What does your motorcycle riders bucket list look like? Well if it is looking a little slim AMERiders will give you a few suggestions to help fill up your bucket list a bit more. We have a nice list that we think you might like, some of these places to ride we have mentioned before but felt they are worth mentioning again.
First off for those of you that don’t know what a Bucket List is and who doesn’t really it is a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying. Let’s face it for us bikers there’s no experience quite like the feel of the open road whipping beneath the rubber. You become a part of nature itself, a feeling, unlike anything you find in the restrictive interior of a car. Which is why more than likely there are several great rides we would like to take on our bucket list. So if you don’t have any good ideas on any yet we have got some great suggestions for you here.
RIDING A SPEED ROCKET AT BONNEVILLE SALT FLATS
In the world of motorsports, there’s one particular place you go if you want to go straight and really really fast (we’re talking record speed fast), and that place is the Bonneville Salt Flats. Located in northwestern Utah along Interstate 80, the Salt Flats as many people call them have their own mystique. A natural wonder and attraction for tourists, the compacted, salty, and flat terrain of the Bonneville Speedway has been a draw for speed freaks for more than a century. This is the place where world records are made and dreams are achieved.
The Salt Flats are world renown as the place to go if you want to etch your name into the annals of speed. Back in the ’60s, the Flats drew an unknown New Zealander by the name of Burt Monroe and his 1920 Indian Scout where he set three records, one of which was set when he was 67-years-old and still stands to this day. If you’re determined to set a land speed record at Bonneville the good news is there are multiple events such as Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials and Speed Week. The even better news is that there are numerous categories and classes so you can take a strategic approach and go for a record that looks attainable to you (just make sure your motorcycle tires are up to snuff). The bad news is, since this an all-natural “drag strip” weather, track, and environmental conditions don’t always work out and can result in the cancellation of events from year-to-year.
PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY
The Pacific Coast Highway is 656 miles of pure California coastline and unmatched views. Spanning nearly the entire length of the state, the highway begins near Leggett, CA, and ends just past Los Angeles. You’ll see epic waves and steep cliffs as you wind your way down the coast. The stretch of road running through Big Sur is the highlight of the trip, where you’ll encounter pristine beaches and marine wildlife. From seals to whales, keep your eyes peeled as you meander through the sand and waves to the cultural hub of Southern California, Los Angeles. Let’s face it this is how the Pacific Ocean was meant to be seen.
RIDING THE EAST COAST DURING THE CHANGING OF THE SEASONS
Spring and summer are typically when you see the most motorcycle riders on the road, but Fall is definitely where it’s at. Not only are the temperatures cooler and more ideal for riding, but it’s all about the colors man, the colors! We might not experience it much here in California (especially southern California), but a trip up through the east coast when the leaves begin to turn can be a life changing experience. A leisure motorcycle cruise down a desolate country road surrounded with various shades of red, brown, orange, and green can bring great inner peace and help you mentally prepare for the forthcoming winter hibernation.
“The hills are alive with the sound of mo-tor-cycles…” Okay, so you might not be a fan of musicals, but nothing can be more pleasing to the ear than the hum of your motorcycle as you weave through the breathtaking Alps of Austria and Germany. Book a trip with Edelweiss Bike Travel and you’ll be treated to 10,000-foot tall mountain ascents and descending into lush valleys surrounded by pristine lakes aboard the bike of your choice. Almost better than the riding itself is snacking on schnitzel and sipping the finest beers of the region as you reminisce about the day’s highlights with your group. This would be a perfect addition to your bucket list.
TAIL OF THE DRAGON/BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY– APPALACHIAN MOUNTAINS
Europe might have the Alps but we have the Apps-the Appalachian Mountains that is. So if staying stateside is your thing but want a winding mountain adventure with jaw-dropping views then head to the Appalachian Mountains and Smokey Mountains. These two regions are home to two of the most desirable roadways for motorcyclists, the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) and the Tail of the Dragon (TOTD).
Covering 470 miles, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Scenic Byway and All American Road that runs through North Carolina and Virginia. Distant valley views, dense tree-lined canopies, and meandering mountains are just a few if the sights that draw riders to the BRP, what you won’t find are stop lights, billboards, or other obnoxious distractions. Leisure cruising isn’t a suggestion it’s the law, as the speed limit for the majority of the parkway is 45mph.
The Tail of the Dragon starts at Deals Gap at the North Carolina/Tennessee border and then zig-zags into Tennessee along the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Why is this part of US 129 so popular amongst motorcyclists? Because it has 318 of motorcyclists’ favorite things packed into an 11 mile stretch. We’re talking about curves baby! That’s right more than 300 zig-zags of varying bends in just over ten miles. If there was ever a way to put a motorcycle on a roller coaster this is it. Even though there are no intersecting roads to worry about incoming traffic, you do have to worry about oncoming traffic. This is not a road for sightseeing or picture taking (leave that to Killboy), The Dragon requires your undivided attention at all times, otherwise your bike could end up in the Tree of Shame and you could end up worse.
The cool thing is if you give yourself about three days you can cover 650 miles of the most picturesque scenery in the country making a big loop and hit both the BRP and TOTD. Actually, if you’re heavy-handed with the camera you might need to add another day or two because you’ll be making plenty of stops with all the photo ops.
Route 66 has many names, The Mother Road, Will Rogers Highway, and Main Street of America. Established in 1926 as one of the main thoroughfares to lead Midwest motorists seeking sun and opportunity on the west coast, Route 66 has become an iconic piece of US history giving travelers a slice of Americana as it rolls through small-town middle America. The original route covered nearly 2,500 miles crossing eight states, starting in Chicago, Illinois to the east and ending in Santa Monica, California to the west. Unfortunately, many portions of the original highway have been realigned or the signage has been taken down when the highway was decommissioned. You can still make the trek from east to west of vice-versa but it may take a little rerouting and map studying to actually cover the original route. Even though there has been mass construction and infrastructure added since it was created, you can still see plenty of great sites, cruise through small towns, and get a good glimpse of what middle America is all about.
If you’re a glutton for punishment then a stroll up or down the 30,000-mile-long Pan-American Highway (PAH) is the trip for you. Before you start packing your motorcycle luggage, however, there are a couple of things you may want to do. First of all, you might want to make sure you have plenty of vacation time-we’re talking like more than a month’s worth-as the record for the fastest trip along the route on a motorcycle is 34 days. The other thing you’ll want to do is make sure you brush up on your French and Spanish; besides Alaska and the lower 48, you’ll be traveling through Canada, Mexico, Central America, and South America. The PAH is comprised of a mix of official and unofficial roadways leaving you varied options for travel in certain sections. The north end starts at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and the southern end finishes up at Ushuaia, Argentina. Packing for this trip will be a feat in itself as you’ll need all-weather gear to handle every climate and terrain imaginable from iced-over roads, lush forests, and 10,000-foot mountain peaks, to scorching deserts, and dense jungles. Fuel management will also be an issue as there are a few stretches with no services for more than 200 miles-so you’ll want to outfit your motorcycle with an oversize gas tank and bring along a couple of Fuel Packs. It’s also important to familiarize yourself with the Darien Gap. While it’s only 60 miles wide, it’s a treacherous and sluggish stretch of travel that’s a mix of marshes, swamps, and rivers and definitely isn’t for the weak willed-it’s highly suggested you opt-out and rely on a fairy for a quicker and more relaxed, less stressful crossing.
This is the first ten on our Ultimate Motorcycle Bucket List. Be sure to check out part two and let us know what you think of this list and what’s on your list.
~And as always…
~Live Free Ride Hard~
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