Motorcycle Posts

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Rustic Road 122 is short - just 2.6 miles. But it's a nice, smooth, flowing ride.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

The challenge of R51 comes from the Pine Creek, which it crosses four times. No, it doesn't cross over, it crosses through.

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Wednesday, February 7, 2024

I have a surprise for you today: the Suzuki V-Strom! I thought it would be fun to put a ride on each bike in the same video. In this post, I'll talk about how the two bikes compare.

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Wednesday, January 31, 2024

This road was just surprise after surprise for me. It starts out with flat, straight pavement passing by corn fields. Then it suddenly turns into narrow, hilly, twisty, sandy gravel path.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2024

The scenery is beautiful. This is the road through Black River State Forest. Thick trees, grasses, hills, it's all there. Wildlife too.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2024

R121 in Juneau county is only 2.9 miles long, and almost entirely paved. As luck would have it, the entire route fit exactly into one of the 5-minute files that my cameras record.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2024

That rock outcropping along the side of the road is alway my clue that I've entered the Driftless area of the state.

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Wednesday, January 3, 2024

It's time to head to the Southeast for La Crosse county, where one of the two roads I mentioned in this season's introduction is located. I was immediately reminded of a turn I used to make in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I knew I had to turn around and ride it again.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2023

In the middle of Rustic Road 95, you'll see me miss a turn that I then have to turn around to correct. This happens to me once in a while, because I don't use GPS for most of my riding.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2023

If you are looking for a fun road to ride a motorcycle down, look for roads that follow waterways. Almost any road following water will have some enjoyable curves.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Barron County is one that should be easy to navigate. It's a square, and its roads are named for how many miles they are from the southwest corner. I spent four years navigating classes and classrooms by numbers more arbitrary than that.

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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

We visited the Rustic Roads in St. Croix county as some of the first two-up riding we did on the new motorcycle. It was early May and we needed to know if we'd be comfortable enough on this machine for our upcoming trip to Boston.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

I visited Rustic Road 114 in Rusk county at the end of the second day of an overnight trip. It was a grey day in the middle of summer. Remnants of a storm had scattered around the region, and I kept finding sprinkles as I grazed its edges.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Welcome back! Just as Rustic Roads content was about to fall of the front page of this blog, it's time to start Season 2.

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Sunday, July 2, 2023

I know I'm twenty years late on this, but either "the algorithm" is echoing my searches back at me, or it really is the case that everyone else also bought a used R1150GS ±Adventure this year. So I think it might still be worth sharing this method I developed for carrying the OEM Adventure luggage while off the bike.

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Thursday, June 29, 2023

This is how my R1150GS Adventure sat on its side stand, when it arrived after purchase. It's too far over for me to be able to get it upright while sitting on it. Setting it back onto the sidestand after it was upright was panic inducing - 'Oh no, did I forget to put the stand down?!'

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Tuesday, June 13, 2023

'DID YOU GO TO SPACE?!' It wasn't the last time these two 'road-grimed astronauts' were asked that question on our recent three-week, 3750 mile road trip. I can't imagine it ever getting old, seeing how much joy it brings children to meet motorcyclists. From excited questions to enthusiastic waves, their sense that something fun is going on is infectious.

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Saturday, May 13, 2023

This project included quite a bit of something I really enjoy: making something out of "leftovers". The only "new" wood in this project is the helmet shelves themselves. Everything else came out of the scrap bin. But the piece is full of nested scraps of scraps as well.

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Thursday, April 13, 2023

In my mirror, I saw him immediately pull a U-turn. When the police cruiser passed me a few seconds later, I wondered how far down the road I'd catch up to them.

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Thursday, April 6, 2023

The Rustic Roads of Jefferson county are another case of several being so close to each other that it would be strange not to ride them all in one trip.

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Thursday, March 30, 2023

When I opened the map to check that I had the right recordings for this video, my heart skipped a beat. I rode R19, R20, and R96, but the map showed a fourth road. I clicked on it. R124?!

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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Rustic Road 22 is the main road through the White River Marsh State Wildlife Area. It's obvious that at any time other than early November, when the marsh was preparing for winter, the whole area must be a steamy green jungle.

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Thursday, March 16, 2023

Rustic Route 104 offered a short, fun diversion of corners and curves in the middle of a very long day of riding.

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Thursday, March 9, 2023

Waushara County is the first place I ever noticed a Rustic Road sign. This past November, nearly 20 years since I first became aware of it, I finally rode it. It's fun!

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Thursday, March 2, 2023

Rustic Roads 17, 57, 23, and 24 are all so close to each other that you can ride them all in less than 40 minutes. So, despite them being in two different counties, I've decided to drop them all in one video.

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Thursday, February 23, 2023

Rustic Road 45 is a short gravel stretch. The color and brightness in the video are odd because it was a cold, windy, drizzly day. The clouds mostly blocked the sun, but became giant patches of white, blowing out the light balance on camera.

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Thursday, February 16, 2023

Sixish miles west of the town of Kewaunee, on WI-29, you'll find Hrabik Rd. Actually, you'll probably miss it. Continue to County AB, then turn south for two miles. Turn left there onto Pine Grove Road, and you'll be at one end of RR7, where this week's video starts.

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Thursday, February 9, 2023

With the Super Bowl this weekend, what better Rustic Roads to visit than those near Green Bay?

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Thursday, February 2, 2023

A wonderful thing has happened. Tom Lehrer has released all of his music into the public domain. So, in this video, you get to hear some of what it actually sounds like inside my head while riding!

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Thursday, January 26, 2023

R78 starts out paved, but quickly shifts to gravel. Along the gravel is a neat cut through a rocky hillside, and a small bridge over the New Wood River, just upstream from where it flows into the Wisconsin.

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Thursday, January 19, 2023

The creature grinning behind me in video logo is the Hoday, a mythical creature first photographed in near Rhinelander in 1896. But the rides in today's video happen on the other side of Oneida County, near Minocqua.

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Thursday, January 12, 2023

Timm's Hill is the highest point in Wisconsin, at 1,951.5 feet. The road to it is Rustic Road 62, and it's the first ride in today's video of Price County.

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Thursday, January 5, 2023

Bike audio is finally back! We'll return to silent counties in a few weeks, but for now, you can listen to me apply throttle and shift. I was feeling pretty confident on this gravel, so there's a good bit of purring along.

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Thursday, December 29, 2022

To cap off 2022, we head to one of Wisconsin's favorite vacation destinations: Door County. If there is one thing I've learned in my travels, it's that a road that follows water is very likely to be a good ride.

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Thursday, December 22, 2022

I warned you all about Marinette County in the introduction to this Rustic Roads series. That warning was about Rustic Road 32. R32 is the longest Rustic Road, and can be accurately described in three sections: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

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Thursday, December 15, 2022

Forest County is where the Rustic Roads series first ventures off pavement. Both R34 and R118 have significant gravel segments.

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Thursday, December 8, 2022

R60 was also one of the first rustic roads I tried. It was certainly the one that made me go home and really start plotting courses to the rest of them. It's the very definition of a winding wooded country road. Nothing really too technical, but also far from boring. Just a pleasant cruise.

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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Iron County is where my Rustic Roads series starts. Rustic Road 100 is a fully paved road. Half, along Iron County Road H, is two lanes, with a yellow lane divider painted down the middle. The other half, along Iron County Road G, is "two lanes" without paint.

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Thursday, December 1, 2022

A Wisconsin Rustic Road, "has outstanding natural features ..., is lightly traveled ..., is not scheduled for major improvements." Essentially, they're cute backroads, designated to remain as such. As of Autumn 2022's first snow accumulation, I've ridden 42. Starting today, and running for the next several weeks, I'll be releasing video footage of these rides on YouTube.

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Monday, November 23, 2020

Near the end of September, my wife and I took a spectacular motorcycle ride from California to Wisconsin. Nearly two weeks of spectacular views and interesting places.

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Two years ago, Amanda an I took our first multi-day motorcycle trip. Last week, we took our fourth. About 200 miles short of our longest trip, this one provided new challenges and new sights.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The whole 1170-mile trip was great. The V-Strom is much more comfortable than the Bonneville was. The luggage works much better. Even the gas mileage was higher (~55mpg average). In short, this bike is going to see quite a few more happy miles in the coming years.

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Monday, July 9, 2012

I spent all week questioning my review of that Kawasaki Versys I wrote about last time. I scoured the web for other riders' reviews, and mostly found things that confirmed my thoughts. But in the process, another bike was repeatedly mentioned as a point of comparison: Suzuki's DL650 V-Strom.

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

It's summer, and that means riding … as long as your bike is up for it. As with last summer, June is proving to be a frustrating month. It's oil again this year, but this time the pump is fine; it's just that it's pumping some of the oil into my air box, instead of returning it to the sump. It's manageable as long as I keep an eye on the remaining level, and empty out the box before it soaks the filter, until I can get some time at the shop (a week from now). But, that adds up to a desire to search for a bike that's a little less … cantankerous.

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

'Ooh, biker chick!' was the elderly man's reaction to our appearance in the grocery aisle. We had reached the mid-point of our adventure and were gathering supplies at the nearby Martin's Supermarket. At home we'd go out of our way to walk for groceries, but we had decided that the wind and impending rain were enough of an obstacle to render moot discussion of the fifteen-mile roundtrip.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Amanda knew that I had been itching to take a multi-day trip on my motorcycle for some time. What she didn't expect was that I'd bring her along on my first!

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