I just finished watching a 9 minute trailer of another epic motorcycle journey to South America. The video had the requisite stunning scenery, narrow, technical, boulder-mined roads and exotic people doing strange things in intriguing, but foreboding lands.
While adventure on that scale is life changing, the reality is unlikely for me. It is tempting to pout, sulking and cursing my keyboard-bound, humdrum fate. Or, I could choose another course.
Adventure is parked in my garage and I can have it almost any day I choose to throw a leg over it. South America isn’t on my near-term agenda, but there are nearer roads I’ve yet to explore and local people whose stories I’d be richer to know.
Does this road go through? I guess not ...
True adventure requires an unusual experience, an element of risk and an uncertain outcome. Can’t find that close to home you say? You aren’t looking, I say. Let’s break it down…
An unusual experience is something you haven’t done already. Pick a quest. Any quest and do it. Last summer I bought a DR650 to explore Vermont’s t dirt roads. Since I live in a town with more miles of dirt-roads than paved roads I made it my quest to ride them all. Every road, every mile.
That doesn’t sound very risky to you? You don’t know my town and you don’t know what passes for a road. Every time we ride there is an element of risk. If you don’t think so, then you’d better watch out. And, while you might think you know the outcome, I dare say you can’t be certain.
Adventure is a state of mind. A willingness to see what is there and what you might have overlooked. Discovery is possible, if you don’t think you’ve seen it all already.
So this summer, go on an adventure, right here at home, in Vermont. Here are some ideas.
Ride Vermont’s west coast from Bennington to the border. Work your way north through Sandgate and West Pawlet. Find Rupert Mountain Road and check it out. Ride VT-153 to 30, past Lake Saint Catherine and Lake Bomoseen. Head west on 73 and hug the coast as long as you can. If you haven’t been to Middlebury, go. Try Lake Road from VT-17 to Button Bay State Park. Find a class-4 road: does it go through? Visit Vermont’s smallest city, Vergennes. Burlington is beautiful: find out why people visit. Ride north to the Champlain Islands. Make sure to ride Alburg’s West Shore Rd at sunset. What will you see? I can’t tell you.
Beautiful views from a road in Addison County
Been there? Done that? Need a bigger rush? Try a track day. They’re not just for sport bikes. Fishtail Riding School has a diverse group of riders on every type of bike. You’ll learn skills and have fun at the same time. If you’ve already done a track day, try a new track. Fishtail and Tony’s Track Days are running days at the New York Safety Track in Harpersfield, NY this season.
If you’d prefer a bit of history in your adventure, try the Bayley-Hazen Military road from Wells River, VT to Montgomery. The Bayley-Hazen was built during the American Revolutionary War used between 1776 and 1779. The road runs about 75 miles – depending on how you ride it. It can be done using a “big bike” route or with “hero sections” (look for more on this ride later this summer).
Share your adventure with others: go to an event you’ve never been to before. We post about 80 of them a year in our Events section. Don’t have any friends who want to go? Go alone: you’ll be surprise how easy it is to meet people when you’re by yourself, doing something you love. Just be open to the possibility.
And, it’s all about being open to possibilities. There are possibilities for adventure all around you: just open your garage door and go.
Do you have an idea for an adventure?
Do you have an idea for a Vermont adventure you'd like to take? Share it with us! We'll publish the best ideas along with your photo. Contact: admin@Motorcycle-Vermont.com with the details