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Discussion Starter #1
Although it seems I keep putting it off, someday I would like to indulge myself with a really long road trip by motorcycle. And although I may have already waited too long from an age/health perspective, its still something to daydream about. But planning such a trip and trying to include as many interesting roads as possible and as little of the boring flat Interstate roads as possible is a pretty daunting task. I've looked at websites like motorcycleroads.com and its a bit overwhelming to try to tie multiple short stretches into a coherent plan. I've though it would be worth paying for if someone offered a route planning service where you could specify, for example, going from where I am in northern Illinois to Redwoods National Park in California, with intermediate stops in Phoenix and Austin and Yosemite, etc. and get a complete route listing with as many great riding roads as is reasonable. Just a daydream; I'm not sure I could really tolerate the amount of time such a trip would take and still have it be a fun adventure but I know if I don't do it soon I never will actually do it at all.
 

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The Harley Davidson website has a very nice route planner. It is under the OWNERS tab. The nice thing is that after you plan a route, you can download it right into your GPS.
 

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If you are a member of AAA/Triple A they have a free service and will print out a trip ticks for you. It has page by page roads and shows where gas, food and any points of interest in that area. I've not used it but I have a friend that lent me hers because we were heading to the same area.
 

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My best trips are by just up and going. Plan the day and roads then stop by 3:00pm the find a place to sleep and plan the next day. So what if you have to travel another 80 -100 miles because some event is going on. Although I thought again about that when I hit the Kentucky Derby one year. I never knew a whole state could be so full of visitors. I've never hit another case like that but I suppose it is possible. Like I say, normally you can go a little further and be alright. I still don't check to see what's is going on though. To me that's half the fun. Just go.

But I am a survivalist at art. That may be too much adventure for most. But ever darn trip I've tried to plan has been miserable in some way. So I just go. Drop of the hat go type. For no reason than it suddenly sounded good.

I use a truckers atlas and plan each 300-400 mile trip every day and just keep going. Sometimes I go as little as just 50 miles because when I talk to the locals they suggest something. It's all part of the adventure. Go as far as you can or want and turn around and plot a different route back.

But that's me and it works for me. The only thing I have to figure out sometimes is where to board the dogs or who's going to vacation at my place while I'm gone. My neighbor has much more cattle than me and has no trouble adding a fence line or two in his daily chores. One week of me watching his is equal to 2 years of him watching mine but we work together like that. The dogs are always the big problem.
 

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I've been using Microsoft Streets and Trips to plan rides. I will know how many miles the trip will be and how long it will take. I don't add the route to my GPS, just the destination way-points. Using way-points makes it easier to make changes during the trip.
 

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I've been using Microsoft Streets and Trips to plan rides. I will know how many miles the trip will be and how long it will take. I don't add the route to my GPS, just the destination way-points. Using way-points makes it easier to make changes during the trip.
If you weren't always trying to ride those iron butts you could try taking some back roads and enjoy the ride.:biggrin: I study a map a few days in advance and every night on the trip. The GPS is only there in case I get turned around somehow. Besides if I use the GPS in SW WI, I would miss about a 1,000 miles of awesome roads. Someday I hope to run into you on the road. :71baldboy:
 

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Although I thought again about that when I hit the Kentucky Derby one year. I never knew a whole state could be so full of visitors. I've never hit another case like that but I suppose it is possible.
Try any place within 200 miles of Sturgis when it is happening. The parking lot of every motel is full of trailers with bikes on them. Folks really think they are cool arriving at Sturgis on a bike, after rolling it off the trailer a few dozen miles outside of town. I ran into it when I went through the area a week before the rally on a cross country trip and my wife ran into it again when she and her mother were headed out to see Mount Rushmore.
 

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If you weren't always trying to ride those iron butts you could try taking some back roads and enjoy the ride.:biggrin: I study a map a few days in advance and every night on the trip. The GPS is only there in case I get turned around somehow. Besides if I use the GPS in SW WI, I would miss about a 1,000 miles of awesome roads. Someday I hope to run into you on the road. :71baldboy:
I'm working on the gas stops for another IBA ride for next year. I think this will be one of the most scenic and challenging "day" rides yet.
About 90% of this IBA ride will be 2-lane road and that will be part of the challenge. I can't wait to try it!
I really enjoy the trip planning and preparation, helps me get through the long Wisconsin winters. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Planning a simple route is pretty easy. I was talking about planning a route that includes roads that are especially fun on a motorcycle. While some maps show "scenic routes" specially marked, we all know that there are great riding roads, and not-so-great roads in every part of the country. Just looking at a map program like MapQuest won't really help that much in finding the right roads.

I guess my wished-for route planning service would be someone who has a program that has added all of the great motorcycle roads across the nation into its data base, then tries to include as many of these great rides into a planned trip. Going out of the way a few miles is not a problem, but sometimes frankly, it is not worth going 50 miles on a congested boring road just to get to a 3-mile stretch of twisties.

I live in northern Illinois, and if you don't know the area you would think all of the roads around here are straight, flat and boring. Heading west from Rockford toward Iowa, for example, would suggest taking US20 or I88 or I80, all of which are pretty boring. But knowing the area, I have found other routes that add a lot of enjoyment to riding in this direction. My "dream" planner would just put together such knowledge for the entire country that could be tapped into when planning a long trip.
 

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vito .. no easy answer to that one.
it depends a LOT on local knowledge.
also, what roads are open and which biker stops are still really good.
try to pick a few areas with the best riding landscapes
and then talk to folks who live/ride in those areas
it is more work, but ultimately more fun and more productive!

cheers,
dT
 

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Route planner.

I have a most excellent route planner. Her name is Shirley, and I do not lease her out. I prefer to be more fuzzy about where I am going. Trip planning is a daily event when we are on the boat.
If I had planned ahead, I would have discovered there is a ferry from Whitbey Island to Port Townsend. I took the long way to get to Shelton WA.

I have been to San Fran 3 times by plane, and never bought a ticket for that destination.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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I have tried a few different mapping sites. Sites like AAA will not let me map the way I want.

Example: I wanted to ride the Blueridge Parkway and wanted to see the gas stops. AAA would take me down "main" roads even after I moved the route to the BRP, they would go to the next exit and go back to the main road. :mad:

I wish I could remember the site that had local scenic routes. You could use that for a starting point but it would be work to string them together.
 

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Although it seems I keep putting it off, someday I would like to indulge myself with a really long road trip by motorcycle. And although I may have already waited too long from an age/health perspective, its still something to daydream about. But planning such a trip and trying to include as many interesting roads as possible and as little of the boring flat Interstate roads as possible is a pretty daunting task. I've looked at websites like motorcycleroads.com and its a bit overwhelming to try to tie multiple short stretches into a coherent plan. I've though it would be worth paying for if someone offered a route planning service where you could specify, for example, going from where I am in northern Illinois to Redwoods National Park in California, with intermediate stops in Phoenix and Austin and Yosemite, etc. and get a complete route listing with as many great riding roads as is reasonable. Just a daydream; I'm not sure I could really tolerate the amount of time such a trip would take and still have it be a fun adventure but I know if I don't do it soon I never will actually do it at all.
I had been planning a trip to go see my favorite uncle in Grass Pants, Oregon, for about ten years...literally a 6 hour drive kept getting put off due to life. Then one morning last October l woke up to a Facebook message from my cousin who told me Uncle Bill had died. I never got to tell him the story about the man with all the new/old stock model A parts that l knew he would love (Uncle Bill rebuilt model A engines).

A couple months later l became friends with a guy that l had gone to high school with, but never really knew. He was trying to stay clean and sober, and l had been talking to him off and on. I kept telling myself to remember to call him...finally l woke up and remembered to call. When l turned my phone on, l had a text message. "Horrible news, Jimmy passed away last night."

Long story short, l have stopped waiting to do stuff and l tell people what l have to say, because tomorrow is not a guarantee. I went to New York in May for the NFL Draft, something l had been wanting to do for 15 years or more, and it turned out that it was the last time it was held at the Radio City Music Hall. I went back to New York in October and spent a few days in Brooklyn, just to see what life in the boroughs was like. I am going to the Cactus Bowl for New Year's, the first of a bucket list to see all the different college football bowl games. I am going to ride the southwest with a friend in May. I have other things on my bucket list, and the more l do, the longer my list gets. And that is totally fine with me. I am finally living. So go take that trip, even if it is hard to pull off. Maybe it is a financial strain...regular daily life will still be there when you get home :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
To Hawkaholic37: Your last paragraph is right on the money. I waited until I was 70 (last year) to retire, and although the extra years of work have helped make me more financially secure, its left me with fewer good years ahead to do the things I've wanted to do. I still felt (until a few weeks ago) that I was relatively healthy and didn't need to start thinking about not riding someday. But two weeks ago I had a really painful kidney stone, and in the process of confirming the location of the stone, a mass was found on my other kidney. I go for a biopsy this week, and if I am in the lucky 20% where it is not cancer, then just the tumor will be removed at a later surgery. If I am in the unlucky 80%, I lose the full kidney and have a bit more recovery time needed before I am back to riding health. And if its cancer, who knows how long I might have before it returns somewhere else, and then the least of it might be that I will no longer be riding. So once this crisis passes, I do intend to make some of the trips I dreamed about, and not put it off any longer.

But back to the route planner. I subscribe to motorcycleroads.com and there is no shortage of recommended good roads. Its the stringing them together that seems to be the challenge. But even if I have to wing it, and just plan a day at a time and pick out what look like possibly good rides for the day, I still will make the trip.
 

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You will be in my prayers Vito. Keep the faith and look forward to that trip. It will keep your spirits up and give you something to keep your mind occupied.

When I plan our trips we decide where or what area we want to ride to and through. I use a paper Atlas and look for scenic roads on it. It really does show some very good roads. Then I start searching on the internet for things to see & do along the way. I will also ask if anyone has been there and can suggest things. There might be a member or two that can help.
 
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Vito, I am one of those types of people that have to live and learn the hard way, so I really can't help you much. I am one of those types that learn by doing and not by what I have researched. The routes I have learned (if much of anything) are if anything, a waste of your time. I have strengths and weaknesses, planning routes is not one of them, sorry.

I suppose when I look at previous posts, maybe I should retire from the forum and move on as it seems I have little to offer the forum. lol
 

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Every member has something to add! You can tell us about your rides, what to expect when we go through your area of Minnesota and what you're into. I hate losing members!!
 

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I suppose when I look at previous posts, maybe I should retire from the forum and move on as it seems I have little to offer the forum. lol
I am going to pretend I did not read that.
Everyone has something to offer.

I usually try and be polite so as not to offend anyone.
My first thoughts were: I navigate by pubs bike shops and porn shops.
But I did not say that and you did not read it, like I did not read your last sentence.

Unkle Crusty*
 
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Every member has something to add! You can tell us about your rides, what to expect when we go through your area of Minnesota and what you're into. I hate losing members!!
I was sort of joking with that but kind of not joking. I suppose your right MONI with your thoughts. However, I feel at times Minnesota (or maybe it is just me) has not much to offer. It is what it is concept take it or leave it. Keep in mind, I am not originally from Minnesota so yes, I feel I have seen better.

I am going to pretend I did not read that.
Everyone has something to offer.

I usually try and be polite so as not to offend anyone.
My first thoughts were: I navigate by pubs bike shops and porn shops.
But I did not say that and you did not read it, like I did not read your last sentence.

Unkle Crusty*
Your right, believe it or not, I had a brain fart and could not (at that point in time) see things for they truly are, my apologies.

My apologies to all. I suppose I was not thinking clearly when I posted.
 
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