Thursday, June 14, 2012

Define "Best," Please

I stumbled across an article on the CNN web site the other day that claimed to list the 10 best US motorcycle roads.

Reading the article was a bit depressing. I have only been on ONE of those roads. On a motorcycle, anyway. And that one road wasn't a single road, but a group of roads through a region, described as, Appalachian Mountains: 770 miles from Front Royal, Virginia to Deal's Gap, North Carolina.

Okay, "depressing" may not be the right word. But it definitely got me thinking.

How do you define "best" when it comes to a motorcycle road? For me, it's any road through the mountains. I love, Love, LOVE the mountains. Smooth pavement, a healthy mix of sweepers, twisties, and elevation changes are always good. Shaded (on a hot day) and no gravel are definite pluses.

I've actually found that my definition of a good motorcycle road depends on my mood, too. While I like zipping along as much as the next gal, I don't always have to go fast.

In fact, sometimes I like to go downright slow. I like to enjoy the scenery. Stop and say hello to those poor, ignored cows as I pass.

Even if I haven't ridden lots of the big-name roads in the article, I've been quite happy motoring through my own little piece of the world.

One day I'll expand my motorcycling horizons a bit more.

For now, though, I'm content to stay with local roads.

Of course, when your local roads look like this, that's not such a sacrifice, it it?

Back to that article for a sec... I forgot to mention that it was written by a motorcycle mama, Carla King, who also has a blog y'all might be interested in: Motorcycle Misadventures.


Deb said...

I had similar thoughts when I read her article a few weeks ago!

However, to her credit she has got a great website and blog going and does some awesome rides in N. California and with promoting women in motorcycling.

I've got her web link and blog link on my blog too and check in from time to time to see what is happening.

I think MY back roads are the best! LOL I just love hidden and primitive places of natural and historical significance too.

Now that she's published this huge article I'd definitely stay away from those 10 routes!

Always enjoy your posts!

Trobairitz said...

I really like your last photo.

I agree that 'best' motorcycle road is relative to the moment and mood of the rider.

A great road for me is twisty smooth pavement, and the smell of nature (mountains smell better) and also some things to stop by and view for interest whether it is cows, touristy statues/monuments or something historical and preferably little traffic.

Sigh, is it time to ride yet?

SonjaM said...

I have been on number 1,4,5,6,8 and 9 already.

Some of them are not that great because every single cager, RV bucket and all two-wheeled (motorized or not) go there, too.

I like the hidden gems. The roads that people usually ignore because they take longer. Twisties or straight, I like the most when I have a scenic road all to myself...

Troubadour said...

I don't care too much for roads featured in magazines, I'm sure they are nice and all but I prefer the secret roads closer to home. The ones you can get out and rediscover time and time again, then stitch a weekend route together without worrying about motorhomes, campers and drunk drivers. There is always the nickle tour, flip a coin at every intersection, heads turn left and tails turn right. Then my favorite... "Hey, I wonder where that road goes"?

ToadMama said...

Deb, I wasn't downing Carla. I was actually pleasantly surprised with her blog. But "best" is definitely relative. To be honest, I may just want to ride some of those roads one day. :-)

ToadMama said...

Brandy, you and I are definitely kindred spirits. We'll have to show each other some of our favorite roads one day.

ToadMama said...

Sonja, you do get around, girl!

It's funny, Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway are practically in my backyard, but I'd never list them as "best" roads. The speed limit on each is 35 MPH, which I find really hard to keep to, and they can get really clogged. Don't get me wrong, on a good day, they are awesome. Especially in the hot summers when temps are typically cooler at elevation and shade abounds. But low- or no-traffic hidden gems will always top my list, too.

ToadMama said...

Brad, I agree one hundred percent. We've been enjoying the "I wonder where that road goes" sort of rides much more now that we have dual sport bikes. Only because we tend to find gravel roads when we do that, and those roads suck on heavy-ass cruisers.

Dar said...

Kathy - Your pictures are great and I would consider your roads to be on the best list. Scenic and moto friendly.