Get Lost!

Jul 04, 2017 View Comments by

Sometimes the best road is the one yet to be discovered, the wrong turn, or the road with the most interesting name. All these have in common is that we didn’t “plan” on going there. These can be the unlined roads; no white or yellow lines, the ones not on your map, or roads the GPS can’t find, which in my opinion are the very best roads. Often, there are those days when I will try and get lost. This will start with just selecting a general direction; in my case, there are only two choices: north or west. If I go east I run into Lake Michigan and a dead end of sorts, and south will take me into urban blight—not an option.

So, it’s west into farm country, or north into lake country, both a good choice. The only rules are to stay off all expressways, four-lane roads, and most county highways. Also to be avoided are subdivisions and strip malls. Small towns are preferred, no towns are best, and towns with the “welcome to” and “you are now leaving” signs tacked on the same post are a win-win. Often I will select my road by its sign; one that shows lots of curves and 25-mph speeds is a good choice for some “lean to” riding. Another good “sign” is the yellow and black tractor silhouette noting farm traffic. Street names can also be a tip off: Old Mill Road, Sunset Drive, Harbor Drive, or, one I had to try … Bare Ass Road (no comment).

The whole object of this sunny day game is to get lost. Finding yourself on roads you have never traveled, in places strange to you—it’s called discovery. Best thing is, I have never been totally lost. I may end up doing a 100-to-200-mile circuit, but I always end up on a road I know. Speed is never a factor, as most of the side roads are curvy and the scenery sublime. Heck, you want to take your time and etch these places into your subconscious. Sometimes you can end up on a patchwork quilt of roads you know and ones brand new to you, with the destination a complete surprise. Now that’s riding!

So, next time someone tells you to “get lost,” thank them, and remember, “Not all who wander are lost.” Ride on.

Text and Photography: Wayne Peterson


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Tags: Categories: Wayne's World