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Great Roads South Central

Wild Texas: A Winter Ride to Big Bend

web-IMG_0931 Sierra del Carmen at sunset copy

When winter drifts into North Texas, those of us who ride year-round seek more agreeable climates, yet never have to leave the state. Big Bend National Park, where the Rio Grande does a U-turn on the border between Mexico and Texas, is very attractive between November and April. During the summer months, ground temperatures there can be as high as ...

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Motorcycle Travel Through the Rocky Mountains


The high mountain passes of the Rocky Mountains are an incomparable motorcycle touring experience, ringing with the legacy of tens of thousands of gold prospectors who fearlessly blazed trails across them in search of riches. In 1858, the discovery of gold near Pikes Peak triggered the biggest gold rush in history, as more than a hundred-thousand prospectors scoured the Rocky ...

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Colorado Chasms: Riding the other Canyonlands


(This Favorite Ride was published in the June 2012 issue of Rider Magazine.) Story and photos by Kathleen Kemsley Colorado is best known for its lofty peaks, and rightly so. Those reaching at least 14,000 feet in elevation, known as Fourteeners, number 53 in this not-flat state. A lesser-known side of Colorado is its canyonlands. On the west slope of ...

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Going Loopy for New Mexico: Motorcycle Travel Feature


At an overlook near Cumbres Pass (elevation 10,022 feet) north of Chama, New Mexico, I parked the 2011 Victory Cross Country to take a break. Soon I was joined by a man in a cowboy hat who had climbed out of his pickup truck to stand on a granite outcropping and peer through binoculars. He explained that he grazed his ...

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High Adventure in Colorado and Utah


[This High Adventure in Colorado and Utah was originally published in the September 2011 issue of Rider magazine] Few regions in the United States have more low-traffic miles of wonderful twisty roads and stunning natural beauty than western Colorado and southern Utah. The goal this time is to link great motorcycle roads between Gypsum, Colorado, and Torrey, Utah, with decent ...

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Crossing Western Colorado on Old U.S. 6


[This Crossing Western Colorado on Old U.S. 6 was originally published in the January 2012 issue of Rider magazine] I’ve eyed it longingly on countless trips on Interstate 70 across the Colorado mountains. The sparsely traveled two-lane winds its way alongside the interstate, at times close by, at times across the valley, and sometimes unseen. Blasting along at 75 mph, ...

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New Mexico’s Little Las Vegas Favorite Ride

Tapetes de Lana, in Mora, New Mexico

[This New Mexico’s Little Las Vegas Favorite Ride was originally published in the January 2012 issue of Rider magazine] The name Las Vegas is generally associated with glitzy gambling in Nevada and Sin City, the fastest-growing city in the United States. But there is another Las Vegas that sits quietly in north central New Mexico along Interstate 24, east of ...

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Riding the Best of Arkansas in this Peak-to-Peak Motorcycle Run


[This Peak-to-Peak Alaskan Motorcycle Ride was originally published in the July 2011 issue of Rider magazine] story and photography by David Bell Living in one of the nation’s top motorcycling areas, the Ozarks, where great riding is literally 100 yards down the lane from my rural Arkansas home, it’s easy to forget that there’s another excellent mountain range in the ...

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Spring in Big Bend, Texas


story and photography by Laura Melvin Three old riders, two motorcycles and one honeymoon, a week before the wedding. It doesn’t take much to justify a road trip, so Eleanor and I took Lew, her soon-to-be husband, on their honeymoon. We left Carlsbad, New Mexico, on Highway 285, heading to Big Bend National Park (named for the great U-turn the ...

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