OpenRoadJourney Motorcycle Route Planner

OpenRoadJourney motorcycle route planner

For a lot of us, it's a bit cold for riding right now so what better time to start thinking about a few road trips when the weather turns warm? You probably know where to go for a nice ride if you have an hour or two or even a day but what happens when you want to take a longer trip? Finding a good road can be a little hit or miss and it's a little disappointing to get home and find out you rode right by a great two lane blacktop that didn't look like much from that country intersection.

Erik sent me a note about a new site he has called OpenRoadJourney. The idea is to share the good roads you know about with other riders. You can upload your routes to the site and draw them on a map. You can also download a route that looks promising and put it into your GPS. Everybody benefits. If you stumble onto a great back road, let other riders know about it and if you need some ideas, look through their growing list of routes and find a few good ones. There might even be a few close to where you live you somehow missed.

The site is still fairly new but it could be worth a look while laying out your next road trip. Check it out.

Link: OpenRoadJourney

Comments

  1. kneeslider says

    Yep, except it looks like it intends to go beyond California. Pashnit is huge but is focused on just CA if I’m not mistaken.

  2. Matt says

    I love the idea of this, but sites like pashnit turn secluded backroads into abused stretches of asphalt patrolled by troopers that seem like they were trained by The Empire (ala Star Wars, sorry for the geek ref.). As a CA native who rode the hills of Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez, Buellton and the like, I saw those roads begin to get crowded and flogged by more than just the occasional biker. These roads became the playground of everything from replica hot rods to parades of similar sports cars, like the Miata and Mustang clubs from all over CA. Law enforcement went ballistic once they realized the revenue possibilities when pulling over a bunch of vehicles in one swoop.

    While I haven’t had the opportunity to spend a weekend at Deals Gap since I moved to the Carolinas, I’ve checked out countless websites about it. While I’m sure that the road hasn’t changed the experience most certainly has. I never heard of Deals Gap before the web (and being in CA). Now people read about it from their homes all over the world and make “pilgrimages” there, planning whole vacations around it and dropping way too much money to do so.

    I’m not giving up my favorite roads, from CA or NC, to any public forum again. I would be happy to share them with people I might meet on a small group ride some weekend who want a new place to go, and hopefully they’ll share a little too, but I don’t need to contribute to a bunch of squids with stretched swingarms looking for someplace to pose on a bike that makes about as much sense as a cruiser with rearsets.

  3. Earl says

    I’m with Matt on this one. Around Sydney, there’s some wonderful roads, but weekends they’re just too clogged to be fun. They draw cops like flies to shit.

    I’ve discovered, and been introduced to, some wonderful roads. I’ll share ‘em with friends but I won’t broadcast ‘em, ‘cos I don’t want to have to share a great road with a crowd of idiots with ’46’ plastered on their helmets who ride once a month and think it’s okay to pass on a blind hairpin.

    The two biggest selling roadbikes in Australia are the Road King and the R1. I ride daily and rarely ever see them.

  4. Bill says

    I see the point, but spreading the word about good roads was going on long before the internet, the internet has just accelerated how fast it spreads. If it’s a truly great road, eventually people will find out, and people will ride it. The problem is there are too many darn people! :)

    For people that travel by motorcycle, or for new people to riding, sites like Pashnit and OpenRoadJourney.com, that help give people an idea of what a location is like, can be great resource. Plus, for my money, anything that gets more people riding two wheels versus four is a positive thing!

  5. kneeslider says

    Crowded roads are the natural result of growing numbers of riders and drivers looking for a pleasant experience. Especially in the age of the computer, news travels fast and with Deals Gap, for instance, a number of businesses now derive an income from that stretch of road.

    On the other hand, the more good roads there are, the less likely any single one will get overcrowded. If everyone now knows about Deals Gap but nothing else, then Deals Gap gets the focus. It’s the idea of the “long tail” of demand. Once choices increase, everyone is free to experiment and try something new instead of crowding the one or two choices everyone knows about.

    The secluded beach, the cozy restaurant, the twisty road with little traffic all change over time. As the gems are discovered by one they will eventually be known to many, the experience changes, time to move on. You can’t freeze time and permanently keep anything secret which means you need to enjoy what you’ve found while it lasts and try new roads yourself when you find out about them.

    Share more good roads and overwhelm riders with choices so no single choice gets all of the traffic.

  6. says

    I totally agree with kneeslider. A vast amount of routes and rides are needed to bring enough choices to those seeking for a good ride. And much better if the effort is nationwide. That’s exactly the point…

    It’s nothing new that the surroundings of big metropolitan areas have those backroads fairly crowded. But there are plenty of nice roads out there in less populated areas for those beyond the average sunday rider who are willing to make longer rides on those big journeys reaching the horizon. Riding motorcycles out of town is a rather local and weekend thing and those “going the extra mile” are few. If you give’em accurate data, maps and even GPS files you make things easier for those riders to go ahead end explore beyond their cities. So any effort (web or paper) to pack those local knowledges together in a single place for bikers is a good thing for motorcycling.

  7. CruiserDave says

    Just came across this article, agree with others that sites like these are a good idea. Knowledge of good roads only help motorcycling in general, especially with the precision that GPS offers. Yeah squids suck, but there are squids in any activity, can’t let them ruin the fun for all.

    That begin said, I was a bit disappointed that most of the rides on Open Road Journey, most are tourist traps taken directly from http://www.byways.org…not exactly what I would call “motorcycle roads”…speaking of Deal’s Gap…it’s not even listed on the site.

    I hope I have better luck with with the other sites mentioned.

    My 2 cents.

  8. chris major says

    I’d like to propose an alternate perspective, that it’s understandable to try via advance planning to seek out pleasant things such as a beautiful stretch of road, yet quite another to open yourself to new experience, where that openness forces you to grow as a human being, and to understand that everything should be accepted. Thus, my best touring trip ever was when I traveled without any plans at all, without a map or a destination.. I made turns when I felt like it, camped in hidden spots, met strangers in weird places, saw wild animals, found secluded graves, saw vast industrial landscapes that were as beautiful as scenic parkways, drove my bike into the forest (my Yamaha 650 weighed half as much as a touring bike). I was stoned the entire time and 22 years of age. Now at age 52, everything is safe and comfortable, but that’s another way of say “slow death.” I want to live again!

    I’m about to do the same thing again (another lengthy undirected motorcycle trip), and I don’t think that the world has changed. I found this web site through force of habit since right now I’m sitting on my sofa with a laptop, but I’m grateful for everyone’s efforts, including this site and the other comments, for helping me to clarify what I want. On this upcoming trip, f I were to bring my cell phone and laptop, then I’d use them out of habit, but with the effect of avoiding new experience.