Motorcycle Touring on your Mind? This is the place to be.
Our Guest Author for Today is Elizabeth McMillian.
Motorcycle tours are expanding across the USA and around the globe. Clubs and organizations–as well as touring companies and motorbike manufacturers–offer bikers the opportunity to discover the world. Whether you are looking to experience the open roads of America with a group of fellow enthusiasts or you are wanting to blaze the trails on your own, these groups can provide you the ideal motorcycle route ready to take you from here to there, without having to worry about any of the planning. Ranging from two days to two weeks, your tour has accommodations and itinerary provided for you. Even a rental bike can be included in the tour package.
Gathering for biker rides is nothing new. Most local groups have them and some are quite renowned, such as the “Harleyfest.” That event brings Harley-Davidson riders from all around the world back to Harley’s home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and it includes rides through Waukesha, Racine and Kenosha counties in lovely southeast Wisconsin. In fact, Harley-Davidson makes it a business of offering tours of scenic America, and they can include the rental of an affordable Harley–or even a dirt bike, snowmobile, ATV and other “adventure” gear.
On a typical guided motorcycle tour, the guide is lead rider of the group. Typically, he or she directs the route while a support crew and vehicle follow at the rear of the group. Both tour guide and rear driver usually stay in communication. They have the responsibility of assuring that no one is lost or separated, and that bike parts, repairmen and spare motorcycles are available.
All routes will have been checked out in advance and cooperation is established with local support at points along the way. These are particularly important issues when you are traveling in a foreign country and language differences exist. The escort vehicle transports your luggage while you enjoy the ride. You stay at select hotels in locations minutes away from the mainstream attractions or the natural highlights of the region.
Many guided tours offer customized variations. Some allow you to occasionally take off on your own and ride without the group. If you wish to do so, the tour guides set up an agreed upon time and location to return to the group. However, the guides will know about the region’s scenic points or hidden gems you want to see, so straying off on your own is not the norm. One commercial tour group allows you to take your non-biking partner along. If your partner doesn’t like riding a motorbike, he or she can drive along with the escort vehicle and share all your adventures that way.
Professionally guided motorcycle tours are available for a number of foreign countries, including Canada, Africa, Israel, Australia and New Zealand. One popular route is The Great Ocean Road in Australia, while the unique natural wonders of New Zealand attract many. In America, there are numerous favorite tours and they are organized by regions like the Northwest, the Southwest, the Mid-West and the Southeast. Route 66 is a favorite ever since veteran biker Hermann Reuther organized the first motorcycle tour along the legendary road in 1997. It’s a 2,277-mile ride which provides an historic tour of America between Chicago and Los Angeles.
California motorcycle tours are also extremely popular. Many of these guided tours begin in Los Angeles and take you 630 miles up scenic, coastline Highway 1 to San Francisco. The route is impressive because it includes beautiful forests, pristine beaches, rocky coasts and lush parks.
Self-guided motorcycle tours are ideal for independent bikers who want to enjoy a touring vacation but avoid the hassle of logistics. Tour packages can include the rental of a late model motorcycle, transfers between hotel and airports, hotel accommodations, itinerary with routes meticulously planned to partake of the most scenic and attractive roads in each area. Often you can choose from pre-set trips or ask to have a custom-designed self-guided tour.
There is another level of motorcycle experiences known as Adventure Tours and these offer veteran bikers the opportunity to go off-road for “power-sport” rides. Adventure tours include a professional guide, transfers to the excursion destination and a power-sport rental bike of your choice. To choose an off-road adventure, your motorbiking skills must be top-rate. Many of these tours include private-land, off-road experiences, and one group provides a great variety of tours from a guided family ATV adventure on private Montana land inside a National Monument, to a snowmobile tour of Yosemite National Park, or a dirt bike tour of Death Valley National Park.
Put together your own biker gang or go it alone and join with a group to explore your part of the world or a foreign landscape. Check out the private clubs or public touring companies to discover their motorcycle tours, and then leave all the work, the planning and the accommodations up to them. The joy and the freedom of the open road are left up to you!
Elizabeth McMillian enjoys writing about her personal interests, including travel, exercise and cycling. She is an architectural historian, former Architectural Digest editor, and the author of five books and numerous articles. To add to your motorcycle tour experience, check out what a typical Harley rider is wearing at http://www.Harley-MotorClothes-Collectibles.com/
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