Cycle Canada Review
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
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.”
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.”
“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.”
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
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.”
and Sanders are already assembling the pieces of their next Destination
--Steve Thornton Cycle Canada January 2003
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:
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
--Neal Ulen sport-touring.net January 2003
A Comprehensive Guide to Roads in Washington State
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Shore News Review
cooler temperatures of fall, accompanied by the regular appearance of
frost on the roads, signals an end to the riding season for the majority
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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