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Where the motorcycles roam

No travel experience compares with the feeling of exploring America astride a motorcycle. Free from the confines of an enclosed vehicle, when you travel by motorcycle you become part of nature. Here, six of America’s most accomplished motojournalists invite you to join them on a virtual ride to their favorite destinations, offering up a handful of great all season motorcycle trips…

Related: The road trip less traveled – California’s Highway 395

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Buzz Kanter


Orbitz- Motorcycle Trip-Buzz Kanter

When Buzz Kanter is not at his desk as editor-in-chief of American Iron magazine, he’s restoring, riding or racing his vintage motorcycles on short runs and extended cross-country expeditions.

“America has so many amazing roads for riders that it’s tough to recommend one favorite. Some of the best riding I’ve done on new motorcycles, and even a 1915 Harley Twin on the cross-country 2010 Motorcycle Cannonball event, is on the winding mountain roads in and around Maggie Valley, North Carolina. The Blue Ridge Parkway, Cherohala Skyway, and Deal’s Gap (also known as the “Tail of the Dragon”) are famous for their tight and technical twists. In this region, it’s hard to find roads that aren’t a blast on two wheels. And make sure you carve out time to see the vintage motorcycle collection at the world famous Wheels Through Time Museum. And bring your camera!”

Teri Conrad

Orbitz- Motorcycle Trip-Teri Conrad

Teri Conrad’s (TeriConrad.com) love of exploring open roads has led to numerous cross-country journeys astride a variety of Kawasaki motorcycles. It also led to a personal cross-country move when the California native relocated to Arkansas for a change of scenery and pace. Follow her road trips at facebook.com/terianneconradjournalist.

Arkansas is a motorcyclist’s dream with endless ribbons of asphalt that twist, turn, bend and dip through some of nature’s most breathtaking scenery. One of my favorite routes in The Natural State is the 54-mile stretch of tarmac known as the Talimena Scenic Byway that connects western Arkansas to eastern Oklahoma via Routes AR88 and OK1. This forested drive takes you through the Ouachita National Forest and offers everything from wide-open sweepers to challenging hairpin turns that wind around Rich Mountain to Arkansas’ second-highest point at 2,681 feet. You’ll want to stop at one of the scenic vistas and fill your lungs with the crisp mountain air, then take in the magnificent panoramic views of the rugged Ouachita Mountains. In the fall, it’s especially gorgeous when the colors go from luscious greens to vibrant shades of red and gold.”

 Related: Five perfect island itineraries for Hawaii moped rentals.

Robert Pandya

Orbitz- Motorcycle Trip-Robert Pandya

Recently named one of the Top 50 “Makers of Motorcycling” by the Bonnier Publishing Group, Robert Pandya owns SpokesPeople PR and represents Indian Motorcycle and Victory Motorcycles. You could try to follow his adventures online, but he says he’drather ride with you down a backroad.

“If I could magically drop anywhere for a two-day ride, it’s Western Colorado. The stunning and challenging “Million Dollar Highway” (Highway 550) heading north from Durango is amazingly beautiful, technically challenging, and a richly rewarding experience. From there you’ll rise in elevation to reach Silverton, Telluride, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, as well as the very cool Gateway Canyons resort and car museum. The western slope of the Rockies features stunning and varied geography and foliage, but keep in mind weather and the right gear has to be considered any time of the year. Once you’ve been there, the rewards of riding through this region will live on for years and inspire you for a lifetime.”

 

Don Emde

Orbitz- Motorcycle Trip-Don Emde

An inductee into American Motorcycle Association Motorcycle Hall of Fame, Don Emde is a Daytona 200 champion, publisher, and author of the upcoming book ‘Finding Cannon Ball’s Trail’. www.cannonballproject.com

“I’ve ridden coast to coast twice. The first time was to research the route that Erwin ‘Cannon Ball’ Baker had taken back in 1914 when he set a transcontinental motorcycle record. The second time, in May 2014, I was riding at the record-setting pace Baker achieved a century ago: San Diego to New York City in 11 ½ days. As I followed Cannon Ball’s trail on this epic journey my favorite section of the ride was U.S. Highway 40, America’s historic ‘National Road’. Where it winds through Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio it was great to enjoy the leisurely pace of the now-paved highway.Plus, as a history buff, I kept an eye open for the few remaining mile markers that helped me envision the highway when it was merely a dirt road traveled by thousands of early settlers in covered wagons. When you ride the National Road, you’re revisiting history by motorcycle.”

 Related: St. Augustine and beyond – A historic road trip through Florida’s First Coast

Glen Abbott

Orbitz- Motorcycle Trip-Glen Abbott

An unquenchable passion to re-discover America via motorcycle is the element that fuels Glen Abbott’s repeated road trips. Fans follow his exploits through pictures and stories shared at Abbott’s travel site: www.TravelinGringo.com

“For me, there’s nothing better than being on two wheels in the middle of nowhere—and U.S. 50 through the middle of Nevada is as middle-of-nowhere as nowhere gets. The old highway parallels the original Pony Express route through Nevada and is part of the Lincoln Highway, one of the country’s first transcontinental roadways. When you ride the 250-mile stretch between Fallon in the west and Ely in the east, you’ll encounter just a couple of small towns with lots of sand, sagebrush, and snow-capped mountains in between. Life magazine once claimed this road had ‘no points of interest’ and warned motorists to avoid it unless they were ‘confident of their survival skills.’ My kind of place!”

“Be sure to spend a night in Ely at the Hotel Nevada. When the six-story hotel opened in 1929, it was the state’s tallest building. Railroad enthusiasts will want to visit the Nevada Northern Railway, a National Historic Landmark recognized as the ‘best-preserved, least altered, and most complete main yard complex remaining from the steam railroad era.’”

 

Sarah Schilke

Orbitz- Motorcycle Trip-Sarah Schilke

Sarah Schilke has made motorcycling her profession for more than 20 years. The avid motorcyclist has been a Motorcycle Safety Foundation instructor, MotoQuest tour guide, and currently works at BMW Motorrad. She was recently named one of the “50 Makers of Motorcycling” by Bonnier Publishing Group.

“For some people Alaska is atop the bucket list, for others it’s not even on the travel radar—but it should be. This remote and sparsely populated state offers spectacular scenery including our country’s tallest mountain, indescribably blue glaciers, and plenty of interesting wildlife (and not just the furry variety). The culture varies across the state with Anchorage offering five-star Alaskan cuisine and accommodations, eclectic art, and native Alaskan history exhibits. But when you venture off into the rest of the state, you’ll experience rugged, rural culture and sights that are hard to come by in the heavily populated Lower 48. My favorite experiences are off-roading along the Denali highway, taking a sulfur-soak at Chena Hot Springs, and pausing wherever I am to take in breathtaking views of the multiple snow-covered mountain ranges.”

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Gary McKechnie

Gary McKechnie

Gary is a two-time National Geographic author (USA 101,Ten Best of Everything: National Parks), as well the author of Great American Motorcycle Tours, the nation's best-selling motorcycle guidebook. The recipient of two Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Awards also served as Florida's Off the Beaten path reporter. He lectures on American travel, culture, and music aboard the Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, as well as the ships of the Seabourn and Silversea lines. Find him at www.garymckechnie.com
Gary McKechnie

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