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Favorite Rides

A Short History of California's Cuesta Pass on U.S. 101

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I imagine we all have a lot of favorite roads. One of mine is very short. About three miles long, ascending, or descending, a thousand feet along the west side of Cuesta Canyon, just north of San Luis Obispo, California. It’s dirt, one-lane, built in the 1870s and minimally maintained. The alternative is a six-lane highway, U.S. Route 101, on ...

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The Grand Canyon—Rim-to-Rim on Two Wheels

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It would be one of the world’s greatest loop rides…except for that big crevasse that gets in the way. You’ll just have to settle for a fantastic ride that comes up about 12 miles short of a full circle. Yes, those 12 miles that are impassible on a motorcycle are what make the ride so spectac­ular. A rim-to-rim trek around ...

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Riding Zero Avenue in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland

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I was riding my Kawasaki KLR650 on a cool, sunny March day. Mount Baker, in northern Washington State, was continuing to be elusive. The inactive volcano in all its snowcapped glory presented a great photo opportunity, but just when I cleared another high ridge, the tree line would appear on the right, blocking my view. I kept the faith, knowing ...

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A Fiery Lap — Pleasant Detours in Colorado

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I’m barreling along a tiny Colorado highway on a sparkling sunny June afternoon with Asleep at the Wheel’s country music in my ears and a shiny new Moto Guzzi in full song. I turn north and there, over the corrugated peaks of the San Juan Mountains, is an apocalyptic plume of black smoke. Not again. But this was par for ...

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Eastern Kansas: Time Traveling in the Sunflower State

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I was about an hour outside of Kansas City heading south on U.S. Route 169, a lightly traveled four-laner, and it was great to finally be on the open road. The big Suzuki V-Strom’s V-twin eased into a rhythmic cadence, sort of like the gallop of a horse, an image that comes to mind whenever I ride lonesome highways west ...

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Utah Splendor: Native American history and geologic revelations.

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Riding in Utah is always a treat. You are served a wide variety of motorcycle roads, a cornucopia of awesome and incredibly beautiful parks and endless exotic landscapes. As you might conclude, Utah is one of my favorite rides. This time I’m riding the southern third, west to east. My doctor and friend, Andy, and his son, Eli, have joined ...

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The Ride to Red Wing: Meandering Through the Midwest

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The planning session for the ride had been laughable. We were three old farts, card-carrying AARP members, edging into retirement. Gary had suggested a three-day trip to Red Wing, Minnesota. Dick fiddled with a recently acquired GPS. I unrolled a map. “What’s to figure out?” I’d asked. “We head west from Lake Michigan. When we hit the Mississippi, we turn ...

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Sierra Nevada Three-Pass Motorcycle Ride

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Our ride with the Sacramento Road Cruisers today starts in Folsom, California, and heads out of town via Latrobe Road through rural Sacramento County, past cattle ranches and oak woodlands. From there, State Route 49 take us south, twisting and turning for 300 miles through the foothills of California’s Gold Country, with the northern end passing over the Sierra Nevada ...

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Riding the Tail of the Newt in Kansas

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Kansas City straddles the border of two states, so if you are from the area, starting in one state and finishing in another is no big deal. I’m not sure how the Tail of the Newt got its name, except that it’s Highway N, and compared to the Tail of the Dragon it is a newt or small salamander of ...

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