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Old 04-17-2014, 09:50 PM   #1
mikem9 OP
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Exploring & Enjoying Towns

I enjoy getting out on the open road on a motorcycle, especially twisty mountain roads in the East and the sweepers and open views in the West. On one hand, I like to get away from people. But, I've found I really like exploring the towns that people have created and where they congregate. There is something so interesting to see how towns have formed. The layout of the gridded streets, the architecture, landscaping, businesses and the people that are in those towns. Small and medium towns are typically the most interesting to me.

Who else really enjoys towns when you are out on your motorcycle?

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Old 04-18-2014, 07:28 AM   #2
ozonefirefighter
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I love towns and cities! I like getting out of town and seeing the country like anyone else but if I am using hotels and passing through cities and towns I love to stay in the heart of it all! I like to go out in the evening and meet some people and just sit and people watch. In the mornings I like to find a street side cafe for breakfast and watch a town/city wake up and start the day. People and towns/cities intrigue me.

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Old 04-18-2014, 08:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozonefirefighter View Post
I love towns and cities! I like getting out of town and seeing the country like anyone else but if I am using hotels and passing through cities and towns I love to stay in the heart of it all! I like to go out in the evening and meet some people and just sit and people watch. In the mornings I like to find a street side cafe for breakfast and watch a town/city wake up and start the day. People and towns/cities intrigue me.

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I absolutely HATE cities on a motorcycle. Small towns all the way. Usually way more interesting and way more character to them. Oh dear God, what will we do if there's not a wal-mart supercenter, a starbucks and a tanger outlets every two miles!?
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Old 04-18-2014, 09:03 AM   #4
khager
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Cities suck! But I do like cruising thru small towns >2000 people or so.
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:03 AM   #5
mikem9 OP
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Typically, I try to stay away from larger cities. A few times I've enjoyed some of them, but the time of day/week is important. Like one time when a buddy and I decided to ride at early dawn on a Sunday morning through the streets of downtown Atlanta. Very few people were up and out. It was like the zombie apocalypse had hit. We were blasting all over the city. Kind of surreal.
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:06 AM   #6
kojack06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khager View Post
Cities suck! But I do like cruising thru small towns >2000 people or so.
Small Texas towns and a beautiful day in Texas on your favorite bike!
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:19 AM   #7
mikem9 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozonefirefighter View Post
I love towns and cities! I like getting out of town and seeing the country like anyone else but if I am using hotels and passing through cities and towns I love to stay in the heart of it all! I like to go out in the evening and meet some people and just sit and people watch. In the mornings I like to find a street side cafe for breakfast and watch a town/city wake up and start the day. People and towns/cities intrigue me.
I like to do the same thing. I can visualize the smell of coffee and an early morning in some cool little town.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:24 PM   #8
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I like most of the small towns I roll through when I'm out on a moto trip. You usually find some great food at the little mom 'n' pop places, too. I tend to avoid most larger cities, though, unless I need to find a moto shop for something.

For me, at least, I like the towns because they're unfamiliar and interesting, and I hate the cities because they're unfamiliar and frustrating. It's easy to get lost in a city you've never been to before, and it's hard to find the good spots like great little restaurants and cafes.

But I do like riding through cities I know well enough to get around find the interesting places. I love riding through Detroit, whether it's in the nicer places going through the process of gentrification, or through the crumbling industrial ruins. I know where I'm going, more or less, but there's still plenty to explore that I haven't seen yet.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:55 PM   #9
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I like the cities too. Sunday morning in particular, but not during rush hour. Too hard on the clutch hand, not to mention the heat!

My faves are Boston (my home), DC and even NYC (once I am in Manhattan). I like riding a tall upright standard, like a dual sport or Supermoto. One cylinder and flickable.

I love the small towns out west. My fave is Cave Creek AZ. Such a friendly vibe. I can sit on any bar stool out there and people want to engage me about my ride or whatever. Probably because everybody is from somewhere else.

I don't like riding in urban Phoenix much. 50 mph surface streets lined with people looking to pull out in front of you from a side street or parking lot.
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Old 04-18-2014, 03:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantah

I love the small towns out west. My fave is Cave Creek AZ. Such a friendly vibe. I can sit on any bar stool out there and people want to engage me about my ride or whatever. Probably because everybody is from somewhere else.

I don't like riding in urban Phoenix much. 50 mph surface streets lined with people looking to pull out in front of you from a side street or parking lot.
Phoenix is definitely fast paced and crazy, same kind of deal as Los Angeles. Just gotta learn the few "slower" streets to take.

Cave Creek is great. You can take a super scenic shortcut off I-17 to get there, "Dove Valley/Sonoran Desert Drive". It goes right through a western fantasy, two lane road through a state perserve full of mountains and saguro cacti. Also tons of twistie roads and ohv trails just outside of town, and it's also just a stone's throw from Scottsdale. As you say, super friendly biker town, gets CRAZY on a sturgis level during bike week.

A really good, true "old west town" 30 minutes from the west side of town is Wickenburg, lots of bikers and ADV stuff goin on out there.

Whenever I travel I try to avoid anything bigger than about 250,000 people. Small cities are kind of fun, but well kept towns are the best and usually have the most interesting routes surrounding them. Lots of nature with a touch of civilization makes for a happy Adventurer
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Old 04-18-2014, 03:39 PM   #11
ttpete
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SloMo228 View Post
I like most of the small towns I roll through when I'm out on a moto trip. You usually find some great food at the little mom 'n' pop places, too. I tend to avoid most larger cities, though, unless I need to find a moto shop for something.

For me, at least, I like the towns because they're unfamiliar and interesting, and I hate the cities because they're unfamiliar and frustrating. It's easy to get lost in a city you've never been to before, and it's hard to find the good spots like great little restaurants and cafes.

But I do like riding through cities I know well enough to get around find the interesting places. I love riding through Detroit, whether it's in the nicer places going through the process of gentrification, or through the crumbling industrial ruins. I know where I'm going, more or less, but there's still plenty to explore that I haven't seen yet.
I've avoided Detroit proper for a long time. To me, it's not worth going someplace where shootings and carjackings are daily occurrences and white folks tend to be looked upon as likely victims. I did all of my exploring when I was young and it was much safer there then.

There are many small towns that I'd rather see. I look for good restaurants and brewpubs. Every Sunday morning I ride to breakfast in a little village 70 miles to the west where our informal group has been going for years.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:11 AM   #12
No False Enthusiasm
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When I travel across Texas, I enjoy stopping on the square of a rural county seat. Normally, plenty of shade, a good bench, a cafe' or two...

Makes for a good stop.

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Old 04-19-2014, 06:17 AM   #13
luckychucky
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me too! We pulled in to take a pic in front of the post. These two young boys wanted to check out our bikes. One of them asked to try on my gloves, I said sure. So, here it is.

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Old 04-20-2014, 01:33 PM   #14
small_e_900
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It seems that every time I've ridden in Oklahoma, I've ridden into some small town that was putting on a parade.
I love a parade.
They sure know how to throw a parade in Oklahoma.

When camping, I always try to get out early enough to ride for an hour into some town that is just waking up and sit with a cup of coffee and watch the day unfold.
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:55 PM   #15
Dr. Greg
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Museums!

Virtually every "small town" in the US Midwest (and in many other parts of the country) has a museum. They are sometimes free, and IMHO always worth visiting, if you have time (and you probably do if you're passing thru a town like that).

Here's one, near Glasgow, Montana IIRC...



You never know what you might find. This is one of the (many) reasons to shun the interstate and take the back roads.

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