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Visit with Dirt Orcas

Saturday I rode to Iowa City to visit with Paul Strubell, founder of Dirt Orcas, and to attend the start of the 2nd Annual Dirt Orcas Summer Classic.

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Paul organized a great event which included an off-road riding demonstration, a guided back-road ride from Iowa City to Fairfield, a raffle, and a showing of the Mid-Atlantic Backcountry Discovery Route film.

The off road course had some pretty nasty looks sections such as the rock bed below:

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During the course of the day, I met many riders from as far away as Peoria, Illinois and Ferryville, Wisconsin.  I also ran into Chris Nacker who operates The Ride Productions  and is one of our patrons.  Chris tests and reviews motorcycle related products to save you time and money.  I know that Chris goes the extra mile during testing because he showed me the results of the last test he performed on his Alt-Rider crash bars!

Unfortunately, I was not able to ride with the group to Fairfield, but I had a great ride to Iowa City and back.  On the way home I stopped in Buffalo for a drink and ran into a rider from Vancouver, British Columbia.

Dan Cook has been travelling all over North America and has visited nearly all of the US States and Canadian Provinces.  His 2016 Goldwing has nearly 60,000 miles on it!  Dan was kind enough to tell me about his travels and answer all of my questions about his camper.  It was an interesting twist of fate that put us both at the same gas station at the same time.  I enjoyed talking with Don and I wish him safe travels.

Even though it was a short day, it was packed with activity.  I met a lot of other riders and made some new friends, and I’m already looking forward to the next Dirt Orcas ride.

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Route Released and Weekend Plans

Driftless Road Adventures is pleased to announce the release of our 27th route, the Wabasha Cannon Route.  This 260 mile route explores southeast Minnesota between Wabasha, Cannon Falls, and Red Wing.

As with all new routes, this route is only available to Patrons at the $3.00 level and above for the next 48 hours.  After that time, this route will be available to everyone.  We hope you all will enjoy this new route!


This Saturday, Dale is traveling to Iowa City to attend the start of the Dirt Orcas Summer Classic.  The Dirt Orcas Summer Classic is a day of ride training, raffles, riding, and relaxing under the stars.

Paul Strubell of Dirt Orcas, in conjunction with BMW Motorcycles of Iowa City, Backcountry Discovery Routes, Jefferson County Ciderworks, Giant Loop, and TheWarmingStore.com have put together an action packed event!

Spots are limited for this event, so if you are interested, please pre-register to save your spot.  For more information about the Dirt Orcas Summer Classic, click here.

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Thanks for riding with us!

Dale and Renee

Driftless Road Adventures

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Ride To Work Day 2018

Today is International Motorcycle and Scooter Ride to Work Day!  This is a great event held the third Monday of June each year.  In fact, this is the 27th year that ridetowork.org has held this event.  Their mission is to advocate for and support the use of motorcycles and scooters for transportation, and to provide information about everyday utility riding to the public.  Dale braved the heat today rode to work, did you?

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I rode

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New Route Released and Other Updates

Driftless Road Adventures is happy to announce the release of our 26th route, the Boaz Caz Route.  This route explores the area around Richland Center, WI and includes a beautiful stretch of Highway 60.

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Last weekend we rode part of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Route.  During this ride we discovered that we had inadvertently included several gravel roads.  Because we want to offer completely paved routes, we have revised the Laura Ingalls Wilder Route to eliminate the gravel roads.  The current version is version 3.0, so if you have downloaded an older version you might want to update to the current route.  We will also be offering the route, as is, as a dual sport route.  The roads were awesome and if you don’t mind a bit of gravel, it’s a great ride!

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Construction and Detour Update:   Last weekend we also discovered that there are construction detours on the following route:  the Laura Ingalls Wilder Route, the Pikes Peak Route, and the Balltown Dreams Route.  Please check these route pages for recommended detours.road-construction-signs-detour-right-arrow-l3555-lgDon’t forget to come back and rate the routes after you ride them and share your pics or video with us.  Finally, we want to thank everyone for all of the great feedback we have received.  The positive responses we have gotten so far continues to energize us in our efforts.  So Thank You!!

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Laura Ingalls Wilder Ride Report

Yesterday Renee and I rode the lower half of the Laura Ingalls Wilder route.  We had a hotel in Durand, WI, so we jumped on the route in the middle of the eastern leg.  We woke up to very gray skies, and by the time we had breakfast the radar was not looking good.  We waited out a storm and got a later start than we would have liked.  When we eventually got on the road, we followed the route south to Pepin  before turning north toward Menomonie.  We had completed about half of the route when we decided to check the radar again as more storms were predicted.  Sure enough a big one was headed right for us, so we cut the ride short and raced the storm back to the hotel.  All in all not our best day!  BUT, the important part about this trip was that we learned a lot!  Today we are back home and we wanted to share some of our observations with you.

First:  There was gravel.  A lot of gravel.  Much much more gravel than we expected.  Roads that we thought were paved turned out to contain gravel sections of various lengths.  I have been wracking my brain to figure out how I included so many gravel roads and think it might have been due to the method I was using to verify the road surface.  We apologize to anyone who followed our route and ended up on a gravel road that they weren’t expecting.  Because of the storms, the gravel was pretty soft and slick, so it slowed us down quite a bit.  However, we both agreed that we wouldn’t have wanted to miss these roads…they were so much fun.  Therefore, we are going to keep this route as is and reclassify it as a dual sport route.  We will also be revising the route for those who want to stay strictly on pavement.  Thanks for your patience as we make these changes.

Second:  This route could be called the Laura Ingalls Wildlife Route.  We saw over 25 deer (does and fawns), pheasants, several sandhill cranes and 2 woodchucks!  The deer were mostly in the fields but we had a few close encounters too.  This was a wonderful added bonus to the beautiful scenery we experienced along the entire route.  Another name we toyed with was the Right Angle Route.  We have never been on roads with so many 90 degree turns!  They may slow you down a bit…and make sure they do because many come right after blind hills and try to catch you by surprise… but it is fun to zig zag through the valleys this way.

Finally:  There are many towns in this area, but the route does not pass through them.   There are not many places to stop for food or gas (or bathrooms), so be sure to fill up your tank before heading out on this route!

The portion of the route that we got to experience was a lot of fun and simply beautiful.  We are looking forward to going back to complete it.  So stay tuned for the updated version with no gravel, and if you don’t mind it, get out there and enjoy!

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Exploring the Laura Ingalls Wilder Route

We can’t believe the weekend is upon us already!  This week has flown by and we decided last minute to throw together a weekend getaway.  After checking weather forecasts it looks like our best shot of staying mostly dry will be on the Laura Ingalls Wilder route.  So that’s where we will be, getting lots of photos and some video to share.  Remember, as you ride the routes, please come back to the route page to rate it, leave us comments, share your pictures and video.  The more feedback we get, the better!  Also, don’t forget to follow us on the site, our Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter for all the latest news!  Ride safe, have a great weekend, and if you see us on the road (just look for our stickers on our bags) be sure to say hi!

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Awesome But Exhausting Weekend!

Wow, what a great weekend!  3 days of riding with old friends and and making new friends.  Overall, I rode 600 miles in 3 different states!

Friday was spent riding to Wisconsin and exploring some roads and sights for the next new route we are working on (the Boaz-Caz Route).  The diversity of scenery for the first day is typical on all of our routes.  For the architecture buffs among us, this route includes a warehouse designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

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On Saturday, our plan was to ride the Wisconsin Triangle Route.  We started early and kept up a brisk pace all day.  Life happens and we had many drop outs so our small group was made up of a BMW 1200GSW, a Versys, a Vstrom, a Valkryie, and a VTX.

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Unfortunately Bill, on the Valk, had work commitments, so he could only ride with us for a short time.  We started the ride in Blue River, WI and rode in a clockwise direction, winding through the hills and valleys until we made it to Potosi.  In Potosi, we took side trips on Wisconsin Rustic Road #99 and the Potosi Recreation Area Pennisula.

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We stopped for lunch in Cassville and then pushed on.  After a few quick stops along the way we ended up in Woodman, where they were winding down the Dinky Days Celebration.  The Dinky Days Celebration is a look into the past when the narrow gauge railroad ran between Woodman and Fennimore Wisconsin.

We visited with our friends and sponsor at the Dinky Store.  We were close to the end of the route and it was getting late.  A freshly paved road made for a great finish to a good day’s ride.  The door to door distance for this ride was about 250 miles, traffic was light, the weather was good.

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By Sunday, I was tired, but I had a planned meet up with the crew from Motoworks Chicago at the ATLAK event in Galena, Illinois, so I had to get up and start moving.  It was a windy, cloudy day until I got to the event site at Chestnut Mountain Resort (Galena, Ill), but then the wind stopped and the sun came out.  The setting was beautiful and the new Triumph Tigers looked awesome.

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I met people from as close as Moline and as far away as Chicago and I had a great time talking to everyone I met.  The highlight of my visit was meeting Johnny Scheff from Motoworks Chicago, John Panek from the Motorcycle Sport Touring Association, and Chad Berger from Lone Wolf Expeditions.

Motoworks Chicago was the local host for the nationwide ATLAK event.  They have many events throughout the summer, so you should check out their website or stop in to their store.

The Motorcycle Sport Touring Association (MSTA) has the motto, Great Riders, Great Roads, Join Us!  The primary purpose of this group is to bring together riders whose focus is sport touring, regardless of the type or brand of motorcycle.  They host several events throughout the year including a major event every year.  This years major event will be held next weekend (June 10-14) in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Chad Berger created Lone Wolf Expeditions, but he is also known as the creator of the Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail.  This is a dual sport route that runs from Galena, Illinois to the north tip of wisconsin on the shores of Lake Superior.  This is a must-do ride for any dual sport enthusiast.

Overall it was a fun, but tiring weekend.  I found some great new roads for the Boaz-Caz Route, I decided to make some small changes to the Wisconsin Triangle Route, and I got to reconnect with some old friends and make some new friends.

Thanks for riding along.

Dale

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3rd Annual Mayhem Ride + Teaming Up With Triumph/MOTOWORKS Chicago=Big Weekend Plans!!

Driftless Road Adventures has a big weekend coming up!

On Saturday Dale will be leading the 3rd annual Mayhem Ride.  This year the Mayhem ride follows the Wisconsin Triangle Route and Dale will be posting pictures on the Driftless Road Adventures Facebook page throughout the day.  Be sure to follow us on Facebook (@Driftless Roads) for the latest pictures and news!  This has been a ride that Dale has planned for family and friends up until now, but we are thinking of opening it up next year and inviting everyone along.  More info on that to follow.

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Next, Driftless Road Adventures is teaming up with Triumph Motorcycles and MOTOWORKS Chicago:

Earlier this year Triumph announced it would host a 16 city tour to promote their new 800 and 1200 Triumph Tigers.  This Tour, dubbed the ATLAK (ATLanta to AlasKa) Tour is making a stop at Chestnut Mountain Lodge in Galena, IL THIS WEEKEND!  (June 2nd and 3rd).

Hosted by the MOTOWORKS Chicago crew, this 2 day event will feature both gravel and paved rides each day as well as food and other festivities.

We are extremely proud to announce that the paved routes for this weekend’s event will be supplied by Driftless Road Adventures!  So plan to attend this event, check out the new Tigers and ride some great roads.

Click here for more information on the event and here for more information about the tour itself.

As always, we would love any feedback on the site and the routes as you are getting out there and riding them.  Send us your pics, videos, and comments and we will put them on our sharing wall for everyone to enjoy.  Use the Comments form or email: Driftlessroadadventures@gmail.com.  Ride safe!

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Update to St Croix Route 5/25/18

Notice:  Thanks to one of our astute riders, we have just learned that the Stillwater Lift Bridge is closed until June 2019.  At that point it will reopen to bicycles and pedestrians only.  We will make the necessary adjustments to this route and post an update.  In the meantime, all riders are encouraged to take the new St Croix Crossing bridge just to the south of the lift bridge, then take Highway 95 North.  This adjustment will take you back to the originally posted route.  We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.

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Please remember that we cannot predict seasonal road work or construction projects.  It is only through user feedback that we are able to discover problems with the routes.  So please let us know if you encounter any problems with any of the routes.

Dale and Renee