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Arizona Motorcycle Adventures Kickoff Event 2021

'Thursday April 1st, 2021 7:30'
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    Arizona Motorcycle Adventures Kickoff Event 2021

    AZMA - Saturday
    Wednesday March 31st 2021

    Hot coffee and warm breakfast burritos started our day at the Jonquil Motel, another cool clear morning. As soon as the sun clears the mountain top the yard warms quickly.

     

     

     

    We kept plans loose for today. Some are looking to spend time exploring Bisbee. We're gathering up folks to put together an itinerary. The bikes wait patiently outside our room.

     

    xBefore long, 5 of us set out around 8 and heading up into the mountains surrounding town. An unpaved road leads to the top of one of the tallest with great views to the north and hen back towards Bisbee on the way down.

     

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    Returning through town we paused on the southern side to view the "Big Hole", the Queen Copper Mine which gave historic Bisbee it's fame and fortune.

     

     

    From there we cruised due south for about 12 miles to the tiny town of Naco. We could go no further because of a big fence - we'd come to see the infamous Border Wall.

     

     

    We rode right along the wall for several miles passing a handful of border patrol trucks then veered north into the desert on a spur road to reach pavement and loop back into Bisbee. After a quick ride up some of the steep side streets surrounding town we returned to the Jonquil to regroup.

     

    Of those that did not go on one of the longer all day rides today, most wanted to go explore town. It's quite a place. One day I must do that. As I was here to ride Ash and I picked up Rob and headed north to explore the Dragoon Mountains about 25 miles north. 

     

     

    We finished up at the Dragoons and backtracked to touristy Tombstone for a good BBQ lunch. The town was mobbed on this holiday weekend.

     

     

    After lunch we reversed course again and rode out into the desert on the dirt roads passing the Dragoon spur road this time and headed east through the peaks on Middlemarch Road. It's broad, pretty flat, and smooth at both ends, though I really enjoyed the pretty part in the middle when it got up into the high parts.

     

     

    We then turned south on the Ghost Town Trail. It was a long dirt road and outside of the sign and a couple old buildings, no more ghost towns we found. Meh.

     

     

    Completing the loop we returned to Bisbee and the Jonquil. After a delicious Indian curry rice dinner, Sterling Noren treated us to a first showing of his soon to be released next motorcycle adventure documentary. You should be seeing more about this soon.

     

     

    Tomorrow we all go back to our homes or out on more adventures. It's been really great getting to meet all these Backcountry Discovery Route titans, the gear providers, the artists and talent, as well as fellow adventurers away from some big event. I hope to see them all again and share some time on a trail.

     

      

     

     


      

    Article by Wayne Busch, America Rides Maps

    We produce detailed maps of the best roads to enjoy on your motorcycle travels in the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains. Get the maps at America Rides Maps.com

    AZMA - Friday
    Wednesday March 31st 2021

    Finally, the first day of riding the loops Sterling Noren provided. The 20 riders broke up into roughly 3 groups. Mine chose to do the Patagonia Route.

     

     

    We left around 8, returned around 4. I particularly enjoyed the Cornado National Monument with it's sweeping views from atop the pass. We were impressed by the large number of border patrol vehicles throughout the back country.

     

     

     

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    We took an early lunch in Patagonia, a nice small town.

     

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    The unpaved road leaving there was the most challenging of the day, Bull Springs Road. Rough, rocky, steep and twisty.

     

     

    Arriving back at the Jonquil we found dinner waiting, the bar open, and live music for the evenings celebrations and story swapping. A good day for all.

     

     


      

    Article by Wayne Busch, America Rides Maps

    We produce detailed maps of the best roads to enjoy on your motorcycle travels in the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains. Get the maps at America Rides Maps.com

     

    We assembled behind the hotel after morning breakfast and departed for Busbee around 8 AM. The day was started warm, sunny, and breezy.

     

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    It took quite a while to work our way out of the sprawl of the Phoenix area, through Tempe, then working south. It was just town after town, traffic and stoplights.

     

     

    Eventually, we reached the open desert and starting making good time. The winds had picked up quite a bit. The sky was hazy and occasional clouds of dust wafted across the road. Soon the iconic sequaro cactus were everywhere along the roads as we rolled through small settlements here and there.

     

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    As the day matured the temperature climbed to 90 or so. Skirting Tucson we stopped for lunch, a good lobster enchillada for me.

     

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    South of Tucson the wind let up a bit, the terrain grew more desolate. We passed the first border patrol station well inland of the southern frontier. The roads grew smaller and started to curve through the low mountains at times.

     

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    It was around 4 PM when we arrived in Bisbee at the Jonquil Motel. The courtyard behind it was busy with riders and bikes.

     

     

    Our host at the hotel was Eva Rupert, a three time contestant of TV's "Naked and Afraid" . She was warm and welcoming and makes a good margarita. We were briefed on the routes by Sterling Noren of YouTubes Motorcycle Travel Channel and chose our paths for tomorrow.

     

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    All in all a good day.

     

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    Article by Wayne Busch, America Rides Maps

    We produce detailed maps of the best roads to enjoy on your motorcycle travels in the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains. Get the maps at America Rides Maps.com

    Living in western North Carolina I am so spoiled by the wealth of great roads to ride. We literally roll down the mountainside for less than a minute and we've hit some nice twisties. When you live in the heart of it, it's all good.

     

     

    For those who aren't nestled within the Appalachian hills, I sympathize. You are compelled to spend time on the major roads and highways to climb to the promised land. There's nothing quite as sweet as carving through the high country and it's worth enduring droning along on the highways to get here.

     

     

    While I'm truly spoiled living here, I long for more, to ride through other mountain landscapes as they are all good. Nothing beats mountain riding, though the scenery is different from place to place. It's the commutes to reach them that get me down.

    And so, I embark on my next motorcycle adventure along the southern Arizona border, this trip is assisted by Delta Airlines. Today I fly from Waynesville, NC to Phoenix, AZ through Atlanta. It's the first real travel in almost 8 months and I'm bristling with excitement to be on the move again!

     

     

    I awoke this morning to pouring rain as a strong cold front moves in. My flights are already cancelled, delayed, being shuffled around and rebooked. My clockwork itinerary that would have had me there in hours is now going to be an all day slog, potentially into the night. I've cancelled the dinner reservations I had waiting, I'll be in too late. It'll be 4-5 hours in the Atlanta Airport instead of 35 minutes. Oh well.

     

     

    I killed the hours in a small bar at the international terminal - much less traffic there than the main airport which was quite busy.

     

     

    The remainder of the trip went like clockwork. The flight was fine, the hotel shuttle waiting as I stepped outside, the ride to the Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix short. The trip is begun!

     


      

    Article by Wayne Busch, America Rides Maps

    We produce detailed maps of the best roads to enjoy on your motorcycle travels in the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains. Get the maps at America Rides Maps.com

    Over the years my wife Jackie and I have rented motorcycles from Colorado Motorcycle Adventures in Denver. We've come to know Scott Lee, the owner, and have been quite pleased with the bikes he's been able to provide.

     

     

    I received a call in February that Colorado Motorcycle Adventures was expanding into Arizona, and there would be a kickoff event for the new location April 1. A spot was open, was I interested?

    "You should go", Jackie said.

     

     

    It didn't take much more convincing. After this pandemic period with almost no travel, here was a unique opportunity that I just couldn't pass up.

     

     

    It's been 9 years since I last rode motorcycles in Arizona. On that trip, Jackie and I rented a Harley and based out of Scottsdale. It was a nice change of pace, different scenery. We mostly rode north and east, the highlight was Sedona.

     

     

    I'm solo this time so it's a different experience. I'm flying in and out of Phoenix where the group will meet and I pick up my rental bike from Scott. From there, we head south a few hours to Bisbee on the Mexican border. We're staying 3 nights in a small historic hotel in town. 

     

     

    It will also be different as I'm on my preferred bike, a 2020 BMW 1250 GSA HP. I'm looking forward to getting off the pavement and exploring the mountains and canyons in the surrounding area. Scott has scouted and laid out numerous loop rides so there are lots of choices.

     

    Now it's just watching the calendar, watching the clock, and getting things packed for the road.

    It will be so nice to travel again!   

     


      

    Article by Wayne Busch, America Rides Maps

    We produce detailed maps of the best roads to enjoy on your motorcycle travels in the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains. Get the maps at America Rides Maps.com

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