If you are sitting at a desk far, far away and trying to plan a motorcycle trip through California – Pashnit.com (pronounced: passionate) MUST be one of the websites that you consult.
The brainchild of Tim Mayhew, it is a collection of the greatest California motorcycle roads, maps, photos and articles organized by geographic area.
The cost for access to this beautiful resource: $20 per year.
Now, I know some people may say “I can find all of that for free by scouring around ADV, blah blah blah…” and they may be right. But it would probably take 10 times longer and be 10 times the leg work. Clicking pins on a visual map? Easy-peasy. Consider it $20 well spent in time-saving.
Plus, you’d be helping a small, independent motorcycle business.
There are free sample articles available on the website so that you can get a feel for what is awaiting you on the website:
Breathing in deeply, the morning felt cool. As our wheels turned past the silent rolls of hay and red barns of the landscape, I felt like a giant. This was my day and anything I chose to do with it would be spun into gold.
With my camera collected from the side of the road, Bill and I hopped on route 39 and began to carve our way west. There wasn’t another car in sight as we began to sew a jagged line across the byway. Zig-zagging along, it was just us two cruising.
Bill is a great traveling companion. He’s game for anything. That made my ride much more comfortable because I didn’t have to do that dance of wondering if the person you’re riding with is rolling their eyes when you pull over to take a picture of something… again.
The last time that I’d made the trip across 39, it was with Kenny and a bunch of our friends in 2008. I thought about that quite a bit that as the miles ticked by. That and just how much I was missing my family.
Chloe was off being glamorous in California with family. Her face grinning back at me from in front of the Golden Gate bridge made me smile each time I took out my phone for a photo. It helped to keep the I miss you so much daggers to the heart at bay.
Then there was my other half, Kenny. Scheduling kept him from being able to take this ride with us. A classic case of “real life” interfering with fun.
You get so used to someone being your partner through life that when they aren’t there at key moments – their absence is palpable. Of course you are still enjoying yourself, but you wish they could see what you’re seeing with their own eyes.
Traveling makes me feel like possibility is limitless in my life. I feel like being out there in the world without a strict schedule to keep and following the path that your whims take you on – is where I get the chance to see more of the real me. There is a calmness, a clear thinking, a relaxation that comes along with traveling that is addictive.
It was a good thing we still had more riding to do. I didn’t want to come down from my high.
In September of 2010, Kenny and I met up with our friend Patrick in Italy and spent a little over a week riding around in the mountains. Our travels took us to Italy, Switzerland, the teeny-weeny country of Liechtenstein, and Austria. The trip was, in a word – monumental.
Even though months have passed, I still find myself reliving fragments of the trip in my imagination. The Alps are a motorcyclist’s paradise.
Though it was difficult to will yourself to stop riding, we did manage to snap a few photos of some beautiful roads along the way.
In February of 2011, The American Motorcyclist Magazine and website put out the call for its readers to choose the best riding roads in America. The results were printed in the April 2011 copy of the magazine.
I was really surprised to see that I’ve actually ridden a few of the top 15! The ones I haven’t been on just might be fuel for my ever-growing bucket list. There is plenty of two-wheeled inspiration on those pages.