On a recent survey I conducted, finding interesting places to ride your motorcycle ranked highest in the motorcycle related questions. The term “interesting” of course is a matter of perspective, but it’s hard not to be “interesting” when you’re riding your motorcycle.
10 Ways to Find Interesting Places to Ride Motorcycles
- Know what kind of trip you want. This is first and foremost. The enjoyment – and safety – of your trip will depend on selecting the right kind of ride for you. That includes considering your interests, skills, how far you’ll ride in a day, who you’ll ride with and where you’ll stay.
- Find events of Interest. Last year while at the AMA International Women and Motorcycling conference I became aware of the Carson City/Lake Tahoe Adventure Ride & Rendezvous. The timing wasn’t right to stay, but I put it on my “to get to” list. It means I have to ride across the country to get there, but so be it. I also found a course in Utah I wanted to take, so those became my “anchors” and I built a trip around them. You can set your sights on something closer to home.
- Pick somewhere you have not been before. There are so many roads and so little time. See as much as possible. This trip is combining both places I’ve been and new ground. It’s amazing what you learn about the world around you – and yourself.
- Special Interest Forums. Again, build on your own interests. There are tons of active rider forums. With any online advice however, consider it only as one source of information. As much as it may seem like you have a lot in common, you don’t really know another’s frame of reference.
- Other Riders. Talk to others who have traveled; talk to travelers you meet in your own towns. There are lots of riders out there in the summer, many who have traveled extensively. Like forums however, use this as one piece of the planning.
- Butler Maps. Gifted to me, I’m using them for the first time on this trip. They’re great for pointing out the riding highlights for specific States, and you can plan your travels accordingly.
- Great American Motorcycle Tours. Another resource I used 10 years ago and again this year. Gary McKechnie has thoroughly researched his favorite routes and compiled much relevant information – from local attractions, to accommodations, to watering holes.
- Regional Visitor Centers. As you enter a new State or Province on major highways and Interstates, you’ll usually find a Visitor Information Center, full of more information than you’ll be able to use.
- Websites. With jurisdictions realizing the popularity of motorcycle travel, many have pages dedicated to motorcycle touring. Montana where I am right now has a wealth of information. I’m also working with Idaho Tourism Council for a later part of this trip. Closer to home, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership has done a lot of work to help you plan your trip.
- Go somewhere! At the end of the day, you can have a fabulous time, no matter where you go. There are lots of roads to explore, many experiences to have and many more friends yet to meet. Start small if that’s what it takes, but just start!
Review this list and use it for your planning. Add any other favorite resources in the comment sections below. Above all, if riding a motorcycle is your thing, get out and ride!