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Bikernet Trike Riders

Trike Touring Guide to America

Get out, ride, explore, live and tell us about it.

by Ujjwal Dey


There are 50 States in US of A. And this mass of land is the third largest in geographic size on this planet. The diversity in landscape is immense. It spans a continent sized land mass between Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean. The immense lifeline called Mississippi river runs through 10 States flowing 2,350 miles from its source to end at the Gulf of Mexico. On both sides of this river system life thrives in all of God’s glory. The range of animals, birds, reptiles, insects and plants and trees is to be seen to be believed. The mountains have personalities too. Snow capped at some mountain ranges as seen at say Colorado or Utah or Washington or Alaska. The magnificent ancient ruins of past civilisations seen at Grand Canyon, Arizona. The tree filled forest mountains of Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, New York. Glacier National Park of Montana. More than 50 mountains with diverse topography in California alone. Yosemite National Park and Yellowstone National Park are sites of pristine beauty of mother nature.


In 1903, Horatio Nelson Jackson became the first documented person to drive an automobile from San Francisco to New York using only a connection of dirt roads, cow paths, and railroad beds. His journey, covered by the press, became a national sensation and called for a system of long distance roads.


United States has 21 kilometres of roads per 1000 people. 5,486,610 kilometers of paved roads exist today in USA. Out of that 103,027 km are marked Expressways. Yes, you are connected to all Americans everywhere. What is stopping you? Get up, boot up, ride and meet these fellow citizens and explore your beautiful America.



Route 50, The George Washington Highway, West Virginia.

Twists, turns, mountains, scenery, wildlife, scenery that will make you love everything your eyes can see. On the George Washington Highway, you get to ride just north of the beautiful Monongahela National Forest. You will pass Cathedral State Park along the way too which is a nice midway point stop. If you thought that was an adventure, you are right there in front of East Coast's best rides, Skyline Drive and The Blue Ridge Parkway. Route 50 is sometimes called “Backbone of America” passing through hundreds of small towns. The Nevada portion of the route is called “The Loneliest Road in America” by travelers. You find miles and miles of little more than mountains, sand, and blue sky. The history of US Highway 50 starts almost two hundred years ago. On Route 50 you can still find some old gas stations, motor courts and diners hidden between newer buildings and businesses – a glimpse to another time in America’s past. Stretching 3,000 miles (4,800 km), the route runs through mostly rural areas in the Western part of USA.



Needles Highway, Black Hills, South Dakota

If you have been to Sturgis Motorcycle Rally held each August, then you know, Needles highway is one of many roads you can take to get there. This road was probably designed just to be experienced on a trike. If you thought you would make a Sturgis Run and speed through overnight, you will find you are suddenly going much slower once there, without even realizing it. The surrounding scenery is stunning to say the least. The highway passes through two tunnels blasted through sheer granite walls, namely, Iron Creek Tunnel and Needles Eye Tunnel. This highway is named after the high granite "needles" it winds through. As for wildlife that you would expect – let your iron steed meet a bison up close. Come and see the actual spots where "the deer and the antelope play" just like the John Denver song (sung by literally everyone from Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra to Willie Nelson, Neil Young and even Cary Grant). The legendary American Bison once roamed the grasslands of North America in massive herds. They became nearly extinct by a combination of commercial hunting and slaughter in the 19th century and introduction of bovine diseases from domestic cattle. Bisons have made a recent resurgence largely restricted to a few national parks and reserves.




Tail of the Dragon, Deal's Gap, North Carolina

This road has its own website and it declares that Tail of the Dragon is the number one motorcycle and sports car road. Maybe no one has taken a Trike there so they never mentioned a Trike. With 318 curves in 11 miles this is a challenging, thrilling and indeed adventurous trail to take. Bordering the southeastern portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, your ride will be spectacular. Worship the macabre and raise the spirits of the dead by visiting the "Tree of Shame," a monument to the unfortunate souls who have crashed their bikes along the Tail of the Dragon. Bike parts are nailed to the tree and dangle from branches. This road is a Hollywood favourite and featured in dozens of movies and TV shows. Remember Harrison Ford’s epic jump in The Fugitive as US Marshall Tommy Lee Jones hunts him down. Cheoah Dam in Deals Gap was the location of the scene where Harrison Ford jumps from the dam. So limber up and cross the gap into Tennessee to drive along the "The Tail of the Dragon". Deal’s Gap is a mountain pass along the North Carolina–Tennessee state line. Some of the Dragon's sharpest curves have names like Copperhead Corner, Hog Pen Bend, Wheelie Hell, Shade Tree Corner, Mud Corner, Sunset Corner, Gravity Cavity, Beginner's End, and Brake or Bust Bend.



Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia

Blue Ridge Parkway wanders through the Virginia countryside. Watch out for an old mill pond with a working millwheel, as well as fascinating Civil War battle sites. The lower half runs from I-77 to Cherokee, NC. Here you can see the great Smokey Mountains of North Carolina. There are countless overlooks to view the beautiful Smokies. Below Ashville, NC you will witness some of the greatest mountain views in the eastern U.S. The only trucks ever encountered on this road are the few service truck that service the two service station and restaurant areas along the parkway. Maybe the 45 mph speed limit will enable you to enjoy the surrounding scenery as safely as possible. The Blue Ridge Parkway is America's longest linear park and runs for 469 miles (755 km) through 29 Virginia and North Carolina counties, mostly along the Blue Ridge, a major mountain chain that is part of the Appalachian Mountains. The Blue Ridge Parkway was built to connect Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Land on either side of the road is owned and maintained by the National Park Service and, in many places, parkway land is bordered by United States Forest Service property. This road project was originally called the Appalachian Scenic Highway. The project took over 52 years to complete. It is not unusual for small sections of the Parkway to be temporarily closed to repair damage caused by the cold winter climate of the mountains or for other maintenance or a well announced Hurricane. Detours caused by these closures are clearly marked, and are arranged to cause as little disruption as possible, though maintenance such as repaving only warrants a stop/slow switch with a one-lane only restriction.



Beartooth Pass, Wyoming

Adventure should be a road sign on Beartooth Pass. It has ups and downs, guard rails and epic pristine scenery that will finally cure you of addiction to Facebook and Smart Phone Staring. There are incredible mountain ranges, dense forests thriving with unexplored life, gigantic rocks, snow and tundra. If you had to design a single Trike ride for lifelong glory, Beartooth Pass would qualify. Expect to see as many motorcycles as cars on this road. If you remember your childhood rollercoaster rides, relive it here on a Trike as it plunges straight down and you keep doing it over and over again on this Pass. Located 10,947 feet (3,337 m) above sea level near Yellowstone National Park, this has been called "the most beautiful drive in America”. Because of heavy snowfall at the top, the pass is usually open each year only from mid May through mid October, weather conditions permitting. Drive from the east to the west, as the highest parts of the Beartooth Highway level off into a wide plateau near the top of the pass. Then descend to where the Beartooth Highway connects to the Wyoming Highway 296 forming the northeast gateway to Yellowstone National Park. Meanwhile, enjoy the numerous lakes typical of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area which borders the highway along much of its route. The Beartooth Highway passes through portions of Custer National Forest, and Shoshone National Forest and near the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. The Beartooth Highway is the section of U.S. Route 212 between Red Lodge, Montana and Cooke City, Montana. It will take you two hours for the 69-mile (111 km) long trip from Red Lodge to Cooke City.



San Juan Mountain Skyway, Colorado

San Juan Mountain Skyway is a loop, so you can start anywhere and take it in either direction. This route is an immensely beautiful section of the Rocky Mountains. The Skyway is interspersed with historic mining towns, national parks, forests and world-class ski resort areas. Many 14,000 feet mountain peaks of Colorado find home at San Juan Mountains. All you Trike Tourists can also enjoy red rock canyons, amazing river valleys, hot springs and majestic mountain peaks in a spot sometimes known as the "Switzerland of America." San Juan Skyway forms a 233.0-mile (375.0 km) loop in the southwest part of the U.S. state of Colorado traversing the heart of the San Juan Mountains. Starting in Durango, Colorado, the largest city on San Juan Skyway, the byway follows U.S. Highway 160 (US 160) west through the town of Mancos to Cortez passing the entrance to Mesa Verde National Park. The Skyway was designated as All-American Road in September 1996.



Tunnel of Trees Road, Michigan

The Tunnel of Trees Road is one of the great forest routes in North America. It is located 35 miles from the Mackinac Island at the juncture of Michigan and Upper Peninsula Michigan. Ride royally into this road on your Trike. Hug the eastern shoreline of Lake Michigan through a dense forest on one side offering glimpses of old summer cabin homes tucked back in the forest, while the other side brings a quick peek of the Lake Michigan shoreline. Ride north around the harbor to go through the town of Harbor Springs and up the coast. The view of Northern Michigan coastline is just spectacular. Tunnel of Trees Road is perfect for fall season rides during the color change on the forest trees. September trip would give you the very best vistas. Note the lack of a centerline along this area of the routing. The highway narrows in width and continues through the forest without a centerline most of the remainder of the way. From Harbor Springs onward M-119 Michigan Highway is the Tunnel of Trees Scenic Heritage Route. The roadway meanders through oaks, maples, birch and cedars along an old Ottawa trail.



Cherohala Skyway, Tennessee

At Cherohala Skyway between Knoxville and Chattanooga, your Trike will find a ride like no other in North America. As you ride into this adventure the Tellico River full of canoes and kayaks along the waterway will tempt you into trout fishing for dinner. This is a pristine landscape that takes you back to a bygone era. It can also be desolate at night and extremely dangerous in the winter months. There are no facilities other than restrooms for the entire 40 miles. True adventure awaits. Cherohala Skyway derives its name as a portmanteau of Cherokee and Nantahala, the two national forests through which it passes. Along with multiple vistas and overlooks, the skyway provides easy vehicular access to various protected and recreational areas of the Unicoi Mountains, including the Citico Creek Wilderness, the Bald River Gorge Wilderness, and the remote interior of the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. The skyway gains over 4,000 feet (1,200 m) in elevation, rising from a low point of just under 900 feet (270 m) at Tellico Plains to a high point of just over 5,400 feet (1,600 m) on the slopes of Haw Knob near the Tennessee-North Carolina state line. The North Carolina half of the skyway terminates near the south shore of Lake Santeetlah. Plus, you get to combine Tail of the Dragon trip with Cherohala Skyway in a single day.



Arkansas Pig Trail, Arkansas

Highway 23 winds through the Ozark National Forest and is designated as the Pig Trail Scenic Byway due to its steep hills and hairpin turns. The route has a strong connection with the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, connecting fans in Central Arkansas with the Northwest Arkansas area. The town of Ozark lies between Little Rock and Fort Smith. Start this trail from thereon which is so aptly named in the state that made Razorbacks famous. The rugged and forested Boston Mountains region of the Ozark Mountains is the setting for this route. It often runs through a tunnel of foliage during spring, summer and fall. Spring wildflowers and brilliant autumn colors make Arkansas Pig Trail a route especially popular during the three bright seasons of spring, summer and fall. The route crosses the Mulberry River and the 165-mile Ozark Highlands Trail. As you journey through on your Trike, various hairpin turns await, along with straightaways and drop-offs where the cliffs seem to be right next to you. It is 19 miles in length. To get to the Arkansas Pig Trail Scenic Byway, take Ark. 23 from the south boundary of the Ozark National Forest through Franklin County to its intersection with Ark. 16 at Brashears in Madison County. Bears, Elk, birds and butterflies entertain you along the many tourist villages nearby such as Fayetteville and Eureka Springs who all welcome bikers.



The Three Sisters (aka The Twisted Sisters), Texas

Three Hill Country Ranch Roads, 335, 336 and 337 together are known as The Three Twisted Sisters of Texas. Three Sisters starts in Medina, TX, and offers a 131 mile experience that will define your image of the state of Texas. If you thought Texas landscapes are flat and boring, get your Trike on Three Sisters. The Twisted Sisters will give you a Texas welcome with a bronco ride. Breeze alongside clear rivers, maneuver your way along very twisty mountain curves with the added attraction of Texas-style ranches all around you. Nueces River holds largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and the native guadalupe bass, along with a variety of panfish such as redbreast sunfish, rock bass, green sunfish and Rio Grande perch to incorporate a fishing trip on this tour. Keep the trike close by as the river is home to lots of gators too. This Three Sisters route is mainly very twisty passing over large hills. Gas up in Leakey since in between not many gas stations will be found. This roller coaster ride will no doubt blow you away. The road is not heavily traveled, but beware as sharp turns have certainly taken many motorcyclists down. Also, although the surface is mostly in very good condition, always watch for loose gravel, deer and slow moving locals heading back to their ranch. Don't miss Frio Canyon just west of Leakey on FM337. It is a small Motorcycle Mecca in this area. The Sisters will give you Scenery and Challenge as your ride. This 100-mile loop is, without a doubt, among the best, most challenging motorcycle roads in the state of Texas. In one 15-mile section, there are approximately 65 curves. The route follows canyons and climbs jagged, steep hills. The roads offer many tight, twisty curves with shear drop offs alongside and not much in the way of guardrails. Going straight on 187 for another three miles will take you to the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum in the beauty of Hill Country. You can look forward to whitetail deer who will pop up at the most inopportune times just like a fast moving car in the middle of a downhill, off camber, decreasing radius turn. And maybe you will encounter a car or a herd of cows.



So gear up for a new adventure. 5-Ball Leathers has an awesome new range of gear for your Trike Tours. Visit http://shop.bikernet.com/ for Special Ops Jacket or Vest. I personally favor the 5/8 sleeve Jak Shirt. The Pit Crew Vest made of ballistic nylon is ideal for leisure in the outdoors. Ballistic nylon was originally designed in WWII to repel flying shrapnel. Thunder down those hills and valleys with an authentic Bonneville tee-shirt from 5-Ball Racing Team. 


Write to me at support@happymen.org or to bandit@bikernet.com as we live to please your hunger for adventure and fun on wheels. Or, of course, drop us a note below in the Comments section.


Ride On!


Your SuperSan Trikes Editor, Ujjwal Dey




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Reader Comments

Hi i currently own a 1996 Heritage softail that I want to convert into into a Trike Do you know of any salvage yards that I might be able to buy the rear end of a Trike your help is Greatly appreciated.

Roy Bacchi
Middletown, NJ
Monday, April 24, 2017
Editor Response Do check the local biker meets for swapping parts or gear. Our Classifieds has many goodies too.

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