I’m starting to feel like a good day’s ride is ten miles and not two feet further. While things have been a shade easier, Mother Nature really hasn’t let up since my recent recount of winter weather. As painful as it is now, it’s merely a matter of time before a series of 50°F days finally arrive here in the Midwest. As such, I’m getting anxious to put together a few new adventures, including a covered bridge route in northern Kentucky. Considering that route planning has been on my mind as of late, I figured it’s a good time to ask the question, what’s makes for a good “Day Ride”?
I wrote in detail a few months back, describing “The Perfect Ride”, but in this case, I’m more interested in how far, and what kind of riding do you consider for “a day ride”. While I have lofty goals for 2018, including four rallies while also “building” a very special adventure bike (stay tuned), I also want to focus more on ride reports this year. I want to continue to tell stories about the struggles of everyday motorcycling, drop notes about the gear and equipment I like to use, but I also want to show the readers where my favorite out-of-the-way roads lead. That of course led me back to the same question, how far does the readership like to go in a day?
I’m becoming the worst judge of other people’s taste. I fear my fixation with time in the saddle has warped my impression of how much riding my fellow motorcyclists enjoy. Despite my early feelings that riders are somewhat “cliquish”, or finding many motorcycle topics polarizing, after making so many new acquaintances last year, I’ve begun to realize that tastes in motorcycling vary in as many degrees as there are motorcyclists. That’s a good thing, it’s unfortunate that Hollywood and modern “marketing” has galvanized the images of the leather-clad chopper rider and the Starbucks sipping Beemer owner.
This year I want to visit Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and explore more of Tennessee and Kentucky. At the Triumph Rally, the day’s route is typically determined by the best road or the best place to go find lunch. In my travels this year, I’m hoping to land in a few backcountry Mom & Pop stores and hear stories from the locals. Hopefully a notebook and pile of photos with keep my memory fresh so I can somehow put words to all the miles and smiles. But, before we get to those adventures, I want to hear from you. How far is a good day ride? How many hours in the saddle is “just right”? Is it about the roads, or is it about the stops along the way? Which is a better story, the awesome things you saw, or the unscheduled road-side repair you had to make on the way? Is it the photos, the smells of the countryside, the flavor of local food, or the good company that joins you on the journey? Exactly what do you look for in a “day ride”?