At this year’s AMA conference, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting the founder and COO of MADMaps, Jenny Lefferts. This amazing, gutsy, funny, out-spoken, and tenacious business owner and motorcyclist is an inspiration to everyone who meets (and knows) her. Ms. Lafferts started MADMaps (single-handed) over thirteen years ago.
Since then, Jenny Lefferts and her staff have grown the company considerably and established a massive, proprietary database of scenic roads all over the nation. MADMaps offers conventional paper road maps, laminated road maps, packages of maps (grouped by area, state, or interest), and even technology-centric maps for smart phones and GPS devices like Garmin and Navtec.
What’s ingenious about the company is that they employ road scouts who physically travel their local areas documenting the most scenic, interesting routes available. The scouts come up with the best day-trips in their area and then the company compiles the data and creates a map. MADMaps contain not only great scenic roads but information on local attractions, visitor information for an area (complete with phone numbers), mileages for each route, information about the type of terrain and driving conditions, and local anecdotes about the area that the particular map covers. This makes for maps as entertaining as they are useful.
Some of the MADMaps titles include: California Dreamin’, Smoky Mountains, and Adventure America. The California Dreamin’ package is a series of four maps that explore the entire state from the LA basin (and points further south) to the central California wine country, the SF bay area, and the eastern Sierra Nevadas. The Smoky Mountains map explores the southern Appalachian area and provides 20 different scenic routes through some of Tennessee’s most gorgeous country.
The day of the AMA conference, Jenny was giving away the, what I call “soft-laminated,” Adventure America map. And, I was lucky enough to snag one. The map includes nine scenic road trips in various locations from CA to New England The routes include: Pacific Challenge, Wild West Ride, Four Corners Connection, Texas Roundup, Ozark Odyssey, Florida Escape, Smoky Mountains Adventure, Great Lakes Excursion, and the New England Independence Run. Each route is boldly highlighted in a contrasting, easy-to-see color and the map is soft, water-proof, and extremely easy to re-fold. I absolutely LOVE this map and can’t wait to get some of the others for our Biker Babe Tours.
Whether you are on a bike or in a cage, MADMaps are key to being informed, having fun and being inspired on the way, and traveling well. Get your MADMaps and go! Oh, and send us photos. ; )