Motorcycle Articles

The Most Important Thing I Learned About Riding In The Southwest

Bike In Desert

We have done most of our riding on the east coast to this point. As a matter of fact, over 30 years of riding around Long Island New York alone. We have also been up and down the east coast quite a few times.

Since we started full-time RV’ing though our riding style has changed a bit. When we were working 9-5’s, we would use the weekends and maybe extend a day or two to travel to certain “target” destinations. We would jump on the interstates and head straight for our target destination. When we arrived, we would check into a hotel and spend the next day or two riding around pre-determined routes in the area.

Those Were Pretty Good Times

Those were actually some pretty good times. We had lots of fun, met some great people and saw some really cool things. The only part of that equation that was not that fun was the interstates. For the most part, interstates are really long boring stretches of road with absolutely no scenic value. It’s just a way to make good time to get to your target destination.

Now that we are full-time RV’ers, our style of riding has changed a bit. We try and stay away from the interstates as much as possible. We move from location to location with the RV and we position ourselves in the middle of an area with scenic roads nearby. Does it always work? No, not always. I guess you can never really eliminate interstates 100%.

We Always Want More!!!

Once we have ridden the areas local roads and checked out the scenery, we always want to go further and see more. I guess it’s just human nature. We always want more. More scenery, more curves, more riding!!!

One lesson that we have learned traveling around and especially on our trip west was that there are actually some parts of some interstates that can be scenic. That was a really pleasant surprise for us. One example of that is the Fortuna Foothills section of Interstate 8.

The Fortuna Foothills

We were traveling to our winter destination of Yuma Arizona and the last stretch of the interstate before our campgrounds went right through the Fortuna Foothills. We were so impressed we just had to go through with the motorcycle. Not only did we go through them, but we also videoed the ride. The video does not really do justice to actually riding through the foothills but it gives you a little bit of the feeling. Click here to check out our video.

Another thing we have noticed since being in Yuma is that there are very few “attractions” and “scenic” roads that we can ride. It seems like everything to see here has a dirt road involved. Not the nice flat packed down dirt type dirt road either. We are talking long bumpy sometimes loose and sometimes packed dirt and rocky roads.

We Have Had To Work A Bit Harder

That has made us work a little harder at coming up with cool rides. We have managed to put together a few cool loop rides so far which should be posted to the site shortly. In doing these loop rides we have learned one valuable lesson that we would like to pass along to anyone riding down here.

That lesson is… check out gas stations on your route!!! If you are preplanning a route down here, make sure you look at the maps for gas stations along the way. If you are just winging it, we highly recommend you stop and top off your tank whenever you pass a gas station. You just never know when the next one will pop up.

Yuma Is The Desert

Yuma is the desert. Yes, we know. There is a commercial section of Yuma. Here you will find all the Walmarts, Home Depots, Fast Food restaurants and gas you need. But that’s no fun. Who wants to ride through that…lol.

As you will quickly find out as you get away from the commercial area, you will find yourself traveling numerous miles surrounded by nothing but desert. Don’t get me wrong. Riding through the desert, cranking out some tunes, and viewing the mountains is quite satisfying wind therapy. As you are enjoying these sites and sounds just remember the one thing you will not see a lot of is gas stations.

So What Is The Most Important Lesson?

When you see a gas station, get gas!!!  It just might the last one you see for a while. Better be safe than sorry and fill that tank, grab a snack, and get in a good stretch.

 

Ride Often/Ride Safe

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