Guest Blogger, Wayne Roskos, native of Grand Rapids, MN shares his stories of riding around the northern Minnesota area on motorcycle with friends and family.
I started out by sharing the adventure of motorcycling with friends, family and those we meet along the rides. You find common bonds with others, and immediately this gives you something to talk about and share. The destination isn’t as important as the time riding to the destination and sharing your experience once you arrive at your final destination. Also sharing the adventures with those that weren’t on the ride. Out of this storytelling leads to a new potential destination for more to experience.
How did our motorcycle get together? We gather every couple of weeks, sometimes there is four of us and sometimes there is fourteen of us. We gather at a local restaurant weekly to just get together, and during our conversations develops interest to ride to other destinations.
Sometimes a ride can be an evening ride to a unique restaurant or an all-day excursion to an event or an awesome dining experience. One time one of our motorcycle friends had watched Diners, Drive-ins and Dives™ and saw a place in WI. This resulted in us planning a day trip over to the Superior, WI area and we all had a fabulous time. This is pretty typical; an average day trip is on average 200-300 miles. Some of our overnight trips can lead to four to five day trips. During these trips we will ride 800-1000 miles. The length of the ride is dependent on the riders. Sometimes we have friends that want to stop and see the sites along the way, and sometimes we have die hards that want to just get to the destination and explore once we get there. We seldom make lodging reservations. We typically pull out our mobile devices and see who has openings. More times than not we find pretty decent places to stay. Again, it is all about the experience and the journey.
What unique about riding in Minnesota? I would say the different rides and wide diverse options of scenery. No two routes are the same. We find that things as familiar as attractions in our backyard, like the Chippewa National Forest that we drive through or around all of the time, but we don’t stop to enjoy on a regular basis. On a bike you can experience the unique topography in Minnesota’s open air. We get fabulous photos this way. We would not think about taking these same pictures from a car.
Our motorcycle group has been riding together for a while and some of us have been riding together for 10-15 yrs. And then sometimes we get newbies that join because they hear our stories and their interest gets spiked. We send an invite via email and text message and whoever shows up at the meeting location (typically at a local gas station) rides with us. It is that simple. If someone cannot make that particular ride, no big deal, they join us on the next one. Meeting at a gas station is convenient so people can gas up their bikes, grab some water or another beverage, snacks and then we head out.
I have found memories of our motorcycle rides with friends and family and I love sharing our stories of our journeys.
There are several motorcycle map resources for the NE part of Minnesota. Here are a few of them that I would suggest:
Visit Grand Rapids Motorcycling Page has additional spur routes identified by Roskos.
Visit Grand Rapids Maps Page has four half day routes in and out of the Grand Rapids, MN area.
Ride the Arrowhead (includes routes categorized by topography of the route) for NE Minnesota.
Safety is crucial when riding, so make sure to check out the Minnesota Motorcycle Manual before you head out.
Grand Rapids, MN welcomes helmet hair. The lodging properties and businesses are very motorcycle friendly and look forward to motorcycle groups to come explore the Minnesota’s scenic byways as well as off road opportunities of NE Minnesota. Grand Rapids has several lodging options with views that are conveniently located to amenities like dining and gas. You can request or download a Grand Rapids Visitor Guide. You can also speak live to a travel specialist at 1-800-335-9740.