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Great Roads South Central

Exploring Southwest New Mexico By Motorcycle

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Not caring for Interstate highways, I choose to ride the “blue highways” north and south of Interstate 40 from Grants, New Mexico, where I live. I made this ride in late May on my 2008 Triumph America. This 865cc twin has all of the power I need and is reminiscent of the Bonneville 650 I had in the ’60s, although ...

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Climbing the Pikes Peak Highway

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The year was 1806. After traversing the flat plains of what is now eastern Colorado, Zebulon Pike saw a smudge on the horizon. The next day the smudge became a bump. By the third or fourth day, Pike realized he had a mountain to climb. I had the same feeling as I cruised westward on State Route 24, headed for ...

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Great Roads: Oklahoma

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Upon entering Oklahoma, a decorative granite sign demarcates the state line, followed soon by a billboard depicting a Buffalo Bill character, waving his Stetson, astride a spotted horse rearing out of the sign in welcoming exhortation. My next stop was the Route 66 museum in Clinton. This so-called Mother Road became the highway of opportunity for Depression-era Oklahoma Dust Bowl ...

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Twisted Sisters: The Texas Hill Country’s Most Famous Trio

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Three Hill Country Ranch Roads, 335, 336 and 337, are known throughout Texas as the Twisted Sisters, and riders come from near and far to enjoy them. For me it is near, just a short ride from my home to the first Sister. The first stop is usually in Bandera at the Old Spanish Trails Restaurant, better known to everyone ...

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Wild Texas: A Winter Ride to Big Bend

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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

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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

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(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

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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

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[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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