Sunday, May 10, 2009

2009 Rides

A new riding season is upon us.   I’ve been busy planning long trips for the last couple of months.  My collection of “Scenic Driving” books is now totaled at 10 plus 4 books from the “Backroads Adventures” series.

After consulting with other club members who are interested in long trips, I’ve selected 3 rides: The Ozarks, Adirondacks, and Minnesota.

The Ozarks

There are 32 scenic roads mentioned in the book by Don Kurz Scenic Driving the Ozarks. This route includes 30 of them. The entire trip is about 2,500 miles.


Day 1: Chicago – Farmington (MO) 380 miles
Day 2: Farmington – Thayer (MO) 335 miles
Day 3: Thayer (MO) – Little Rock (AR) 290 miles
Day 4: Little Rock (AR) – Harrison (AR) 290 miles
Day 5: Harrison (AR) - Mena (AR) 250 miles
Day 6: Mena (AR) – Noel (MO) 250 miles
Day 7: Noel (MO) – Lebanon (MO) 250 miles
Day 8: Lebanon (MO) – Bloomington (IL) 370 miles
Day 9: Bloomington (IL) – Chicago 150 miles

In case 9 days is too long, here’s an abbreviated version of this trip - 6 days, 1,700 miles.

Ozarks 6days

Day 1: Chicago – Farmington (MO) 380 miles
Day 2: Farmington – Thayer (MO) 260 miles
Day 3: Thayer (MO) – Little Rock (AR) 280 miles
Day 4: Little Rock (AR) – Springfield (MO) 250 miles
Day 5: Springfield (MO) – St. Louis (MO) 290 miles
Day 6: St. Louis (MO) – Chicago 320 miles


1. Hwy 30 all the way through IL, IN, & OH.


2. Finger lakes, waterfalls, wineries, etc.


3. Adirondack Mountains.


4. Southern shore of Lake Ontario to Niagara Falls


5. Northern shore of Lake Erie.


6. Back home.


Day 1 : Chicago (IL) – Canton (OH) 415 miles
Day 2: Canton (OH) – Corning (NY) 315 miles
Day 3: Corning (NY) – Glens Falls (NY) 290 miles
Day 4: Glens Falls (NY) – Boonville (NY) 310 miles
Day 5: Boonville (NY) - Rochester (NY) 300 miles
Day 6: Rochester (NY) – Blenheim (CAN) 300 miles
Day 7: Blenheim (CAN) – Chicago (IL) 370 miles


There's more to Minnesota for a motorcycle rider than just a trip to Minneapolis via Great River Road.

1. Chicago to Prescott (WI)

We would want to get to Galena as fast as we can. This is the least interesting part of the trip. The ride becomes scenic after Prairie du Chien.


2. Prescott to Walker

We'll continue along St. Croix River Valley and then turn north-west after passing St. Croix Falls. The road hugs the scenic western shore of Mille Lacs Lake and threads innumerable smaller lakes and wetlands. This leg ends in Walker on Leech Lake.

Backroads 1

3. Walker to Alexandria

From Walker we'll ride through Leech Lake Indian Reservation along Headwaters Loop that will take us to Park Rapids and then along Otto Lake Trail that zig-zags through farm land, woods, and prairies to Alexandria.

Backroads 2

4. Alexandria to St. Paul

From Alexandria we'll travel to Sauk Centre, the birthplace of novelist Sinclair Lewis and the inspiration for Main Street. From there we'll continue to St. Cloud and then to St. Paul circling Lake Minnetonka along the way.

Backroads 3

We'll repeat the ride along the Mississippi river on our way home.
The entire trip is about 1,600 miles.

The actual itinerary looks like this:
Day 1: Chicago - Prescott (WI) 400 miles
Day 2: Prescott (WI) – Bemidji (MN) 310 miles
Day 3: Bemidji (MN) - St. Cloud (MN) 330 miles
Day 4: St. Cloud (MN) – St. Paul (MN) 110 miles
Day 5: St. Paul (MN) – Chicago 430 miles

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