Motorcycling Bucket Lists

Most of us are familiar with the recent movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman called The Bucket List. It follows the life of two terminally ill men who attempt to do many of the things they've always wanted to do, before they 'kick the bucket'.

I have always thought that motorcyclists should have a similar list, but carrying out the adventures and rides on that list certainly should not wait until the end is near. We should make it a life long part of our riding experience; a quest of sorts, to add adventure and personal fulfillment to what is already a soul-satisfying and emotionally enriching activity.

Biking Bucket Lists can come in many sizes and forms. For those that have the means (mostly time and money) the list could include a trip around the world or across continents, such as Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman did in their Long Way Round and Long Way Down excursions. Many not-so-well-connected adventurers of course have made similar trips with much less support and financial investment. You don’t have to be rich and famous to do major adventures, just adventurous, and have your priorities in order.
Closer to home, various Iron Butt rides, The Four Corners Ride, Fairbanks to Tierra del Fuego, coast to coast rides, and many more adventures await. There are many possible ways to test your limits and earn some bragging rights, while satisfying personal goals and dreams.
A rider's aspirations and personal dreams don’t have to be lofty in order to satisfy his or her spirit of adventure and provide a feeling of accomplishment and enjoyment. There are so many fabulous riding roads across North America that it would take a lifetime to ride them all. And I'm not only referring to well-known highways such as the Blue Ridge Parkway, California's Pacific Coast Highway, the Tail of the Dragon, or the Beartooth Highway in Wyoming and Montana, I'm also referring to historic roads such as the National Road, the Lincoln Highway, the Natchez Trace, the Old Yellowstone Trail and many more. And of course every state has dozens of fabulous roads that should be on everyone's list of roads that ought to be ridden at least once.
And a Biker’s Bucket List isn’t limited to roads. Places, whether broadly-defined geographic regions such as the Canadian Maritimes, the Gulf Coast, Alaska, Hawaii, the European Alps, and so on, or specific high-profile destinations such as Daytona, Sturgis, Laughlin, Laconia, Lake George, Myrtle Beach, and more – these iconic places are worthy additions to any bucket list.

My Biking Bucket List is very long (though it exists only in my head). I am happy to say I've been able to accomplish some of my dream rides, including the Blue Ridge Parkway, a long stretch of the Great River Road along the Mississippi, the Talimena Drive in Arkansas and Oklahoma, the Tail of the Dragon, the Going to the Sun Highway, Beartooth Highway, The Natchez Trace from Nashville to Natchez MS, and several more fabled roads. I've also checked several high profile destinations off my list - Daytona, Sturgis, Laconia, and many racing venues such as Mid-Ohio, Road America, Springfield, Indianapolis, and Daytona at the major level, and many smaller tracks across America.

I love to check roads or destinations off my mental Biking Bucket List. But the problem is - the list grows each year, so I will never accomplish all my dream rides, and that suits me just fine.
A short list of my remaining Biking Bucket List includes the following:

Riding historic roads their entire length, including The National Road, The Lincoln Highway, the Dixie Highway from Sault Ste Marie to Miami, and Route 66. (I plan to ride much of route 66 this summer, watch for daily updates) I want to ride across the continent on all of the coast-to-coast highways, including US routes 2, 6, 20, 50, 60, 70 and 80 (routes 30 and 40 are the Lincoln Highway and the National Road). And there are an uncountable number of roads in places as diverse as Maine and California, and everything that lies between, that I want to explore on two wheels. I have ridden a great many of these, but there are oh so very many more that I have not yet ridden.
I want to explore the Adirondacks, the Appalachian Mountains, the Rockies, the Sierra Nevada, and the Cascades by motorcycle, riding the roads and hiking the trails. I want to follow fabulous biking roads along major river valleys such as the Hudson, Delaware, Ohio, Missouri, Mississippi, Colorado, Columbia, Snake, and so many more that I can’t list them all - - but I know they’re out there just waiting for me.
My dream destinations include Quebec's Gaspe Peninsula, Alaska, the entire Pacific coast, New England, and motorcycling in all 50 states. I won’t even get into listing all the National Parks that I want to explore on my bike.
And that is just a portion of my dream list.
A Biking Bucket List isn’t meant to restrict or limit where one rides, it is meant to expand our concept of where we could ride if we let our imagination and spirit rule rather than practicalities and self-imposed limitations.
So put a mental list together that you know can never be accomplished; trying to do the impossible is a fun and fulfilling escape from reality.