Moto Bucket List

Some people give me a hard time when I say I have a “bucket list”, but seriously, if you have goals, write them down. It’s proven that written goals are more likely to be achieved. Long time followers of the blog know that I have managed to pick off a few of these over time, refreshing this list with new challenges after others are completed.

This is my list as it stands today, in no particular order:

 

The Kentucky Adventure Tour (KAT)

@cdalejef_KAT1Incidentally, I stumbled across the DBBB while looking into the KAT on ADVrider. As it turns out, portions of the DBBB and KAT overlap in the northern parts of Red River Gorge. The KAT is a (roughly) 900 mile loop around eastern Kentucky, including the previously mentioned parts of Red River Gorge, Black Mountain (the highest point in Kentucky), Kentucky coal country, and even parts of Virginia and Tennessee. From what I have read, over half of the route is unpaved, and that amount is increasing with each passing month. Similar to the DBBB, “Overlanders” are scouting old, rural, public roads that are legally passable by motorcycle and adding additional sections to the route. Optional “Hard” sections are also available on the loop; it is suggested that these sections should only be attempted by experienced offroaders and typically require proper dirt-oriented machines. I’m hoping that a “dry run” through the DBBB prepares me for the challenges I will face on the KAT with Rosie the Scrambler. From my experience thus far, it’s all fun and games until water is involved. I suspect I may get to the DBBB this year, however it’s going to take about a week’s vacation to traverse the KAT in its entirety.

 

Key West, FL

Southern Most Point MotoADVRI’ve been to Key West a couple times already, via boat. Key West is a cool party town, not sure I’d ever want to live there, but I’ve always had a good time. I’m put under the impression by my co-workers I’m a bit of an extremist; that might explain why I want to ride from coast to coast on a motorcycle. If not in a “C2C Iron Butt challenge”, I still want to ride the causeway all the way to Key West. Hopefully I’ll find some sweet places to grab some grub on the keys on the way down.

 

The Bun Burner Gold

After completing a Saddle Sore 1000, the next “rung” on the Iron Butt Association ladder is the Bun Burner 1500. Operating under similar rules to the Saddle Sore 1000, to certify a Bun Burner 1,500 a rider must document a 1,500 mile ride in less than 36 hours. BBG PlateThat challenge has another level of difficulty called the Bun Burner Silver, documenting a 1,500 mile ride in under 30 hours, and a final tier of difficulty called the Bun Burner Gold (BBG), for completing 1,500 miles in less than 24 hours. Completing the ride on the Scrambler (or similar bike) is going to be incredibly challenging considering the sheer number of fuel stops, however the current record for most fuel stops is 21, I’d like to think I can keep it under twenty and still finish in time. I’ve looked at several maps laying out plans for possible BBG routes and have contemplated combining the southernmost point and the BBG into one ride. If I head far enough east, I can grab gas outside of Pittsburgh and head south to Key West; top off my tank in the Conch Republic and have a beer waiting for me at Sloppy Joe’s, logging just a hair over 1,500 miles in one day. I’d like to think I won’t have to twist too many arms to get someone to meet me in Key West for a long weekend to be my documented “end witness” when I roll up after a ride like that.

 

Mount Washington

Located in the Presidential Range of the White Mountain in New Hampshire, Mount Washington is the second highest peak in the Appalachian Mountains at 6,288 ft. (Mount Mitchel, 6,684 ft.). The mountain is legendary for erratic weather. In April,  1934, the Mount Washington Observatory recorded a wind speed of 231 miles per hour at the summit, the world record until Cyclone Olivia in 1996. While I don’t think I’m a “High Pointer” just yet, I can’t deny the allure of visiting the second highest place east of the Mississippi River.

 

Route 66, New Mexico

Coming home from from his vacation in New Mexico, my nephew bought me a patch for Route 66 as a gift from the trip I missed.Route 66 New Mexico Patch MotoADVRI caught a short section of Route 66 near Barstow driving a 5-ton truck in a former life, but I’ve never ridden it on a motorcycle. For that reason, I don’t think it’s fair to put such a patch on any of my motorcycle gear until I’ve “earned” it. Thus, I’m putting Route 66 (New Mexico) on the Moto Bucket List, on the “advice” of my 4-year-old nephew. I actually need a little help in this department, I know very little about New Mexico, or Route 66 for that matter, so I would love to hear from the readers regarding the best place to visit on Route 66 in the New Mexico area. I’m sure there’s a “to die for” diner (or dive) that is right up my alley; if you know such a place, please leave a comment below!

 

Mid-Atlantic Backcountry Discovery Route (MABDR)

MABDR-AlfonsePal-9

ridebdr.com Photo

It goes without saying I’m a member of several “adventure” groups on Facebook; early this year I started seeing posts about this new “Adventure Ride” nearby. Unbeknownst to me, Backcountry Discovery Routes (501c3) has put great effort into building various adventure routes together all over the country.  Starting right on the New York/Pennsylvania border, the MABDR runs south through the Keystone state, Maryland, West Virginia, and on through Virginia with a tiny section of Tennessee. Per my comments to Ted from the Motorcycle Men Podcast, in 2019 I want to focus on the KAT, but after tackling the best of the Bluegrass, the MABDR seems like the next logical, extended, off-road excursion.

 

Mount Mitchell, North Carolina

1280px-Mount_Mitchell_sign

Wikipedia Photo

It’s kind of silly thing, but I like seeing the highest points in each state. Mount Mitchell is not only the highest point in North Carolina, but also the highest point of the Appalachian Mountains. Somehow I have shockingly not visited this point in North Carolina, despite my annual pilgrimage to Deal’s Gap each fall. This goal is actually a bit deeper than usual; beyond wanting to ride to the highest point in North Carolina (and potentially each U.S. State), I am also working toward a plan for a long vacation with my dad. While he hasn’t set an official date yet, I expect my dad to hang it up and finally retire in the next two years or so. There’s no question that my taste for all-day riding began when I started joining my dad on rides to see my grandma in Kentucky. While I was overseas he spent a week on the road, riding from Dayton to see my aunt in Florida; he talks about that ride frequently, wanting to do it again before his riding days are over. I’ve casually been laying out destinations for such a ride, and I think the full length of the Blue Ridge Parkway, along with visiting Mount Mitchell is a good start.

 

Mount Evans Scenic Byway

mt-evans-colorado85

bwbacon.com photo

If you’re keeping up with the evolution of this Moto Bucket List, it’s obvious I want to set goals and continue to expand how and where I ride. At last count, I’ve now ridden in 13 states, only one of which is west of the Mississippi River. As I have been steadily picking off the Appalachian states, I’ve started looking west for future destinations, specifically Colorado. The Centennial State is merely an Iron Butt ride from Dayton, so ideally I would be riding across the plains to visit some of the legendary mountain passes. While I’m at it, why not hit the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, the tallest paved road in North America? Essentially an access road to Mount Evans, the scenic byway gains 7,000 feet in elevation, taking motorists up to 14,130 feet. I suspect I better plan in some time to acclimate beforehand…

 

North East 24 Hour Challenge

LizIsMoto Arcadia Bark Busters NE24 ChallengeClosing out 365 straight riding days, I mentioned the North East 24 Hour Challenge. Per all my comments about “extreme” motorcycling, I want to take off-road riding to the next level. After catching Steve Kamrad’s coverage of NE24 the last two years, this is unquestionably a rally I want to ride in. NE24 has classes for riders based on skill and age range, and riders can also sign-up as a team or join the “Iron Man (or Woman)” division. Starting at 10 AM, riders take on a wooded off-road course that makes about a 10 mile loop. Riders carry a “transponder” on the course, and in the end, the riders (or team) with the most laps around the course in 24, non-stop, hours win their class.

 

Hoover Dam

history.com

I took a trip out to Vegas for work a few years back; while there the wife and I had big plans to rent a bike and ride out to Hoover Dam. Naturally, that was the one day it rained in Nevada. To my surprise, I truly enjoyed Las Vegas, and intend to return someday, if I’m lucky it’s be on two wheels. Hoover Dam is on the way, certainly there’s some history to see there as well.

 

The Grand Canyon

http://theroadery.com/

I’m told I visited the Grand Canyon around age 3; I remember nothing. Having traveled abroad, thanks to Uncle Sam, I am of the mindset that you can see pretty much anything you’re looking for right here at home. I hated the desert when I was in the Middle East, now I’ve come to despise the snow in Ohio; suddenly I’m convinced Arizona would be perfect for me. Grand Canyon by motorcycle seems like an excellent plan to prove the point.

 

Devils Tower, Wyoming

http://thoughtcatalog.com/

I probably watched Close Encounters of the Third kind at way too young of an age. Either way, Devil’s tower is yet another western landmark on the bucket list; if for no other reason than it is right smack in the middle of prime motorcycle real-estate. Devils Tower is probably just over an hour from Sturgis, SD; while I find most people are extremely hot and cold about the Sturgis Rally, the Black Hills and surrounding areas are loaded with good rides.

 

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

http://castrolrocket.com/

Speed… The fastest that man has traveled on Earth is Bonneville. If the World’s Fastest Indian comes on TV, I’m pretty much chained to the couch for 2 hours; captivated and pondering dreams of breaking land speed records on my own contraption.

 

Prudhoe Bay, Alaska

Closely related to Key West, Prudhoe Bay is the other side of the coin as the northern most point (well… almost). After reading several articles about Iron Butt competitors racing from Key West to Alaska, I put Prudhoe Bay on the list. At a minimum I want to ride to Alaska and see Denali.

 

Barber Vintage Motorcycle Museum

http://www.barbermuseum.org

The world’s largest motorcycle museum located near Birmingham, AL. Triumph actually hosted their dealer conference there during Barber Vintage Days the past three years; I was really hoping to go, just wasn’t in the cars. I don’t believe that Triumph will be on site going forward, but that’s no reason not to see Vintage Days. Beyond the festival, Barber Motor Speedway is also on the grounds. The museum houses around 1,200 motorcycles from all over the world; dating from 1904 to present. While I still have hopes of seeing the National Motorcycle Museum, I still see Barber as the better destination.

 

Moto Bucket List (Completed)

42 Responses to Moto Bucket List

  1. c90ftw says:

    This is a great idea. I have a bucket list of sorts in my mind, but I should toss it out there in this format. You have some great locations on here that all motorcyclist should visit once, mainly, the skyway and the BRP. I hope you make it to all the locations and trips on your list!

  2. asiadiver says:

    Great list. I have been to about half of them and none on two wheels. Currently have my trike on Craigslist so I can take a corvette off the bucket list. If I sell the trike I may get a triple instead of another Harley. My first bike, 55 years ago was a TR6. I loved it. Good luck, stay upright.

    • Hopefully I’ll get to at least one of these this year. My triumph has been awesome thus far, can’t wait to get a triple to see how that goes. Thanks for reading!

  3. Bob says:

    Nice list. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a great ride from end to end. It is my favorite moto playground as I don’t live far from it. Key West is a great ride if you take your time and travel on the backroads of the Florida interior. I-95 all the way down is borrrriiinnng! Barber Motorsports is THE vintage moto museum. Try to make the Vintage Festival in October. Vintage bikes everywhere and vintage racing too! That list should keep you entertained for awhile!

    • Thanks Bob! There are certainly a few others, I just figured these were the newsworthy variety. Hopefully I’ll mark one if these off at some point this year. Thanks for reading!

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  5. Paul says:

    Iron Butt, Prudhoe bay, and Devils tower I have not done. I have ridden to all the other destinations. Add New Zealand to that list. Had to fly there. I don’t think there is and end to the bucket list. Don’t forget Anamosa Iowa National Motorcycle Museum.

  6. Steve says:

    You should add Highway 1 (pacific coast highway) from Morro bay Ca. to North of San Francisco. Its in my back yard. Really nice ride.

    • Good call Steve. That’s actually on the bucket list, I’ve only published a short list if places I think I can reach in the very near future. West coast locations are also prime destinations; red wood forest, Yosemite, and especially glacier national park.

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  11. Thanks Dan! Pacific Coast Highway is definitely on the list, however I’m afraid that family obligations are probably going to keep me on this side is the Mississippi for at least the next year… but you never know!

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  15. witttom says:

    Mt. Washington & Grand Canyon, should be on everyone’s bucket list. Those two destinations alone, have been a big part of some of my most memorable motorcycle adventures.

    The Barber Museum is something that every motorcycle enthusiast should see, and of course most would take that opportunity to see it during Vintage Days. However, I would encourage you not to wait till an event and simply go visit it ‘off season’ or passing thru to some other destination. During non-peak times, you’re likely to be one of a few (if not the only) individual touring the facility, can park right up at the front door, and when you’re the only one there, you will often get special treatment (and see areas that others may not).

    I’ve been wanting to get a photo of my bike parked INSIDE Big Muskie for many years, but I chicken out every time I’m there (usually because there are eyewitnesses, but sometimes because I’m scared I can’t get a big bike up into it). I’ve been wanting to get my Baghira out there for that specific purpose, but that’s a very long day on a dual-sport that isn’t tailored several hours of pavement. I’ve also been considering a Big Muskie & full-555 trip on the Tiger, and contemplating making it a 2-day trip with an overnight camping stay at Burr Oak State Park, along with some Hocking Hills stops. This might be a trip I end up doing with an offspring. With shorter and shorter days and cold nights upon us, I think this is going to have to wait till Spring.

    I may comment on some of those others at another time. 😉 I don’t know why I never commented on these before.

    • MotoADVR says:

      It’s kind of sad I’ve not reached Muskie Bucket and 555 at this point. I suspect my cousin well drag me over there soon, but he’s fixing his bike at the moment. Days are getting numbered this year indeed, but I’ve seen 70F days in December before.

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