Best Motorcycle Ride (2012)

Rio Salado and Galvin Parkways to McDonald Drive

As much as we love the Valley, we wish its founding fathers had seen fit to plant more curves in the roads. To find that long and winding road, it's best to leave town, of course — go to Bartlett Lake or Tortilla Flat. Takes hours to do that, though. We often need something to enjoy just for an hour or so after a slice of pepperoni. And that's where this ride comes in. From Tempe Marketplace we head west on Rio Salado Parkway, a twisty, divided road that's lit well at night. We take that to the Mill Avenue bridge — always an extra pleasure at sunset. From there, up the hill north on Galvin Parkway, which has nice curves, desert views and a perky roundabout. Keeping on 64th Street to Indian School Road we head west to find the only non-linear section on that road between there and Litchfield Park. Our short ride turns north again on 44th Street, with a right on McDonald Drive, which is straight but has roller-coaster dips that sweeten the view of Camelback Mountain. Leave your helmet on in case of photo-radar trucks on this section. When you get to Scottsdale Road, it's back to Straightsville.


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