Motorcycles, Travel & Adventure


Motorcycle TourMagazine

About Whatchathinkin'

Backroads’ fairer half, Shira Kamil, has an interesting perspective on the day-to-day things riders run into which is both extremely well written and informative. She adds a new polish to the editorial team here at Backroads.

Name: Shira Kamil

Current Rides: Honda 919, Suzuki V-Strom 650

Favorite quote:

Time flies. It’s up to you to be the navigator. ~ Robert Orben

Hold On Tight,

it's going to be a busy year

Winter in the northeast – one can hope for the best and usually get the worst. But even if Mother Nature does throw her worst at us, leaving us holed up with our two-wheeled friends sequestered in the garage (when I had my Ducati Monster it used to spend that time in the office…) we can still visualize our days on the open road, sun shining and warming our bones, and make plans for the great places to explore in the coming season.

WhatchathinkinAs mentioned last issue, 2020 ushers in the 25th year of Backroads and we plan to have you on the road for a good long time this year, and for years to come, with something to occupy your mind and motorcycling every month. Here’s a playlist of our already scheduled events, but stay tuned to these pages, our website and Facebook page for up-to-the-minute additions.

Sunday, February 16 we’ll be at Motorcyclepedia Museum in Newburgh, NY with what we hope will be the beginning of a winter tradition – Backroads’ Scholar Day. For the small price of admission to the museum you’ll have access to not only one of the finest motorcycle collections in the nation but also a full day of mind-expanding motorcycle talks and seminars. A few local dealerships will be on hand with some of their bikes and information to entice you to go for that new ride this year.

If you have a penchant for the dirt, Tim James of Backcountry Discovery Routes will give you a preview of the latest offering, the North East BDR. Crossing more state lines and covering more mileage than any other BDR makes the NEBDR one of the most diverse routes in the BDR series. The 1,400-mile backcountry tour covers the Northeast region up to the Canadian border. Tim will give an overview to whet your appetite for this adventure.

Armen Amirian, mechanic/toolmeister and storyteller extraordinaire, will educate and entertain with ‘Confessions of a Toolaholic’, enlightening us on what to buy, bring or borrow when it comes to tools for your bike. He’s forgotten more than most of us have ever known.

Paul Donoghue, who many of you have come to know as the GPS maven, will pass along some of his knowledge and help us to understand and learn the ins and outs of our GPS and how to make it work for us, as well as an introduction to trip planning, tracks and other aspects of a GPS that will make it more than just an annoying voice in your helmet.

May will bring us to Portugal with IMTBike for their Best of Portugal Tour from the 9th to 20th. This fantastic journey will show us the beauty of ancient Roman Lusitania; its beaches, folklore, music, gastronomy, wines and, of course, an abundance of serpentine roads.

We have put together an awesome ride for June with our 25th Anniversary Grand Tour taking place the 11th through the 24th. Beginning on familiar grounds in West Dover, VT at the Kitzhof Inn (the Gray Ghost and Big Bears Lodge also have rooms for us) we’ll head north to Maine for a great weekend at the Ocean Point Inn before turning our motorcycles west. For the next week we’ll explore the backroads of Vermont, upstate New York and western Pennsylvania before entering into Wild and Wonderful West Virginia for a night’s stay in Point Pleasant, the home town of the Mothman. By that point we’ll need a day to recoup with a weekend in St. Paul, VA at the Western Front Hotel. There are plenty of options for the day such as taking an ATV on the Mountain View Trail, exploring the phenomenal roads that abound in this area, or relaxing at the Wetlands Estonoa Learning Center or Mountain Heritage Museum. Come Sunday, we’re off again, heading east towards the coast where we’ll wet our feet in the sands of Cape Charles and hopefully score some blue crabs for dinner. We’ll explore the coast of Virginia and on up before getting back into Pennsylvania, this time much further east, and spending our last night on the road at the beautiful and welcoming Joseph Ambler Inn. We’ll raise a glass and toast a most excellent journey over a relaxing dinner.

July brings us to State College, PA and will include some great riding, camaraderie and a little bit of excitement. We’ll throw out some route suggestions and perhaps get a few mysterious rides from the good Dr. O’Life. The Graduate Hotel is a great weekend escape situated downtown within an easy walk to nearby restaurants for dinner or other entertainment. September brings Reg Pridmore and the crew of CLASS back to VIR on the 21-22 and we’ll squeeze in a Fall Fiesta, probably heading to the north, during the month as well. With the changing of the colors in October, we’ll once again head south to the island off the coast of Virginia known as Chincoteague the weekend of the 10th for their 48th annual Oyster Festival. Our home base for this excursion will be the Waterside Inn where we’ll sample all things oyster, enjoy a few sunsets and maybe visit the little ponies on Assateague or take in the rockets at Wallops Flight Center.

You can see all the details and make your reservations through our website: We certainly hope that you can join us for some, or all, of these adventures and help us to celebrate the past 25 years of reading and riding pleasures – I know that we wouldn’t have had nearly as much fun as we did if it weren’t for all of you coming along for the ride.