Most people interested in motorcycles and motorcycling would probably agree that touring is the essence of the whole riding experience. After all why would someone get a motorcycle if not to ride it? On top of that one can’t ride that bike just around the house or not ride it at all but show it off to his/her friends, that’d probably qualify as the peak of human stupidity ( although I’m not saying it hasn’t happened)
This is when touring or cruising comes into the equasion.
Traveling around, to see beautiful, unfamilar or just plain intriguing sites has always been characteristic of the human way of life. After all curiosity is the prerequisite of knowledge isn’t it?
Many choose to travel around in the relative comfort of coaches, trains or cars, however these people are probably not aware of what they’re missing out on.
Riding on a bike takes traveling into an entirely different dimesion. Going somewhere in a car is so much different than going to the same place on a bike. Driving in a car, one is but a mere beholder of the landscape he travels through, riding on a bike one actually becomes part of his/her surroundings. Every sensation is much more intense, and the feeling of being in total control of one’s destiny is overwhelming.
The U.S. of A. presents riders with a myriad of touring opportunities, which, given the vastness of the country, can range from the extremely hostile, to your afternoon walk-in-the-park type cruises.
From northern expeditions in Alaska, which take motorcycle touring to the extremes to the heat of the scorching Arizona sun motorbykes are in their element all over this great land.
The country offers something for everybody, it’all there, one just needs to take the time to get out there and take it in. A beautiful tour of the south on Alabama’s route 160 on a mildly puring tourer (like a Yamaha FJR 1300AE) can be something of a phylosophical experience. Route 191 ending up at route 699, has something on offer for every sporty rider.
Talking about scenic and physically demanding routes, it’d be unfair no to mention Eureka Springs, AR. Once there be sure to make the most of the winding roads (route 311 into Missouri) and the good old fashioned Southern hospitality. Make sure you visit the Edelweiss inn in Eureka Springs, as the owner, a rider himself, is an outstanding example of the above mentioned Southern trait.
Continuing on our Southern adventure one might want to take a break of the winding roads. In this case taking the I-40 from Memphis to Little Rock, AR can be just the thing. The variety of forms Mother Nature decided to take up in this country never ceases to amaze me. Taking route 107 out of Litte Rock is a good way for the tourer to slump back into the back-road serenity which is what touring should really be about.
If one gets fed up with the mild green landscape the south presents, there’s always a possibility to virtually travel to yet another planet whilst not even leaving the country in the process. The planet that I’m talking about is planet Arizona.
Traveling from Phoenix to Flagstaff and then on to the pictoresque Humphrey’s Peak - which offers a bird’ eye view of the surrounding Hopi and Navajo reservations as well as the Mogollon Rim - is a ride no tourer will ever forget.
Flagstaff itself has loads to offer for the dusty lone-rider. It’s historic districts and Indian jewelry stores are only a few of the attractions it has on hand. Riding to the Grand Canyon from here is a ust on every tourer’s itinerary.
A tour along the historic route 66 from IL to CA through MO/OK/TX/NM/AZ is something so enticing, one can say he/she has seen America upon its completion.
No matter where one rides and what andmarks one decides to visit, every red blooded tourer knows the ride is not about your destination. What the ride is about is the ride itself. Ask any tourer, they’ll tell you, the horizon is never too far.