This past weekend, I was invited to ride with Star Chapter 300 on their July ride to Marietta, OH. This ride, through southeastern Ohio, included several portions along some of the best motorcycling roads in Ohio (State Route 555 and State Route 26). Roads like these are not available in northeastern Ohio, so I *had* to join the Chapter and ride with them.
Here is the route:
Just looking at the map brings a smile to my face. Look at those curvy, winding roads.
While the day started overcast, it quickly turned sunny and warm. A perfect start to the ride.
Everything was going well until we rolled into Somerset, OH. There, we had to stop for about an hour while the town enjoyed a July 4th parade. When we were finally able to get riding, it was more great roads to McConnelsville, OH. I believe that I was smiling the entire way, it was that much fun.
After a lunch stop in McConnelsville, we bid farewell to two bikes and it was off to Marietta. Phenomenal roads and scenery greeted us. And so did some rain.
We didn’t stop to gear up, even though we did pause to decide if it was worth it to get in the rain gear.
After a gas stop in Marietta, it was off to ride State Route 26, one of the best motorcycling roads in Ohio, which runs through Wayne National Forest. In a word, awesome. On the way north, we stopped to see a covered bridge, a pretty popular stop along 26. I was fortunate to see a wild turkey, and, what I think were turkey vultures (feasting on fresh road kill, which was pretty abundant). I also saw some baby goats, which were a major distraction for me.
Those damn goats made me lose my line in a curve and I ended up dropping the bike, as I rode onto the gravel on the side of the road. Thankfully, the engine guards and saddle bag guards prevented any damage to the bike. And my Kevlar jeans and jacket prevented any damage to me. Although I am a bit sore from where my unprotected ribs hit the pavement.
Lesson learned: ALWAYS, always focus on the road.
After taking a little break to allow me to settle down, we continued onward to Route 78.
One experience on Route 78 is worth noting. And, if you are ever in the area, or near it, you really need to stop and see the bucket from Big Muskie. Pictures are one thing, seeing this monstrous bucket up close is totally another. And the view from Miner’s Memorial Park is incredible. It is said that on a clear day, you can see the curvature of the Earth from the park.
It was about when we rode into McConnelsville that it started to rain again, but sadly it was also where I said “goodbye” to the other riders. We shot up Route 60, them to get on Route 70 and head back to Columbus and I to check into a hotel in Zanesville.
Roughly 240 miles, we rode from about 11AM until close to 8PM.
Link: Photo set from the ride