by Sev Pearman
It wasn’t too long ago in the bad old days that riders were treated like second-class citizens. Before the Internet, riders had to make do with little more than word-of-mouth advice and recommendations. Money talks in America and today, riders annually spend millions of dollars on motorcycle touring.
This wholesale attitude change is a revolution. Hotels now cheerfully welcome motorcyclists, restaurants encourage rider business, and publishers cater to our insatiable appetite for riding literature. The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has published their Ride Guide to America – Favorite Motorcycle Tours in the USA to meet our need for touring information. We ride in fantastic times. A book like this was essentially unmarketable just a few years ago.
Editor Greg Harrison details 36 scenic routes across the country. You can ride Vermont’s Green Mountains, the Skyline Loop in Shenandoah National Park, Dead Horse Point in Utah and California’s beautiful Monterey Peninsula. Each route ranges between 100 to 250 miles, short enough to burn in a day, but long enough to fill a weekend if you want to stop and/or take side-trips.
Written by riders for riders, each trip includes point-to-point routing and mileages. Driving directions are paired with full color topographic maps. The technical skill of each route is given, along with other highlights including scenic vistas, unique local landmarks, and rider-friendly restaurants and lodging.
We wish that the driving directions were in a larger font. You’ll have to stuff your guide into a copier and hope that that you can read it or hand copy the directions onto another sheet. Deduct 1/2 star for this impracticality.
Whether you prefer two-up touring on sedate sweepers or a sportbike attack on tight-radius twisties, there are trips for your individual riding style. I have had the fortune to ride some of these routes and can personally attest that the editors capture the feel of these rides.
The AMA’s Ride Guide to America is just the ticket to get you through the coming winter. Get out your maps, call your buddy and start planning. We’ll see you down the road. Ride Guide stately cruises on three-and-a-half out of four cylinders.
What’s a tankbag? – Great resource to get you out of town on your first trip.
Road Tripper – “Which tour should we take first?”
Capt. Mileage – Good for a new route or three.
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