Motorcycle Journeys Through the Appalachians
by Dale Coyner
Softcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Whitehorse Press, July 2004
webBikeWorld.com Book Review by Rick K.
I'm very fortunate because I live in an area with some of the best motorcycle roads in North America.
The Mid Atlantic region of the U.S.A., specifically the states of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, have some fantastic roads with everything that a motorcyclist could want.
There are curves, hills, streams and rivers, beautiful scenery, incredibly cute towns, fantastic history, great eats and more. But it's more than just beautiful riding on uncrowded back roads. Half the fun is in the journey, but an interesting destination just adds to the fun.
So on top of everything else this region has to offer, we also have some of the best destinations in the world; everything from downtown Washington D.C. (which is, believe it or not, fun to bomb around in on a motorcycle or scooter) to a choice of several different underground caverns that are well worth the trip.
I thought I knew it all, but Dale Coyner's "Motorcycle Journeys Through the Appalachians" has added a whole new dimension to my adventures. Coyner's book has consistently been one of the best selling motorcycle map and travel guides in the Whitehorse Press "Journeys" series, which are themselves some of the best motorcycle touring guide books available.
This is the second edition of Coyner's book, which also attests to its popularity. I mean, let's face it - it isn't often that a motorcycle guide book is reprinted due to overwhelming popularity. This most recent version (first published in 1995) has been updated with new information, maps, tours and tips on where to go and what to see.
The book covers 36 different day trips through Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the Carolinas, which is the heart of outstanding Appalachian or Mid Atlantic motorcycle country. Each trip starts with a brief introduction showing the mileage, the terrain that can be expected and a few of the highlights to look for. A short text section with the directions follows, then a color map of the area showing the major roads, which are highlighted on the map.
Then each chapter has a few pages describing the background and history and briefly covers the points of interest along the way.
The only problem is that the maps and directions are part of the book, so they'll have to be copied to place in a tank bag or somewhere for easy access while on the motorcycle. The book is a soft cover and not spiral bound; my version is so dog-eared that it's starting to fall apart!
I highly recommend this book for any motorcyclist who lives in the area or who will be passing through and wants to take advantage of what the Mid Atlantic (or Appalachian) region has to offer. I really like it because I don't have the time any more to take long distance motorcycle tours, so following each day trip helps me to get the most out of each journey. The book is also very reasonably priced - it can be found for about $16.00.
Review Date: March 2005
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