Reflections on the Ozarks Motomarathon

June 12th, 2014 2:29am - Posted By: John P. Metzger

The Ozarks Motomarathon saw four days shredding a veritable ocean of twisties, with most riders nailing all 19 checkpoints. Thanks to our sponsor Butler maps and their resident Routemaster-in-Chief Tracy Brasuell for showing us the hidden trails and the mysterious links between them on the rough and tumble pavement of the ancient Arkansas Ozarks (with a bit of Oklahoma and Missouri thrown in from our sport-touring base camp in Eureka Springs, Ark.).

Everyone got a Butler map (www.butlermaps.com) to help find our ways through the iconic points of pilgrimage I’d heard of since a lad – The Pig Trail, Push Mountain, Mount Nebo, Mt. Magazine, and a whole lot of awesome G1s and G2s within the Butler rating system. It was one of our greatest rides ever, with incredible, uncrowded roads, and good company.

Speaking of good company, we’re expecting a contingent from the Celtic Motorcycle Club, our gracious hosts for the New York Motomarathon last year, to join us for the Colorado Motomarathon, Sept. 5-8 (point-to-point, Boulder > Paonia > Steamboat > Laramie > Boulder – check out www.motomarathon.com for details).

Updated standings are on the site, and some of our national-caliber sport tourers like David Rouleau, Dan Geiger, Paul Flynn and Zan Smith are rising up in the lifetime standings as we enter our sixth season, with Jim Bardin set to overtake second place by the end of the Colorado Motomarathon (and a special congrats to Zan Smith, nominated to the Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame!)

See you in September at the Colorado Motomarathon, Sept. 5-8, 2014.
  John Metzger, Motomarathon Founder

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MMA Announces 2013 Season Schedule

February 13th, 2013 5:09pm

Endurance Sport-Touring Motorcycling Format Enters Fifth Season with Rides in Colorado, New England and Pacific Northwest


BOULDER, CO – Feb. 14, 2013 – The MotomarathonTM Association today announced its 2013 season schedule, celebrating the fifth year of its unique long- distance motorcycling format with three events in Colorado, New England and the Pacific Northwest:

Colorado Motomarathon, June 18-21, Denver-Durango-Glenwood Springs-Denver, designed in conjunction with the Routemasters at Butler Motorcycle Maps.

Pacific Northwest Motomarathon, July 18-21, looping all four days out of Salem, Oregon and in conjunction with the 2013 BMW Motorcycle Owners Association International Rally.

The New York Motomarathon, September 18-21, Bronx-Lake George-Ogunquit, Maine-Bronx, hosted by the Celtic Motorcycle Club.

Motomarathon routes and checkpoints are kept secret until the night before each day’s ride. Participants complete a series of self-recorded checkpoints using digital cameras to photograph their badge numbers at designated landmarks. For more information and for more specific hotel and date information for each event, visit www.motomarathon.com or call Executive Director Caty Metzger at 303-621-5356.


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After 4 Seasons MM Criteria for Long Distance Sport-Touring is Set

November 27th, 2012 9:27pm - Posted By: John Metzger

 Six years ago, Motorcyclist Editor Brian Catterson wrote about our first Motomarathon Super Beta Recon Ride in Colorado. After about a quarter century of ‘R&D” before that, and now with four official seasons under the belt, we think the MM format has captured the essence of endurance sport-touring, as described in the news release below.

* Our first international event will highlight the 2013 season. Sign up NOW for the Ayres-Pyrenees Motomarathon set for May 4-15 at http://www.ayresadventures.com/Europe_Pyrenees.aspx

* Yes, it’s getting colder, but in the interest of staying in tip-top endurance riding shape, we’ll be running un-official training runs, attempting to reach the 8,000-foot Peak-to-Peak Highway every calendar month. Mark your calendars for noon on the first of each month, and meet at Amante Coffee, 4580 North Broadway in Boulder. We’ll start this Saturday – weather and schedules permitting, everyone’s on their own.

* In the meantime, please “LIKE” us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Motomarathon.

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2012 Great Smoky Motomarathon Begins Next Saturday

October 24th, 2012 12:20am - Posted By: Caty and John Metzger

The 2012 Great Smoky Motomarathon, Oct. 27-30, starts this Saturday and Routemaster Wayne Busch, of America Rides Maps, is hard at work finalizing the routes with an eye for challenging twisties, cool scenery and tasty eats to make the most of our four days of riding the best paved roads in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

There are three "S" words to think about while preparing for this weekend's riding. The first "S" is for strenunous. As always, Motomarathons are designed for experienced riders who have stamina for long-distance, endurance sport-touring with full days of riding through technical, twisty paved terrain.


The second "S" word is for safety. Watch your speed and fatigue. There are no awards for coming in first: this is not a race, but a vacation of great riding tempered with a respectful relationship with the road. 


The third "S" word is for situational awareness. Weather, traffic, sight distances, view corridors and surface conditions change throughout the day, and according to conditions. Motomarathoners are prepared for anything and the Great Smoky Motomarathon should be a good event with which to apply this approach to long-distance sport riding.


Fall color watch update: Wayne says the color is mostly past at the high elevations but is great down lower. 


The Great Smoky Motomarathon begins at Eurosport Asheville on Friday, Oc. 26th, at 8:00 p.m. when we will hold our first riders' meeting at Eurosport Asheville, 30 Bryson Street, Asheville, NC. Come a little early to register and to get a refreshment, provided by Eurosport Asheville, sponsor of this event. If you can't make it out Friday night, join us Saturday morning at Eurosport Asheville by 8:00 a.m. for informal riders' meetings and to ride out with Wayne Busch.   The first 30 riders to show up at registration at Eurosport Asheville will receive four different America Rides Maps of the areas we will be riding in during the Great Smoky Motomarathon. Ride one day or ride them all: any checkpoints you receive will be listed on our website in the event, annual and lifetime standings. 





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Empire State MM Adds New Satellite Start from Western NY

August 13th, 2012 5:54pm - Posted By: John and Caty Metzger


The 2012 Empire State Motomarathon, set for September 13-16, will start concurrently in not one but two cities: Fishkill, NY and Macedon, NY. The newly added satellite start will open the long-distance, endurance motorcycle-riding event to include riders not just from downstate but also from the Western New York Area.

The satellite start will begin From Filer's Powersports, in Macedon, NY. Shawn Pearsall, a veteran Motomarathoner, will be Routemaster for the group from Macedon. The main start will be led by Routemaster Joe Majsak from the Quality Inn & Suites in Fishkill, NY. The two groups will sync up on Day 1 and then ride Days 2 & 3 together. On Day 4 riders will return to their respective cities.

"We are piloting the satellite-start at the Empire State Motomarathon and we are very excited about having another city involved. Traditionally we have started and stopped on Days One and Four in the same, one location for this type of ride. A satellite start gives riders, who live in cities that are distant from the main start/stop point, a chance to join the Motomarathon route from their remote city while earning the same number of checkpoints," said Motomarathon Founder John Metzger.

For more information or to sign up for the event go to www.motomarathon.com and select Register Now or contact Caty Metzger at motomarathon1@gmail.com or at 303.621.5356. Walk-ons to the Empire State Motomarathon are most welcome!

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Colorado Motomarathon is ON; Wisconsin Motomarathon is OFF

June 28th, 2012 6:11pm - Posted By: John and Caty Metzger


Colorado MM is ON -- Despite the fires, the July 27-30 Colorado Motomarathon is still a go, and will be looping out of Boulder and Mike's Motorcycle each day. The burn areas are a site to see, and we will try to include some of those on our routes depending on conditions and closures. It has been an unusually HOT summer already, so bring your mesh along with the electric vest!

WISCONSIN MM IS OFF -- Due to logistical constraints, the Wisconsin Motomarathon that was scheduled for Oct. 4-7 is postponed and may be rescheduled next year.

New England MM -- The NE MM was a big success and a good time for all, and pushed the grand total of lifetime Motomarathoners to over 200 riders since the Association was founded in 2009. Scenery and routes were fabulous thanks to Routemaster Daniel Monteiro and his team. Congratulations to Halo Award Winner (and safe rider) Lauren Secular, who won a Colorado Ski condo stay at Mountainside at Sol Vista, generously donated by Paul DiMarchi. Thanks also to sponsors Twisted Throttle, European Cycle Sports and The Birchbend Motolodge.

The remaining events this season are:


Colorado Motomarathon

Boulder, CO –July 27-30


Empire State Motomarathon

Fishkill, NY / Wilmington, NY –September 13-16


Great Smoky Motomarathon

Asheville, NC / Fontana Dam, NC –October 27-30


Please visit the Register/Contact Us page to register for an event, for updates and further information.





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When you get bucked off...

August 10th, 2010 8:40pm - Posted By: John Metzger

...you get back on. I thought about that old saying after Rich Jack was killed by a deer crossing his path just south of Craig, Colo. on June 26th.

After reading Rich's obituary -- his adventurous life of climbing and long-distance motorcycling -- he was clearly a guy that knew what he was doing, why he was doing it, and how to go about doing it safely and skillfully. Though I felt "bucked off" after his accident, Motomarathoner and former bull rider Mike Disney reminded me about getting back on -- and dedicating my ride to Rich that last day of the Centopassi Motomarathon.

Rich wasn't riding outside the safety zone. And though we can't defend against everything, it’s important to think about why we're drawn to danger, personified by Rich's moto, "If you're not a little scared, you're not having any fun." Which leads to reflection on the how: faster in the corners, slower in the straights. And only as fast as the view corridor between apex and exit allow you to hold your line with confidence. Still, a deer crossing your path doesn't leave much room for a Plan B. And after almost hitting one myself on that same June 26th, I thought hard about how to further develop those peripheral vision "muscles" somewhere up there between the ears.

Getting back on the bike that day provided a fresh perspective on the why and how. Rich had helped a downed rider in a pretty bad crash just the day before, so I think that's what he would have done too.

Once again, and in Rich’s honor, we're planning the Colorado Motomarathon for Sept. 17-20. Each day will loop out of Boulder (NOT Gunnison as previously mentioned on website). All check-in/check-outs and the Awards Dinner on Monday night will be at Basta Pizzeria (inside the Peleton Condo complex at 3601 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, CO 80303. Same place as before, picture below. Note cool tri-colore Duck properly Wolfman'd).

Day One Routes will be handed out at this very Italian, Ducati-esque venue starting at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16. and early Friday morning.

The Routemasters par excellence at Butler Motorcycle Maps have agreed to sponsor this ride, and their beautiful maps will help focus our traditional September tour through Colorado's classic canyons and passes.

Please check out the event page here for logistical details and hotel info, and we look forward to winding down the 2010 Motomarathon season with wisdom and safety.

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SoCal and Ducati Rule

July 20th, 2010 7:46pm - Posted By: John Metzger

Sorry GS and Tiger. Sorry Adventure and Ulysses (really sorry). But the new Ducati MultiStrada 1200 is now the one and only king of endurance sport-touring.

Ducati NA’s Multi 12 demo bike proved itself through the paces of the Southern California Motomarathon at the end of March. Routemastering by the local experts was deeply appreciated by us climate-challenged Coloradoans – who, as I write, patiently await a snowless four-day window for the Centopassi Motomarathon in mid-June, and the New England Motomarathon, coming up next month (yes, it’s 80° right now at Cliff’s Cycle Revolution at the start/stop point in Brookfield, CT, and no, it hasn’t stopped snowing in Colorado). But SoCal was the perfect off-season venue for testing the state-of-the-art in long-distance, technical carving machines. The new MultiStrada represents a paradigm shift in this relatively new category, delivering what Motomarathon purists would consider the highest performance motorcycle experience to be had on public roads.

In addition to the Multi, Motomarathoners shared some saddle time on Ducati’s new HyperMotard 796 and StreetFighter as we shredded the varietals of SoCal back roads, from Big Bear to Tecate and San Juan Capistrano (where the sparrows migrate!) to the Salton Sea.

The little Hyper can keep up with its bigger compatriots no problem, and handled like a BMX bike in the tightest of the tight in San Diego, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties (you guys paved these roads? Cool.)

And whenever one of us tired of the Hyper’s flickability, or the Multi’s deep power, fuel range and all-day comfort, there was the StreetFighter standing by for some track-crouched relief and a chance to turn your right hand into a writhing, death-grip cage-fight between the throttle’s butt puckering, other-worldly power and the ‘holyshitwhatthefuckareyoufreakingkidding’ reaction of the front brake.

The latest standings are now posted on www.motomarathon.com. For some visuals, check out www.highway94photo.com and the pix on March 26th.

Since the inaugural ’09 season and only three official events, a mere four riders have completed all the check points to lead the lifetime standings: Paul DiMarchi, Mike Disney, John Hartman and Scott Miller.

The best way to keep up is to establish a lifestyle that allows a four-day ride window several times a year, and a spiritual commitment to the quest for new terrain, scenery and Nirvanic moments – your job and The Man be damned.

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