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Am I the only one?

Joined
Sep 11, 2005
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The Colony
I have had the same dilemma for years here. I even took the DRZ to Socal to get some use out of it. For the record on a trailer behind a Honda Civic. It was fine. I picked up my current bike knowing full well I have a couple hours of highway to get to truly interesting.

That all said the last year I have wandered around small roads in the DFW area. While not long a decent ride with a few connections of amazing. I've never been a weekend local rider but started to pick it up just to ride. It's been worse. Where I come from today weather is 9 months a year. So it can be worse.
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
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Tomball, TX
Often times I feel like living in Texas, especially smack in the middle like I do, is really the wrong place. It's because Texas is just so danged big, you have to go a long way just to see anything else, even if it's just something else in Texas.

In November my wife and I went on a long trip up to Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Driving home, day 1 took us from Montana through Wyoming complete and nearly to the New Mexico border of Colorado. Then day two was an hour in New Mexico and eleven more hours just in Texas, and we didn't go all the way across!

Every time I see a ride posted here on TWT and I want to join, it's always at least an hour or more of riding from my house just to get to the starting point. Then I have maybe a 2-4 hour ride, followed by another hour to get home. It's just too much! I have interesting roads to ride right out of my back door, but lots of the more interesting roads in Texas are many hours from here. I'd love to go ride on them, but I really don't want to ride to them.

During our trip to Yellowstone we took some killer back roads through Colorado along the western side of the Rockies. I instantly wanted to be there with my bike. I thought about planning a trip with my dad and some friends to go ride this route. Maybe stay up near Wyoming overnight, ride back another route the next day. But to do that, we'd literally have to trailer the bikes and charge hard for a 13+ hour drive to and from the start/end point. Because Texas.

I'm in Cedar Park, my house just less than a mile from the Austin city limit on the NW side. I'm not really looking for twisty roads to ride fast. I'm mostly looking for beautiful roads to experience. So far, I have done 1430 to and from Marble Falls, including taking side trips off down Trails End, through Lago Vista all the way wherever the roads lead. I run out and loop around Volente Rd and Lime Creek Rd so often, I have worn a path. We often ride out 183 to Briggs, turn up 243 back towards Bertram, hook up with 1174 and take it back to 1431, which is a great ride. Sometimes we cut the corner and do Cow Creek Rd or even do Cow Creek to 1174 and back to 1431, the Smithwick Lollipop. For longer rides I love going out to Lake Buchanan all the way to the Canyon of the Eagles park, then backtrack over to Park Rd. 4 back to 281, to Marble Falls and back on 1431. That's like a 5 hour route. Going East, looping around Granger Lake is fun but that's a lot of suburban highway to get to 30 minutes of nice roads. I have considered running Park Rd. 1 through Buescher and Bastrop State Parks but that's over an hour to get to either end from here, and that's an hour by the fastest route, 70-80mph flat slab highways.

What am I missing here?
You live in Cedar Park and I am jealous. You have amazing country side all around you. Forget about borders and just enjoy the ride! :)
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2020
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Location
McKinney TX
I've lived in Texas the majority of my life. This state offers many great things. I envy seeing Adventure rides from groups in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, ect. I've often pondered about moving. And honestly, I hate living in the DFW metroplex. I am blessed in the summer time. We have a family home in the Kit Carson National Forest in NM. So for a few weeks out of the year I can take my bike and ride the old logging trails in the cooler weather.

I'm keeping my eyes peeled for trips to Mexico, Big Bend, and other destinations to join.
 
Joined
May 29, 2018
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Round Rock
First Name
Jorge
I somehow missed this thread. I certainly identify with you, but I wish I was living NW like you and not NE (maybe we can trade houses 🤪).

I started riding in the Bay Area and there is certainly a reason why it’s so expensive, it’s just so **** beautiful and people want to live there. It is motorcycling heaven. Dont get me wrong the Austin area definitely has its beauty but when I moved here I took a hit mentally. My one regret is being scared of riding far and not truly exploring that area when I was new.

Over there I could be riding twisty mountain roads in 20 minutes. Here it takes me 30 min to get to the fun part of 1431, which is what comes close. I remember my first group ride it took me an hour to meet people at Burnet, the farthest I’ve done to meet a group here. I was just spoiled of being in close proximity to really fun roads.

Now it is expected to ride 50 min to 2-3 hours to meet the guys for a ride. For dirt, Sanders rides in the Hill County are pretty fun but that’s a 500-600 mile day for me.

On the plus side, I got to truly explore the dirty/adv side of riding with some incredible meetups here. I actually have no idea if the Bay Area is mostly a paved paradise, maybe it sucks to find fun dirt roads.

Living SW like @Jarrett closer to the hill country would definitely open some amazing options for day rides. I would be fine just living on the west side of the Austin area, though.

I do have the advantage of a 600 lbs bike.
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2017
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Location
Kerrville
First Name
John
Last Name
Fischer
Mr72 thanks for asking a question many riders ponder. I have discovered same prob of road boredom living on the coast of Lake MI with limited varied roads after a few yrs of living in the area. I joined a dual sport club and rode 10yrs with a great bunch of guys. I stepped away in '18 due to "boredom". The loading up/travel/camping/maintance was overwhelming the fun. Point is it happens. I decided to move to Kerrville having spent the last 4 years snow birding here. Being a retired motorcyclist in MI is tuff. I love the year round riding here. I am "very" familiar with all the fun roads out of Kville. Ya I'm grateful to be in Kville because I realize how small the hill country is. I love going out by myself on a smaller light weight bike and do "cracks and crevice" rides. Sure I know the road will eventually dead end at a ranch gate but have returned to several of these "routes". Unpaved roads (dry) here are easy for an experienced road goer on a sub 400 lb bike. Sanders rides are a blast and have more pavement than dirt. Being able to ride small section of unpaved roads open up a lot of paved roads. If a rider learns how to use a GPS/tracks it is the key for putzing around. All the TWT rides are down loadable once you learn Garmin Basecamp. Get the book Hill Country Adventure by Richard Gibbens. It has years of riding plus down loadable tracks. I know you said you dont want to ride dirt, but the dirt roads here are all improved gravel/hardpack. In Michgan Dual sport riding is in sand sand sand. The largest bike that works is a DRz400 and everyone moves down in weight soon from there. So a large ADV is impossible to ride on the DS snowmobile and 2-tracks there. There also is an enitire system of single track but that is not for the "mature" Dual Sporters. The single track is like a full days ride in two 40 minute sessions....
So, maybe a lighter weight bike, ride different times of day, maybe when the weather is a little challenging.
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2020
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Cedar Park, Texas, USA
This has been a good discussion and I guess predictably turned into practical conversation and commiserating. It's not so much that there is not good stuff to ride near enough. There is. I am almost always up for my Briggs-Bertram-Smithwick ride. 1174 and 1431 really are stunning. And a quick 40 minute loop from my house through Volente and Lime Creek Rd. really is fantastic. It's just that because Texas is so big, you really have to plan a whole long tour to get out of your own back yard. I think the same thing would be true if I lived in Santa Barbara. Sure Hwy1 and the mountain roads are right out your back door there but if you want to ride through the long desert roads of Nevada you had better pack a lunch. It just struck me that to get to anything different than Texas, you have to drive a day each way just to get out of Texas.

One of these days I want to ride through New Orleans. I want to ride the Florida Keys. I want to ride the west side of the Rockies up through Colorado. I want to do the Blue Ridge Parkway. But to get to any of these places has 12 hours of Texas as step 1, so riding a motorcycle to the start point is pretty impractical. I could move to any of these places but still wind up with the same basic problem, but at least that 12 hours of riding from any of these places besides the Keys would get me through multiple states. One day I had an hour to kill before going to the Boston airport for my flight home and toured the corners of New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts on a side trip from Nashua. I can barely cover three counties in CenTX in an hour, and I live within a mile of the Williamson county line. It's just Texas is real big.
 
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
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Lampasas
First Name
Drew
Last Name
Wright
I was born in Jonesboro, AR, just a little ways from Memphis. We moved here when I was 11. I'm familiar with all of Arkansas and TN, and I totally agree there's great riding there and the winters are pretty mild. I think if I were to seriously consider moving, TN would be on the list. But with my family and particularly my grandson here, I think we're going to stay. I'm a near lifelong Texan. Hard to break that. And my wife has lived here since she was two weeks old.

I definitely prefer my riding opportunities vs. Dallas. I am just kind of getting bored with the stuff right on my doorstep, and not looking forward to extremely long drives to get to somewhere better. Pulling a trailer full of motorcycles from CenTx to Trinidad, CO would be a pretty awful drive, and you'd have to do it two ways. There are hundreds of miles of hilly, twisty, rough, 70mph high desert highways past Amarillo getting up to CO. That would be torture pulling a trailer.
It is really not that bad to me. The last two times we split the driving and it was not too awful. Once we left at 9 at night and drove straight to Raton, NM. Next time Gunnison, CO will be the hub for most rides. I love central Texas for rides. Good back roads everywhere around me. If I was to ever move northern New Mexico would work for me.
When you have a longer ride in Texas camp out the night before and it made it easier for me. We sometimes will do it on out meet n greets. It also gives riders the chance to get to know one another.
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2013
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Near Waco
First Name
Dan
Last Name
Kelley
I'm kind of surprised by your "attitude". You're on the eastern side of great riding (go west, young man). Texas is just large, it won't get any smaller, so get used to it. Maybe you should "count" counties rather than states, so you'll feel more progress. The main problem I had when living in Austin area and DFW (as far as riding) is that it's an hour or so to any acceptable (for me) country roads. There are long stretches of not-so-pretty roads when heading to New Mexico or other western destinations, but that just makes it better when you get to the great places or roads. I've spent literally months riding the area around Lampasas and west of there. I'm usually only dissatisfied when I have to ride in congested urban areas; I like just about any rural setting.
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2020
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Cedar Park, Texas, USA
No attitude here! I guess you didn't read my original post? Yeah, I like riding all the stuff near me, just got back in fact from the Voltente-LimeCreek route. It's just that there's a whole lot of Texas between me and something that's not Texas.
 
Joined
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Paradise
No attitude here! I guess you didn't read my original post? Yeah, I like riding all the stuff near me, just got back in fact from the Voltente-LimeCreek route. It's just that there's a whole lot of Texas between me and something that's not Texas.

I have ridden most of the rides you listed and did them on the wrong motorcycles depending on who you ask. The first day on the bike is just getting you bladder, bowls, and fuel tank on the same schedule. They second day you will be stiff and sore. From the 3rd day on, you have it down and are now in the good riding. Part of what makes it interesting is it is so big. Going other places give you points of reference.
 
Joined
Dec 18, 2017
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Pflugerville, TX
I'm in Pflugerville and put 16,000 miles on my first bike in a year riding around the area in 2016. The Butler Hill Country map is good for ideas. I still ride street, but spend more time riding off-road now.

There are about five routes that I consider when I want to ride mostly paved roads:
  • 29 and 971 loop out to Granger Dam from Georgetown. You can extend that loop further East to San Gabriel.
  • 112 from Taylor to Lexington, then 696 to 90 to 3000 to Elgin - there are options for dirt on this route North of 112 around the Alcoa Mine.
  • 1431 to Cow Creek, North to Lampasas on 207.
  • 1431, Cow Creek, 336, 334, 335, 340, 341 back to 1431.
  • If I want a longer day ride, 1431 to Marble Falls, 71 West to 310, 308, 315, Althaus-Davis Road, Willow City Loop. There used to be a good amount of nice dirt on this route, but it is mostly paved now. There is a long low water crossing on 310 that can be really bad. That can be avoided by taking 310A and 308.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2003
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Henderson, Texas
I have done the ride from East Texas to Wyoming several times on a bike and the trip there is great even with the hard pull across Texas. The anticipation of the Rocky Mountains keeps my juices flowing. The ride back is pretty much a grind. Knowing the trip is almost over and a job is waiting in a few days. But still worth it regardless. I had one friend at work that wanted to ride it with me one trip but he said he didn't want to ride over 300 miles a day. I told him it would be the third day before he left Texas!!! He changed his mind about going. :shrug:
 
Joined
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Fort Worth
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Dan
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Gill
Yes, you're the only one. All the rest of us have learned to teleport. Haven't you?

Actually, I feel the same pain, whether it's on a bike or in a car. We're going to go to Yellowstone this summer, and it's a LOOOONG bit of driving.
 
Joined
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Cedar Park, Texas, USA
Yellowstone is so worth it but it's just that there's a whole lot of Texas before you get anywhere else. I'm already trying to plan another trip this year. There is a lot of hiking we didn't get to do because I was still recovering from my motorcycle wreck and could barely use my left foot. And we'll drive. But man, I am not into riding a motorcycle to Colorado from Austin. Or even Big Bend, and that's still Texas!
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2012
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"Occupied Weslaco" Texas
It's 44 miles from my house to Brownsville...😁 753.2 miles to Pampa... 800.1 miles to El Paso... Per Google Maps... Road Trips North, North East, or North West🤔 ...
South by passport only...😎
Carry On
 
Joined
May 22, 2013
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Thorndale, tx
First Name
Ed
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Baker
Well I can only count my blessings for having lived in northern and central CA, then CO and MT during the years I would put on 40k or more a year and had the money to do it. Best riding in the world then, and may still be but the fires may have destroyed much of it and other western neighbor states as well. Moving to Texas ended my off road days due to lack of public lands. Fencing along every inch of other roads makes for a real dangerous sport riding experience. I turned down a job in Minnesota after I realized how poor a riding season it was. Now that I am out in the country NE of Austin, I appreciate the country roads with zero traffic. I still take a spin a couple times a year to BB or NM and miss British Columbia dearly. Again, having the luxury of doing day rides through Glacier park from my home in Missoula was just way too cool. Riding 70 miles out Lolo pass into Idaho at sunset to dinner with the gang was to die for, especially if you hit one of the moose or their calf playing in the water near the road.

If you are young and a dedicated adventure tourer, I highly recommend leaving TX for a better riding environment as soon as you can, while its still easy to make such life changes. When you are getting a bit older like me, many things interfere with your riding, including an aging body, and all of a sudden, the long days are fewer and shorter. You go from owning bikes to a bike, and its a compromise. I've learned to be happy wherever I am, and find joy whenever I can ride, and just go with the flow I guess. But hey, if anyone wants to do a run up to Sipapu for the BMW club camp out, or a bunch of mountain passes in CO should the colorado freewheelers hold their crazy 24 hour 1000 again this year, hit me up. I might be up for a ride :-)
 
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