Last week we asked readers where in the world they would like to visit if they didn’t have to worry about depleting funds, lip from the boss-man or scowls from the head of homeland logistics (your spouse). Answers ranged globally but US destinations came up with great frequency. Many of the rides are our favorites too and as a result you’ll have some photos and route reviews to better inform your travel plans. This is Part 1 of 2 – the follow up will have the international (bucket list) destinations.
1950s romantics suggested the trip across the original RT 66. This is one ride we haven’t yet done though there is a great map set outlining the original route that I once purchased in case the time ever presented itself. http://btbaggers.com/1ldAqT9 for the map
A ride down California’s Pacific Coast Highway (click to see video of a similar California ride). During this ride you may as well start as high up as Oregon and see where the Goonies was filmed (not to mention that Portland has great micro-brews and incredible food if the hipsters don’t bother you.)
Don’t get too hung up on the normal tourist spots in CA, there are a number of great rides (the canyons or Pyne’s Peak) that most people miss if they don’t check out some maps before heading out.
Unsurprisingly many people suggested riding to Sturgis (Click to see some articles from the last two years at Sturgis). In this case you would be virtually obligated to ride the Black Hills, see Crazy Horse and Mount Rushmore. The roads after Sturgis (toward the West) including Bighorn Mountain, Beartooth Pass and Chief Joseph Highway, Yellow Stone National Park, The Grand Tetons and Jackson WY are spectacular. It would be irresponsible to miss these man-made wonders!
Others suggested riding the four corners of the US. This ride would take around 9,400 miles and cover the northernmost part of Maine, Key West, San Diego and Blaine, WA. It would be a bit more intense if you aspire to stay off highways. Key West is a fun time but the ride couldn’t be more uneventful, hours and hours over a bridge without any turns. The only thing worse is that you have to return via the exact same route. If you want to go to Key West, fly there! The Iron-Man option is to add the Trans Canada Highway to Alaska (maybe Anchorage) which could tack on a few thousand unforgiving miles. In all, the Trans Canada Highway stretches 4,990 miles – not for the weekend warriors!
For those who don’t have an entire month to play hooky, a coast to coast trip will likely quench the explorer’s thirst. Depending on the route it could be as little as 3,500 miles or as much as 5,300 miles (our East to West route in 2012 that included Canada and Sturgis).
A few destinations that we hadn’t expected were Anacortes, WA, Puerta Rico and Niagra. I’ve made the ride to Niagra – not great riding but nonetheless a great view.The first two seemed a bit out of left field but now they’re on our list.
Phoenix was a surprise showing which actually has great riding nearby. From Phoenix you can make it to Lake Roosevelt, Bartlett Reservoir, (Home of Rattlesnake cove), Sedona and the Grand Canyon. If entertainment and biker bars is more your style, try Greesewood Flats where it’s as gritty as anyplace you have had the opportunity to visit!
There are no shortages of locations in the US for our riding enjoyment. We have been lucky enough to test a lot of the roads throughout the country and look forward to riding any great roads we may have missed.