Finding Those Backroads

One of the benefits of of our H.O.G. Chapter and its Road Captain program is that the Road Captains introduce our members to roads that they never would have rode on had they not ventured out on a chapter ride. Most people including myself just don’t randomly go riding down strange backroads. Some people who own motorcycles, myself included, wake up on a nice sunny day with no plans and the road is an empty slate. Without a plan, a destination or an idea these people just stay home. Others are spontaneous and throw a leg over and just hit the road without a clue following nothing but their nose. And then there are others who can dream up a route on the spot and hit the road. I imagine there is a huge group who heads to the local biker destination bars thinking they are the quintessential biker.

For those of us in the first category belonging to a good H.O.G. chapter is awesome! We check the calendar to see what’s going on, show up at the meeting site and then a Road Captain will take us somewhere fun! We may be newbies or rubs but we put hundreds if not thousands of miles on those motorcycles thanks to the H.O.G. Road Captains and the online chapter calendar. Regardless of what you call us, we ride em! This is the very process that opened my eyes to the fact that going to Hooters on bike night isn’t what riding is all about.

I did not plan on becoming a Road Captain and I don’t know a million backroads. I’m not even from this area and I only got into riding a few years ago and even then the concept of “backroads” was new to me. I do go out of my way to locate, learn and put together ride routes that will please the members of my H.O.G. chapter. Usually a “thank you” or any show of appreciation from riders who go on one of my rides is all that it takes to make it all worthwhile. But yesterday I was given one of the best compliments by at least two riders and it was said a few times which made me really happy: “I don’t know how you do it. How do you find all those backroads?!”

It’s hard for me to keep a secret and that makes sense because I come to my trusty computer all the time and type everything into it for the good of the Internet audiance. Here is how my process usually goes:

1) I check Moto-Maps to see if there are any recomended ride routes in the area I am looking to go riding.

2) I use Microsoft Streets & Trips to connect the roads and find other roads.

3) Somehow I manage to schedule several rides to the same area so that we can check the routes out, change them up and fine tune them before the actual chapter ride takes place.

Moto-Maps Delaware

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Microsoft Streets & Trips mapping software

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