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Great Roads North Central

Great Roads: Motorcycle Riding in Missouri

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The crack of the bat and the smell of yeast are never far away in St. Louis, a vibrant city—kingdom of baseball and beer. It’s home of the National League Cardinals and the historical site of the nation’s largest brewer, the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. This ride from St. Louis to Frankenstein is an easy escape from the metro area into a ...

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Iowa’s Unique Scenic Byway

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What landform is found only in a small part of Iowa and in China? If you answered, “Huh?” you need to ride the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway on Iowa’s western border. You will enjoy a peaceful ride through hills up to 200 feet high. Loess (pronounced luss) is fine-grained, loosely compacted silt laid down by the wind during the ...

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Great Roads: South Dakota

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The following is an excerpt from the article Connecting the Dakotas: The Long Way Around North and South, originally printed in the August 2009 issue. As a motorcyclist who enjoys vacant, isolated roads, I stared longingly at the Dakotas on my National Geographic wall map while planning my next excursion. Unlike August when the Sturgis madness is in full swing, ...

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South Dakota Escape

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As a young boy, my stamp collection included a green 1952 three-cent commemorative of Mt. Rushmore. The four presidential faces gazing wisely across America from the top of a mountain were mesmerizing, almost mystical in their patriotic magnificence. In my child’s imagination, they embodied the historical destiny of our country. As an adult, I keep a framed picture of Mt. ...

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Touring the Forgotten Iron Range in Wisconsin and Michigan

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Late in the 19th century, in Wisconsin’s far north and on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, above ground thousands of men hacked out a living logging the state’s vast hardwood forests. At the same time, thousands of feet below the surface, hard rock miners blasted and hammered out millions of tons of iron ore. Dozens of mines dotted the Penokee Range, where ...

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The Long Road to Indy, A Scenic Sport-Touring Ride to the MotoGP

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(This Long Road to Indy feature was published in the June 2012 issue of Rider magazine.) Imagine a multi-state Main Street for Motorcycling, a cross-country route made just for riding. Miles of sinuous asphalt draped over rolling hills, winding past tumbledown barns with faded Mail Pouch tobacco ads, splitting through shady forest glens and immaculate pastures where racehorses graze that ...

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A Tale of Two Lakes: Riding the Circle Tour

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I’m a careful planner, but the key to this journey was decided by the flip of a coin. Heads, clockwise, tails, counterclockwise. It was tails, so my journey would take me up the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, across the top of Lake Superior, and back home along Lake Michigan’s western shore. My fascination with the these two Great Lakes ...

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