[Poll] What makes a great ADV road?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by MX2ADV, Dec 24, 2018.

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What elements make a perfect motorcycle trip?

  1. Water access (ponds/lakes/rivers/ocean)

    4 vote(s)
    11.4%
  2. Scenic vistas & evocative landscapes

    21 vote(s)
    60.0%
  3. Curvy roads

    22 vote(s)
    62.9%
  4. Elevation change

    8 vote(s)
    22.9%
  5. Parks & natural areas

    6 vote(s)
    17.1%
  6. Attractions & tourist stops

    1 vote(s)
    2.9%
  7. Small towns

    11 vote(s)
    31.4%
  8. Historic sites

    3 vote(s)
    8.6%
  9. Water crossings or fords

    2 vote(s)
    5.7%
  10. Unpaved roads (gravel, dirt)

    13 vote(s)
    37.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. MX2ADV

    MX2ADV MX2ADV

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    I'm working on an ADV trip planning map project of the Mid-Atlantic region. I intend to apply a 'rating' to each and every road within 200 miles of the nation's capital, based on several parameters. But, it occurred to me that defining a great road is a very subjective thing. How do you define a great motorcycle road? What parameters are important to you when planning a motorcycle trip? Please take a moment to vote in this poll; please choose only three items. Reply with any elements important to you that are not in the poll. I will use your input to devise my road rating methodology.

    EDIT (1/2/19): I should mention that I do this sort of thing for a living. I work in geographic information systems and have some access to software and data that will be of use in this project. This poll is just the first step in building the map. I will also be crowd-sourcing real input from inmates on their favorite roads in the region very soon.
    #1
  2. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer Supporter

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    ADV trip=heightened possibility of death.
    #2
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  3. MX2ADV

    MX2ADV MX2ADV

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    That goes without saying. :lol3
    #3
  4. SATEX

    SATEX Long timer

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    It doesn't if your list doesn't include technical/difficult/treacherous terrain. Btw, that's number one on my list, and why I ride a thumper.
    #4
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  5. Motomantra

    Motomantra Registered Lurker

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    You left out "Less Traffic."
    #5
  6. Phil8dirt

    Phil8dirt '17 BMW R1200GSA

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    No traffic AND no police
    #6
  7. Switchglide12

    Switchglide12 Long timer

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    OP did say 200 miles of Nations Capital, there is/are not such a thing as no traffic and police
    #7
  8. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    Hmmm :hmmmmm I was looking for a few more choices than are on that list. None there that would contribute to a "perfect" motorcycle trip.
    #8
  9. BUZZARD II

    BUZZARD II Old Geezer

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    Living an hour outside the beltway I think the "heightened possibility of death" is set to MAX within the DC area. However I don't consider it a adventure ride.

    On the other hand a tour of all paved Colorado passes on a Harley or Gold Wing might very well be. Deciding the night before around the campfire or the motel bar, based on weather or whim the next days destination can lead to adventure. It's not always dirt track related. It's the inquisitive soul that can lead the heart to adventure found.
    #9
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  10. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    Totally agree! :nod Quite a few years ago, when I was being chased all over North America by a 48' semi-trailer, I was running clockwise around the beltway late at night. Heard a loud crash and felt a little jerk in the cab. Turned out a lady, apparently recently departed from a nearby bar, had come down the on ramp, drove alongside my right front tire in the parking lane -- until she came upon a vehicle that was already occupying the lane, using it for its intended purpose. Whereupon she tried to swerve sharply to the left, finding a large wheel attached to a 12,000# axle in her way. The lug nuts carved a beautiful arc in her front door, and her car managed to put a dent in my fuel tank. Until the contact with my front wheel, she had been oblivious to the fact that she was not in a proper travel lane, and apparently was totally unaware of the much larger vehicle a couple of feet to her immediate left. Glad I wasn't on a motorcycle at the time! :p3rry
    #10
  11. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    So riding on the SoCal freeways count?
    #11
  12. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer Supporter

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    Urban adventure survival scenario. Aka “U ASS”. Which is what you utter every time you get cut off.
    #12
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  13. MX2ADV

    MX2ADV MX2ADV

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    Duly noted. The poll only allows for 10 choices. The map that I'm building will focus on marked, named roads which are not likely to be very technical. This poll is mainly for the heavy-bike crowd.
    #13
  14. MX2ADV

    MX2ADV MX2ADV

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    Great point. The poll only allowed for 10 options so I was a bit limited. For purposes of my map project, I don;t have access to traffic count data but I can rate roads based on their proximity to urbanized areas. Urbanized area = more traffic = bad.
    #14
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  15. SATEX

    SATEX Long timer

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    I gotcha. Also, I must have glossed over the part about "200 miles from the capitol." The treacherous terrain you guys have isn't navigable by motorcycle ... or anything or anyone else. Good luck!
    #15
  16. MX2ADV

    MX2ADV MX2ADV

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    Yeah, I could only add 10 items to the poll. What's missing from the list related to roads?
    #16
  17. MX2ADV

    MX2ADV MX2ADV

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    Yeah, it's tough to find decent adventure riding in my area without traveling for a couple of hours on the super-slab first. I'm hoping that my map project will help direct folks to the best riding available in our backyard.
    #17
  18. MX2ADV

    MX2ADV MX2ADV

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    For sure. The bike, destination and rider's spirit of adventure are definitely a huge part of the equation and will vary widely. For my project, I'm trying to flush out an ordered list of universal road characteristics that I can apply to the map to help with the trip planning process. Predictably, curvy roads and scenic vistas rate high so far.
    #18
  19. BUZZARD II

    BUZZARD II Old Geezer

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    Since dirt roads are only at 30.8 percent are you also looking for paved roads? Why not just ask the DC locals our favorite routes? I'm at the western end of I-66 and Zepp Rd. Is a humdinger. So is 675. Or 56 from RT. 11 to the BRP.

    Have you looked at the map, "Scenic Roads & Byways in Virginia"? It's available from any Virginia welcome station or www.virginiadot.org. I recommend this map to anyone riding in Virginia. Any of the listed green or dark green roads are suitable for motorcycle travel.

    There is an amazing amount of fine riding in the horse and wine country just west of DC. A lot of these roads are as wide as my driveway and link to some interesting small towns too.
    #19
  20. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    Before I suggest any additional criteria, let me admit that, like many of the riders who have already replied, I have been spoiled by traveling all across the length and breadth of North America. This means it takes some serious superlatives for a route to qualify as a "perfect" motorcycle trip. The fact that you are searching for such routes in the relatively heavily populated Eastern portion of the U.S. makes your task doubly (or triply or more) difficult. Fortunately, you have the Appalachain mountains within that 200 mile range, offering some invaluable assistance in your quest.

    The first element I would look for is a set of roads with minimal traffic. Watching, and being wary of, other vehicles can take our attention away from the pleasure of the road and scenic vistas, unless we pull over into a suitable overlook.

    Rural areas with (very) small towns often offer pleasant combinations of light traffic, decent scenery, friendly people, and remote side roads that invite exploration. Local knowledge can frequently point a rider to interesting backroads that escape the notice of the majority of sightseers from nearby cities.

    Despite, or perhaps due to, the number of fairly large cities within that 200 mile radius, you have a number of interstate highways that can get a rider away from population centers rapidly and allow for leisurely riding where it is more enjoyable. One ride taken a few years ago comes to mind.

    Being from Alaska affects the way I ride when down in the South 48 states. Up here, we don't ride after dark all that much. The sun comes up in May, and (except for a few brief hours) doesn't go down until August. So when riding down there I enjoy the novelty of riding in the dark, and do it a lot. One such night I got onto US250 at Moundsville, WV (just about at the edge of your 200 mile radius) around 2 or 3 in the morning. Needless to say, there was very little traffic at that hour. For the next three or so hours I had a most pleasant ride on a narrow, winding, rural road through small towns, crossing bridges that looked like they had been built for horse-drawn wagons. A few deer and raccoons kept me company along the way, as well as reminding me to stay alert and watchful. As I neared I-79 at the eastern end of that stretch, traffic began to appear with workers headed for their jobs. But it was certainly a relaxing interlude.

    From the DC area there is some pretty good riding (maybe "almost" perfect :D) to the west, southwest, and northwest, all easily attainable for a weekend jaunt. But for "perfect"? Sorry, ya gotta go west, young man, go west. The Rockies and the Pacific Coastal range, including much of the land between the two. That's where you'll find perfect riding conditions. :nod
    #20
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