How would you define your perfect road? A few features might be:
Did I leave anything out? Of course, the list could go on for quite a while, just fill in whatever you think is important for your perfect road. So, where is it?
Well, if you make the list long enough and specific enough, you may never find it but roads that have a lot of those features exist almost everywhere. Sometimes it’s only a short section, it may go on for miles and miles but there are far more than you think.
A couple of days ago I mentioned a website that focused on gathering information and maps for a variety of roads motorcyclists have discovered and enjoyed. The idea is to share what you know with other riders and likewise, learn from them. The comments were mixed and a few took the view that when you find a great road, keep quiet or it will soon be overrun by weekend squids and traffic police. It’s easy to understand that point of view, but I have a slightly different take.
The example of Deals Gap was brought up in the comments as less enjoyable now since everyone seems to know about it. That may be true. Many still ride the curves and make it a destination for their trip but it’s not the exclusive bit of tarmac it once was. I’m not surprised. If you discovered a diamond in your backyard and your neighbor noticed, you can bet the whole neighborhood would show up with shovels. If you find a great road where none were known before, motorcycles will appear and before long it will look like the annual Love Ride.
What if, instead of finding one diamond, everyone in your neighborhood found one? What if people all over town start looking and diamonds pop up everywhere? No one shows up in your yard because there are diamonds for everyone. Roads are like that. There are a LOT of roads out there and if we make it a point to share and document our roads, pretty soon, none of them become crowded but everyone has more options to choose the kind of road they like best. Maybe you like a lot of turns, someone else likes fewer turns but really wants great scenery. Everyone finds a road that suits their taste and no one “perfect” road gets clogged with bikers looking for some elusive motorcycle nirvana.
Suppose, too, you decide to ride to Deals Gap but instead of taking any interstates, you dig into the GPS and various route lists and plan a route connecting as many shorter bike routes as possible. By the time you get to the Gap, you’re already smiling, you’ve had a great time and if the weather is a bit off or it’s particularly crowded that day, your trip is still a success because you had a great ride along the way.
The more great roads everyone knows about, the less chance of any one road getting packed every nice day. If we try to keep them all secret, everyone suffers, even you, because now you only get to ride your same secret road over and over and hope no one finds it while missing out on all of the roads no one else will tell you about. Get out of your backyard and look around, roads are not scarce. The farther you ride, the more you’ll find, it’s kinda funny how they’re all connected. If you only know one road, maybe you just need to ride more.