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Great Roads West

Las Vegas Moto Vacation: Beyond the Neon and Slot Machines

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We all know about Las Vegas, either from our own visits or from movies and television; a constant barrage of lights, dinging slot machines, erupting volcanoes, gargantuan fountains, big name shows and sleepless nights. But after the convention is over and your head clears, the Las Vegas area also has some great riding and awesome sights, whether you rent or ...

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The Salton Sea: The Strange Beauty of the Post-Apocalypse

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“Beautiful, beautiful. Magnificent desolation.” That was how astronaut Buzz Aldrin described what he saw as he left his famous boot prints on the moon’s surface. I am compelled to repeat those sparse, succinct words as I leave my decidedly un-famous Sidi boot prints on the beach of the Salton Sea. I have always enjoyed exploring places that combine raw, natural ...

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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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Savoring Summer Along California Route 1

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Where exactly do the summers go? As I get older and older the summers seem to get shorter and shorter. When I was a kid summer seemed to last an eternity; from that final school bell of the year until classes resumed in the fall, summer was an endless string of days filled with play, with fun. For motorcyclists, summer ...

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Death Valley: Hitting the Hot Spots on a Honda F6B

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The valley of death is a fascinating place—at least in my estimation. Having been there more than 40 times since my first visit in 1967, I’ve seen a lot of it. And during each visit I find something new to gawp at. Some people ride or drive through, with quick stops at Badwater and Zabriskie Point and say, “Been there; ...

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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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Dual-Sporting in Northern California on the Kawasaki KLR650 New Edition

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Adventures are good. They don’t have to be big adventures, like crossing the Sahara Desert or Panama’s Darien Gap, but can be quite small and equally pleasurable. Like California’s Lost Coast. I am especially fond of Usal Road through the Sinkyone Wilderness, 25 miles of steep, twisty, bumpy, sandy, rocky and rain-rutted dirt road. First and second gear the whole ...

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