Amanda Zito shares some resources for telling yourself where to go.
For some riders, their idea of route planning is "second star to the right, and straight on till morning." There's something to be said for going wherever your whims and good fortune take you. Other times, you have a particular destination, and you want to ride there in the most enjoyable way possible, which requires some planning. We've covered overall trip planning and preparation. Here's what Amanda Zito has to say about route planning in particular, and how to create the best ride you possibly can.
First, you need to know how much time you have and how far you plan to ride in a day. Amanda goes over this in a previous video. With that in mind, start a list of places you've always wanted to go, or remember traveling past before but were unable to stop. "Go crazy," as Amanda says. Often crazy ideas are some of the best ones.
Many resources exist to help you find interesting destinations in a given area. Google is an obvious one. Recreation.gov is good for finding places for activities off the bike, such as camping, hiking, fishing, etc. State tourism sites are full of good suggestions for places to visit. When I went to Sturgis, I made extensive use of the South Dakota Tourism website to figure out where to go, both places I wanted to see and roads I wanted to ride. Roadtrippers, Facebook groups, and even Instagram are other great places to find inspiration.
One of Amanda's suggestions that caught my eye is Rever. This free website and companion app offers basic route planning capabilities, but spending some money for the Pro version gives you online access to Butler maps, which are the best maps you can get for motorcycling. They highlight the best roads for riding, as well as dirt roads and off-road trails if you'd rather avoid pavement. You can also import and export GPX files of your route, as well as port them directly to the Rever app on your phone. I'm going to have to try this one out for myself.
Of course, the problem with technology is that it can, and often does, fail. It's always good to have a backup navigation system, such as a standalone GPS or a paper map. That way, if your phone dies or even just temporarily shuts down from overheating (voice of experience here), your adventure can continue.
Amanda has a lot more to say about route planning, so it's worth watching the whole video. While she focuses on planning long trips, since that's what she does, I think her tips can apply just as well to shorter day trips as well. I plan to try a few of her suggestions myself to come up with new and interesting places to go.