The ZMM50th Anniversary Ride – #ZMM50thRide

The RPA are pleased to announce that the 50th Anniversary Zen Ride will take place in July 2024 – that’s the 50th anniversary of the 1974 ZMM publication on the dates of the original 1968 ride. If you haven’t already done so, contact the organisers via the contact form to express interest in all or part of the planned ride.

UPDATE July 1st, 2024
Applications to join the ride and group events
organised for the riders & caravaners
are now CLOSED.
(Some of the local / public events
have separate registration forms below)

(Full route details and waypoints at the end of the itinerary below.
As per the original announcement, bikes are not compulsory, come as you are.
For all other events see the #ZMM50th page.)

#ZMM50thRide ITINERARY (Last Updated 27th June)

SATURDAY July 6 & SUNDAY July 7: Gathering in Minneapolis, MN.
Join us SUNDAY July 7th 2pm to 5pm – ZMM50thRide Meeting & Talk at Minnesota Zen Meditation Center (originally sponsored by Robert Pirsig) at 3343 E Bde Maka Ska Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55408.

This will be the first face to face meeting for the Robert Pirsig Association featuring special speakers Mark Richardson, author of Zen and Now: On the Trail of Robert Pirsig and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and Ian Glendinning, co-chair of the Robert Pirsig Association, socializing & sharing, and the first meeting for the ZMM50thRide, a Minneapolis to San Francisco motorcycle ride/car caravan departing the next day inspired by Pirsig’s 1968 trip featured in his famous book.

Free and open to the public. Space is limited, so please register in advance:

DAY 1: Monday July 8, 2024.  Minneapolis, MN to Oakes, ND
8am Departing from Plymouth, MN Comfort Inn parking lot.  (Several other hotels in area)
Ride: ~280 miles. STAY:  Oakes, ND motels or camping.
Evening: Oakes Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:
7PM.  510 Main Ave, Oakes, ND 58474.

DAY 2: Tuesday July 9, 2024.  Oakes, ND to Shadehill, (nr Lemmon) SD.
Morning: Short visit to Coleman Museum in Ellendale, ND before main ride.
RIDE: ~280 miles. STAY: Llewellyn Johns Recreation Area (Camping/RV)/ Shadehill Recreation Area (camping/RV or camping cabins) or accommodations in Lemmon, SD.
Reservations for July 9 open Wednesday April 10 (90 days in advance) for Llewellyn Johns/Shadehill Recreation Areas:
Evening: Campfire at Llewellyn Johns Recreation Area, where Pirsig & Sutherlands stayed in 1968.

DAY 3: Wednesday July 10, 2024.  Shadehill, SD to Miles City, MT
RIDE: ~200 miles STAY:  Olive Hotel or other.
(Olive Hotel of historic significance, but not where the Pirsig party actually stayed.)
Evening: Opportunity for other (non-Ride) visitors to meet-up in Miles City, MT.
(No formal event arranged).

DAY 4: Thursday July 11, 2024.  Miles City, MT to Laurel, MT.
RIDE: ~160 miles. STAY: Laurel, MT.

DAY 5: Friday July 12, 2024. Laurel, MT to Gardiner, MT
RIDE: ~190  miles, Beartooth Mountain Highway & Yellowstone.
STAY: Hillcrest Cottages, limited availability by special arrangement … use our contact form  … otherwise Gardiner, MT area. Evening: Visit to Hillcrest Cottages.

DAY 6: Saturday July 13, 2024. Gardiner, MT to Bozeman, MT
RIDE: ~85 miles.
STAY: Bozeman, MT. (Two nights or longer if following Alternate / Original Itinerary)

11am to 3pm – Montana State University campus visit.  By special arrangement for riders / tourers only – to visit Montana State University Library “All things Pirsig” collection (from 11:00am to 12:30pm) and the Museum of the Rockies Pirsig collection – larger items, lathe, workbench & tools – (from 1:30pm to 3:00pm) and other locations on MSU campus, like Montana Hall. (Visits confirmed, for a single group of 12.)

After 3pm Ride to DeWeese home in Gallatin Gateway area.
(Confirmed – details to follow for those registered on the #ZMM50thRide.)

DAY 7: Sunday July 14, 2024. Rest Day or Day hike in Cottonwood Canyon.

[See Alternate / Original Itinerary below – sticking to Pirsig’s original 1968 dates, includes additional 4-day layover in the Bozeman / Gallatin / Cottonwood Canyon area.]

#ZMM50thRide 2024 Itinerary continues:

DAY 8: Monday July 15, 2024.  Bozeman, MT to Lolo Pass.
RIDE: ~270 miles STAY: TBD.

DAY 9: Tuesday July 16, 2024. Lolo Pass to Brownlee Campground, Cambridge, ID.
RIDE: 265 miles. STAY: Brownlee Campground is first come, first serve, so we will need a plan B for campers.  Cambridge, ID accommodations.

DAY 10: Wednesday July 17, 2024. Brownlee Campground to (~5 miles North of) LaPine, OR.
RIDE: ~240 miles.
STAY:  Camping should be available at the Cascade Meadows RV Resort. Which is very likely where Pirsig & Chris camped in 1968.

DAY 11: Thursday July 18, 2024.  LaPine, OR to Grants Pass, OR.
RIDE: ~270 miles. STAY: TBD.

DAY 12: Friday July 19, 2024.  Grants Pass, OR to Redcrest, CA.
RIDE: ~260 miles. STAY: TBD.

FINAL DAY 13: Saturday July 20, 2024.  Redcrest, CA to San Francisco, CA.
(via Pacific Coast Highway/Mendocino Headlands, scene of the climax of the book.)

The itinerary follows Gary Wegner’s “Read and Ride” Calendar.

All WayPoints of interest are here on Henry Gurr’s ZMM Google Route Map.

All comments, questions or expressions of interest in all or part of the ride please use the contact form.



Alt Day 8: Monday July 15th – Visiting in and around Bozeman
Alt Day 9: Tuesday July 16th – Visiting in and around Bozeman
Alt Day 10 & 11:– Locally arranged Cottonwood Canyon Hike.

On Wednesday & Thursday July 17 & 18, 2024, ZMM Enthusiasts who are interested & physically capable, may choose to join Joe Pioro and climb the mountain trail that fits the Chris and Narrator Climb Narrative in the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (ZMM). The climb will start early at the Cottonwood Canyon trailhead in Gallatin National Forest, south of Bozeman, MT.
Contact Henry Gurr for more information. See here for hike details.

Alt Day 12: Friday July 19th – Restart Ride – Bozeman, MT to Lolo Pass
(And continue per main itinerary above, 4 days later, through Wednesday July 24th.)