Author Topic: Least boring way to cross mid-USA  (Read 1255 times)

Offline nwguy

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Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« on: December 08, 2022, 12:14:29 PM »
Anyone have suggestions on routes across the band of states in mid-USA that have mainly flat, straight roads? The goal being to ride on curvy roads, roads that run along rivers or canyons, by geological points of interest, beautiful forests, etc. The states I'm referring to include:

The Dakotas
Nebraska
Kansas
Oklahoma
Texas

I'm not looking for tourist attractions like museums or roadside attractions, just fun roads to ride or particularly beautiful scenery. Last summer I did a loop around the US including stretches from Santa Fe, NM to eastern Oklahoma eastbound and from SW Wisconsin to The Badlands westbound. Hard to stay awake on roads there, and the middle strips of my tires get worn out ($$$). Am pondering another big loop in 2023. Any suggestions?
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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2022, 12:39:56 PM »
Some of my buddies just Iron Butt ride through those states. 

Here is what Motorcycle Roads website has to say.

https://motorcycleroads.com/motorcycle-rides-in/nebraska

I linked to Nebraska.  Just put in the other states at the top.  Good Luck.

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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2022, 01:00:30 PM »
Everything east of the badlands in N.Dakota is terrible.  You get on interstate freeway and ride straight for 12+hrs with not a single curve, bend, or rise.  Avoid at all costs! Unfortunatly, SD, NE, and the eastern 1/2 of Montana and Wyoming are not much better.
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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2022, 01:12:22 PM »
I found riding U.S. 2 up near the Canadian border to be most interesting, in part because it is little traveled. U.S. 20 is better than the interstates if you want to get from Madison to the Black Hills, and is faster, per Google maps. The reason it is better is the opportunity to see small towns along the way.

Similarly, Daniel Kalal once recommended, I think, U.S. 36 across Kansas. But I screwed up my experience of it by not following his recommendation to get off the highway at small towns to head north to their old downtowns.

It's pretty boring all the way across these states if your only interest is dramatic landscapes and curvy roads. But if you can direct your attention to small towns with their typically bygone but still visible glories, and to waving fields of grain, you're good.

Personally, I have given up this stuff and now tow my motorcycle, enjoying the comforts of my car, but I'm old.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2022, 10:14:33 PM by moto »
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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2022, 01:12:22 PM »

Online PeteS

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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2022, 01:28:44 PM »
We enjoyed US212 all the way across from Minnesota through Montana. South Dakota was OK too. Little traffic, you could maintain expessway speeds if so inclined with few semis.

Pete

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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2022, 02:06:55 PM »
You get on interstate freeway and ride straight for 12+hrs with not a single curve, bend, or rise.  Avoid at all costs!
that’s a bit exaggerated.

Another vote for US212.. if I were going that’s what I’d take. Maybe even if I was in a car.
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Offline Trialsman

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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2022, 02:40:31 PM »
I have been across many different ways and none are great.  I did like taking the Norge across Canada-1 from Idaho back to PA, by way of around the Great Lakes.  In the States the Ozarks are a nice break when I took the V85 from Colorado back home last year.
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Online LongRanger

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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2022, 02:46:37 PM »
If you’ve really got to ride across NE, Hwy 2 through the Sand Hills is really quite pleasant.

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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2022, 03:45:23 PM »
For KS...
36
24
4
160/166/56
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Offline rtbickel

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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2022, 03:49:59 PM »
Palo Duro Canyon State Park in the Texas panhandle south of Amarillo.
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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2022, 04:15:27 PM »
What ranger said:   :thumb:   If you’ve really got to ride across NE, Hwy 2 through the Sand Hills is really quite pleasant.   -   Lots of interesting hysterical markers on this stretch too! 

East to west across Mo. , Ks. and Co. ? Hy 36 is your best bet. It runs through St. Joseph
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Offline bad Chad

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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2022, 04:29:42 PM »
You can't get there from here.
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Offline slopokes

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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2022, 04:53:55 PM »
If you have a few months you could try the BDR ….

Offline blackbuell

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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2022, 05:43:22 PM »
Over the past 25 years I have ridden across the Great Plains maybe 50 times. I usually ride across Kansas or Nebraska, but occasionally Oklahoma and Texas. If I'm in a hurry, I just stay on the interstates at high speed and deal with the boredom, knowing that I'll get to my favorite rides in the western states ASAP. When not in a hurry I ride on rt. 160 in southern Kansas, or rt. 36 in northern Kansas. In Nebraska I have taken rt. 136 to rt. 34 into Colorado a few times. If I'm headed to South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and the Pacific northwest, I generally jump on rt. 2; on this road you can easily ride at interstate speed with little traffic and it is fairly scenic. I made these crossings on GT bikes such as a Honda Blackbird and Kawasaki ZZR1200 until 2008. After then all trips were on 2V Norges. At my advancing age (will be 74 next month), a fully loaded Norge is getting a bit too heavy for me to manage; I recently bought a V7 850 Special and plan to take my next cross country trip on it; will likely take my time, stay off the interstates and seek new routes. I will pay attention to this tread.

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Online Murray

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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2022, 06:02:19 PM »
As a human cannon ball in a circus.........

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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2022, 10:45:43 PM »
I'm partial to Historic Route 66 through OK and TX. You're parallel to railroads and there's better scenery than sticking to i44 & i40. The only troubles are lower speed limits, trying to stick on Route 66 where it still exists rather than being routed to the modern interstate alternative, and that at some spots the road is so bad you may find yourself shifting lane position to the oncoming traffic lane to avoid riding over missing chunks of road. It's an adventure, to say the least.











Online normzone

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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2022, 12:34:03 AM »
You can't get there from here.

"But I'm looking for the same old place."

"Oh, you must mean the old Same Place, sonny. It's right out back. Here's the key."

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Offline Tkelly

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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2022, 08:30:54 AM »
212 across SouthDakota and 12 and 20 across northern NE.Enjoyed 2 In Montana,moseyed down to Roosevelt badlands in ND then to212 inSD.

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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2022, 08:41:43 AM »
I'm partial to Historic Route 66 through OK and TX. You're parallel to railroads and there's better scenery than sticking to i44 & i40. The only troubles are lower speed limits, trying to stick on Route 66 where it still exists rather than being routed to the modern interstate alternative, and that at some spots the road is so bad you may find yourself shifting lane position to the oncoming traffic lane to avoid riding over missing chunks of road. It's an adventure, to say the least.











66 sure was one of the least boring roads back in the day. When the scenery became flat you still had all the cafes, gas stations, motels and other collections of oddballs populating that road. Flagstaff to Kingman and a bit west is still a lot of the old pavement but most all the characters are long gone.

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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2022, 09:01:41 AM »
I suspect there in more than one answer here... :wink: :thumb:

As Huzo suggests in his recent post..."Enjoy the solitude and enormity" of the journey! :cool: :boozing:









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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2022, 09:23:58 AM »
Yep…
When you start to feel tired and sore, the Norge will help you to the end of the day. You get to think more deeply about why you are there on roads like that.
Just how minuscule you really are on your little bike and the depth of reliance you have on it, burn into your mind if you walk away 100 metres and just look at it.

If you think about your bike, it will think about you when you need it most.

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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2022, 10:51:05 AM »
Yep…
When you start to feel tired and sore, the Norge will help you to the end of the day. You get to think more deeply about why you are there on roads like that.
Just how minuscule you really are on your little bike and the depth of reliance you have on it, burn into your mind if you walk away 100 metres and just look at it.

If you think about your bike, it will think about you when you need it most.
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Offline travelingbyguzzi

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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2022, 02:27:52 PM »
If I am on the upper tier of states, I like rt 200 across Montana,N Dakota and Minnesota.
Crossing Kansas, I am usually on US400, probably only because I like to cross Colorado on US50 and it bleeds into 400 in Western Kansas. 400 is a fairly fast way across Kansas without quite being on an interstate.
In Oklahoma state rt 51 is alright even tho Tulsa is at the East end and nothing is at the West end.

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Offline LowRyter

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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2022, 02:44:01 PM »
try this as a reference.  https://www.motorcycleroads.com/


In Okla my favorite rd is hwy 62 west of Fayetteville into Tahlequah.  Eastern OK has many good rds.  Western has some scenic sport but straight roads.   You might try the Wichita Mtns and Mt Scott.  If you're around OKC give me a PM.
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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2022, 10:09:11 AM »
Quote
Similarly, Daniel Kalal once recommended, I think, U.S. 36 across Kansas.

Yep, and Ilinoise.. and Indiana. But. Anything is better than 70.
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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2022, 10:27:29 AM »
To an easterner like me the only boring roads out west are Interstates. Any sign of human habitation can be interesting.
The loneliest road where I felt most reliant on myself and my vehicle was US160 in western Kansas and eastern Colorado.
Rarely signs of life other than a few gravel roads leading somewhere out of sight and towns on the verge of becoming ghost towns.

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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #26 on: December 10, 2022, 12:15:06 PM »
There may be no way to avoid the long, straight, flat boringness of the main roads, but if there is, the way to find it is with a good GPS made for bikes. I have the Tom Tom Rider 550 it it almost always blows me away with the cool routes that it comes up with. Set it for twisty roads (but no unpaved) and it will take you for quite a ride.
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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2022, 06:16:27 PM »
To an easterner like me the only boring roads out west are Interstates. Any sign of human habitation can be interesting.
The loneliest road where I felt most reliant on myself and my vehicle was US160 in western Kansas and eastern Colorado.
Rarely signs of life other than a few gravel roads leading somewhere out of sight and towns on the verge of becoming ghost towns.

Pete
Couldn't agree more re US 160 in those areas. The immensity of nothingness is spectacular.
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Offline rocker59

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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2022, 09:06:46 PM »
Anyone have suggestions on routes across the band of states in mid-USA that have mainly flat, straight roads? 

 Any suggestions?

Talimena Drive.  Lots of good connectors to get there:

https://goo.gl/maps/vxCLiTxJDtxfHtrK9





« Last Edit: December 10, 2022, 09:28:49 PM by rocker59 »
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Offline rocker59

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Re: Least boring way to cross mid-USA
« Reply #29 on: December 10, 2022, 09:10:29 PM »
Anyone have suggestions on routes across the band of states in mid-USA 
The Dakotas
Nebraska
Kansas
Oklahoma
Texas

 Any suggestions?

MO-90 will kick your ass.  And lots of great state routes to get you there.

https://goo.gl/maps/jN62A4qF6muFtq4d7





« Last Edit: December 10, 2022, 09:30:21 PM by rocker59 »
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