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Feature DH:

DH43  Hoh-Clearwater Road


Non-Feature DHs:
 

DH1

DH26 DH51
DH2 DH27 DH52
DH3 DH28 DH53
DH4 DH29 DH54
DH5 DH30 DH55
DH6 DH31 DH56
DH7 DH32 DH57
DH8 DH33 DH58
DH9 DH34 DH59
DH10 DH35 DH60
DH11 DH36 DH61
DH12 DH37 DH62
DH13 DH38 DH63
DH14 DH39 DH64
DH15 DH40 DH65
DH16 DH41 DH66
DH17 DH42 DH67
DH18 DH43 DH68
DH19 DH44 DH69
DH20 DH45 DH70
DH21 DH46 DH71
DH22 DH47 DH72
DH23 DH48 DH73
DH24 DH49 DH74
DH25 DH50  

 

 

Reviews:

Cycle Canada
Review

sport-touring.net
Review

soundrider.com Review

Vancouver Sun Review

North Shore News Review


Cycle Canada Review

When Brian Bosworth and Michael Sanders sat down in a Lumby, B.C., pub a few years ago and hatched a plan to make riding motorcycles profitable, they might have done themselves a favour by adding a qualifier: Let’s keep the actual work to a minimum. But that wasn’t their style.

In June 2000, Bosworth and Sanders published Destination Highways, a guide to the motorcycling roads of southern B.C. The effort, no doubt, was monstrous. Almost immediately, with their first book still unproven on the sales racks, they took the formula they’d built for B.C. and applied it to a U.S. state with twice as many roads. Now they’ve released Destination Highways Washington.  

Right off the bat, this is an impressive book. At 700 grams and 536 pages, it’s the Ulysses of road guides, a pound and a half of maps, stories, arcane and sometimes humorous facts, indexes and qualitative ratings for “the best 346 roads in Washington State.” 

As in DHBC (which lists 185 roads), the authors used a comprehensive set of evaluations to produce each road’s final rating. The system, called tires, assigns values for six criteria: Twistiness, Pavement, Engineering, Remoteness, Scenery and Character. The final score determines each road’s DH rating. Using 55 points as a cut-off, they list 74 “Destination Highways.” The best? Hwy 20 from Rockport to Winthrop scores 92.3 points and a perfect 30 for Twistiness. (Twistiness gets more possible points than any other category.) But the book lists 346 roads, not 74. The rest are “Twisted Edges,” roads that don’t quite cut it as Destination Highways but are still good. Washington State, it appears, is filled with them.  

Some DHBC readers have suggested they got the rankings wrong in a few places, but the authors say it’s not the absolute ratings that count; it’s how you use the numbers. “Our system is designed so that after you’ve done a few roads and looked at the individual tires numbers, you can quickly figure out what you need in a road to suit your riding preferences,” says Bosworth. “Then you go for the DH’s with those kinds of numbers.” If you like scenery, for instance, an index on page 516 lists the roads in the order they scored under that quality. DH2, the road to Mt. St. Helens, wins that particular race, with 13.9 out of 15 points.  

Other readers have accused Bosworth and Sanders of inappropriate subjectivity. “DH1 is your favourite road, not mine.” But the tires system, the authors say, rings up its points with some measure of independence, or at least a fairly objective take on things. “The DH numbers only surfaced on our computer screens months after riding the roads, and we had lots of surprises,” says Bosworth. Neither of them, for example, calls DH1 in B.C. his personal favourite.  

How did they compile the ratings? With motorcycles (Bosworth: Triumph Trophy 900; Sanders, ZX-10 and -11) a helmet-cam and notebooks. They rode thousands of kilometres, video-taped them all and then compared notes. Along the way they collected enough information to choke a librarian. Where are the motels? Gas stations? Pubs? When did the Pig War start? Indeed, there’s too much for some readers. Rides are described intimately, as if they had stopped after each curve, dug out notebooks and held detailed conversations. “Would you call that pavement grey, or chartreuse?”  

Information overload or not, DH Washington is fun to read. “Without doubt,” exclaimed one reader about the B.C. book, “the finest literary work in the last century!” Even the glossary of terms is amusing: if you’ve never heard of “twistosterone,” you need to get yourself some. Playful descriptions enliven the text: “Aye, lassie. Washougal ta Stevenson. There’s a DH for ye.” (DH33). “Whit ye waitin’ far, onyway? Away wi’ ye!” 

The authors (Bosworth is “Chief Motorcycling Officer,” Sanders is "Director of Protocol,” and together they’re Twisted Edge Publishing, Inc.) preserved the style of the B.C. book, but made some functional improvements: it’s a little easier to navigate and a little easier to read. The layout makes it easy to get what you need in a hurry: each DH gets a tires chart, a general description (At a Glance), access information from several directions, and a longer, more detailed On The Road passage. You can read the bare facts, or the whole story. As in the B.C. book, maps are printed for easy use in low light. There are a lot of maps, by the way, and they are very good maps.  

So, from two guys who have ridden virtually every paved mile in Washington and kilometre in B.C., which is better? “They’re totally different,” says Bosworth. “I don’t really prefer one over the other.”  

Sanders: “I would say that what I came to really appreciate doing Washington was B.C.’s remoteness.... However, the pavement in Washington seems far better, and they resurface the roads far more regularly and they’re far more vigilant about it.”  

If you get what you pay for, you deserve a lot from DH Washington, because it’s expensive: U.S. $45 in the States, Cdn $60 up here, a comparative bargain. (DHBC is Cdn $45.) You can see where the money went, though: spiral bound, full-colour, printed like an art book, and exhaustive detail.  

“There’s nothing,” says Sanders, “that even remotely approaches this, in our view, anywhere in the world. So the idea was, let’s do something that’s state of the art, polished, but also is something special. And I personally enjoy very much the fact that the book is so polished in a market where there’s nothing else like this.”  

Bosworth and Sanders are already assembling the pieces of their next Destination Highways project.

--Steve Thornton Cycle Canada January 2003

www.sport-touring.net Review

Quiz time.  What's the favorite pastime for those riders who have to endure the winter stuck staring at their bike in the garage?  No, not watching re-runs of MotoGP races on the VCR!  Scouring maps, looking for those choice roads you've missed, or looking for new places to explore.  That's what we all do when we're stuck at home wishing we were riding!  Well have I got the book for you!

Let me introduce you to my newfound Bible of the Porcelain Pot...Destination Highways by Twisted Edge Publishing in Vancouver, BC.  Books full of maps and ride routes specifically made for motorcyclists!  I finally got off my ass and ordered these, and I've spent the last several days flipping through them like a crack addict longing for a fix...and my boys at Twisted Edge provided it for me.

So far they have published two volumes:  Destination Highways BC (475p) and Destination Highways Washington (536p).  There are more coming with either Oregon or Northern California being the next areas covered.  And if you live in the Pacific Northwest or are even thinking about planning a ride to that area, I recommend picking up these little gems.  Hell, even if you're heading up there in the cage these would come in handy.  Double hell!  Even if you're a map freak and can appreciate the beautiful layout of these books...you'll love 'em!  Let me show you a little of what's inside...

DHBC details 185 roads (85 Destination Highways + 100 Twisted Edges).  DHWA details 346 roads (74 Destination Highways + 272 Twisted Edges).  Destination Highways are those that the book focus on, Twisted Edges are auxiliary roads near DHs that might be of interest to a rider.  Each DH is presented in detail including length, amount of expected traffic, and the TIRES system (Total Integrated Road Evaluation System) which breaks down and scores each DH to these attributes:

Twistiness (30):  Overall how twisty the road is.
Pavement (20):  Classifies the road's surface.
Engineering (10):  Assesses lane width, shoulder width, sightlines, camber, etc.
Remoteness (10):  Is it in the middle of nowhere, or near urban areas?
Scenery (15):  What's to see.
Character (15):  Does the road give you that "riding nirvana" feeling that we all know about.
Total (100):  Scored out of a possible 100 points.

Each DH also has 2-3 pages of narrative describing the ride going a certain direction.  This section usually indicate things to look out for, warnings, and notable views.  At the end of each DH is a section for you to write about and rate the ride yourself if you so choose.

Each map also give copious detail when it comes to different types of facilities along a certain DH.  These facilities include gas, grocery, camping, lodging, restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, tourist info, police stations, and bike dealers.  Along with the location of each is usually given a phone number so you can make reservations in advance or call in case of an emergency.

Is there more?  Of course!  Each DH book has an appendix jammed full of useful info such as: state park campgrounds, complete ferry schedules (and phone #s), every motorcycle dealership near a DH (address, phone #, brands), TIRES ratings sorted by region, and complete TIRES ratings sorted by the attributed given above.  So if you want to find the DHs with the lightest traffic or the best scenery or whatever...it's all there at your fingertips.

Each book is bound in a spiral binding allowing you to easily fold back the book and stuff it in the top of your tank back for easy map reference.  Every sheet is printed on glossy paper, with every map shown in color (see above).  I do worry a little bit about the robustness of the book if it gets used and abused on a daily basis.  Mainly the paper/binding interface and the threat of zipping off a page by accident.

Having ridden many (but not nearly all) of the roads in DHWA, I can say that the accuracy of the narrative descriptions is top notch while at the same time entertaining.  The only thing that is lacking from the books are some pictures.  If would be nice to have one representative snapshot of each DH in its applicable section.  I e-mailed the authors about this and they indicate that the videos on the website (coming soon) will take care of that.  But what about those people who don't haunt the internet much?  A minor quibble.

Brian Bosworth & Michael Sanders at Twisted Edge Publishing have put a lot of love into these books, and it shows.  The sheer brilliance of turning their hobby into beautifully presented resources like these make me envious that they get to have so much fun...and proud to be a fellow rider.  I look forward to DH Oregon...or any other DH book they publish.

--Neal Ulen sport-touring.net  January 2003

soundrider.com Review

A Comprehensive Guide to Roads in Washington State

I headed to Canada earlier this summer for the Sportbike West event held in Kelowna. Winding my way along numerous backroads from the US Border I finally reached the Eight Mile Ranch where the weekend long event was being held on a late Friday afternoon. One of the first people I met was Brian Bosworth.

A few years back, Bosworth and his writing/riding partner, Michael Sanders, put together a comprehensive guide to motorcycling in British Columbia, Destination Highways BC. The book includes hundreds of routes rated on things such as Twistiness, Pavement, Engineering, Remoteness, Scenery and Character. It also included information on food stops, dealer locations and camping and lodging locations. Basically what the pair did was to put motorcycling in British Columbia under a microscope and get it to all fit in a tank bag. It worked.

Canada is a great place to ride a motorcycle, but the population density is far lower than the US. The decision was made to go into the US and use the same formula to map out motorcycling here. Destination Highways Washington does just that in a way no one else has ever done.

DHWA offers up 346 riding suggestions. As you glance the book, there’s no doubt you will already be familiar with many of the rides. But the fun is finding the one’s you have never done. One example of this for me is the Hoh-Clearwater route (DH43). In 2002 I rode the Olympic Peninsula three times. I’d seen the turnoffs for these small roads, but never ventured onto them for fear they might dead end. The route does not, instead it takes you away from the more heavily traveled 101 as you make your way between Queets and Forks. Guess where I’m riding next time I venture out west? Right.

The routes are rated , DH1 (Rockport to Winthrop via Hwy2) being the supposed best and DH74 (Stevenson to Lyle on Hwy14) supposedly being the least exciting. In all actuality the ratings hardly matter because it’s subjective based on the type of bike you ride. Since I personally ride small bikes, under 600cc’s, I tend to find both DH1 and DH72 equally great rides.

The other 272 suggested routes in the book are called "Twisted Edge" rides. They tend to fork off of a main DH route and are either alternatives to the regular route, or good little out and back side trips as you leisurely make your way on your ride.

The book is appropriately dedicated to Sam Hill. Hill was a road engineer who built the first paved road in the state of Washington – The Maryhill Loops road. Today, what’s left of the road is a slim 3 mile stretch that features 25 hair pin curves. It was repaved by the WSDOT in 97 by regrinding the original asphalt and is closed to everyday motor vehicle traffic. Thanks to a tip from Bosworth, Sound RIDER! has contacted the Maryhill Museum and arranged to have the road open during the 2003 Sportbike Northwest event which will be held at Skagit Fairgrounds in September 2003.

There are a number of extensive appendices in the book which will provide hours of bedtime reading amusement as you plan out your own routes using the book. Campgrounds, dealer listings and the breakdown of ratings per route are all here. One appendix which may prove useless in the future is the publishing of the ferry schedules. Ever since I-776 we’ve watched the ferry schedules change almost as often as the tide, so be sure to get the latest ferry times online before your next sailing.

Bosworth and Sanders have done a great job of profiling many of Washington State’s best roads, but if you’ve spent a lot of time out riding you’ll notice a number of routes they missed or skipped. Camano Island, Lake Sammamish, Vashon and the stunning stretch of 101 along Wilapa Bay between highway 4 and Raymond are strangely absent from the book.  No doubt you’ll find of few of your own favorites missing which means you’ll just have to share these secrets with your riding friends someday on your own. (NOTE: The roads mentioned either simply didn't score enough points to become DHs or were discarded as potential TEs due to traffic or other reasons.)

It should also be noted that all routes are on paved roads, which is good if you want to keep your street machine nice and clean, but leaves dual sporters like myself at a loss for some off-road pleasures.

DHWA comes with a seemingly hefty price tag of $44.95 U.S. That’s $15 over the $29.95 that it’s British Columbia sibling runs, but as Bosworth, who is Canadian puts it, "we had to use American dollars to do the research." In the end the $44.95 is a bargain price when you consider the wealth of information that’s in the book.

--Tom Mehren soundrider.com Fall 2002 

Vancouver Sun Review

Best Motorcycle Roads in Washington State

 
"Donut Hole: (n) that part of a Krispy Kreme with no pastry or that part of central Washington with no curves."  That's from the "twisted terms" glossary at the front of the Brian Bosworth's and Michael Sanders' latest foray into moto-publishing: the highly entertaining, gorgeously produced, 542-page bikers' guide to Washington state -- the first in what it is hoped will be a long line of sequels to their wildly popular Destination Highways B.C., published against all odds in 2000.

Against all odds because these books are more a labour of love than a sensible foray into publishing: overpriced by guidebook standards, entailing an insane amount of death-defying research, targeting a small niche within a niche -- bikers who read. And yet they nailed it first time out, and promise to do so once again with this fully mapped and rated guide to the most scenic twists and turns in Washington state.

Having sampled a few of their 346 best rides stateside, I can attest to the accuracy and usefulness of Bosworth and Sanders' rating system. Their top-rated road -- 153 km from Rockport to the faux-cowboy town of Winthrop on the North Cascades Highway -- was one of my peak experiences last summer. Just like the authors say, "tight, intense coils round the brilliant green-blue gems of Gorge, Diablo and Ross lakes before essing up into the mountains of the high, vast Pasayten wilderness.  Huge, fast sweepers scale stunning alpine environs then rappel rapidly down the east side of the Cascades."

Beyond the road poetry there's hard science: using their own "TIRES" method (Total Integrated Road Evaluation System), the authors rate each route on the basis of twistiness, pavement and engineering, remoteness, scenery and character.  By their definition, these are not merely roads worth travelling to.  As the title suggests, these are the destinations.  The attractions along the way -- accommodations, watering holes and extra-challenging side trips are included in maps and notes -- are the icing on the donut.

The authors both rode and videotaped more than 23,000 km (14,000 mi) to rate the state, which tells you more about these guys than their CVs.  Bosworth co-owns the Kitsilano specialty video store, Videomatica; Sanders is a criminal lawyer, but one wonders where they find the time for day jobs. In this, they're not unlike your average moto-fanatic who passes the time between rides yakking with his biker buddies about his last great one and mapping out his next.

--Paula Brook  Vancouver Sun December 20 2002
 
North Shore News Review

The cooler temperatures of fall, accompanied by the regular appearance of frost on the roads, signals an end to the riding season for the majority of motorcyclists.  With the looming wet winter ahead and the motorcycle magazines rehashing last years events or describing next years models, there seems little for the riding enthusiast to do to get through this gloomy period. 

Just in time, comes the latest guidebook from Twisted Edge Publishing.  Following on the success of their previous book, Destination Highways British Columbia, they have released the just completed, Destination Highways Washington. 

Following the same format, authors Bosworth and Sanders, have traveled up and down the roads of Washington state, logging over 23,000 km in the process.  From all of this travel comes their assessment of where you want to go around the state. 

For the uninitiated, their approach is to rate every road with the same criteria, evaluating it for Twistiness, Pavement, Engineering, Remoteness, Scenery, and Character.  From these scores the roads are then ranked, with the top 74 receiving full Destination Highway status and another 272 garnering a Twisted Edges notation. 

Thanks to all of their work you can go to any area of the state and ride with the knowledge of a local, for the authors have pried the secret locations free and are sharing their discoveries with you. 

For anyone who has missed out on what Washington has to offer, this book will guide to you to the best roads to ride within this beautiful state.  From the number one road, highway 20 between Rockport and Winthrop in the Cascades Mountains, to number seventy-four, highway 14 from Stevenson to Lyle alongside the Columbia river, there is an incredible amount of information offered.  Beyond the riding details, there are tips on locations for food, fuel and lodgings. 

The descriptions provided are written to the target audience's sensibilities.  In other words, these guys know who is reading this stuff and there is no PC filler here, they write to the dedicated rider and do it so well you could imagine you are talking to a fellow rider at a gas station sharing tips on where to go. 

I have used the previous book to plan out some great rides in B.C. and know these guys know what they are talking about.  This latest book is going to help many housebound riders get through the winter as they plan trips for the next riding season.

--Terry Peters North Shore News November 2002