Route Planning Tools - My Go To Sources!
I don't think of myself as a collector.. I dislike clutter. But when I go to pull out my map bin for ideas on where to ride.. I realize that I AM a collector. Of Maps. Not only that, I may fall under the 'she has issues' category based on how many maps I own. I am a visual person. While I don't like to plan every step of a trip, I like to look up my destination and find cool roads to explore in that area. It's never concrete, and if I miss a turn, it never fails to lead me to another awesome road. Here are some of my favorites - my GO TO sources when I want to find cool, twisty roads, or fun destinations.
#1 - Butler Maps. Hands down my FAVORITE map ever. I happened upon my first Butler Map years ago at the little store on the Pig Trail in Arkansas. I have been hooked ever since. Their moto is 'Dream. Plan. Ride'. They are specifically tailored to motorcycle routes - not only that, they are color coded. Butler Maps website describes G1 Roads (yellow) roads "the most dramatic and exciting paved road segments in America, featuring steep climbs, tight switchbacks, deep canyons, and million dollar views." The maps feature G1, G2, and G3 roads - each highlighted by color so you know what roads in the area are rated 'the best' for motorcycle rides. Color coded, water resistant, and tear resistant - what more could I ask for??? The maps are coated in ?? something that allows them to be used, beat, folded, stuffed, and crammed into saddlebags over and over - I have yet to rip one.
Find Butler Maps here
Another Go To is the Road Runner Magazine. Road Runner is dedicated 100% to travel, routes, adventures, and places to go. It is not your typical motorcycle magazine - it doesn't have 50 pages of ads, 10 pages of Q&A, and comment pages. I keep every issue of this magazine for future reference - and it is easy to find the routes I am looking for as it has the tour areas listed out. There is always at least one international destination featured as well.
Find the Road Runner magazine here
It is all travel related and even has tear out maps of their highlighted trips (the maps are overviews, but the perfect size for map holder tank bags).
I use Google Maps to check how over-eager my ideas are. I generally think, "It's only 2 inches on the map, it should take an hour to ride", and then when I plug my idea into Google Maps....I get a reality check. I'm not saying I always BELIEVE Google Maps, but based on history, I really should believe it.
And once I look at all of the above, then I write a generic outline on my windshield becuase odds are, I will never remember steps 1-3, let alone all of the turns after that. Some people have fancy GPS systems or use their phones... not me. I live the fancy life, using what I call my Redneck GPS. Aka an erasable marker on the windshield. JR taught me this trick years ago - it's saved me many times when trying to navigate through cities, as well as getting to fun roads. I attached a velcro square to the inside of my saddlebag, and the corresponding velcro piece on my GPS (marker), so it is always easy to find!
Nerdery at night! I love to look at maps and seek out the best roads I can find... between this and just passing random roads and turning around because it looked like it might be fun... I have found a lot of cool places/roads!!!
**I am in no way sponsored, paid, nor asked to advertise any of these sources. They are my honest, go-to favorites!**
One day I hope to be as freaking cool as you.ReplyDelete