10 Years of BDR (Backcountry Discovery Route)
I only recently (summer of 2019) found out about the BDR’s from a video I watched on YouTube. Amanda from “As the Magpie Flies” was doing the CABDR with a couple of her friends and this opened up a whole new outlook on motorcycle adventures to me. As I was watching her document the trip I could only think, I wish there was one of these near me. Cody on the other hand was invited to ride the Idaho BDR with Tim Collins from FTA Adventures. He also didn’t have any idea what a BDR was, and his world was about to change forever. Cody experienced the trip of a lifetime, or so he thought. Upon returning home Cody discovered a love of exploring this type of terrain, and to his surprise in his home state of Utah there was another BDR!
You are probably asking what the heck is a BDR and why would motorcyclists want to ride one? BDR stands for Backcountry Discovery Route, and are discovered, plotted and mapped by a non profit organization. For more in depth information about the BDR organization or the actual routes, check out their website at ridebdr.com
Backcountry Discovery Routes (BDR) are mapped out for motorcycles that can handle a little off road terrain, mainly dual-sport and adventure motorcycle travel. These routes are back roads, dirt roads and some trails type riding through some of the most beautiful country! There are 10 of them total that can be ridden right now, and 4 more in progress. Each one of these has been scouted, ridden, mapped, routed and re-routed by volunteers, I mentioned before they are Non-Profit! There are free digital map files (gpx) for most navigation systems of all 10 BDR routes. If you are a traditional paper map person, they have these as well but you will have to pay for those. Paper and ink costs money, and they need a way to help keep this organization running so they can’t give everything away.
The ten BDR are in no particular order: Washington (WABDR), Idaho (IDBDR), New Mexico (NMBDR), Nevada (NVBDR), California (CABDR), Utah (UTBDR), Colorado (COBDR), Arizona (AZBDR), Mid Atlantic (MABDR), and just released for 2020 North East (NEBDR)! There are also as I said earlier 4 proposed or shall we say in development BDR and those are: Wyoming, California (north, original is now called south), Montana, and South East. If you would like to learn more about any of these routes I would highly recommend that you click one of the links at the bottom of this article to learn more.
To my surprise, I found out over the winter that the NEBDR would be opening this year. Once the final route was posted I knew I was going to be one lucky rider, as the route passes my place by a mere 5 miles! This of course made my good friend Cody a little jealous but as I pointed out to him recently, he has had the opportunity to ride on parts of five (yes 5) of the BDR. Our friendship has spanned the miles that separates us and in 2021 we are in the early stages of planning to get him 2 more of these! Cody and I are hoping to do all or at least as much as we have time for of the MABDR and NEBDR together.
If you enjoy exploring fire roads, mountain trails and doing multi day trips on a motorcycle do yourself a favor and check out the website. You will not be disappointed, this I promise you! Maybe it will change your life as it did Cody’s who is now an Ambassador of the Utah BDR!
Links from the Podcast and this article.
Amada As the Magpie Flies on YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh9ZMRty0czHiDGccx1hwZg
Tim Collins FTA Adventures on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyhwir3fmk5NR4n_GWsa1EQ
BDR website: https://ridebdr.com/
BDR Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RideBDR/