If you live in the U.S. near the Great Lakes, chances are that between the months of November and April you’re spending most of your time indoors, curled up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa. Your bike is in hibernation, quietly tucked away in the garage, your wandering mind eagerly anticipating the first warm spring day when you can unleash its pent-up fury to the world.
But what if you could rev that engine a little sooner? What if, come mid-February, your lust for adventure took you along winding roads amid beautiful rolling countryside – while the rest of the snowbelt stayed cozy and coddled by their fire.
Well they can keep their hot cocoa. We’re heading south for the winter.
The Tail of the Dragon
If the name isn’t enough to entice you into this odyssey, the surrounding scenery you’ll confront upon arrival will. The Tail of the Dragon, snaking along the North Carolina-Tennessee border astride the Great Smoky Mountains, is an 11-mile stretch that contains 318 curves. But if 11 miles isn’t enough for you – and we hope it isn’t – the surrounding area boasts other incredible roads for your riding pleasure, including Devil’s Triangle, the Cherohala Skyway, and the Moonshiner 28.
Enjoy the antithesis of the snowbelt as you get a mid-winter taste of seafood and saltwater cruising along the 127 miles of Overseas Highway through the Florida Keys. From mangrove-lined roadways in Key Largo to manatee-filled waters in Key West, the Florida Keys are one of the most scenic riding routes stateside. You’ll make all your neighbors jealous when you come back to the snowbelt in February with a sunburn.
Historic Route 66
While the Main Street of America starts in Chicago, we recommend saving your extremities from frostbite and starting your journey a little farther southwest (unless you don’t value your fingers as much as we do). State Route 66 was one of the original U.S. Highways and was established in 1926. Get yourself a little taste of history as you ride along 2,500 miles of dusty trail through the Great Plains and into the sunbaked deserts of New Mexico and Arizona.
California State Route 1 – The Pacific Coast Highway
Head a little farther west and you’ll find yourself faced with 655 cherubic miles of Pacific Coast shoreline. Known for some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, State Route 1 will offer you a diverse landscape in abundance: you’ll pass through twisting alpine mountain roads one day, and the next find yourself beneath the boughs of enormous redwood trees. With plenty of biker-friendly stops along the way, SR 1 is the perfect spot to connect with fellow riders and, between stretches of winding road, simply kick back and relax.
This article was written by burgeoning biker Jeff Hirz on behalf of All Pro Trailer Superstore.