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This Great Roads section focuses on local and international motorcycle rides, roads and travel experiences from the editors of Rider magazine and our contributors. The articles have been broken down by region to help you find stories about a particular area more easily.

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Swamp People and Hot Sauce

Riding through the backcountry bayous and swamps of southern Louisiana. (Photos: the author)

I have lived in southern Louisiana my whole life, and for this sport-touring rider, the weather from late October through April is pretty hard to beat. Frontal systems are usually at least five days apart, and in between, the weather is predictably dry and very comfortable. Such was the case on this Saturday in mid-February. I chose a familiar 275-mile ...

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Follow the Rivers: Tracing the Headwaters of the Colorado River

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Having just retired from a wildfire management position with the Forest Service the previous year, and thus off the hook for working fire pre-suppression all summer long, I took the opportunity to ride up into the high Rockies in June, following the great rivers—the Colorado and its tributaries—all the way to their origin. Departing from Albuquerque, New Mexico, I rode ...

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Tour Test: Riding the Devil’s Highway on a V-Strom 650XT

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The road is turning and twisting in an almost violent way, with 10-mph hairpins and 25-mph curves in endless succession. We (V-Strom and I) are riding high in the sky, above the valleys thousands of feet below, sometimes to the east, sometimes to the west. The left foot is working the transmission incessantly, going from 2nd to 4th, rarely 5th, ...

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Lock-to-Lock: Riding the Miami-Erie Canal

Culvert built to allow canal to flow over Bad Creek, at Texas, Ohio.

It might seem incongruous to use a modern motorcycle, with fuel injection and ABS, to explore a canal built almost 200 years ago to move people and freight on the water in vessels powered by mules or horses, but that’s exactly what I did. And it made for an enjoyable trip, matching good roads with pleasant scenery and some history. Congress ...

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Moto Aloha: Motorcycle Touring on Oahu

The author’s wife, son, and his son’s new bride look out over the North Shore surf.

In recent years, life has afforded me more opportunities to travel outside of the logistical scope of my motorcycle. While my bike can’t fly with me, my love of riding always does. To satiate that desire to experience new places properly—that is, from the seat of a motorcycle—I have taken to renting a bike in any distant place I go. My ...

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From Canada to Mexico on U.S. Route 281

A Texas shrine, the Alamo, remains ever stalwart in downtown San Antonio.

Riders brag about their coast-to-coast exploits—how many times, how many days, how many hours. I’ve been across the country 21 times myself. Seeking a new direction, I asked myself how many of us have been north to south, border to border. Not me. I intended to address that oversight by riding from Tsplitting the country in half in the process. ...

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Riding the “Other Vermont”: Quebec by Motorcycle

The rolling hills near Bedford support numerous wineries.

The popularity of Vermont as a motorcycle touring destination is well deserved: it offers great roads, world-class food and interesting things to see. Yet one can expand this adventure a step further by experiencing the joie de vivre found in the “other” Vermont. Heading north from Burlington, Vermont, it’s a gentle cruise through the bucolic Lake Champlain Islands on U.S. ...

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Southwestern Motorcycle Adventure: Las Vegas to Denver

Riding the Unaweep-Tebeguache Scenic Byway where we later dodged a herd of elk.

Wild temperature swings of up to 60 degrees in a single day, remote campgrounds and a plan—or at least six versions of it, because you know, a guy needs options! Welcome to adventure motorcycling. Not for the faint of heart, but full of sights and experiences that will burn into your memory. My friends Chris Shepherd and John Carlson share ...

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Favorite Ride: Eastern Sierra Scenic Byway

Colorful fall trees displaying their beauty around Twin Lakes.

Most people ride U.S. Route 395 in California just to get from point A to point B, but wandering off the highway reveals numerous, rarely visited geologic and historic sites as well as seldom seen canyons with enjoyable winding roads and striking beauty. This journey seeks all of that in addition to a rare California sight: fall colors. Finding fall ...

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