American Skid Marks
Setting out on a great American motorcycle roadtrip.

Taking Time For The Green Dots

The first thing to do was plan the route. After all, I couldn’t really make any estimates of how long the trip would take or how much it would cost until I knew where I was going.

Now, I have an obsession with maps. I call it “map porn”. Ever since I was a little geek playing “Dungeons and Dragons” I’ve loved looking at and making maps. These days it’s my oversized U.S. atlas, laid out on my ottoman or dining room table. Or Goolge Maps; I plot a route between two places and then drag that little purple line all over the place, experimenting with different highways I can traverse. I can spend, literally, hours looking at maps.

If you look through an atlas, you’ll see the scenic routes marked with little green dots. That is where I want to ride. I want to stay away from the major interstates. I want to get out to those parts of the country that people take vacations to go see; those places where photographers go to get dramatic photos. So, as I plan my route I’m intentionally plotting a course along as many green dots as is reasonable. Sure, I’ll have to spend a fair amount of time on the interstate 80’s and 90’s of the country, but I’m going to minimize that as much as I can.

If anyone is reading this and you either live along my route or know the area, I’d love some feedback on where to go and what to see in your part of the country. As I plot my course I realize just how little of the US I’ve actually seen; so, if you have any ideas I’d absolutely love to hear from you.


I was and still am committed to not rushing this trip. Too many motorcycle trips are all about covering ground. I talk to riders who push 500, 700 or 900 miles per day. At 60 miles per hour that translates to about 8 to 15 hours of saddle time per day! OK, OK, I get it that some folks are all about “getting there”. I also get that some riders LOVE to ride for 15 hours a day. I am not one of them. I like to stop and … well … smell the flowers. I like to take photos, to explore, to hang out with folks I meet along the way.

I am going to try to keep my mileage under 300 miles a day. I estimate that my total mileage for this trip will be somewhere between 16,000 and 18,000 miles. 18,000 divided by 300 is 60. If I rode 300 miles every day the trip would take 60 days. Perfect! So, if I take 3 months to do the trip, I’ll have about a month of “slack time”. I can take rest days here and there. I can spend an extra day in places that are particularly special or interesting.

June, July and August. Beautiful. My dream-scape if filled with this trip. I cannot wait to get rolling. My next few posts will detail a my planned route.

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