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Will The Rain Ever End?

The Midwest has been plagued with seemingly endless rainfall in the last few weeks!  Here we have had flash flood warnings repeatedly over the past 48 hours and the Mississippi River is out of its banks.  Looks like we finally have a break in the rain just in time for a major cold front to come crashing in with WAY below normal temps.  Dale and I had thought of heading south…perhaps a ride in Missouri this weekend, thinking it might be a bit warmer there.  But, Sunday looks cold and rainy now, and call me a wimp, but I don’t ride in cold and rainy.  We will probably try to take a ride Saturday and see what kind of mischief we can get into…and how many flooded roads we find.

What does your weekend hold?  If anyone is riding one of our routes, please send some pics, a review, or even a ride report for us to share.  We love your feedback.  If you have ridden one of the routes, please go back to our website, visit the route page, and at the bottom rate and comment on the route.  It is the only way we get feedback for future plans, new ideas, what works and what doesn’t.  Hope you are high and dry and planning a fun ride for the weekend!  Ride safe!

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The river is usually 5 or 6 feet below this walkway!

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Well That Didn’t Go As Planned!

So we announced our new store and then had multiple failures with it in the first day!  Seems our website was fighting with the store and the website won!  We have totally redone the site and believe all issues with the store have been fixed.  So, please, if you tried to place an order and it didn’t go through, try again!  We apologize for the inconvenience and hope everyone will check out the new site layout, the new store, and support our cause…to offer FREE motorcycle routes to everyone!  We can’t do it without your support.  Thank you in advance!

computer issues

 

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The Store Is Now Open!

The Driftless Road Adventures store is now up and running!  Your purchases will help us keep the site free for all to use, AND you can get some pretty cool items at the same time!  We have short sleeved shirts, long sleeved shirts, knit hats and baseball caps…all embroidered with our logo.  We also have stickers and our newest idea…micro SD cards pre-loaded with the routes of your choice!  What could be easier?  Just load the card on your computer OR if your GPS accepts an SD card simply slip it in and go.  You can choose your routes and you can choose to receive either the route file or the track file.

Access the store by clicking here or visit our website and click on the link in the upper right hand corner.  We thank you in advance for your support!

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America’s Highways–Built for All of Us

We just wanted to spread the word about the BMW MOA’s national safety campaign called, “America’s Highways–Built for All of Us.”  The statistics are alarming:  In 2017 almost 5000 motorcycle riders were killed in highway accidents and over 60 percent of motorcycle fatalities involved automobiles.  The campaign’s objective is to remind ALL OF US that we must share the road.  It aims to reduce aggressive driving as well as educate all motorists on highway dangers.  The program launched at the Des Moines, IA BMW MOA National Rally this past summer where they released this cool design:

You can find out more about the campaign as well as request materials to use for your local chapters/clubs/groups here.  You can also donate to the cause either as a tax deductible gift OR you can get some awesome gifts depending on your donation size.  Every donor also gets a chance to win a 1999 fully restored BMW R1100R no matter what size gift they give!

So, please take a look and be safe out there…sharing the road goes both ways!

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Our Ride in The Flooded Pecatonica River Valley

Two thumbs up for the Pecatonica Route this past weekend!  Dale and I enjoyed sunshine and blue skies, temperatures in the 60’s, winding roads with tons of elevation changes, and amazing scenery. On Saturday we drove to Mineral Point, WI, unloaded the bike, layered on the gear, and started out on the route in a clockwise direction.

We were reminded once again of the beauty of southwestern Wisconsin (we actually met in high school not far from Mineral Point and grew up in the region) and were shocked when we came upon flooded areas of the Pecatonica River Valley.  We were not aware that this area had flooded, but it certainly made for an interesting ride as this route meanders along with the river for miles and miles.  The entire route was open, but we did see closed roads, and at one point we had to stay in a 12 inch path on the high side of a road to stay out of the flood water.

We made a stop in New Glarus, a wonderful little town also known as “America’s Little Switzerland.”  Dale had a chance to visit with both Team Power Center of Janesville, WI and the British Bike Cooperative who were hosting an event…Team’s Midwest Ride-In.  While he was doing that, I made some new friends:

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We found a lovely park for a picnic lunch in Argyle, WI.  The Argyle Legion Community Park had a really amazing veterans memorial and a giant cement turtle…not something you see every day!

We encountered some fierce wildlife along the way:

We got a later start the first day because we had to drive up to the route first, so by 4:00 or so we were ready for our hot tub, a good bottle of wine, and some food.  We headed back to the hotel.  Day two we headed counterclockwise from Mineral Point and had a lovely drive around Yellowstone Lake.

One nice thing about breaking this route into two parts was that Dale and I got to ride even more of the awesome roads in the area while cutting back to the hotel.  It seemed like no matter which road we took it was as fun as the one before it!  This is a great area to ride!  We also had a few laughs over signs on this route.  Here are a few of our favorites:

We highly recommend the Petonica Route!  Enjoy a few more pictures from our adventure:

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Time to Dig Out The Warmer Gear

Dale and I are taking advantage of the great fall weather we have been having to get out and ride the routes.  We were busy last weekend, and it was really really hot, so this weekend, with a great looking cool and crisp forecast, we are heading for the Pecatonica Route!  The mornings look to be quite cool, so it’s time to dig out some of our warmer gear…zip in some of those liners…and hit the road.  We are hoping there is some fall color to the scenery by now, and the roads on this route should be amazing!  Watch for our post after we return–we will share some pictures and I am sure a few stories.  If you are planning to ride any of the routes this weekend, please share your pics and stories with us!!  Don’t forget each route has a rating system and we would love it if you would rate them as we are always looking for feedback.

I have been working on setting up a store as another way you can support Driftless Road Adventures and help us keep the site and the routes free!  There are a few items available for sale in there now, but we hit a snag in adding more items.  Our distributor has its operation in North Carolina.  They were hit hard by hurricane Florence and are still without power, so our items on order have been delayed.  We will keep you posted as more items are added.  For now, check out our cool swag by clicking here.

Get out there and enjoy the great fall weather in the Driftless Area this weekend, and as always ride safe!IMG_1717

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30 Years, 3 Motorcycles, 1000’s of Miles

Dale and I just returned from a celebration of our 30th wedding anniversary…the 5th year we have taken a motorcycle trip to mark the occasion.  This year we were so happy to get out of the rain that had been plaguing us in Iowa and head for Minnesota to ride the Highway 16 Route.

We could not have asked for better weather as we started out on Saturday morning in cool, crisp and clear conditions.  The skies were blue and clear all day and the temp never went above 72.  The roads were amazing!  We started in La Crescent, MN and took the route clockwise.  The elevation changes and curves were so much fun and there was an incredible stretch that put us between the Root River and a bluff…that was my favorite!

This route passes through a lot of quaint little towns and many refer to themselves as the heart of Bluff Country.  They aren’t kidding!  Another awesome stretch took us straight up a ridge with land dropping way off on both sides of the road and with amazing vistas from the top.  For us it was one of the faster routes because there are fewer small bits and turns and more long stretches of good highway.  This is partially because in MN the smaller roads are gravel so we avoided them for the route, and partially because highway 16 is such a fantastic road with good speeds!

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We did ride some additional gravel that was very fun as well…and even a two track that kept us on our toes, but unfortunately dead ended on us with no warning!  ADVENTURE!  Our GPS decided at one point that a little more adventure was needed and directed us off the route onto more gravel.  BUT…I was glad for the glitch because the road was lots of fun and we saw 5 deer in a short stretch.

Wildlife was great too…close encounters with 4 eagles and 12 deer (luckily, this time, not too close) as well as pheasants and sand hill cranes made it even more fun.

While we enjoy all our routes, some have amazing stretches and maybe a few that are not quite as much fun, but are necessary to get to the next amazing stretch.  This route never felt that way…we enjoyed every twist and turn.  On a personal note, I could not ask for a better partner on the bike, or in my life.  Love you!  Here’s to 30 more years and many more rides!

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5th Annual Anniversary Ride!!

Five years ago Renee and I started a tradition of taking a motorcycle ride for our wedding anniversary.  The first 2 years we rode on the Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail, the next year we rode in the Loess Hills of western Iowa.  Last year we rode in the Driftless Area between Boscobel, WI and Red Wing, MN.

While we always enjoyed riding in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin, our Red Wing trip really opened up our eyes to the fact that the driftless areas of Minnesota and Iowa also offer tremendous roads.  It was on this ride that we got the inspiration to create Driftless Road Adventures.

This year we are excited to be celebrating our 30th anniversary by riding the Highway 16 Route.

Highway 16 route pic

We will be riding on Saturday, and the weather is looking good, so hopefully we will see some of you on the road.  Look for our logo on our bags, and if you see us on the road give us a wave.  If we are stopped, be sure to say hi.  We love to meet other riders.

We also want to thank everyone who entered our Celebration Giveaway contest.  The winners have all been notified and their prizes are in the mail.  We had a great time seeing everyone’s pictures and hearing their stories.  Click Here to see the winning submissions.

And, as always, we want to thank you for reading our blog posts and riding our routes.  If you have any stories or pictures you would like to share, we would love to see and hear them.

Ride Safe,

Dale and Renee

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Happy Labor Day!!

We wanted to take the time to wish everyone a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend.  Remember, it’s a busy travel weekend, so if you are riding, be extra careful.

Also, there is still time to enter our Celebration Giveaway contest.  All you need to do is send us a photo of your bike near a curvy road sign like this:

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Happy Riding!!

Dale and Renee