • Lunches
  • Gasoline
  • Drinks
  • Tolls
  • Personal spending
  • Tips

Ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Come ride with and get to know Rider Editor-in-Chief Greg Drevenstedt and his brother, Paul, who will be on the tour from beginning to end! Space is limited, so click on the link below to sign up for the tour.

Register for the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour

IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour
This could be you on the Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour!
IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour
Choose from a wide range of BMW motorcycles on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour. The entire 1,400-mile route is on well-maintained paved roads.
IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour
Ride a camel over the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour.

The post Join Rider EIC Greg Drevenstedt on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Great American Scenic Byways Tour

Great American Scenic Byways Motorcycle Tour Parkinson's Foundation
Every trip starts with a send-off and the first mile. This banner about supporting the Parkinson’s Foundation made the entire journey with me.

In 2021, Steven Goode completed the Great American Deli Schlep, a 75‑day, 15,000‑mile motorcycle ride during which he visited the best Jewish deli in nearly every state and raised funds for MAZON, a Jewish nonprofit that fights hunger in America. You can read Goode’s feature about that ride here. –Ed. 

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” This is a quote by Susan Sontag and words I ride by.

Great American Scenic Byways Motorcycle Tour Beartooth Highway
Beartooth Pass Summit (see next photo) was the crescendo of a magnificent ride on Beartooth Highway from Wyoming into Red Lodge, Montana. Hairpin curves, few guardrails, and sweeping views make it one of the best scenic byways in America. (Photos by the author)

After completing four major motorcycle trips around our wonderful country, each ranging from 11,000 to 17,000 miles, I told my wife I was done with long‑distance rides. Sort of the same way I’ve told her, many times over, that this was going to be my last motorcycle purchase. Of course, she didn’t believe me. 

Great American Scenic Byways Motorcycle Tour

So when a riding buddy said we should plan a big trip, I was all in. All I needed was a cause and a theme for the ride.

For a cause, I chose the Parkinson’s Foundation. In 2001, my mother passed away from Parkinson’s disease. A motorcycle trip supporting this cause would be a great way to not only honor her memory but raise money to support finding a cure and providing resources for those afflicted with this terrible disease.  

Although my mother most likely would not have approved of my 60‑day, 16,000‑mile motorcycle trip – she was still a mother after all – she would have been extremely proud of my commitment to this cause. She had a wild side, but she didn’t show it often for fear of encouraging her sons to follow in her path, which we did anyway.

Great American Scenic Byways Motorcycle Tour Steven Goode
My late mother was the inspiration for this tour. This photo shows us in our backyard in 1979.

For a theme, we decided to ride the top scenic byways in nearly every state. To help us plan the trip, National Geographic’s Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways (fifth edition) was an invaluable resource that provided descriptions, photos, maps, and interesting facts. 

When I told the Parkinson’s Foundation about my plan, they were immediately supportive and offered to help create public awareness for the trip. An important part of the publicity was social media. I’m in my late 60s, and I didn’t do Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc., so their team handled that for me. They also created logos and designed T‑shirts, banners, and a web page for my blog. Klim supported the ride by providing me with a Latitude Gore‑Tex suit, and Nelson‑Rigg provided some waterproof luggage.

Great American Scenic Byways Motorcycle Tour

Scan the QR code or click here to make a donation to the Parkinson’s Foundation.

We named the ride The Great American Scenic Byways Tour supporting Parkinson’s Foundation. After reviewing the route and the time necessary to complete the ride, my friend said the trip would require too much time away from work, so he bowed out. Since I had already committed to the Foundation and this was a personal ride on behalf of my mother, I decided to go alone. 

Great American Scenic Byways Motorcycle Tour Cherohala Skyway
My friend Bruce Benton joined me for a wonderful ride on the Cherohala Skyway in Tennessee and North Carolina.

For those of you who are curious how someone plans a 16,000‑mile trip, here are a few guidelines. First, get a map of the United States and put markers next to the places you plan to travel to. Second, using the rough route map, create a spreadsheet with columns for the city in which you begin your day’s ride; the destination city for that day; miles you plan to ride each day; and notes about the route, landmarks, and things to see. Good planning is key for a successful ride, and being organized reduces stress. 

Great American Scenic Byways Motorcycle Tour Bayshore Scenic Byway
In Delaware I rode the Bayshore Scenic Byway. My Honda Gold Wing was a faithful companion on my deli schlep and scenic byways tours.

A key element to any trip of this magnitude is planning for unforeseen events. My mantra is “It’s all about Plan B.” On a two‑month trip, there will be at least one unexpected twist pop up. Mine came three days in when my dermatologist called to tell me I had a melanoma on my back and he wanted to surgically remove it as soon as possible. Plan B: I turned the bike around, made a beeline to Chicago, had the surgery, and was back on the road 17 days later. 

Great American Scenic Byways Motorcycle Tour Outer Banks Scenic Byway
Cape Hatteras Light Station on the Outer Banks Scenic Byway in North Carolina.

The beauty of this ride’s theme was that each scenic byway has its own personality. Like a thumbprint, every byway is unique. Almost everyone I met during the trip asked me, “What is the best scenic byway?” Just like when asked what the best motorcycle is, I answered, “The one I’m riding.” There are good reasons why National Geographic picked each of these byways to include in its guide. Each one gives the rider a special glimpse into the beauty of the region.

Great American Scenic Byways Motorcycle Tour
This is the Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock, North Carolina, where the weather seems to change every minute. The quintessential scenic byway is one of America’s treasures.

For example, the Red River Gorge Scenic Byway in Kentucky took me into forested backcountry, and I was able to get lost in my thoughts in the deep woods. One of the interesting features of this scenic byway is the Nada Tunnel, which is 900 feet long but only 12 feet wide and 13 feet high. There’s a single lane through the mountain, with no lights or painted lines. While pondering how to go through it, I asked some local Harley riders for advice. They said, “Look for a headlight at the end of the tunnel. If you see one, don’t go.” I felt like I was in a Road Runner cartoon.

Great American Scenic Byways Motorcycle Tour Nada Tunnel
The Nada Tunnel is located near the Red River Gorge Scenic Byway in Kentucky.

In Newport, Rhode Island, the scenic 10‑mile Ocean Drive provided a glimpse of how the other half lived during the Gilded Age in the late 1800s. The Vanderbilt, Astors, and Morgans all had their summer homes along this rocky coast. 

Great American Scenic Byways Motorcycle Tour Ocean Drive Rhode Island
Mansions along Rhode Island’s Ocean Drive.

Spanning two states, the Talimena National Scenic Byway follows Arkansas Highway 88 and Oklahoma State Highway 1. On the morning I planned to ride it, the forecast said it would be 105 degrees in Dallas, Texas, my next destination. I left at 5 a.m. to arrive in Dallas in time to beat the heat. This early start gave me an opportunity to watch the sunrise over the byway. 

Great American Scenic Byways Motorcycle Tour Talimena National Scenic Byway
Sunrise over the Talimena National Scenic Byway, which goes through Arkansas and Oklahoma.

After five days on the road, I could no longer remember where I was the day before, what I had for dinner the night before, or which hotel I stayed in. That’s one of the great things about a two‑month motorcycle trip – getting lost in the journey. Writing a blog forced me to recreate the trip daily so it didn’t become one huge blur, and it also allowed friends, family, and supporters to follow my progress. 

Great American Scenic Byways Motorcycle Tour
An old steam train in Essex on the Connecticut Valley Scenic Byway.

Another benefit of a trip of this scale is all the things I learned along the way. Like a school on wheels, I learned about our United States up close and personal, gaining a new appreciation for each region’s distinct personality and history. After the trip, I had a better understanding of our collective history. Whether it was exploring what life was like on plantations, following the Trail of Tears, or riding the path of Lewis and Clark, I was able to take a long look at our country and how we grew up as a nation, both the good and the bad. 

Great American Scenic Byways Motorcycle Tour Oak Alley Plantation
Slave quarters at the Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana. This tour provided an education on America’s past, present, and future.

Every long motorcycle trip has unexpected moments, and one left me speechless and cleaning the mess off my bike for days. Leaving Elko, Nevada, to ride to Idaho, I took State Route 225, a two‑lane road with virtually no traffic. As I was riding north, I noticed something that looked like pinecones on the pavement up ahead. Once I got closer, the “pinecones” began to scurry. As I continued to ride north, they completely covered the road. Then I noticed that the road’s tire tracks were turning red, not asphalt gray. It was an infestation of Mormon crickets, which are about 2 inches long and don’t fly, and I was riding through an invasion of Biblical proportions that went on for 50‑plus miles! 

Great American Scenic Byways Motorcycle Tour Sawtooth Mountains Ponderosa Pines Scenic Byway
Taking a pause to enjoy a view of the Sawtooth Mountains after riding the Ponderosa Pines Scenic Byway in Idaho.

My original plan was to ride through California’s Death Valley National Park. Just before I left, I received a call from my son. “Dad, did you hear that a 65‑year‑old guy just died in Death Valley? He had two flat tires on his car, and nobody came to his rescue. Are you sure you want to go into Death Valley by yourself, on your motorcycle, with temperatures reaching 115 degrees?” Plan B: Due to the intense heat and time constraints after my unexpected surgery, I opted to bypass California, Oregon, and Washington. 

Great American Scenic Byways Motorcycle Tour Wetlands and Wildlife Scenic Byway
The Wetlands and Wildlife Scenic Byway in Kansas.

My favorite scenic byway changed from day to day. When I was on the East Coast, I loved the Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway in Maine. Riding the 17.6‑mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge‑Tunnel (U.S. Route 13) in Virginia, which includes a tunnel under the water, from Norfolk to Fisherman Island National Wildlife Refuge, was spectacular.

Great American Scenic Byways Motorcycle Tour Maine
Somewhere in Maine, on my way to Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway.

Out West, it was U.S. Route 191 (Coronado Trail) in Arizona and State Route 12 in Utah. Beartooth Highway in Wyoming and Montana is a must‑ride. It is hard to choose only one scenic byway because each is special, and every one of them gave me new perspectives on the areas I was traveling through.

Great American Scenic Byways Motorcycle Tour Coronado Trail Scenic Byway
U.S. Route 191 in Arizona between Alpine and Morenci is known as the Coronado Trail Scenic Byway – one of my all-time favorites.

People also asked, “How do you pack for such a big trip?” My only advice is to take less than you think you need but all that’s necessary for unforeseen conditions (rain, cold, heat, etc.). You must think through all the variables and prepare a Plan B. If traveling solo, use a satellite tracking device so family and friends know how to find you. 

Great American Scenic Byways Motorcycle Tour Bryce Canyon National Park
Riding through Bryce Canyon National Park, which is located just off Scenic Byway 12 in Utah.

Long motorcycle trips are not for everyone, but I love not knowing what is on the other side of the hill and feeling the thrill and power of the bike beneath me, experiences that keep me going day after day. I highly recommend checking out National Geographic’s Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways, picking a region, and planning your own adventure. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Take the time to enjoy the sights, sensations, and sinuous curves on America’s rich bounty of scenic byways.

Great American Scenic Byways Motorcycle Tour Pike Peak
On the way down from the 14,115-foot summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado.

During his Great American Scenic Byways tour, Steven Goode raised nearly $22,000 for the Parkinson’s Foundation. To make a donation, use the QR code above or click here. To read Goode’s blog, visit this page on Facebook. Below you’ll find a complete list of the scenic byways Goode rode on this tour.

See all of Rider‘s touring stories here.

Great American Scenic Byways Tour

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Source: RiderMagazine.com

Exploring Backroads on a New York and Pennsylvania Motorcycle Ride

Upper Delaware River Watershed New York and Pennsylvania Motorcycle Ride Favorite Ride
The snaking Hawk’s Nest section of New York Route 97 clings to rocky cliffs hundreds of feet above the Delaware River. It was a highlight of this New York and Pennsylvania motorcycle ride.

The Upper Delaware River Watershed encompasses thousands of square miles in New York and Pennsylvania, with hundreds of miles of serpentine roads rolling through forests, farmland, small towns, and historic sites. It makes for a superb ride, so I fired up my Kawasaki Vulcan and hit the road to explore it. 

Upper Delaware River Watershed New York and Pennsylvania Motorcycle Ride Favorite Ride

Scan QR code above or click here to view the route on REVER

From West Milford, New Jersey, I rolled north on smooth East Shore Road through state forest land and then along the sparkling shoreline of Greenwood Lake. With the morning sun twinkling through the trees and the cool, fresh air energizing me, I rode through the Black Dirt Region of southern Orange County, New York, a beautiful area of farmland renowned for its rich, black soil.

Cruising through Port Jervis, I wound through the Hawk’s Nest section of State Route 97, which is designated as the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway for 70 miles. This sinuous roadway is cut into the mountainside, offering excellent views of the Delaware River far below.

See all of Rider‘s Northeast U.S. motorcycle rides here.

Leaving the river behind near Pond Eddy, I climbed deeper into the watershed. I’m not religious in the traditional sense, but I love viewing unique churches. Two impressive ones grace the treelined State Route 41: Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church with its white facade and metal domes and the rustic log St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church.

Upper Delaware River Watershed New York and Pennsylvania Motorcycle Ride Favorite Ride
Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Glen Spey, New York, stands as a citadel of hope.

From Glen Spey, I weaved through the wooded route to Eldred, where I blasted up scenic State Route 55 to Lake Superior State Park, a good place for a relaxing swim or walkabout. From there, I made a pilgrimage to Bethel, site of the famous 1969 Woodstock music festival where 400,000 people gathered for three days of peace and music. 

Upper Delaware River Watershed New York and Pennsylvania Motorcycle Ride Favorite Ride

No longer the rural field of Max Yasgur’s farm, it is now part of the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. This concert venue’s museum honors the 1969 festival, and the original concert field has been preserved. A monument near the stage site memorializes the groups who performed there.

From Bethel, I blasted northwest on country backroads to the impressive Stone Arch Bridge Historical Park and then onto Roscoe for lunch at the Roscoe Diner. Next, I crossed the Beaverkill River, a tributary of the Delaware River. Both the Beaverkill and the Downsville covered bridges are off State Route 206, and riding a motorcycle through these wooden structures is a joy not to be missed.

Upper Delaware River Watershed New York and Pennsylvania Motorcycle Ride Favorite Ride
The Stone Arch Bridge, built in 1880, adorns its namesake park in Kenoza Lake, New York. It is as famous for its beautiful architecture as it is for a murder committed on the bridge in 1892.

Downsville is also home to the 15-mile-long, 5,700-acre Pepacton Reservoir on the East Branch of the Delaware River. State Route 30’s twisties follow the reservoir’s shoreline and then the snaking river. With my Vulcan purring and the afternoon sun reflecting off the water, I cruised SR-30 to State Route 17. In Hancock, I dropped my kickstand at the tidy Hancock House Hotel, which has a pub and a restaurant on-site, making it an ideal overnight stop for riders.

The next day, I fired up my Vulcan and savored the crisp air and deep blue sky as I rumbled over the river into Pennsylvania. State Routes 191, 247, and 370 roll through farmland and forest. On SR-370, I spotted a bear crossing the road – not an unusual occurrence in rural Pennsylvania. 

Upper Delaware River Watershed New York and Pennsylvania Motorcycle Ride Favorite Ride
This rural Pennsylvania road passes through the green pastures of a family farm.

Riding south on State Route 296 to Waymart is one of my favorite roads: smooth with a mix of farmland and forest on both sides. At Waymart, I crossed over U.S. Route 6 – known locally as PA Route 6 – which spans the northern part of the state and offers hundreds of miles of excellent riding opportunities.

At Hawley, I picked up a winding section of PA Route 6 and then followed State Route 590 to Lackawaxen, where SR-590 begins to parallel the Lackawaxen River, another tributary of the Delaware. It was a beautiful day, and I stopped to watch some kayakers on the river. 

Upper Delaware River Watershed New York and Pennsylvania Motorcycle Ride Favorite Ride
The author’s bike soaks up some rays as he explores a farm stand on Pennsylvania Route 296 near Waymart.

Crossing the Lackawaxen River, I stopped to rest at the Delaware Aqueduct, known as the Roebling Bridge, which was built in the mid-1800s and is the oldest existing wire suspension bridge in the U.S. Crossing the river here allows you to continue north or south on the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway. 

New York and Pennsylvania Motorcycle Ride Resources

See all of Rider‘s touring stories here.

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Source: RiderMagazine.com