Need some wind therapy?

With 45+ years of riding experience, the team has developed a library of our favorite rides in Texas and points beyond. We call them our Twisted Rides. We thought it might be a good idea to share that experience and encourage you to do the same!

We partnered with MyRoute-app, a leading provider of route planning tools, to create and share the routes. Using the map below, Users are able to view and download the routes without registering with MyRoute-app. If you would like the ability to open/edit/save the routes, the User will be prompted to register with MyRoute-app and offered two subscription levels - Basic (free) and Gold (fee dependent on subscription term and payment method). Being an avid ride planner, I prefer the Gold level for the additional features and I also believe in supporting independent software developers who invest their time and talents to create useful applications for the motorcycle industry. As a Twisted Rides referral, you receive an extended evaluation period and special pricing if you choose the Gold level - so give it a shot!

What journey is on your bucket list? Click on a ride below and we'll show you the way!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Spring has Sprung!

With the effects of global warming and all that makes up the unfortunate truth that is Al Gore, these United States are definitely experiencing very unusual weather patterns. Whether it's the threatening Spring rains in the West, the above average temperatures in the Southwest, or the Wizard-of-Oz-like storms in the Midwest and Northeast, it's been a little tough for us bikers to put some rubber on the road lately.

So when I found a window of opportunity, I went through it.

I wanted to tour on some of the less traveled roads of East Texas - something that included a tree-lined winding road, scenic views, and, oh, and a lake breeze along the way would be nice too. I had the perfect combination of roads in mind, just hadn't put them all together into a single ride before. No problem. After a little route planning, I figured I could do the ride in a little over three hours.

After fueling up the bike, we used FM-2607 to warm-up the tires with gentle rolling sweeps that continued as as we made our way north to FM-850 and eventually FM-757. By the time we hit US-271, the bikes were ready to cruise at highway speed and we did until we entered the quaint community of Gladewater. Gladewater was founded in the 1870's as a lumber town and by the 1930's, the large East Texas Oil Field had been discovered. The town diversified into a two-industry town (lumber and oil), growing to just over 6,000 residents. In 1935, it became the home of a Boston Red Sox minor league franchise, the Gladewater Bears. But like most boom towns, the community declined when the boom went to bust and now it's known more for it's antique stores and agriculture business. 

After continuing north on US-271, we turned east on FM-726 to begin the trip back in time. FM-726 twists and turns through the loblolly pine forests and horse ranches that spot the landscape between Glenwood and Graceton. By the time we cross US-259, we're into a rhythm of left and right sweeps over and around gently rolling hills. The population is fairly sparse in this part of Texas, leaving the road mostly to adventurous bikers on this Saturday morning. We crossed FM-1972 and FM-1968 along the way, both of which are excellent side roads in and of themselves, but we'll save them for another day.

This area of Texas is known as the Piney Woods and the crown jewel is Lake O' the Pines. Lake O' the Pines was opened in 1959 when the Army Corps of Engineers completed construction of a 10,600 foot long dam on the Big Cypress Bayou. FM-726 runs across the concrete and earthen dam, providing a breathtaking view of the lake to the north and the resulting spillway rapids to the south. Although we were at the southern end of the lake, the breeze coming across the water provided a nice cool-down effect as we enjoyed the views. 

Below the dam, the Big Cypress Bayou continues through Jefferson - the most haunted town in Texas - and feeds Caddo Lake, eventually merging into the Red River. Jefferson was founded in 1841 and was a key inland port with access to St. Louis and New Orleans via the Red River and the Mississippi River. The access was made possible because of a massive log jam on the lower Red River (near Natchitoches, LA) which raised the water level in Caddo Lake and the Big Cypress Bayou. Through the 1800's, there were numerous attempts to remove the log jam and all failed until the Army Corps of Engineers used nitroglycerin to blow it up in 1873 in an effort to control flooding upstream. Once the jam was removed, the water levels receded and Jefferson was left high and dry, as least as it relates to commercial boat access. Today, Jefferson is mostly known for it's quaint Bed and Breakfast lodging in majestic Victorian homes of yesterday, awesome antique shopping, and the evening haunted walking tours of the town.

We turned north on FM-729 which parallels the east side of Lake O' the Pines. After a short water break in Avinger, we hit the tight twisties on the north end of FM-729 with a little extra speed, just to add some thrill. There is something about opening it up as you run through the tree canopies that just reinvigorates the soul. 

For the return route, we took TX-155 through Gilmer, then headed west, hitting FM-49, FM-1002, and FM-1795 to Hawkins. We turned south on FM-14 and then FM-2015 for a more direct routing back home. 

It was a beautiful day for a ride...and a beautiful ride.

© 2018 Twisted Road Motorcycle Company, LLC