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Touring and Travel Articles
Ride west from historic Victoria via Vancouver Island’s rugged coastline to Port Renfrew, then cross the island through remote villages and ancient forests as well as along rushing rivers back to the Trans Canada Highway by Lake Cowichan. Admire the totem poles in Duncan, and ride the spectacular Malahat Highway. Go from April to October.
We wake to sunny skies, a forecast in the mid-70s, and our bikes are ready to go. As I pull on my boots, my pulse quickens. I sense that this is going to be a great day for riding. Stepping outside, I find it hard to believe that it’s February. Fewer than 24 hours ago, I was waking up to snow and temperatures well below freezing. There are not many places you can travel to in North America at this time of year where perfect riding weather is practically guaranteed, but this is just such a place.
Western North Carolina is a mountainous area where the Blue Ridge Parkway slices through the state on a northeast to southwest diagonal. An ideal setting of endless curves and fun in these mountains creates a natural playground for motorcyclists. Fifty miles east of Asheville, NC, right on the route, is a town known as Little Switzerland—the perfect base for our Shamrock Tour.
By fall 1805, the Corps of Discovery was following Lolo Pass through the snow-covered Bitterroot Mountains. The men were near starvation when Sergeant John Ordway recorded in his journal: “We followed down the main creek about 4 miles had nothing to eat but Some portable Soup we being hungry for meat as the Soup did not Satisfy we killed a fat colt which eat verry well at this time …” — September 14, 1805
After an extreme experience in 2001, I was forever done with Ethiopia. Nonetheless, ten years later, I went back with my husband, Herbert, in search of the best coffee in the world. Much to my surprise, I saw the country from an exciting new angle. My old picture of Ethiopia and all the clichés were outdated, and they wouldn’t fit together with the optimistic mood of the people and their positive anticipation of the future. Accompanied by a professional film crew, an interpreter, and (on occasion) armed soldiers, we documented our 2,700-mile adventure.
San Pedro enjoys a mild year-round Mediterranean climate with cool ocean breezes and usual temps around 72 degrees. In addition to easy access to kayaking, skin diving, mountain biking, hiking, surfing, and sailing, it also happens to be a great place for motorcycling. I ride my 2003 Triumph Bonneville America 22 miles to work, but sometimes it takes a bit longer to get home.
Kraftfahrzeuge Trunkenpolz Mattighofen, or thankfully KTM for short, has replaced its 990 Adventure R model with the new 1190 Adventure R. Now that I’ve finally gotten the mud off my riding gear and it’s all dried out, let me tell you about the bike. The folks at Mattighofen made notable and worthwhile upgrades to the engine, electronics, chassis, handling, and comfort to produce a world-class adventure machine.
We’ve been testing two of the most popular sport-touring motorcycles across the country over the past year. A mix of interstates, rural country byways, and the tight and chaotic roads of the Smokies provided the perfect testing grounds.